When I was twelve years old, I begged my mom to buy me a purity ring because I felt I was ready to make the commitment to stay pure (and I really wanted the neat sterling silver ring). I signed the cardboard commitment card in the ring’s package and thought that by signing my John Hancock, I was “officially” a pure young lady.
However, once I started high school, I realized that my one-time purity commitment was not helping me in everyday life. My thoughts were regularly contaminated, and I didn’t know how to control them or keep them from running too far ahead from me. I was confused why my mind didn’t always seem squeaky-clean, and I was even more confused at how much I struggled to maintain pure thoughts.
Throughout my high school years, I continued to struggle with stopping the thoughts I was thinking and taking them captive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). I didn’t know how to submit them to the Lord. The more I tried to control my thoughts, the more I felt out of control. I felt guilty and stuck.
It wasn’t until my first year of college that I began to understand that purity is much more than saving sex for marriage. Purity of heart is a conscious decision to dwell on things that help us nestle closer to God’s heart. It’s an everyday commitment to align our hearts with His so that we can feel His heartbeat. It’s an understanding that what we fill our hearts with is not only important–but vital–to maintaining a purity before the Lord.
While my sterling silver ring may be a token of a purity commitment, Scripture informs us that the true fruit of a life fully committed to purity is a heart that’s so filled with things of the Lord that His love flows out of us (Luke 6:45). Psalm 86:11 states, “Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.” The psalmist communicates the message that there is a direct connection between having purity of heart and honoring the Lord.
May God’s truth so fill our hearts that it flows out of our mouths in abundance. May that abundance honor the Lord with a purity that is more than a one-time commitment, but rather an everyday fidelity to the Lord that we will honor Him not only when it comes to sexual purity, but also emotional, mental, and spiritual purity.
In our most tempted times, may we remember that our Lord sympathizes with us in our weakness (Hebrews 4:15), and that His power is truly made perfect when we offer that weakness to Him (2 Cor. 12:9).