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Many Christians Have the Wrong Motivation for Purity – What’s Yours?

The lines of purity are spread far and wide these days. I’ve seen stories about dads taking their daughters to a “purity prom” and commitment services where teenagers receive a purity ring from their parents to signify the promise they’ve made. But outside the church culture, purity isn’t often brought up. We live in a world of “Netflix and chill,” so where does purity fit into the picture?


Commitment vs. Contract

When I hear young women talk about their purity commitments, it’s often followed by a wide-eyed promise of a dreamy husband to come. The idea is that “if I promise God that I won’t fall into sexual sin, He will reward me with a handsome man and a hot married sex life.” So what happens when those things don’t fall into place on your timeline, or even at all? Did God fail?

We serve and love a good God, who loves to give his children good gifts. But it doesn’t work like a contractual obligation—us giving Him our sexual desires only in exchange for some ideal life. Marriage cannot and should not be our aim here. We need to give God the things we struggle with, our desires and dreams, and allow Him to not only give us good things, but also to shape our lives to look more like Jesus.


Guidelines vs. Grace

So many of the directives in the Bible are actually set up not just to be rules, but to be something that is good for us and for those with whom we live in community. Purity, in the form of abstinence, benefits you physically in that you can live without fear of accidental pregnancy or infections. It benefits you mentally and emotionally in that you don’t form such hard attachments with someone who may not be your lifelong love. It is a good thing.

Ladies, let’s be real. You’ve struggled with purity. I’ve struggled with purity. We’ve all been there or will probably be there at some point. When you do struggle, whether in thought or action, God has more than enough grace for that. Go to Him and talk to Him about it. Guidelines about what to do and what not to do are not bigger than his love and his grace for you.


Law vs. Love

One really beautiful thing about what Jesus has done for us is that we are free from the law. As I pointed out above, this does not mean freedom to do anything we want. We are called out of the law and called to something greater: to love.


You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14, NIV)


Our responsibility is to each other, in community. This can look like accountability in a small group or Bible study. It could also be a promise between you and your boyfriend to honor and serve one another by upholding the value of purity in your relationship.


What’s Your Reason?

If your motivation for purity is to get a “prize” from God, to be perfect by obeying all the rules or to prove that you can do it yourself, you probably need to have a real conversation with God and maybe a good friend about what you can do to change your outlook. Being motivated by love allows God to form your heart and life to look more like His.

Image: Lightstock | Prixel Creative


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  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by Roses20 on September 22, 2017 at 19:21

    My motivation for purity (even though in my mind I am to young to date) is I always thought that waiting for marriage was a thing people did a hundred years ago, but when I started going on this website I realized that purity is a way to honour and obey God.

  2. Chloebear22

    Posted by Chloebear22 on March 22, 2016 at 20:04

    This really helped me, I really need to think more about what my intentions really are for

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by idkusername on February 5, 2016 at 01:45

    A lot of girls are given a purity ring but I just decided one day that one of the rings I had was my purity ring and that was that. I actually chose to wear a purity ring for a couple of different reasons.

    Of course I want to honor God, my main reason. But I think that more than anything it’s a symbol and a reminder to myself. I know that I struggle with purity of thought so if I’m wearing the ring it helps to remind me of my promise to God to remain pure.

    Also I wanted a purity ring because I think nowadays people are so obsessed with sex. We see sex everywhere on tv and in movies and on our phones and it’s kind of sad. I think that if you can’t have a relationship without sex then their might be something wrong with your priorities. I hope that I will be able to find someone who can respect and agree with that because I don’t think that a healthy relationship with be based solely on being physical.

  4. Thescriptureway

    Posted by Thescriptureway on January 13, 2016 at 21:26

    Out of the Law of sin and death (romans 8:2) for sure!

  5. 1113mariah

    Posted by 1113mariah on October 11, 2015 at 10:43

    I LOVE how this article puts it. More people need to realize the reason as to why we want obey God. Not simply because we think we will receive this big awesome prize if we do. We will receive heaven which should be a great enough prize already, but most of us still think we deserve more if we obey God and do what he says. God does not want us to obey his rules because we know we will receive something in the end, God wants us to obey out of love and only love, for him. We should have this love that is so strong and powerful for God that it should make us want to do everything for him and to make him happy. This article explains just this and gives a great example along with it.

    • seekatebe

      Posted by seekatebe on November 4, 2015 at 16:48

      Thanks, Mariah. Glad you enjoyed the article and glad you’re in it for the right reasons!

  6. goatluverr

    Posted by goatluverr on October 8, 2015 at 18:19

    My motivation for purity is to honor God because he has a plan and I just need to be patient and wait on that plan