Monday, March 03, 2008

Purity...On Purpose

Ever since my girls were small, I have had people comment on how "we were going to be in trouble" when they were teenagers. You know, the "Daddy better get his shotgun ready" kind of tone?

I shrugged it off when they were preschoolers, but it wasn't long before I realized that we had to take deliberate measures in order for our children to understand what the biblical standard is for purity and what that looks like in our culture, while they are young.

For us, there were the easy things like modest clothing, appropriate movies & television shows, and music, etc..... It is not difficult to see where these areas need to addressed, but can prove trying and challenging when the world around you is bombarding your kids at every opportunity.

I think that sweatpants with writing on the rear-end is a small example of how our children are exploited and nobody even notices. Should we be reading a 12-year old's bottom that says, "Daddy's Girl"????

I think not.

The on-purpose part of this teaching also comes with explaining to our children what biblical marriage is designed for... which is to glorify God. (period) I believe that the instinctive draw that men feel towards women and vice-versa is a God-given trait, but within the boundaries of a pure and committed marriage relationship. Any other relationship between man and woman should be either a:

A) Platonic relationship or
B) Courtship-Dating relationship (which would have the end-result goal of marriage....NOT casual fun)

I don't believe that purity begins with the physical but rather the emotional. If God intended for my daughters to present themselves *whole* to their future husbands, doesn't that begin with their hearts?

The focus today, especially in the church is about the "legal" view of purity but I think that is a misdirected easy way out. True biblical teaching about these relationships should begin at home and then church but instead, church is a hotbed for the preteen and teenager boy/girl relationship to flourish and parents are encouraging it.

Certainly these notions will seem foreign and bizarre to the world, so I want to make this part very clear. I wish I had more time to write but I am a slave to the clock these days and I wouldn't have it any other way :)

O.K., let me finish making this clear.

I cannot make my daughters or my sons choose purity or for that matter choose Christ. God saves. Our creator is in charge of my children and their hearts.


I am in charge of teaching them according to His word. It isn't about rules. Or age limits.
It is....and this is the bottom line......about

Honoring. God.

My accountability rests there. I am in prayer for my children and I am teaching them the beauty of His Word....His Ways....and His Plan for them. My girls have relationships with boys their age and it is a wonderful thing. They are friends. The best of friends that trade sour-gummy worms and bonk heads on the trampoline. They treat one another like siblings and because the boundaries are so firm and well-defined there is no fear of being teased or pressured.

Kim at Lifesong (a friend who says what I think ALL THE TIME) has written a wonderful series about this. I agree in almost every single way with these posts and since I couldn't say it better, I'll just ask you to read this:

Part 1- Developing Godly Relationships During The Teenage Years

Part 2- Gray Areas Versus Biblical Standards - God's Standard Of Purity

Part 3- Busting The Boy Craziness (edited to add this info)

Part 4- Being A Godly Young Woman

A Modesty Checklist

Part 5- Practical Steps To Courtship/Dating


Tracy said...

Great post, Kim...and I am with ya on those sweatpants...ick.

Wendy said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

I just love how matter-of-fact you are. Fresh air! I really benefited from reading Kim's posts, too. My daughters are nowhere near the point where I have to worry about the courtship/dating thing, but the heart stuff?...oh, yeah!

5honeybunns said...

Reading my mind, girl. I am with you all the way.

Jill said...

I also loved the posts from Kim. Thanks for your encouragement to do the hard things that go against the flow.

Kim said...

The words on the sweatpants...ewwww...I had not thought about that...yes, it is icky as Tracy said. What really gets me is when we go shopping for *modest* clothes... what we see in the mall is clothing to make 13 year olds look like 26 year olds....trying to sexualize them...That really gets me going!

Your post was straight forward and clear...I really appreciate reading your thoughts. It is all about the heart, isn't it? Thanks for linking to mine...but I think you said it better with much less words!!!!I wish I could do that!

Kim said...

Oh, one more thing...this picture of your girls is so precious! Our prayer is that our 2 older ones would be best friends...just like that picture displays! I love that!

Christina said...

Amen. Good stuff to be thinking about now, even though my daughter is 8. I'd rather talk and prepare now, before it becomes an issue.

Kelly said...

Loved your thoughts on this topic! I enjoyed following Kim's series , as well.

Amy said...

My sister and I were raised to choose purity and it certainly does make a difference. In college, both of us had guys thank us for choosing modesty when it is so easy to choose the popular fashions. And when I met the young man I ended up marrying, he said my modesty was one of the qualities that most attracted him to me. Good guys notice and appreciate these efforts. Keep up the wise work!

umesh123 said...

Just got back from Eastland in New Zealand & I miss the place already. For a writer, such as for me this place is simply enchanting. It speaks to you, as if every grain of sand has a story to tell. The Te Urewera National Park is right out of a fairy tale, with its untouched native forest on what else but an island! The Tolaga Bay Wharf is a must see & is even more magical by moonlight. You just have to see this place to believe it. Come next year, I'm heading back there!