Dear Parents: Two lies you might be teaching your children about purity

Lie Number ONE: It’s really hard.

Often, couples who knew the Lord during their dating years will share how they didn’t wait till marriage to be intimate because it was too hard and often say they wish they had waited.

The testimonies from couples who did wait tend to share how it’s possible to wait but that it’s just really hard.

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These are the words our children are hearing. The message they’re being told is they can wait but if they can’t; it’s because it’s too hard. They’re being told the road ahead is hard and very few travel it, remaining pure on their wedding day.

I’ve shared this with you before and I’d like to share it with you again; Purity is not an annoying fly that you have to constantly try to swat away. Purity is not a refusal of a burning desire that you’re dying to scratch. Purity is a result of self-control and self-control is a result of a relationship with Christ.

Friend, please start telling your children that it is possible to wait and it doesn’t have to be hard.

It’s not supposed to be hard. It’s not supposed to be a struggle. Why? Because self-control is a fruit of the spirit and Christ has given us the ability to refrain from sin.

God’s will is for everyone to abstain from sexual immorality and for each and every one of us to know how to control our bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).

The truth is, we should be telling our children that if they are passionately seeking Christ, their desires will become His. If they’re passionately seeking Christ, He will give them all the attributes of Him and self-control is one of them.

Galatians 5: 22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

Our children need to hear the message how no temptation is too great, no temptation can overtake them unless they allow it. They need to hear that living a life of self-control using the strength we have through Christ is the key to a life of purity.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

*Since I have many years working with at-risk teenagers, many children don’t have the option to abstain from sexual sin because of the choices and actions of others. They are forced against their will or manipulated to do things they otherwise wouldn’t have chosen for themselves. These children need to be shown love and told about God’s grace and healing. They need to be encouraged that while something was taken from them- they still can choose when to give themselves intimately in their future within marriage.

Lie Number Two: Stay pure until your married

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase; “God wants you to remain pure until your married.” While there is truth in that statement and it has great intentions, part of that sentence is wrong.

God wants you and your children to remain pure period. Sex outside of marriage is not part of God’s design but sex within marriage is. Intimacy within marriage is pure, tender, gentle, and a spiritual act of bringing two people together as one.

Friend, please teach your children that remaining pure till marriage is honorable but to also remain pure through marriage. That is the ultimate goal.

Purity is more than just sex and purity is required to keep a marriage whole.

After marriage, they will still need to protect their eyes, mind, and body. They will need to be cautious about the things they watch, say, read, and do to protect themselves and their marriage.

Choosing to be continually faithful to their spouse is the purest form of respect to the commitment they’ve made in front of the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.”

Honestly, It can be hard. It can be hard to wait until your wedding night to be intimate with the one you have chosen to love all the days of your life. It can be hard to remain pure within your marriage by actively protecting your eyes and your heart but it doesn’t have to be hard.

There are dozens of scriptures warning about sexual temptation and telling you to flee from it. We live in a world full of temptation and a mind and body that can easily be broken.

I want to gently encourage you to share with your children that while it can be hard, it doesn’t have to be. Purity is hard when your children take their eyes off scripture and turn their hearts away from Christ. Purity can easily be a choice when your children choose Christ daily.

So, how does one protect their purity before and after marriage?

Psalm 119:9 says, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.”

By studying God’s word. The closer they walk towards Christ and the more fixated their eyes are on Christ- the stronger they become like Him and the easier it will be to live a pure life- before and during marriage.

I was encouraging my son Manny to have a pure heart and to live a pure life. I was sharing with him the power of self-control and wisdom.

We’ve had conversations on what kind of things he should and shouldn’t watch, say, or do. And one evening he asked me a genuine question that caused me to pause. He asked, “How will I know how to handle temptation?”

After pausing and thinking for a second I told him to do two things.

First, read the Word. Scripture will teach your heart more than anything else in this world.

Second, watch me and James.

Watch as we choose purity in our lives regularly. Pay attention to the movies/tv shows we don’t view. Watch how we handle conversations when someone wants to start gossiping. Listen to how we speak to one another, our family, and friends. Take the guidelines we give you with your female friends and eventually girlfriends as boundaries that are only meant to protect you. Closely keep an eye out on the choices we make and how we handle our mistakes to see how purity plays out in real life in real time.

If I’m being honest, that’s a bold statement to make. I basically set our own bar even higher now that I told my son to watch us even closer. But how else are children supposed to learn to live a pure life? There are always mentors and other people that can guide your child, but there is no one better than you (and your spouse) to do it.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

This post originally on HeatherMargiotta.com and was republished with permission.

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Heather Margiotta is a Christian Writer and Speaker from northeast Ohio. She is a wife to a loving husband and a mother to two handsome sons. She received a bachelors degree in Theology and writes about her faith, adoption, relationships, and grief on her blog, HeatherMargiotta.com. Besides loving Jesus and her family, Heather is obsessed with coffee, local pizza joints, and nail polish. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.


 

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