Here is the devotional:
When James met Mandy, he knew she was the one. Mandy … not so much. But years of friendship led to a wonderful marriage. After more than a year of marriage, they both consider purity one of their most important dating commitments. Here’s a little of their story.
Mandy: I grew up around church, so when I was a kid, all my friends talked about purity. Purity rings were all the rage. I assumed purity was something about not giving your body to a boy. To me, that meant no kissing or anything else until marriage. I think a lot of people view purity this way. It’s all about not doing something physical. Since then, I’ve learned it’s way more than that.
Purity is about your heart. Purity is way less about not doing something, and way more about doing something. When James and I were dating, instead of merely avoiding something, we chose to pursue Christ first. When you truly seek God with all your heart, He helps you remain pure.
Now that we’re married, we’re still pure. But that doesn’t mean we’re abstaining! I’ll never forget a moment on our honeymoon. Full of emotion, I realized how holy marriage really is. I looked at James, and said, “I get it now, more than ever. Choosing purity was so worth it.” So, even if you’ve made mistakes, you can still choose purity because purity is about pursuing Christ with all your heart. I promise you—it’s worth it.
James: Unlike Mandy, I didn’t grow up around church. Purity was a huge challenge. During my teenage years, I developed an unhealthy view of women and a destructive relationship with pornography. After graduating from high school, I gave my life to Christ. I knew I wanted to marry someone who pursued Jesus with everything they had. I also knew winning over a girl like her meant I needed to pursue Jesus with obedience. So, I changed my phone settings to only access websites I needed for work. Also, I had a close friend of mine regularly ask me how I was doing.
My pastor, Craig Groeschel, put it well when he said, “Why resist a temptation tomorrow that you can eliminate today?” A few years into marriage, Mandy and I realize the vow of purity remains just as important today as it was before we ever met. And like Mandy said, it’s worth it.
So, if you’re struggling with purity whether you’re dating, married, or neither, today is your day to open up to people you love and respect. Shame grows in the dark, but you’ve been set free by the light of the world!
—James and Mandy
Here are the scriptures referenced:
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11 KJV
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Philippians 4:8-9 KJV
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12 KJV
Here are Stu’s thoughts:
Knowing what I know now about true intimacy, I wish I had waited to have any form of sexual encounter until I was married.
I also wish that in the 80’s people in the church would have shared more openly as to why one should wait until marriage to have sex. All they said you shouldn’t. And we all know that telling a teen they shouldn’t do something will certainly lead them to doing it.
Mandy is right. Marriage is holy! And so is sex! Marriage is supposed to be a life long commitment. Sex is a bonding mechanism for men to their wife due to the endorphins released at orgasm. Sex with one person, your spouse is a reflection of the Godhead. Jesus said I and the Father are one. Husband and wife become one flesh through sexual intercourse.
And when you have emotional intimacy tacked onto spiritual intimacy tacked onto physical intimacy the sexual intimacy is freaking awesome!
Just as one reads God’s Word to get to know Him, the same is true about emotional, physical, spiritual and sexual intimacy with your spouse.
Sexual purity before marriage is not a you don’t get to enjoy each other but rather a learning of each other in a nonsexual way so when sex is had you are comfortable, unashamed and unafraid with each other.
Learning about each other’s bodies is fun, exciting and takes a lifetime. And carrying baggage from previous sexual encounters is not ideal.
Purity within marriage is just as vital as purity before…more so in my opinion. So keep your mind focused on building your relationship with God and your spouse. Stay out of sticky situations where temptations may abound. Run from porn!!! Run, run, run!!!
Here is a link to one of their pastors messages from the pulpit on sex…