7 Purity Secrets for People…
People need a decided strategy to reduce the risk. Here are seven secrets to sexual purity that we need to know.
I said goodbye to my virginity when I was eighteen.
How old were you? If you had it to do over again, would you wait? I would. I found out some of the physical consequences of choosing to have sex early, and I was depressed about what I had done. I felt like I’d given something precious away and could never have it back. The people I gave it to have not been a significant part of my life since we slept together. That’s why I’ve devoted my life to spreading the idea that sex is worthy of something more than a casual hookup. Is that a message you want to share with your daughter? Little sister? A friend you’re trying to mentor? Read on, because the news today is better…and worse…than when you were a teenager and I have seven secrets that will cut the risk in the friend or child you love.
Recent news in the sex culture tells me that a lot of people feel waiting is worthwhile. They are more virgins than ever in college, which means fewer teenagers are having sex. But among college students who aren’t abstaining…well, they’re having a lot of sex. And I do mean a LOT! By the time they leave college men will have an average of 9.7 sexual partners and women will have 7.1. We need a decided strategy to reduce the risk. Here are seven secrets to sexual purity that we all need to know.
1.) Purity is a process.
So many of us mess up. If not by acting out, by the thoughts that we think. And my experience tells me that if someone doesn’t get healing from our sins and victory in our temptations, we’ll give in all the more. We’ll reach out for the help we need if we know we’re not alone and that our battle has not ruined us. We need to remember that we were not born pure and we’re not alone in this process. Psalm 51:5 says, “Surely I was sinful from birth, sinful from the moment my mother conceived me.” While we may have been born innocent, we were not born pure. Purity is the process of facing down the temptations, healing from the sin, and making right choices. It’s where we’re headed. Not where we’ve begun.
2.) Purity dreams of its future.
Getting caught on the hook-up culture will trap you into a life of neediness. And being in a dating relationship in high school that’s six months or longer increases sexual temptation, according to the Medical Institute for Sexual Health. Reduce the risk—not by saying “no” to relationships, but by beginning to dream of ONE! Help her dream of a future. Write a list of qualities we are looking for in a husband or a wife. After all, abstinence is not about not having sex; it’s about waiting to have it right with the person God chose for us to spend the rest of our lives with!
3.) Purity is governed by its value.
A person who is confident in their value as a son/daughter of Christ will not have need to find it in a sexual partner or giving themselves over to the hookup culture. But with eating disorders, body image issues, photoshopped beauty lies, and internet porn on the rise, we need a lot of reminding that beauty is found in our hearts and not in the mirror. Take time to celebrate your creation story in Psalm 139 where the Bible records that God knit you together. You are a masterpiece created by God. Understanding that will govern your behavior.
4.) Purity speaks boldly.
Many people lack what social science calls “refusal skills,” that is the ability to say ‘no’ when temptation arises. The book of James says that the tongue is a powerful tool, compared to the rudder of a ship which has the ability to move a great vessel. Teach yourself to use your tongue to direct your life towards purity by practicing refusal skills. Simply take time to write a list of top ten comeback lines. For example, if a guy says “Let’s go somewhere to be alone.” A girl’s comeback line could be, “You DO know that my daddy dusts me for fingerprints, right?” If a girl/woman wears clothes that leave little to the imagination, a good boyfriend/husband would say, “I wonder if that is really the way Eve tempted Adam, it wasn’t an apple, it was an apple bottom.”
Have fun with it and giggle. While you may or may not use these exact statements, writing this list is a powerful internal marking point that gives you permission to say ‘no’ and confidence to do so.
5.) Purity loves its Creator at any cost.
While it’s great to dream about the future, it should never be in expectation that God has to or will provide a spouse. A person’s value does not lie in a partner when their fourteen or forty. Marriage is not the ultimate goal of your life. Being in a love relationship with Christ should be. Ephesians 5:31,32 teaches us that marriage is a picture of the love that Christ has for his bride, the Church. No one paints a picture well unless they have seen and studied the original. We need to see the beauty of a true love relationship with Jesus and be willing to protect that love at any cost. This will shield you from counterfeit loves that are unable to help you paint a picture of the love of Christ.
6.) Purity embraces wise guidance
Parent-child connectedness is considered the greatest risk reducer of teen sexual activity. Add a connected mom and dad to the power of God’s Spirit in them and you have a wonderful recipe for discipleship. Of course, this means you have to talk about sex, and temptation, and sin, and pleasure, and the beauty of the marriage bed. You can do it, mom and dad. And you and your kids need you to talk about it. If you struggle with chastity, frequent the Sacrament of Confession and get a spiritual advisor, if you can find a good one.
7.) Purity watches burning flames
In one community where the middle school sexual activity rate was nearly 30%, the school system created a mentoring program pairing middle school students with high school and college students who were both sexually abstinent and sober. In just a few years, the sexual activity rate was reduced to 1%. The power of older and wiser friendships is tremendous. The Bible teaches that he who walks with the wise grows wise. Help your kids find and connect to a mentor. It is such a big deal, that you and your kids need a model of purity, if you are not it, than you need to become it, by the power of the Lord’s mercy and love, through the mentorship of a good spiritual advisor.
The backbone of these seven secrets are God’s word, but I have given them muscle by depending on social science’s agreement with God’s word as I developed the list. They have helped nearly 300,000 young women walk in purity as they learned them and applied them while reading my first book, And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity. We’re celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the book’s debut and we’re celebrating by offering a FREE on-line video curriculum you can use with teens you’re discipling.
Sources not linked to in this article:
Sharon Jayson, “More college ‘hookups.’ But more virgins, too.”, USA Today, 3/30/2011. http://yourlife.usatoday.com/sex-relationships/dating/story/2011/03/More-hookups-on-campuses-but-more-virgins-too/45556388/1?csp=hf
This blog was originally titled, “7 Purity Secrets for Teen Girls” by Dannah Gresh…This was posted at the bottom of her article and it was inspiring for me, so I thought I should share it with you too!