Where is your purity?
Is it located in the guilt and shame of your last relationship?
Is it located in an act of lust that you regret?
Is it located in your deepest, darkest secret?
Is it on a video?
Is it located on the sheets of your bed or someone else’s bed?
Is it trapped in the box of others’ thoughts and opinions of you?
Again…where is your purity?
For many years, I always equated purity with virginity and I viewed myself to be white as snow as long as I was a virgin. Therefore, when I lost my virginity, I no longer knew how to view myself. I would wrestle with thoughts like “but God, I don’t sleep around and I waited until I was over 18 to have sex, unlike some of my friends, so doesn’t that count for something?” I felt ashamed, alone and disconnected from God. Once my virginity was gone, I felt as though God had left me too. It wasn’t until many years later and really within the last three years, when I truly learned the meaning of purity.
2011 was a year full of ups and downs that forced me to seek God’s face like never before. During that time, the more that I pursued God, the more I saw His love chase after me. Over time, His voice became more audible to my heart and His love began to help me discover my identity. In discovering my identity, I learned that I was still pure regardless of my sexual immorality. I was not the ragged, tainted, unworthy rag that I felt like deep on the inside.
I realized that the declarations where God called me fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139), far above rubies (Proverbs 31), and a reflection of His image (Genesis 1) had never changed. There was no magic eraser to make the words that God spoke over 2000 years ago, suddenly disappear just because I had made a bad decision. God still called me His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). God still saw me as a work of art, and He still loved me unconditionally (Romans 8:39).
As God began to reveal those things to me, I began to understand that purity was much more than what was in my pants and under my skirt. Purity was also the intention of my heart. Purity was the root of my daily thoughts. Purity was the product of my actions and the proof of my love towards others. Purity was my ability to be honest and kind. Purity was seen in the diligence of my desire to pursue God. Yes, my sexual disobedience was connected to my purity but it was not all of my purity. It was not what defined who I was to God. It did not determine how much God loved me. Like a car that requires many parts to run, one broken part does not make the entire car become junk. It simply represents that the car needs attention where it is broken.
The shame and condemnation that we feel when we engage in sexual sin often makes us feel like junk. However, like the car, you are still useful and valuable to God. You still have a purpose, and God can still use you because you have a purpose and a calling that are irrevocable. Yes, your heart needs attention to perfect your weaknesses but you are not worthless. God does not see you as a woman who is less than the woman you were before you committed those acts of sin. He sees you just the same—lovely and worthy.
You might read that and think “yeah but Erika, I’ve done some bad acts. I’ve had a lot of sex with a lot of men. I am far from pure.” So, if that’s you please consider this: Imagine a woman who is still a virgin but is selfish, mean-spirited, gossips, lies habitually and does not tithe. Would you still consider her to be “pure” just because she’s a virgin? My guess is no, because though her body is pure, her actions are impure and do not reflect the love of Christ.
Purity is so much more than sexual sin. It goes as deep as the core of your heart. We don’t get to pick and choose our badges of purity because purity is the sum of the things in our hearts. Your legs can be closed all day, every day, but if the love of Christ isn’t flowing out of your heart, you’re still not scoring brownie points on the Purity Scoreboard. Purity on the outside does not equal purity on the inside and God reminds of us of this by saying “it’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth” (Matthew 15:11).
I encourage you to rebuild your image of purity and a great scripture to help you begin doing that is “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). In other words, what you put in is what will come out. This is a wonderful scripture because as you begin to pour words of love and affirmation into your heart, you will begin to see yourself as loved and accepted by God. Begin to speak the word of God and meditate on the scriptures that describe His love for you. Spend time declaring how God sees you (ex: I am beautiful. I am God’s masterpiece. I am whole. I am exceptional and one of a kind). The more you do these things, the more you will soften the eyes of heart to see what God sees when He looks at you.
The more you see what God sees, the more you’ll want to continue to see those things. The desires of your heart will change. Your actions will change. Your thought life will change, and your life will change.
You are more than one night of passion. Your purity is NOT in your pants and it is not under your skirt. Your purity begins with what’s inside your heart. Focus on getting your heart closer to God until you see yourself as the beautiful masterpiece that He has already declared you to be. Love yourself completely. God loves you relentlessly.
Prayer: Father, we ask for your forgiveness today and we receive it. Today, we give our hearts to you to transform and to make us anew. We throw away shame. We throw away guilt. We throw away regret. We throw away condemnation and we receive the fullness of your relentless love. Renew our understanding and guides us in wisdom. In the name of Jesus, Amen.