Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Passion for Purity

I just wanted to put out there that this is NOT just for girls, young men that would like to read this are encouraged to!  I refer to young women because I am one ;)
I want to ask you, what is the difference between Virginity and Purity? 
Virginity:  The condition of being untouched.
Purity: The condition of being pure; freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, pollutes, ect.
You see, Virginity refers to the body, while Purity refers to the heart.
My mom always refers to Proverbs 31:12 when we are discussing this. 
"She does him good and not harm ALL the days of her life."
Here is a short version of her Testimony:
"My mom taught me about abstinence. She and my stepdad presented me with a promise ring and I learned about what it meant to protect my body until my wedding day.  I wasn't allowed to date, although, I went on many dates and a few boys were allowed to call...and I went to quite a few proms.  I enjoyed boys.  ;)
I did not really experience any guilt when I flirted or was the recipient of affection.  I kissed and held hands with a clear conscience because I never let it "cross the line."
What line?
My wedding night was a beautiful thing.  I wore white walking down the aisle with pride.  I had saved my body for my husband.
I simply had not saved my heart.
I gave pieces of that away with every kiss...every time I held a hand, every sweet nothing whispered in my ear had left a mark.  An imprint on my heart.
It gave me a measuring stick with which to compare my husband.
It was a long road back to God's measuring stick...the bible.
I had not done Phil good all the days of my life."
In this day and age virginity is keeping the "body" pure...  Did you see the quote on quote "body"?  I put that there because we are not even keeping the body pure, we are just keeping some of the body pure.
Young women, in bible times, wore veils to cover their faces...  They wore veils to protect future husbands (not even their future husbands) from lusting after them.  They were not only protecting themselves...they were protecting others.
Girls, what are we wearing?  Don't stop there, what are your motives behind what you wear?  What are you encouraging?  Are your protecting not only your body (saving it ALL for your future husband) but protecting someone else's future husband from lusting after someone other than their future wife?
Boys...this is for you as well.
Where are your eyes?  What are your thoughts? 
Are we repenting for our lust.
Yes, let's call it what it is.
"But I say to you that anyone who looks on a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery in his heart."  Matt. 5:28
"But put to death, therefore, what is earthly in you, sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness which is idolatry." Col. 3:5
"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace.  Along with those who call on the name of the Lord with a pure heart."  2 Tim. 2:22
The culture knows that we are a lustful, worldly generation.  There are no lines outside of God's word.  Anything goes.  We see it on TV, Billboards, Music, Books, and the way everyone dresses.  They lure us in, grey our boundaries and if we are not rooted in God's word as absolute truth, then we are fools.  Easy prey and open targets.
Our hearts...our purity, GONE.
I saw one young friend post "I am a belieBER" referring to Justin Beiber (a lovely photo to go with it) and thought, this is it.  The line is crossed.  We have been so desensitized that we can drool and lust after a guy like this and it's OKAY.  Everyone is doing it!!
That is just one example...boys, I won't even go into who is out there for you all to lust after.  You all get my point.
I am so glad that my parents made an effort to build a foundation based upon God's word!  At the age of nine, I made the decision to save my body, my first kiss, and my first date for my future husband.  I have taken Proverbs 31:12 to heart and am trying to do my husband good ALL the days of my life.
I bet you are wondering why I said my first date.  I chose not to date because of what temptations come with dating.  One motto I love using is "If you want to stay away from something, stay away from it altogether."  So I will be saving every SINGLE thing that is meant for marriage, for marriage.  Some may think I am crazy, because everyone needs to find their spouse.  But I trust that God has already picked out the perfect spouse, in which He can do His will in my life.  And I also trust that He will let me know who He has planned for my life.
This does not mean that I am ignorant to the fact that we need to know who we marry.  I realize that I will be spending the rest of life with my future husband, but I believe that when God has revealed His will in a spouse, that myself, along with my family will pray and get to know this man together. 
Courting...but that is a whole separate blog post!! 
"Dating with no intent to marry is like going to the grocery store with no money.  You either leave unhappy or take something that isn't yours."
-Jefferson Bethke
I want to tell you that it is never to early or to late to make the decision to stay pure.  The bible says:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away: behold, the new has come." -2 Corinthians 5:17
If you are wanting a clean slate...if this decision is coming later rather than sooner,
You must repent...and if you don't feel the need to repent, PRAY.  Ask God to grant you repentance.
"Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth." 2 Timothy 2:25

I am not saying that my way is the right way...I am saying that you need to seek God in His word, He draws a very clear line when it comes to purity.
When God brings you to a place of a heart longing after purity...shout it from the mountain tops!!
Because what I have just done in this posting is to open myself up to a world of accountability.
We are in this together.

