Sexual Purity is NOT the Most Important Thing

In Relationships by Debra Fileta30 Comments

Misconception #3: Your virginity is your most important quality, anything less is undesirable.

I’ll never forget the look on her face as she shared the story of her dark sexual past, with tears welling up in her eyes.

But the ironic thing is, she was less concerned with what she had done- for she knew God had forgiven her of her past and wiped it clean- and more concerned with what they would think of her.

What if her church friends knew? Could she ever find someone to love her? Did she even deserve that kind of love?

Having recently been saved, God had pulled her out of the trenches of sexual addiction and transformed her into the start of a new life. But she found herself feeling confused. The same people that preached grace and God’s forgiveness, seemed to continuously remind her of her dark past.

She had recently heard in church that when you give yourself away sexually, you have given away a piece of your heart that you could never get back. If that were true, what did she have left? Her “heart” had been given away so many times in the mistakes of her past, was there anything left to give?

____

If you grew up in church, you’ve likely heard one of these  horrific analogies somewhere along the way.

Your sexual purity, once it’s given away is like…

“Tape that’s lost it’s stickiness.”

“Paper that’s been torn.”

“Gum that’s been chewed.”

“A gift that’s been unwrapped”.

While I get the mentality behind these messages, my problem with these analogies, and in fact- this entire discussion, is that it presents “purity” as a one-dimensional physical act.

First you have it, and then you don’t. Vanished. Gone. Over. Done with. In a blink of an eye, the prospect of being “pure” and holy has been wiped away.

This mentality is so dangerous because it fools us into believing that our entire worth as believers and as “eligible” bachelors/bachelorettes is wrapped up on this one, single part of who we are. Please don’t misunderstand, I believe that it is important to honor God with our bodies, but…

Since when did our holiness have anything to do with who WE ARE,  instead of everything to do with WHO CHRIST IS?

Church, let me remind us all that Sexual Purity is not the most important part of who we are- SPIRITUAL Purity is- a purity that emanates from our entire lives because of nothing less than God’s great power at work inside of us.

We are multidimensional beings made up of mind, body, and spirit. As important as it is for us to strive for purity in our bodies, purity is not a one-time experience, it’s a process. A process that is birthed in us by God’s Spirit, which redefines every single thing that we do.

Jesus calls us to purity of our lives by transforming our mind:  “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”, our heart: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”, our body: “Flee from sexual immorality.” and even our thoughts: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure… think about these things.”

Our purity is not simply a product of the status of our physical bodies- but more so, it’s the condition of our souls, souls that are meant to be completely, utterly, and only intertwined with the person of Jesus Christ.

We spend so much time discussing physical purity, without challenging this generation to live a life that is so Spirit-filled, Christ-centered, and God-breathed that purity is just the natural overflow.

The glorious truth is that no matter who you are or what you’ve done, no matter how dark your sexual history, or how deviant your past: Your  physical status and sexual history does not define you- what defines you is Jesus Christ: living, breathing, and working in your life here and now. Don’t let your guilt keep you from experiencing His healing and transformation. Our sexual history will always impact us, but it NEVER has to rule us (True Love Dates: Chapter 8), because we serve the God of restoration, redemption, forgiveness, grace, and love.

Don’t allow anyone to define you by anything less than God’s goodness and grace. And then go, and be transformed. 

Thanks for tuning into our SEX Series! Be sure to catch up on all the older posts! Don’t miss Misconception #4 by subscribing your email!

What’s been your experience with this topic? Leave your comment below!

For more on the topic of dealing with desires while single, check out this 40 minute audio lesson called “Sex and the Single Life: What to do with Desires While You Wait!”. 

sex-single-life

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!

Comments

  1. Pray everyone is enjoying the beautiful sunshine, wow those birds really give praise!!

    Where sin did abound, grace did much more abound( Romans 5:20). The slate has been wiped clean. Jesus said ‘ whoever is without sin let him cast a stone…..Woman (man) where are your accusers? (those stone throwers) has no man condemned you? (all have sinned and come short of the glory of God)….neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more. (St. John 8:7-11).

