Can you relate to the feeling of getting into the shower or a bath and the water is too hot? You adjust the temperature to a comfortable place but within a few minutes, you turn up the hot water a little bit more, then a little bit more, as you become acclimated to the temperature.
Sin is like this.
Your spirit senses something isn’t quite right but the longer you are in it, you start to become accustom to it and you take it a little further then a bit further. Eventually, you get used to it. After a while it feels quite natural.
One can use this analogy for any compulsion or behavior—over or under eating, drinking, drug use, overspending, gambling, laziness, gossip, profanity—any number of things can overtake you if lose sight of where you started. Today, I am going to use this analogy in the continuation of my ‘Define Purity’ series.
The blurred line of what is too far or immoral isn’t something new. We have had this confusion for many years. Today’s youth have a tougher time distinguishing where the line is because of the saturation and accessibility of sensual and provocative material. For instance, advertisements and television were somewhat sterile in the mid-1900’s. Today, you cannot walk through a shopping mall or watch television without sensual images and messages infiltrating your sight and senses. It is easy to mock those who raise awareness to them. We label people who want to raise the standards as prudes, telling them ‘not to look at it’. However, it is difficult to tell a red-blooded man to turn away—they desire to keep looking. Young children, boys and girls alike, are quite impressionable in regard to acting out what they see. They are LOOKING for grown-up examples of how to behave. What are we inadvertently showing them? What have we ourselves become accustom to that we aren’t even aware? Often times we believe much is going over their little heads. On the contrary, they have lots of downtime to ponder what their minds absorb. Fashion has been creating mini-adult clothing for several years to satiate their desire to be grown up.
Peer pressure is not a new thing either. I started this blog series with my own exposé, quite unintentionally. I began writing and realized my words were jaded by my own experiences. It was best to shed light onto the darkness. This goes hand in hand with another revelation during my Rwanda mission trip. In sharing their testimonies, the genocide victims release some of their pain by exposing the truth about their past. It wasn’t easy; but in hindsight I know it was necessary by the encouraging comments recieved and the peace I feel in my soul. I’m continuing the series because I want as many readers as possible to have peace from the inside out.
At a very young age and with little education to empower them, children can sense when something is wrong. We are each born with an inner spirit and conscious to guide us. When parents educate their children as soon as they become mobile, they begin to empower them with self-confidence. When they plant the seed of faith into their hearts they give them superpowers!
The supernatural power of the Holy Spirit is omnipotent. It is omnipresent. It is a part of God Himself living in and through us. This is why it is so very important to guide us in our daily life. Parents and mentors need to be present in our lives to help us with practical advice—to listen to your day to day experiences to ensure you are prepared to face this world on your own.
I want to apologize to young people. Many of you are floundering through life, wanting guidance. Where are your mentors? We are wrapped up in careers, hobbies, Facebook, bettering ourselves— so many distractions preventing us from coming along side young people to equip them for their future.
Hold on. Before you throw your own pity party for the relationship you don’t have, what are you doing to engage with your folks or a mentor? Is your face illuminated by your phone or the television the majority of your waking hours? We understand you need more sleep than the average bear but you need to regulate your schedule so you can spend time interacting with people, not just your friends. If you don’t have good mentors in your life, find them at school or through a mentoring program. When you become an adult, be a mentor. The world needs more good examples of humans before we digress further than we already are.
I wanted to stress the importance of a solid foundation from the get-go. I was raised in a good home but have written how the blurred definitions of purity led me down a nasty path off the main course. There were breeches in the levee guarding my future. Here is an example from a widely publicized scandal in America. Former President Bill Clinton and the relationship he chose to engage in with a White House intern. I won’t get into the details of this real-life drama. Only a few people know the truth about what happened. This is the famous statement from Mr. Clinton’s press conference, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!”
