Welcome to “Purity Week.” Our goal for this week is to share with you four posts that deal with sexuality and purity. The posts will come out today, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (our monthly email newsletter will be released on Tuesday). To make sure you don’t miss a post, simply click here to subscribe for free.
The class slumps into their seats as the youth minister starts to “go there” again. He starts talking about how sex is only for marriage and that it is sinful to engage in sexual activity before entering marriage.
…and eyes glaze over, because they have heard this over and over.
But the struggle for many–not just teens–is that we don’t often address the real issue. Sexual purity is not just “the act,” it starts in the mind. It begins with what we are thinking.
Jesus clearly condemned adultery, but then took that sin to its root issue. He said, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28, ESV). The heart’s intent is the matter, and we know what we intend. We may try to explain it away, but we cannot trick ourselves or our Lord about our intentions.
Paul listed what our minds should be meditating upon in Philippians 4:8. Right there in the midst of those things? “Whatever is pure.”
Too often, we struggle with impure actions, but it is because we struggle first with impure thoughts. What we put into our minds becomes what we dwell on in our thought life.
Pure in…pure out.
Impure in…well, we may not “act out” the impurity, but our thoughts and emotions will hold on to them. And such is what leads to an impure heart.
So, if I am not turning the channel when the bikini girls try to sell me a beer, guess what visuals I will have in my mind?
If I pay my own money to watch movies containing sexual themes, guess what I’ll be thinking about?
If I’m letting everyone else go to bed so I can stay up for a few minutes of online porn, it isn’t hard to figure what my mind will be envisioning the next day.
If a Christian woman is reading “romance” novels (yes, the quotation marks were intentional), how can she claim that her thoughts are pure about sexuality?
So, when we start to talk about this issue of purity with anyone, whether a teenage class at church or to ourselves, we need to start at the root issue. Is my heart and is my mind fully devoted to God? If I claim to be a follower of the Lord, I will love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).
And since He is holy and pure, so must be my mind.
QUESTION: Why do we struggle with “thought” purity?
Photo credit: Shaheen Lakhan on Creative Commons
Photo credit: Tim on Creative Commons
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