    Purity is not a one dimensional act. This is a powerful statement. It is backed up by paper work :0).
    ” for by grace are you saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works (not our sexual purity, not our good works….),( And here is the clincher), lest any man should boast. Wow!! Lord teach us humility. Lord thank you for your grace and mercy.

    Purity is not a one dimensional act!! Thanks Debra.

    1. Author

      Jessy, I LOVE how you come at these articles bringing God’s truth in light of what is being said. You are absolutely right in that the words I write I pray over, and ask God to give me HIS truth, not my own…there is no truth greater and more powerful than His word. I am so thankful for it!

    2. Thanks Debra and Jessy. Your words are seasoned with salt and they have really blessed me.

  2. Thank you for this, It was not a mistake to subscribe here. it blesses my heart. I pray that God will continue to use you mightily. God bless you more!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Aimee!! Your words are so meaningful for me to hear. Bless you!!

  3. Deb, your ministry is an example of the word “boldness” in the NT. And as an alcoholic blessed with sobriety the IMpurity of my life outside of Christ has fed the purity of heart of life in Christ!
    Madoc

  4. While I do agree with most of your article, I can’t help but find the idea that virginity is not something to ascribe to for Christ. I hope that I am reading it wrong, but shouldn’t we all be trying to go for virginity in that aspect? I don’t like saying someone is “chewed up gum”, and I never got that either. However, shouldn’t being a virgin something head laudable in our Christian communities? I know lots of people today probably will not be a virgin until their wedding day, if it were to come. Yet, at the same time, shouldn’t that be something we still try for? Does that even matter anymore? And what about the people who are still virgins as adults? Are they now waiting for no reason? Help me understand where you’re coming from. I’m just trying to be nice, not antagonistic.

    Spoken from a 24 year-old virgin.

    1. Author

      Tyler, I agree with you…virginity IS something we strive for! Absolutely! I think the point of my message is to say that let’s not zoom in on the ONE aspect of purity, without challenging young men and women to pursue purity in ALL aspects of their lives. Sometimes we focus in on the one while neglecting the others- we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength- not just our “physical bodies”, but all of the above. I hope that helps clarify what I am trying to say, because yes, virginity is important and we’re called to it by God for a reason. But there’s also much more to the big picture of purity. Blessings!!

  5. This was a good read. I have still struggle moving beyond my less-than-perfect past. Thank you.

  6. Thank you!! I grew up in a conservative church and all we ever heard was’whatver you do, stay a virgin!’ When my now husband and I were engaged, sexual purity was pretty much the only thing people talked to us about and then when we got married we realized there was so much more, that in reality was just as, if not more important then our sexual histories. It is important to be encouraging each other in maintaining sexually healthy relationships, but not at the expense of everything else. We need to open our eyes to the grace of God in our sexuality. I will be sharing this post, thank you!

  7. Hey, Debra

    This is a very good article. A few weeks ago the ministry I serve with went on an outreach, to teach high school kids about the HIV/AIDS pandemic. But our massage is Abstinence. I was asked to teach on the topic of “purity”. I have heard a lot of teachings on this topic, buy it so focused on “sexual purity” (which is one way “impurity of the heart” is manifested). I spent time seeking the Lord to guide me and tell me what to say on this subject, and He revealed to me to talk about purity of the heart. For Jesus, purity, was a heart issue. (The Heart is the core of who we are.) The condition of ones heart. He said, speaking about how a tree is known by its fruit, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.”-Matt 12:34,35. So, “sexual purity or impurity “is one way the purity or impurity of the heart is manifested.
    The Bible talks a lot about adultery. In the O .T Israel’s sin, disobedience to God is likened to and adulterous relationship. Why? Because there is a deep connection between our spirituality and our sexuality. Failure to surrender our sexual lives to God will result to spiritual death. This area has a power to cause tremendous damage to ones soul.

