A few weeks ago I got a phone call from one of my girlfriends announcing that she got a boyfriend. I asked her what she intended to say to him about how they will protect their purity. She continued to tell that they have already talked about it and that they are “taking things slow,” and he “values” her virginity just as much as she does. This got me to think about two things:
- What does “taking it slow” mean?
- What do people think is the difference between “purity” and “virginity”?
Couples all over the world will claim they are “taking it slow” but what does this really even mean? Does it mean the same thing to both of them? Where do the physical boundaries start and end? Does “taking it slow” mean only kissing? And what kind of kissing? Kissing standing up is totally different and not nearly as stimulating as kissing each other while lying on the couch.
I think when many people today discuss protecting one’s purity, they confuse “purity” with “virginity.” The value is placed on whether or not one is a virgin, not if they have compromised any other part of their body or mind to maintain their virginity.
As a result, in many cases, one is technically physically still a virgin but has compromised their body, mind, and heart to maintain their physical virginity. Consequently, failing to protect their purity. There is much more to living purely than abstaining from sexual intercourse. Purity is a lifestyle. It is an everyday mode of being. Purity is not a choice. It is an instruction from God.
God created sex as something good. Genesis says He created it for us to enjoy and to reproduce, “to be fruitful and multiply.” This is why He has given us body parts that were specifically made for sexual pleasure and baby making. However, God reserved sexual intimacy for the marriage relationship, and it is approved and blessed by God only in this context.
Sexual activity represents a deep and powerful level of intimacy and vulnerability. By God’s intention, the only relationship God designed to thrive on and sustain this level of intimacy, is a godly, devoted marriage between man and woman, husband and wife.
All physical intimacy between man and woman was created by God. Physical intimacy (holding hands, touching, sex, etc.) is natural. Of course, it feels good. It is natural for a man and woman to want to further explore the nakedness of one another. It is natural to be stimulated or aroused by the sights, sounds, touch, or even smells of one another. I believe this is why it is so hard to live purely, because it is a constant fight against our flesh, of what is natural. However, we have to remember that purity is a sacred gift from God.
“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun. And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And has given us this task of reconciling people to him.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
When we surrender our hearts to Jesus we share in his glory with a renewed knowledge of God, a transformed way of thinking and behaving that begins to reflect God’s purity, His holiness, His spiritual wholeness.
So, what is the truth about sex and purity? God created sex; therefore, it is natural, but God gifted purity. Therefore, it is supernatural. The only reason we are called virgins is [that] we have not had sex, thus we have not progressed in the natural timeline of humanity. The only reason we call ourselves pure is [that] God called us pure.
The definition of purity is to be morally clean without blemish. The only way we are morally clean without blemish is because of the blood of Jesus. Through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the Cross, He calls us pure. Impurity is something that is unacceptable to God. Therefore, by logic, purity could be defined as something is acceptable to God.
So then, are you pure if you have never had sex? Not if you’ve been cheating the system in other ways. If purity was only based on sex, then after I got married I would no longer have to strive for a life of purity.
Sexual abstinence is good, but your purity is NOT defined by your abstinence. It goes all the way back to the heart of the matter. Before you were kissing, before you were holding hands, before you were flirting — What were your intentions? What were you thinking about? What was your flesh saying? What were your desires?