In a new Life.Church Bible Plan, six couples write about six wedding vows they never officially said at the altar. These vows of preparation, priority, pursuit, partnership, purity, and prayer are the vows that make marriages work long past the wedding. What you’re about to read is from day five of the The Vow Bible Plan. Here’s helpful way to think about Christian sex and dating.
When James met Mandy, he knew she was the one. Mandy … not so much. But, years of friendship became a wonderful marriage. A year into marriage, they consider purity one of their most important dating commitments.
I grew up around church, so when I was a kid, all my friends talked about purity. Purity rings were all the rage. I assumed purity was something about not giving your body to a boy. To me, that meant no kissing or anything else until marriage. I think a lot of people view purity this way. It’s all about not doing something physical. Since then, I’ve learned it’s way more than that.
Purity is about your heart. Purity is way less about not doing something, and way more about doing something. When James and I were dating, instead of merely avoiding something, we chose to pursue Christ first. When you truly seek God with all your heart, He helps you remain pure.
Now that we’re married, we’re still pure. But that doesn’t mean we’re abstaining! I’ll never forget a moment on our honeymoon. Full of emotion, I realized how holy marriage really is. I looked at James, and said, “I get it now, more than ever. Choosing purity was so worth it.” So, even if you’ve made mistakes, you can still choose purity because purity is about pursuing Christ with all your heart. I promise you—it’s worth it.
Unlike Mandy, I didn’t grow up around church. Purity was a huge challenge. During my teenage years, I developed an unhealthy view of women and a destructive relationship with pornography. After graduating from high school, I gave my life to Christ. I knew I wanted to marry someone who pursued Jesus with everything they had. I also knew winning over a girl like her meant I needed to pursue Jesus with obedience. So, I changed my phone settings to only access websites I needed for work. Also, I had a close friend of mine regularly ask me how I was doing.
My pastor, Craig Groeschel, put it well when he said, “Why resist a temptation tomorrow that you can eliminate today?” A year into marriage, Mandy and I realize the vow of purity remains just as important today as it was before we ever met. And like Mandy said, it’s worth it.
So, if you’re struggling with purity whether you’re dating, married, or neither, today is your day to open up to people you love and respect. Shame grows in the dark, but you’ve been set free by the light of the world!