There’s a lie, still weaving its way through Christian circles. It’s the thought that purity is merely refusing to participate in certain sinful activities. It started when, in hopes to strike fear into adolescents, we began setting up various rules regarding what makes us pure. People became identified as such when they abstained from sex until marriage. If they wore a purity ring and didn’t ride in cars with boys, surely they were on the right path!
But because we missed the foundation of what being pure actually looks like and why we should strive for it, many Christians were remaining faithful to a point, but coming as close to the line as possible.
A Heart Issue
Now, I’m not saying we should toss out all the boundaries and rally in a free for all. But this issue is much broader than whether or not a person has “saved themselves for marriage.” Purity is a deeper concept. It’s not just about physically remaining abstinent. A woman can be impure by giving away intimate parts of her mind that should be guarded and kept only for her husband. It’s an issue of the heart, not just the body.
It’s possible to appear squeaky clean from all views on the outside and yet, still have a heart full of dirt.
The Filthy Truth
But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man;
(Matthew 15:18-20a ESV)
It Was Granted
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
(Revelation 19:7-8 ESV)
Marriage is a beautiful picture of Christ and His Bride, the Church. When a bride dresses in white on her wedding day, the purpose is to point to the marriage supper of the Lamb. “It was granted her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and pure.”
Christians, we did not gain the ability to be considered pure by our own actions. It was granted to us by our King. His righteousness makes us pure. If you are in him, no matter what your past looks like, you have been cleansed. You are pure. Praise the Lord!
A friend of mine once told me she dreamed of wearing a pale pink dress on her future wedding day. I was so surprised because she, unlike me, hadn’t “awakened love before it pleased” (Song of Songs 8:4). Surely, she of all people should wear a white dress! But she said to me, “I think you should wear white. Because look at what God has done.” She understands redemption.
Some of you are like my friend. You’ve waited for your husband and guarded your heart. Praise God for this! He’s protected you from much heartache for his glory.
Some of you are like me. You’ve given yourself away and sometimes the consequences seem unbearable. God promises to turn it for your good and his glory. Praise him for that!
No matter our past, when God looks at any one of us who make up the Church, he sees the righteousness of his Son. The only righteousness worth clinging to.
Someone who disqualifies a woman from wearing white because of her past before Christ has a very shallow knowledge of grace, the gospel, and their own depravity. If it were not for the grace of God we would all be significantly more sinful. If we haven’t traveled a particular dark path we have God to thank, not your own righteousness.
The Blood of the Lamb
As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
(Psalm 103:12 ESV)
Firstly, I wanna speak to the girl who’s been running from God and so far has refused to turn to him. Maybe you stumbled upon this post not knowing what you were getting yourself into. Maybe you’ve willingly taken the wrong path as I did, or you think you will be saved because of the good you’ve done. Either way, God is drawing you near. He wants to save those who will come to him in humility, knowing they have nothing to offer. Turn to him. He is the only way. There is no life apart from Christ.
To the girl who has followed Christ from a young age and committed yourself to guarding your heart against sin. Keep fighting the good fight. Keep fleeing temptation and don’t give in. Your Father in heaven is not holding out on you. He’s protecting you from more than you could imagine. Take it from me, you don’t want the pain of that life.
To the gal who is like me, who turned from your sin and gave your life to Christ but still struggles with your past. There’s much healing for you in the Lord. Your Father is the ultimate repairer of the heart he created. He will use your past in ways you can’t fathom. Do not despair, he has redeemed you from the pit. (Psalm 40:2). Don’t believe the lies that are thrown your way. He is faithful. He has forgiven you. And he has made you pure. And a godly man will see you just the same.
My husband grew up in the church. He was saved at the sweet age of eight and has followed after God’s heart ever since. He saved himself for me. A gift I wish so much that I could have reciprocated. I never, in a million years, believed that a man like him would marry a woman like me. I am tearing up as I type this just thinking about God’s grace to me through him.
