To be pure in this day and age is a hard thing to do. Movies, TV, ads, even clothing—they all advertise sex in some shape or form. And because of the heightened influence of sex in our society, it’s becoming more difficult for young women to stay pure until they get married.
Prior to my marriage, I had struggled for years with staying pure. For most people, staying pure means not having sex outside of marriage; however, it’s much more than that. It’s also refraining from thoughts of sex. I grew up in an environment where I was exposed to sex at an early age, through media outlets (movies, TV, etc.). And I had no one explain to me what I saw or tell me to stop watching it. It affected my relationships with boyfriends, which allowed me to compromise my boundaries.
As a result of my past, I struggled with intimacy during the first six months of my marriage. I made sex the priority and the idol of my marriage. I took what I saw from the shows and movies, and tried to mimic them in the bedroom. Sex became impersonal. It created problems in my marriage, even problems I didn’t realize were because of it.
My view of sex was messy. I had expectations of what I should do with my husband. Thanks to the media (movies, TV shows, Facebook…you name it), I created unrealistic expectations for myself and for my husband. Not only did I hurt myself, but I also hurt the person I loved the most. And for me, that was the most painful thing in our marriage.
I was hiding from God. Instead of talking it out with God, I hid deeper and deeper into the hole I created for myself. I felt alone, and that no one understood me. But, as we all know, we can never hide from God. God taught me grace during this season of my marriage. Even though I was exposed to the culture’s impractical view of sex, God used this time to bring redemption into my marriage. He repaired my heart from the hurt and emptiness I created, and restored it so that I was able to focus on loving my husband outside of having sex.
Here’s my advice for those who are struggling with purity in their own lives:
- Seek God in all things. If there’s anything I’ve learned from Him, it’s that God has continued to show me over and over again how much He loves me and how His grace is more than enough for me.
- Guard your heart from the temptations of the world. Never compromise your purity for anyone.
- Surround yourself in a community that empowers your decision to be pure. Nothing is more powerful (other than prayer) than to be held accountable with your sisters in Christ when it comes to the temptations of the world. I didn’t allow myself to be vulnerable and honest with my closest girlfriends, which led me to lie and hide my life.
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. (Psalm 119:9)