Technical Purity

       Okay, I get it. I’m not a touchy-feeling person. I don’t get physical. Me talking about premarital physical touch and virginity is, like: duh. I hear you.

        Now will you hear me?

        First of all, purity has been scammed. Big time. We probably won’t want to admit it, but – we’ve been swindled. Purity has been reduced to a list of dos and a list of don’ts. By the way, I get this too. The lists vary a lot from book to book, church to church, movement to movement. Don’t kiss. Kiss, but don’t make-out. Don’t hold hands. Hold hands, but you better never dare let him put his arm around you.

         Laugh with me. It’s motivated by some pure desires, probably a lot of fear, and often a dose of legalism. It’s thought-provoking, aggravating, hilarious. It poses a lot of questions. What are we supposed to do now?

         “The woman held our attention as she told us about a wonderful Christian guy she dated in college. “We were really attracted to each other,” she said proudly (as if to clarify that most dating couples are only marginally attracted to each other). “We were alone together at my house one night when no one was home,” she continued, “and while we were sitting together on the couch, things started to get really physical between us.” She went on to say that just before the situation “really got out of control” she and her boyfriend suddenly heard the garage door open. Her older sister just happened to be coming home early from a softball practice and arrived in the nick of time to stop them from “falling into sin”. “God knew what we were about to do,” she told us confidently, “and He provided a way out , just like He says in His Word. God always provides a way for us to flee from temptation!” Despite the speaker’s swelling pride over her “success story”, the truth is that she and her boyfriend were not fleeing from temptation at all – they were willingly walking right into temptation and giving sin an open invitation to take over.” – Leslie Ludy, “Authentic Beauty”

          I’m married. You know what that means, but please – don’t write me off. Did this excerpt from Leslie Ludy’s book strike you too?

           I’m not going to touch the “don’t kiss before your married argument”. I am not going to even touch the hands-off-hands-on subject. Why? This stuff is irrelevant.

            Yup, I know. I said that. What you do decide is okay and what you don’t decide is okay doesn’t really matter to me. I hear you breathe a sigh of relief. Don’t run away yet though. It matters to God.

 — technical purity —

               Aw, shucks. Do we have to define this one? Oh wait – we all know what technical means and we all know what purity means. Now I’m breathing a sigh of relief.

                But by the way, not having sexual intercourse doesn’t make you pure. That’s virginity. Oh and guess what? Not having sexual intercourse doesn’t mean you haven’t had sex. Sex is not an act. Yeah I know – I’m really messing up this one. While I’m at it, let me just clarify a few things.

               You are a sexual being and I am a sexual being. We are pure and beautifully sexual. Some people are male and some people are female – we won’t get too specific there. We were all created with a sex drive of some kind – and by the way – that’s natural and good.

              Now don’t run away too quickly proclaiming the good news. At least not until I fetter it with the truth that our natural and good sex drives have purpose. As Christians, we are to be intentional…right down to sex. As we grow physically, emotionally and spiritually (this includes the post-pubescent years!) our sexuality develops too. It matters period…but it matters most that it develops with intention and purpose.

               A technically pure person has had some poor sexual development. Believing that their sexuality is good and natural, they make poor choices because they haven’t experienced the power of God shaping their sexuality.They usually put down sexual thoughts and feelings as perverse notions. Girls hide their sexuality rather than wear it courageously. It’s a mask and a cover-up and a sham. And girls we’ve been swindled.  

               Feeling something sexual is not a sin, but it’s wrong if you masturbate. Wearing attractive, feminine clothing that makes it clear you’re female is not sin, but it’s wrong if you dress to praise yourself or get attention. Looking forward to the marriage bed isn’t wrong either, unless you fantasize. Pornography is a black mark to sexual sacredness.

                 Do we get it? Can we? Technical purity is following all the rules – spoken or unspoken – without a changed heart. Denying our sexuality. Believing that sex is a single act and not a very real part of who we are.

— a way out —

                 God does provide a way out of temptation. It isn’t someone coming home early though, stopping us before intercourse. It isn’t a to-do list – or a list to “keeping you safe”. God’s way out is deeper and greater than that.

                 God wants you to be proud of being a sexual being. God wants you to love being a woman. God created you with desires for marriage and love and intimacy. God loves that about you. Your way out is the way in.

                   On some level we all get to a place where we recognize our sexuality and have to contend with it. God isn’t asking us to give it up, He is asking us to embrace how He has created and intended us. He wants us to cherish the sacred gift of sexuality and treasure it. He wants us to wear our womanhood with mystery, delight, and beauty. God wants us to be more than technical about our purity. He wants us to own it. Live it. Display it.

                 Women — the best way to own your sexuality is to admit it. Flee from temptation. Get the rancid pictures or movies out of your life. Do not arouse sexual cravings with the man you aren’t married to yet. God wants you to run from the places that will make your heart stray. Remember – sex is not an act.

                  Rise up, girls. You are women created to live passionate, beautiful lives. Called and chosen. Be confident in your womanhood.

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7 thoughts on “Technical Purity

  1. Wow! Renee thank you so much for this entry! You have encouraged me more than you know. I NEEDED to read this thank you!

  2. Enjoyed your read!! Accountability is the greatest gift you can give yourself male to male and female to female. Why is that hardly ever mentioned in these books? Maybe it’s my strong Menno community back ground. All of us must have a conscience. We need each other, even Scripture talks about that.

  3. Renee. Thank you for sharing that knowledge and wisdom. It’s something me as a man can apply also. I don’t know if you ever saw that book “To Kill A Lion” by Bruce Lengeman. He says and explains in it how we are created to be sexual and how it’s not sin if we are according to Gods will and standard. I don’t know if I make any sense or not. I have that book if anybody would like to read it.

  4. Just found your blog. I love your heart, Renee.

    I also love this post, it’s beautiful. . . thank you for the reality check and the challenge.

  5. Thanks so much for this post!!! I just got done reading it to Kelly… It gave a lot of food for thought… It is a journey that I am also making myself and this gave more food for thought. Blessings on your journey and please keep sharing with us!!! So glad your head injury did not affect your writing ability to write and process things!!! I for one so love your input in my life!!! I’m thanking God for LIFE!!!

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