The night I told him about my past, I became very insecure. I feared he was second-guessing his pursuit of me. But instead, he told me he loved me for the first time. He said, “I love you. When I look at you, I see the purity of Christ.” Imagine me ugly crying at this point. His humility amazes me. This is how we should view each person in the Body of Christ. We’re no better than any other person simply by abstaining from something they didn’t. We are all made pure in Christ.
I didn’t write this post to tell you that you better wear a white wedding dress. In fact, I wore ivory. ;). But after hearing numerous comments regarding this topic, I was inspired to look into it further.
None of us deserve anything from God. But he has lavishly poured out his grace upon us. He is so good to his people. Because of what he’s done, we all can stand unashamed and speechless in his presence…and wear that pretty white dress. Or pink. Whatever your heart desires. <3
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
(Hebrews 4:16 ESV)
Great message. Thank you
Thanks for reading! Means so much to me!
Oh wow, this was great! I’m a born again Christian myself and this was really, REALLY relatable.
I’m so glad you were able to relate. Thanks for stopping by!
So much of this post truly needed to be said! Thanks so much for sharing it 🙂
Girl I felt like I was going to explode if I didn’t get it out there! Lol I’m so passionate about how Jesus can take “the worst” sinners and transform them tremendously. Thanks for reading!
From a girl who has a past that God has redeemed, thank you. This is the most beautiful post I have ever read on this topic. I am sharing this! I am praising God for all he has done in you and all He is doing through you!
Thank you so much for your kind words! I am so passionate about this topic and how God can change our hearts in such big ways! Thanks for the love!
I love your post and I deeply appreciate your words, but I am a bit frustrated. Not by you, but by this whole mindset. I love what you’ve said, but here’s where I get caught up: we start out these conversations talking about the fuzzy lines that separate “okay” from “not okay”. And then we talk about how our sins are taken care of, and we can be made righteous, once again! The past, then, as you have stated time and time again in this post, is not allowed to define us anymore! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! So if our past is wiped clean and we’re still alive on this earth, what do those rules look like, now? For a 19 year old woman, who has never been in a relationship and is thankful for that, thus far in her life, but would love to know how relationships in the modern Christian world are supposed to take place, what are the rules? Or, are there rules? Is every situation specific, and that’s why we can’t really speak about forward-looking purity on a broad scale? Or is it simply because we don’t really have any answers? Again, I loved everything you had to say, but what does it look like to take that redemptive mindset and apply it to our future?
Hi Emma! Are you asking what the rules are as far as purity? Going too far with a guy? Purity of the heart? I would love to help answer some of these things for you as I once struggled with that fine line myself. 🙂
I am so thankful for you and your thoughts. These are such important questions to ponder! I wish I had all the answers for you. I think there are specific boundaries laid out in scripture for all of us to follow(Anything that would be sexually immoral). But when it comes to the “fuzzy” areas there really isn’t a clear line. It is a case by case basis. For example, some people can kiss before marriage and it doesn’t cause them to sin. But for my husband and I, we waited until 2 months before our wedding for our first kiss and then stopped shortly after due to the temptation it brought. You have to be honest with yourselves and have communication from the beginning of your relationship. If something feels wrong or is tempting you then stop. If you can’t be alone together without being tempted don’t be alone together. We are all tempted in different ways by different things. That’s why I can’t look at my friend and tell her she shouldn’t kiss before marriage because it is sin. For her it may not be. However, it is good to warn her that it has the potential of causing temptation and allow her to ponder if it does for her.
I hope I have at least helped a little with answering your questions. When you start dating someone my advice would be to have the boundaries talk sooner rather than later. It’s so important to make sure lines aren’t crossed! We planned from the beginning that we would not kiss until we were engaged. Knowing we both were on the same page helped us tremendously. And then you have to constantly reevaluate your boundaries and place more if needed.
Thanks for reading girl!
My heart 🙂 I just love this. These words are so gentle and loving but yet so powerful as well. This is a topic I’m passionate about as well! Love this tons! Pinning for others to read 🙂
Thanks for reading Keri! I’m glad you resonated with the message!
Brittany, you’ve done it again. So much grace and gentleness in correcting a hard topic! Well said.
Thank you sweet friend!!