This is one of the subtopics on my heart and mind when I chose the title, “Define Purity” as a relevant blog topic. Just because you don’t ‘do it’… you know, actually engage in the act of sex, doesn’t mean you’re not crossing the line at the expense of your purity. Another former US President, James T. Carter, referenced the following scripture in an interview wherein; by his own admission, he confessed it a sin to have looked at other woman with lustful thoughts.
“You may think you have abided by this Commandment, walked the straight and narrow, but I tell you this: any man who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart.” –Matthew 5:28
Think back to my analogy about a nice, hot shower. You might recall your adolescent years when innuendo no longer breezed over the top of your head. You thought you were pretty cool when you figured it out. It doesn’t take long for kids to have conversations about things that would freak out the average parent. I was amazed to discover how much my daughter picked up in a small, conservative Christian school. I was pretty sure the walls had ears. She hadn’t entered high school yet and knew more than I expected.
I know it is out there in some unsuspecting places.
Don’t become numb [desensitized] to what it is.
Save it ALL for someone worthy of your whole heart.
We know there are kids actually gratifying each other for money or simply for the heck of it. They aren’t actually having sex so there’s no harm, right?
Think again… just because you haven’t risked pregnancy or STDs doesn’t mean it is a wise choice for your future. Read this link I provided in my earlier post. Every time you join together with another person, you give a piece of your heart away. You may or may not exchange money or something tangible like a little pot. What you are giving up is priceless; you’re giving away a part of who you are. If you don’t feel like you have any self-worth, think again. I’m soon going to write more about a God who loves you and wants the best for you. Even if you can’t find a person who seems to care now; there is always someone in the world that truly does care. Believe this truth.
If you want to start your life with someone who doesn’t come with extra baggage, don’t let yourself fall or cause someone else to stumble.
Stop being promiscuous and flirtatious.
Stop looking for affirmation by posting selfies.
Stop putting yourself in situations that make you an easy target.
Stop looking for easy sex just because you’re young and it’s free. It’s not.
Stop encouraging each other to hook up.
Start encouraging each other to hold out.
Stop self-gratifying yourself because your hormones are raging.
Whoa! I went there. I went there because it is one of the traps you can fall into that hardly anyone is bold enough to mention. It’s also something people think is secret, folks say it is natural, people want to justify it for themselves. The truth is, when you’re doing what is seemingly natural, you’re thinking about something that isn’t. Even if you’re thinking about someone whom you’re in a relationship with, you’re fantasizing about something that isn’t real. Then, when you can be fully engaged in reality, you will fail to be fully engaged. Eventually, it is quite likely you will not be able to function as you were created because you cannot be aroused without fantasy. Why do you think there is such a demand for ED meds? Really—what couple takes a bath while watching a sunset—outdoors??
As I wrap up, I want to share a little of myself again. I was the youngest in a big family of girls. I’ve started to write about my life in more recent posts. I wanted to share a little more as it relates to defining purity.
Don’t compare yourself to someone else.
Don’t let someone else’s poor choices lower your own set of standards.
Don’t let someone convince you that you are worth less than you are.
I spent most of my teen years convincing one set of people I was a good person while trying to fit in with another set of peers. The definition of purity wasn’t clearly defined for me because there were many mixed messages and many hypocritical examples. “Do as I say, not as I do!”
Even people who loved me shamed me into believing I was less valuable than I was. The truth is– even though some of them claimed to be pure, they weren’t innocent. Sometimes people don’t cross the line but they walk right up to the line on a regular basis. Even though they don’t ‘get caught’ in the act they aren’t truly saving themselves for marriage either. Hence the title, “Define Purity”.
I lost my innocence at a frightfully young age. It could have been restored with the right words. Instead, I slowly lost my self-worth until the day I lost my virginity. I simply gave it away because it was a burden. I am hanging my heart out on the Internet with the hope that someone, somewhere might find encouragement from a complete stranger to change the course of their life.
This is my hope and prayer.
I once sold myself short; now I want to sell myself out to make a difference.