purposeful purity

By Tessa Granville
Images from www.weheartit.com 

When you think about purity, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Saving the physical side of a relationship until marriage, right? Well, what if I told you that that wasn't the only way you stay pure? Purity isn't just about physical boundaries, it's a lot more elaborate than that.

In this day and age, everyone around you is probably dating. We see friends go in and out of relationships, getting their hearts broken and saying, "Oh well, he wasn't the one."

But is dating really the godly way of finding your future husband?

For years, I thought the answer to that question was yes, but after going through a hard breakup of my own, I learned that there is a far better way to find your true love, your ‘Prince Charming’ if you will. That way is this: turning my eyes solely onto God and drawing closer to Him.

I realized that until I put God first, there was no way I was going to meet my "one true love."

Some of you may read that and wonder, "Well how will I know who the right guy is if I haven't learned what kind of things I like in a guy? Isn't that what dating is for?"

The answer to that question is simple. When you have a close relationship with God, your perception changes and you start to notice things in godly men that you really like, instead of being attracted to the ordinary attributes that most girls fall for. (Augustus Waters, anybody?)

So how do you remain pure in all of this? The solution is definitely not found by cutting out the boys in your life. I strongly believe that guys and girls can be friends without there being any attractions, but that doesn't mean this will be the case with all of your guy friends. There's bound to be one friend who starts to like you and desires to be more than just friends.

So, what do you do when that happens? Well, for starters, you should let this boy know where you stand and what your main priorities are at the moment. The purpose of dating is to prepare you for marriage. If you're not ready to get married, do you think playing with the idea of love and a relationship is the right direction to go?

It says in Philippians 4:8, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

When we set our sights on God and take out all the distractions and things of this world, our thoughts begin to change. If we allow ourselves to indulge in our emotions, then we are not walking the way God wants us to.

In the media today, most of the movies, TV shows and music teach people that we are to follow our hearts and listen to the emotions that we are feeling, but we are warned against that in the Bible.

The heart is deceitful above all things…(Jeremiah 17:9)
So why does the media tell us something completely different? Well, this is because the entertainment industry wants to take God out of everything, but we’re not going to allow that to happen! We are the next generation! If we stand up and say no to what Hollywood is telling us to do, then we can make a huge difference.  

Staying pure is one of the ways we can make that difference. Here are some of the key steps that can help us stay pure

1. Living by the Word

2. Seeking the Lord with all your heart

3. Praising God

4. Drawing closer to the Lord

If we can master these steps, living a pure life becomes easier. I can’t begin to tell you how awesome I feel now that I’ve allowed the Lord to be my matchmaker instead of looking at all the guys I meet and wondering if they’re "the one."

1. living by the word

The way we live by the Word is by taking time every day, to read it. I didn’t know where to start reading when I brought my life back on God’s path, but then my dad told me something very interesting. He said, “Do you start a book in the middle or at the end? No, you start at the beginning, so that’s exactly what you should do with the Bible.”

Of course, that was easier said than done. It took me at least three attempts to read Genesis, but once I’d finished it, there was no stopping me from reading the rest.

Today in church, many pastors stay in the New Testament during their messages, but what some people don’t understand is that they cannot truly understand the New Testament without studying the Old. It’s just as important because the Old Testament teaches us about the ways in which God wants us to live and where we came from. Until I’ve completed the Old Testament, I’m never going to completely understand the things Jesus talks about during His time on Earth.

2. seeking the lord with all your heart

Seeking the Lord with all our hearts is another challenging step towards purity because we get so comfortable in the world we live in that we don’t even realize that there is a problem until it’s pointed out. When we learn to stop looking for our identity in others or in entertainment, we get a new leash on life. Getting the junk out of our lives also helps with that. If you are questioning the things you watch, read or listen to, then something needs to change. I challenge you to listen to the words people are speaking, writing and singing and see if they line up with your beliefs.

3. praising god

Praising the Lord and fellowshipping with Him also brings us new joys in life. When we are taking the time to worship His name and asking Him to speak to us, He will certainly do it. There are days where I won’t hear anything, but I feel His presence with me. It’s comforting to know that He is smiling down on me when I’m lifting my hands to Him and singing as loud as I can, even though my singing voice is rubbish.

4. drawing closer to the lord

It’s one thing to read the Bible, it’s another to meditate on it. I haven’t mastered this step just yet, but I understand the idea of it. When we’re spending time in the Word and we read a scripture that lights up on the page or sparks your attention, stop and ask the Lord what He wants to reveal to you. Re-read the verse if you have to. I'm quite positive that the Lord is trying to reveal something to you with that scripture.

The last step joins everything all together. When we draw closer to the Lord, we want to walk in His ways and do our best not to stray off His path. 

Another great way to stay pure is by having friends who are trying to walk the same way as you. Your friends could be male or female, it doesn’t matter, because when you are going in the same direction you can lean on one another for support. Having older people around to help you is also really good. We can’t do this alone and need people, like parents or pastors, to answer your questions and help you make the right decisions.

Purity in relationships is such a broad subject, but with the right mentors and a desire to serve the Lord with all your heart, it becomes an easier task to accomplish. In any relationship, whether friend or romance, boundaries have to be established. Don’t be afraid to set those boundaries and standards. If you’re scared or not sure how the other is feeling, don’t hold it in, it’s always better to share what is on your heart.

At the end of the day, the Lord will show us the right directions we need to be going in. Just remember to take the time to listen to Him and not do all the talking. Prayer is an essential part of your relationship with God.

In Matthew 6:6-8, Jesus talks about how we should pray, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

During your time of being of singleness, be sure to embrace it! Singleness is a gift from God and we shouldn’t waste that time. While we’re learning to stay pure, we can also learn what it means to love one another. Loving everyone is great training for the day we meet our future husband because we will already know what it means to love and be a servant.

Please be encouraged by the things I have written and remember that we all have a Proverbs 31 woman inside of us. Once we get our thoughts, feelings, and heart on the same path as God’s, we’ll be UNSTOPPABLE!

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about the author

Hi, my name is Tessa Granville, I’m nineteen years old, and live a life of adventure. My parents are missionaries, so wherever God tells us to go, that’s where we end up. In my life, I have lived in three continents and have traveled to some extraordinary places!

Check out my blog!   http://thesecretlifeoftessa.weebly.com/ 

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