IT’S NOT JUST A ‘GUY THING’
Hands up if you thought that sexual purity was just a thing guys struggle with. As a youth leader, girls have told me that they struggle with pornography, masturbation, or fantasy. They are sweet, talented and, by any standard, good Christian girls. Some are leaders in church too. You see, sexual purity is not just a ‘guy thing’ — it is a human thing. And if you are a human, well, then you will struggle with sexual purity in one way or another, because we are created as sexual beings with real desires, but those desires have been polluted by sin. So here’s the good news: if you are struggling with sexual purity, you are not a ‘weird girl with guy problems’. You are a normal girl with struggles, desiring to please God!
Small things can be powerful despite their size. Can you think of something else that is small but powerful? It lives right in the centre of your mouth — the tongue!
YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE STRUGGLING
A lovely girl who had just started dating looked me in the eye and said, “I thought I was the only one!” She genuinely struggled with purity as she started feeling the electrifying feelings of even a simple touch from someone she liked. I laughed, as she was not the first to tell me she thought she was the only one struggling with sexual purity.
On one occasion, the speaker at our church camp encouraged our youth group to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16). As each girl shared, each one realised … I am not the only one! Our struggles may differ, but guess what? You are not the only one, and you do not have to hide in shame. Sin grows in darkness. Pluck up your courage, take a deep breath and confess your struggles to trusted friends and leaders. You may be pleasantly surprised that, instead of condemnation, you hear a voice saying, “You are not the only one — I struggle too.” It can take months or years before overcoming a sexual sin, but the journey will be a lot less lonely with someone by your side.
IT’S NOT JUST ABSTAINING FROM SEX
Perhaps you’ve heard that purity means “no sex before marriage”. But here’s the deal. Sexual purity is not just abstaining from sex. It’s totally possible to be a virgin before marriage and still be sexually impure. There’s a lot that can happen between holding hands and having sex. What about sleeping together on the same bed at a chalet? Sexting? Petting? French kissing? Undressing before each other? Travelling overseas alone together?
Here are some questions to consider: Who am I becoming? Does this action cause me or the other to lust after each other? Will doing this keep me “above reproach” (1 Tim 3:2, Titus 1:6–7)? Am I doing this for my own pleasure or out of self-giving love? Does it honour God, the guy, his parents, future wife and kids? Sexual purity is not technical virginity, but what goes on in your heart, mind, and soul. Ultimately, it’s not about rules, but living holy lives that honour the King and his people (1 Thess 4:3–5).
SEXUAL PURITY IS NOT TECHNICAL VIRGINITY, BUT WHAT GOES ON IN YOUR HEART, MIND, AND SOUL
IT’S NOT ‘OVER’ IF YOU GET MARRIED
Some people think of sexual purity as a 100-metre race to resist all temptation, and once you cross the finish line (getting married), hooray! You are safe. However, choosing sexual purity is more like a marathon — one you run for life. You have to choose purity both before and after getting married, though it may look differently in each case.
A young woman returning from her honeymoon told my friend, “Guess what? I’m still pure!” (i.e. she didn’t have sex), For some reason, she had bought into the lie that having sex, even with her husband, made her dirty! Nothing could be further from the truth. Sex was created to be an exclusive, beautiful, and intimate act of love between husband and wife. Yes, it can be awkward and uncomfortable at the start, yet still innocent and loving. If you do get married, the marathon is still on and you still need to choose purity in the face of other temptations.
Fantasise about that hot Korean star? Nope. Start flirting with another man? Uh-uh. Watch porn? A definite no. Sexual purity is for life, and the pursuit of purity is not over when you get married! Sex ≠ dirty.
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE, WE'VE STARTED TO DEFINE SEXUAL PURITY AS VIRGINITY
IT’S NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT YOU
You read that correctly. Somewhere along the line, we started to define sexual purity as virginity. And this led to defining our worth by our virginity. The thing is, God values your virginity as he designed sex to be enjoyed only in a marriage. But that’s not the most important thing He values about you. It’s easy to think that if you’ve lost your virginity, you are then dirty and worthless. But the most important thing about you is that you have been bought by the blood of Christ, redeemed, and thus pure before God (1 Pet. 1:19). So if you’ve messed up and genuinely repent, then God looks at you through Christ. He sees His blameless Son, who has given you a new identity. So if you feel lousy because you have somehow compromised on sexual purity, don’t give up on yourself. Remember that your sexual past does not define you.
As Christians, we are called to shine like stars in a crooked and depraved generation, as blameless and pure children of God (Phil 2:15). It’s not easy. But the good news is, you are not alone. Young women across time and around the world have struggled and found victory. As sisters in Christ, let us cheer each other on as we run this marathon together!