Purity Isn't About Saying No
Purity isn’t about saying No.
I can give you ten reasons why sex outside of marriage isn’t a good idea. You probably can, too. But purity isn’t about saying No, because No has it all wrong.
The more books, articles, and blogs I read, the more sermons, pod casts, and You Tube videos I listen to, the more of God’s Word I study, the more I realize that purity is all about saying yes, not about saying no.
The following story illustrates my point.
When I was 7 years old, my sister and I were playing hide and seek in the basement of our family’s Rhode Island apartment. It was a frigid December day—too cold for two little girls to play outside. Noisy, active, and suffering from a bad case of cabin fever, we were too rambunctious for my mother’s liking. She banished us to the basement until dinnertime.
That’s when we decided to play hide and seek. And when we discovered the hidden stash.
Ducking behind a shelving unit, my shoulder brushed against a pile of boxes wrapped in an old, blue tarp. Curious, I proceeded to investigate. When I peeled back the tarp, I found the Mother Lode—a huge pile of Christmas presents.
My sister and I gazed in delight at our wish list come alive—a Barbie Beach van, complete with detachable surfboards, an auburn-haired Kelly doll in a green polka-dotted midi dress, and matching purple body suits with crushed velvet pants. We dug into the pile, grinning and squealing with delight.
Hearing Mom’s footsteps in the kitchen above reminded us that we were pirates in danger of being caught with our hands in the treasure chest.
We guiltily re-wrapped the gifts in the tarp and resumed play until Mom called us for dinner. In the days that followed, we’d often sneak down to the basement to check on our presents. We’d unwrap the tarp from the pile and cover it back up again. We imagined how fun it would be to fully enjoy our presents on Christmas day.
In the week before Christmas, the gifts appeared one by one under the tree, wrapped in shiny paper instead of the old blue tarp.
I wonder if my mom noticed that we weren’t more excited. In truth, we paid the gifts little attention, because we’d handled the toys so often, we recognized the shape of every box and package. There was no mystery.
Ordinarily it was impossible for us to fall asleep on Christmas Eve, but when bedtime came, we settled down quietly. The anticipation of Christmas Day washed over us like lukewarm ginger ale left sitting on the counter—it was stale and flat.
Christmas morning was, too. Oh, we delivered the oft-practiced fake exclamations of surprise and spouted the expected, “I can’t believe it! It’s just what I wanted,” but the sparkle was absent.
After all, we’d already unwrapped the gifts.
Saving sex for marriage isn’t saying no to the gifts of passion, excitement, and desire. Instead, it’s saying yes to the greater, more exciting, and more desirable gifts of passion, excitement, and desire with God’s blessing.
God isn’t, as some have proposed, a sexual killjoy. After all, sex was his idea—a beautiful creation designed to knit the souls of two people together for life. He designed it to enhance our joy, cement our love, and bring pleasure and release. He designed it as the most intimate way two people can give themselves to one another in total commitment.
When we say yes to purity, we embrace the best God has to offer us—joy and fun in its perfect context—a marriage between two people committed to each other for life.
When we say yes to purity, we say yes to a guilt-free relationship with the one we love and the Savior of our souls.
When we say yes to purity, we say yes to God’s favor, knowing that God’s hand of blessing will not rest upon those who know his will and choose to do otherwise.
When we say yes to purity, we say yes to an unhindered prayer life, because if we harbor sin in our hearts, God will not hear us (Ps. 66:18).
When we say yes to purity, we say yes to the knowledge that practicing self-control now, when it’s oh, so tempting, will make it easier to fight temptation in the future.
When we say yes to purity, we say yes to God’s bigger plan for our relationships—to stand out as a powerful witness in this sin-sick culture.
When we say yes to purity, we say yes to joy—eager, anticipatory, guilt- and risk-free joy.
If I could go back 40 years and do Christmas 1971 over again, I’d make a different choice. I think you might, too.
I wouldn’t unwrap the gifts until it was time.
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