Vision for Purity
I remember it like it was yesterday... Sitting on the couch chit chatting as my boyfriend and I shared a morning cup of coffee. Nothing fancy. But, I knew. I knew this was the moment when I needed to share with Seth the burden God had placed on my heart to honor Him with our relationship.
I am confident that there are many different opinions for what “honoring the Lord” in a dating relationship actually means, but I feel very strongly that for ME this means no kissing before marriage. Yep, I said it. I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in. No kissing before we are married. I can only imagine the number of thoughts you may have as you read that (probably because I have most of them myself on a daily basis), but I hope you will continue reading and give me a moment to explain.
You need to understand that I have a past... a pretty wild one that I’m not proud of. But I no longer carry that past around with me. I left it at the cross and walk in this relationship free of guilt and shame. Romans 8:1 gives me confidence to know that there is no shame or condemnation because I am IN Christ.
I realize that not kissing a guy I’m dating (now engaged to!), is absolutely insane to most people. But there are two key reasons why Seth and I have committed to this vision for purity.
First, we know that purity before marriage is what God calls us to. 1 Peter 1:14-15 says, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct”. I wish I could give you an “A+B=C” formula for the definition of purity, but there isn't one. I am confident that this is something you decide between you and the Lord. Knowing the past I have and what my current struggles are, it is imperative that I make wise choices. For me, wisdom in dating is not allowing myself to enter into the temptations that kissing leads to.
Second, Seth and I have caught a glimpse of the incredible blessing that awaits us when we honor the vision for purity. I long for the blessing of knowing that on our wedding day we will stand before our friends and family having honored God with our obedience. For us, it isn't about what we are NOT doing. It is about choosing to honor the Lord and the blessing that follows that.
You may be thinking, “this really sounds great, but HOW on earth can you really accomplish this?” I wish I had a dollar for every time someone sees the pictures and the video of Seth proposing to me and asks, “How did you not kiss him?”... I’d probably have enough money to buy our wedding cake.
I've noticed a few key things that I think are necessary in honoring the Lord... even with a bright shiny diamond on your finger!
- You have to be in a relationship with someone that shares the same desire you do. This means DO NOT settle for a guy who reacts poorly to being told NO. I’ll never forget the conversation we had when I told Seth I thought it would be wise for us to refrain from kissing until marriage. I mean, seriously ya’ll, he even asked if he could read Marian’s book, Sex and the Single Christian Girl. We’re talking keeper. I knew Seth shared the same desire I did because of how he responded to me. Seth showed how deeply he walks with Jesus by modeling humility and respect.
- You must understand your identity in Christ and who you are IN HIM. I would not have been able to have the conversation with Seth if I wasn't confident in Who I belong to first and foremost.
I have to say that another incredibly helpful thing for me was reading Marian's book. She writes a phrase that has stuck with me, “Rules are broken. Visions are lived.” Seth and I choosing to remain pure before we are married isn't because we don’t want to break the rules. Instead, we have a vision for honoring the Lord and the blessing that comes along with that. THAT is what we cling to.
One of my biggest fears is that this becomes about something Seth and I have decided NOT to do. Human nature wants to break rules and push boundaries. It’s not about that. It is about something we have agreed TO DO—honor God with our relationship. I don’t want our focus to be on what we can’t do—I want it to be on what we are doing in light of the bigger picture and what God has called us to.
The vision that keeps me going is the thought of what it will feel like the day I walk down the aisle to the groom God has graciously provided for me with the knowledge we are entering the covenant of marriage having honored the Lord with our commitment towards purity.
Written by Whitney Sheffield