    Now, our cleansing as fallen beings, needs to be deep in the recesses or our hearts/soul.

    Paul puts it like this:
    Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. -1 Thess 5:23

    Sanctification is the process of being made into the likeliness of Jesus. Spirit. Soul. Body.

    When our hearts are pure, it will influence our living, All areas of our lives.

    Thanks Debra,

  8. It is an amazing article to read. It was even greater than what I was expecting to find out because its name.

    Thank you, Debra!

  9. What I have come to realize through this article is that purity–in any form, begins at the heart. Not just begun there, but renewed there as well. Our culture is so sex-driven, its easy to say that I am pure because I am physically pure, when our minds are still trapped. When we renew our minds with the power of the Holy Spirit, that is when we truly become pure. Thanks for this article! It reminds me what purity is really about–being washed in the blood of the Lamb.

  10. The only way is through Jesus Christ. Great Article. Thanks for clarifying.

  11. I do understand your message that all purity of the heart, mind and body is very important. I do believe that one who had been promiscuous to become someone who has purity in Christ when repentant. I do not see anywhere in your blog that a promiscuous person can become pure in the body once again as you say they can become pure again in mind and heart. The only verse you mentioned for purity of the body is flee from sexual immorality. What happens when one has not fled from sexual immorality again and again? What happens when one has a STD? I do believe one who has STD can become pure in heart and mind once again but will they be pure in body when the STD is ravaging their body? Is one who has been promiscuous never pure in body again? I think this is the incompleteness of your blog because once someone is promiscuous anyone who is a virgin has to share the experience of having sex physically with every other person that person had sex with. I do not see purity in that.

  12. Tyler, wait until your a 28 year old virgin with no marriage prospects. As I get older, it gets even harder, which gives me so much more grace for those who didn’t wait until they were married to lose their virginity.

  13. Thank You! Debra, because sexual thoughts and desires are trying to come back and get me to make a move, just when i feel god is about to bless me. Please pray over for me, i so long to find a good christian men, in the church, but the church i see the more i grow so strong with christ. Were no better in the world. I’m not good with keeping friends, except the church and family(of course) my trust in people has been shaken.

    I’ve been hurt, broken, depressed and discouraged. I forgive everyday my enemies, and yet as i try so hard, for christ to work through me to not let the world get to me, i get angry and lonely again. It’s hard! Please pray for me. I long for my cinderella moment, when i get married, etc. Once i get myself together. I just don’t want to miss my moment.

    I know, I need to calm down and turn it over into god’s hand’s and pray!

  14. This always makes me think of the woman at the well. She approached Jesus. He did not refuse her. He offered her living water knowing her past. He did give her advice on how to change. Very powerful.

  15. I’m a virgin, but the hard part is staying mentally pure. I haven’t watched porn or anything like that but I have read some things I know aren’t good for me. Meanwhile my two older siblings are married with children. I’m happy for them but I’m still the only one left. Today’s my 23rd birthday and I still haven’t even been out on a date.

    I’m learning about trusting God but this is one of the harder areas for me. I’m grateful for everything he’s done in the past but I still don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I’d appreciate it if someone prayed for me too, a little birthday prayer, that I would find someone and that it would be worth the wait.

    1. Dear Rachel, I didn’t go out on my first date till I was 26 and some time later had my first kiss (which was not impressive, despite what movies promise). It’s easy to compare yourself to others’ life accomplishments, but keep in mind that there is no shame in refraining from dating while there are no good options. I hope Debra has written a blog dealing with the fact that there are not enough quality Christian men for all the Christian women out there. Hence it’s easy for us Christian females to blame ourselves when we are single for extended periods of time (and I am 33 now, again with no prospects where I live; sometimes I wonder if I should move…), but there are cultural reasons now why quality Christian women are being ignored by males for extended periods of time.
      Last I checked the average man marries at age 28, so unless you want to date older, most men your age aren’t ready to marry now.