A couple book references:
I kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris (Brother to Do Hard Things authors)
Before I Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Malley
Princess and the Kiss
Squire and the Scroll
And I am now reading Growing Up Duggar and it is all about relationships.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Call To Do Hard Things.

Ever since I was little my parents have been at work teaching me right from wrong.  I have grown accustom to telling the difference between the two, and then staying away from evil.  One of the verses helping me with this task is
1 Thessalonians 5:22
"Abstain from all appearance of evil."
My parents have encouraged me to stay away from bad influences, meaning it could be a person or even a song.  They have taught me, if it doesn't line up with God's Word, you don't need it nor would you want it.  I have been striving to live by God's Word. 
 I stayed away from people, music, TV Shows, websites, books, even thoughts that might influence me in ways that would not please my Savior.  I have to say that it was hard and I did slip up at times, but God was always there to help me back up and get me back on the straight and narrow road.
"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
 -Joshua 1:9
I have learned by watching my parents and personal experience that we are being sanctified continually.  We will fail...BUT when we do, we repent.
We have been listening to David Platt's Radical and he explains repentance very well.
Repentance is not just stopping and asking for forgiveness, it is a God heart that causes us to stop walking one way and turn to run the opposite.
We become repulsed by our sin.
David Platt also refers to the verse "If anyone would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." -Matthew 16:24
What comes to your mind when you hear the word Cross?  You think about Jesus, Him coming to save us, the Resurrection, redemption, love, peace, and everlasting life, right?  But Jesus is talking about something very different here.  
Do you know what the cross meant in Bible times?  It meant humiliation, torture, suffering, struggle, saying good bye to your family, and DEATH.  Basically if you were wondering what a modern day cross would be, David Platt again gives us a great example: 
"Take up your ELECTRIC CHAIR and follow..."
 But Jesus doesn't stop there, He says you have to take it WITH you.  You must take up your cross.  Did that sound comforting? Didn't think so.  He says you have to die EVERY SINGLE DAY to follow Him.  We have to die of our self, of our desires, of our family, of our wealth, of everything.  We must be ready to give everything up at a moments notice. 
I started reading the book Do Hard Things
(which I highly recommend to ANY Young Adult), and realized,
 Is Staying away from the very appearance of evil enough?  
If you wanted to stay absent, yes.  But I wanted (and still do) to impact other people's lives, not just my own.  I want to change the WORLD!! I want God to be glorified in my every action and my every word.  And you cannot just do that by just staying away from those evil things... 
You have to DO HARD THINGS!! 
I am not saying to do "Big Hard Things" right away, you can do things in your own home!!!  Some of the things you can do are:
Be Respectful,
Help your brother and/or sister with one of their chores,
Mow the lawn without being asked,
Help one of your siblings with their homework,
Cook a meal for your family or a neighbor,
Offer to help someone put their groceries in their car
Make and give lunches to the homeless.
Share the gospel with your neighbor
Some Bigger Things you can do:
Volunteer at a local shelter or food bank,
Start a fundraiser for a good cause,
Go on a mission trip,
Get involved in an event for your local church,
Start a Bible study,
Minister to people at an abortion clinic.
But do all of these things with a mindset of binging God ALL the glory.  He deserves it and SO much more.  We should give Him ALL that we can. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says this: "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
We cannot do any good thing outside of God we need to pray that He would give us a heart of repentance.  That He would give us the desire to die and a heart to radically follow Him. 
My mom posted a quote from one of our favorite pastors
Galations 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." " The God of the universe wrapped Himself in flesh, died on a cross...nailed MY sin there too, was placed in the grave and rose from the dead on the third day...ascended to the right hand of the Father and is there making intercession for me until such time as my salvation is completed and He takes me home....that's all I got." -Voddie Baucham
Some links that I encourage you to go to:
With Love,
Gabrielle Ansolabehere