The Idol of Purity

It seems to me that so many Christians live in fear of their sexuality and I don’t blame them. All they’ve heard growing up is how careful they need to be with their sexuality. How it’s so hard in this world to stay “pure” and that “purity” is what we should be striving for. Personally, I was always under the impression we should be striving for Jesus.

Let me be clear. I do not think that purity is a bad concept. I think that the way the Church defines it and uses it is harmful. Purity is akin to holiness, yet the Church treats them very differently. Purity is something we start with and lose as we go through life. Holiness is something we gain more as we grow closer to God and the Holy Spirit works in us to make us more like Him. We are supposed to be both pure and holy, and even though they are really similar conceptually, they’re treated in almost completely opposite ways.

A few weeks ago a pastor at my church urged parents to put internet filters on their computers to prevent their children from potentially viewing internet pornography. His reason for this in part was so that their children could have “normal sex lives.”

Translation: Pornography causes one to have an abnormal sex life.

Question: What is a “normal” sex life?

Answer: It doesn’t exist.

No one is ever going to have a “normal” sex life. If you get married, you’re going to bring baggage into the relationship, as is your spouse. Baggage that has to do with many things, but that will most certainly include things pertaining to your sexuality and sexual history.

Your sex life will be messy. It will be awkward. It will be painful.

But will it be beautiful? Absolutely. It will be good. It will be fun. It will be pleasurable.

I was addicted to porn. Will that affect me sex life? Yes. That is baggage that I will carry into any relationship. That is part of my story. God is redeeming me. He is redeeming my story. He already has been.

You don’t need to be “pure” in order to be a Christian; you only need to be a sinner. You don’t need to be “pure” in order to be a good spouse; you only need to allow God to redeem you.

I fear that purity has become an idol so much so that people spend all their energy trying to remain pure and they experience intense shame when they think they’ve done something to take away from their purity (which, let’s be real, happens daily). The beauty of the other approach- of holiness and sanctification- is that none of that occurs because of our own effort. It is the work of the Spirit within us.

This video was shared with me by Sacred Struggler about a week ago. Check it.

So don’t worry about how pure you are. At the end of the day, no one is completely pure and no one will ever have a “normal” sex life. Embrace the love and grace of our Heavenly Father and allow the Spirit to sanctify you, cause here’s the thing, not only does God want the rose, he also wants to restore the rose. And that is the greatest hope we have. That after all of the crap we’ve done and that has been done to us, God is still here loving us and ready to restore us if we let him.


8 thoughts on “The Idol of Purity

  1. Pingback: Christ Came for Sinners « Delightful Sis (previously Sexy Christian Wife)

  2. “I fear that purity has become an idol so much so that people spend all their energy trying to remain pure and they experience intense shame when they think they’ve done something to take away from their purity (which, let’s be real, happens daily).”
    This is SO true! I never thought of it this way. What a profound thought!!! I am so excited that you wrote this and that this video inspired you like it did me.

  3. Reblogged this on Sacred Struggler and commented:
    This post is so important. You don’t have to be perfect to be a good Christian, spouse, or person. You only need to be in progress and honestly so. I just love how this author casts the idea of purity as an idol. Is purity an idol or barrier in your spiritual growth? I know it has been in mine at times. Don’t be so hard on yourself that you give up trying to reach something that can’t exist.

    • This is so true. We are all people in progress and anything we allow to be more of a focus then the One who is directing the transformation is an idol.

  4. I had a flower which my friend picked, and it travelled in my car and dried up. And it was limp and ugly and I thought, shame about that. So I put it in water, and it was back to how it was when newly picked.

  5. That’s the beauty of it. We strive for that perfection, but God already knows we can’t reach it, and he’s not only cool with that, but actually bends down to help us up time and again.

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