      Here are some things you can do while you are waiting to be pursued:
      1. Find out what your talents are and see if you can get paid for doing them. If not, at least make a hobby out of them.
      2. Find out what your spiritual gifts are and put them to use in your local church.
      3. Sometimes visit other churches to observe how other siblings in the faith do things a bit differently (and that is one way to meet eligible men…)
      4. Enjoy your friendships and notice your weaknesses in these relationships, so you can work on those weaknesses before you get into dating relationships.
      5. Have an idea of your boundaries of what you will allow in dating relationships in advance, so if you date a man who is pushy in “touchy-feely” matters, you will be more confident in saying, “No, that makes me feel uncomfortable and is not how single men and women of God should act.” (I wish more teachers would tell young ladies they can disagree with men while dating. It’s easy to want to please the man who gives us attention; but our honor, self-respect, and God’s glory are more important. Remember, you don’t have to “submit” to someone you are not married to, in case some guy tries to play that card)
      What I’m trying to say in this point is that even though we Christians know we are supposed to save sex for marriage, it wasn’t until I dated when I learned that there are other layers of touch that immature men might pressure Christian women to do or allow done to them. We women can be confident that we are not being “selfish” by kindly refusing to participate in anything that troubles our consciences (Romans 14:23b). This helps us learn to communicate our needs, which will be a useful skill in marriage and other relationships.
      6. Are there any causes/charities/missions you care about? Volunteer for them (again a good way of meeting other quality people) and/or go to conferences that teach about them.
      7. Do you have any “bucket list” items? It’s easier to do them while you’re young and single; you don’t have to wait till someone is in your life to start making memories now.

      In sum, make sure you are really living and making the most of your time while you’re single, otherwise wanting a man will easily consume you. Also, a man would rather pursue a woman who is living a full, meaningful life than one who is sadly sitting around, accomplishing nothing. I’ve heard that if we singles don’t practice being thankful now, we won’t be even if God does give us marriage. The “wait” goes faster when we are busy doing good things and with good people.

      P.S. Dear woman, trust me, you are not the only one left.

  16. Hey Debra I Certainly Agree With Your Article That You’ve Been Writig Keep Up The Good Work

  17. Hey Debra thank you so much for opening us to understad what sexual purity is all about. First and foremost I just want to ask you something am a teen girl who is still in highschool and my parents are so overprotective and they are pastors am proud to say am a Christian personally I know God but I’m sruggling with many issues I can;t discuss with my parents so here goes my question should teens wo live with their parents obey them in totally everything

  18. I’d also like to be prayed for. Yesterday was my 23rd birthday, and I have never so much as been on a date. At this point I’m strongly tempted to ask God to just take away my desires. It’s something I almost constantly think about, and because of it, I wonder if I’m ever going to be able to function in a relationship. I keep thinking I’m going to have unrealistic expectations and whatnot.

  19. Thank you Mama for the message. Mmmh, ” to challenge this generation (of christians) to live a life so Spirit-filled, Christ-centered and God-breathed Life!”. I think this is the missing point; that’s why there are stories! May God revive His church ! Bless you.

  20. What about what Jesus said to the adulteress woman? He said, Go, and sin no more.

    Simple. Can’t change that.

    Believe me, I’m a burning passionate woman that wants sex very badly, but the Word is Settled in Heaven. I’m a sinner. We cannot change His Word to suit our feelings.

  21. Jesus has our best interest in mind and wants to protect us, so keeping focused on our relationship with Jesus has to be prioritized number one. Committing to walk in the light of Christ everyday.

    Growing up Christian I heard well intended analogies about sex and marriage but they left out the redemptive part of Jesus plan. Jesus has a plan that took that already takes into account our sins and stands ready to heal, deliver, and restore us completely. That involves discovering Gods deep love, embracing your season of healing and moving forward in community of love and faith.

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