This week Leslie answers popular questions surrounding purity that have been sent in from readers and listeners just like you! If you have ever found the subject of purity or relationships confusing, we encourage you to tune in for biblical perspective and helpful tips to bring breathtaking Christ-centered femininity into your everyday life.
Over the past 25 years of ministry, I have been asked many questions about the concept of purity and how to live a life the exemplifies the true purity of Christ rather than a rules-based formula that isn’t limiting or oppressive. Here are a few of the most popular questions that I wanted to answer today!
QUESTION #1 — DOES MAINTAINING PURITY BEFORE MARRIAGE GUARANTEE A GREAT MARRIAGE?
While purity is a very important part of God’s pattern for a healthy relationship, the foundation of a great marriage is not built solely on purity. The cornerstone of a great marriage is based upon selflessness — constantly looking for ways to serve and not just to be served. Real purity should flow from a motive of selfless love. When you see to incorporate sacrificial, selfless, outward-focused, Christ-centered love into your marriage, you’ll truly have a foundation for happily ever after! Selflessness and purity working together brings the greatest joy as you lay down your own life in pursuit of loving and serving the other person.
QUESTION #2 — DATING OR COURTSHIP — WHICH TERM SHOULD I USE?
The terms dating or courtship are highly subjective and the definitions often vary as a result. It can be confusing to use either term — as both dating or courtship can be negative or positive examples of Christ-built relationships.
Rather than trying to affix a label on your relationship, purpose to seek after making the focus of your relationship a Christ-centered one. A Christ-centered relationship simply means that both individuals are surrendered to Christ wholly and are intent on inviting Him to be in control of every aspect of their life as they allow Him to lead and guide them towards His purposes and plan, instead of their own.
One of the key distinguishing marks of a Christ-centered relationship is faithfulness. The principle of being faithful to your future spouse is one that can be cultivated whether single, in a pre-marriage relationship, or married.
QUESTION #3 — HOW CAN I EXPLAIN MY PURITY COMMITMENT IN A LOVING WAY TO THOSE WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND?
One of the most important pieces of advice I can offer is to focus on your own story. Refrain from getting on a soapbox and preaching. Instead, graciously and humbly share what God has taught you in this area of life.
For example, a great conversation started can be, “God has led me to make these decisions and here’s why…” In sharing what the Lord has personally impressed upon your heart, you won’t need to water down the truth of what you’re saying as you graciously share principles within your own story. I have found this to be least offensive way to share truth in love.
It is also important to simply live out your convictions, present a consistent example, seek to love at all times, and respond graciously towards others. Let them see the example of Christ in you and how that is affecting your commitment to purity. Set the stage of your discussions with others who may not understand with prayer and see how God can use that prayer to soften their hearts and prepare them to receive truth.
QUESTION #4 — ARE THERE EXAMPLES IN SCRIPTURE OF HOW CHRIST VIEWS A WOMAN WHO HAS MAINTAINED HER PURITY COMPARED TO A WOMAN WHO HAS NOT? DOES HE THINK MORE HIGHLY OF THE ONE WHO HAS?
This is a great question! The two examples that come readily to mind are the contrasting lives of Jezebel (a woman who was greatly hardened by evil) and women like the woman who was caught in adultery or the sinful woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair and were marked by a broken and contrite spirit.
It is the heart-attitude of each individual — no matter their past mistakes — that God sees. God doesn’t just look at the mistakes we have made but the heart with which we approach Him. We cannot have unhindered intimacy with Christ if we have an unrepentant heart in areas of personal purity. It is important to see that when we bear an attitude of repentance before God, He graciously gives us a hope, a future, and a new beginning. He doesn’t bring a second-rate future into our lives because of our past. Rather, He wipes the last clean and invites us to begin fresh in Him!
QUESTION #5 — HOW DO I SEND A MESSAGE TO A GUY IN MY LIFE THAT I’M NOT INTERESTED IN PURSUING A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM?
The best course of action in these types of situations is to always be honest and direct. We can be both honest and gracious as we clearly communicate where you feel God is leading you (or where He isn’t) in the area of relationships. One thing that is important to keep in mind, is that there are potential dangers of miscommunication if you are chatting casually about these things through a digital format. Purpose to have these types of conversations in person and not online or on a social media platform.
If you need to back off of a friendship seek to be clear and direct. If the young man still won’t take the hint, seek to recruit the help of a godly protector (father, godly older brother, or spiritual leader) to communicate on your behalf.
QUESTION #6 — WHAT DO MEN FIND ATTRACTIVE IN A WOMAN OF FEMININE MYSTERY? CAN YOU SHARE BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF WOMEN WHO DISPLAYED THIS QUALITY?
To a man who has been shaped by the character and nature of Christ, a truly beautiful woman is one who guards the sacred things of her heart and life. One of the ways this can be beautifully showcased is when a woman honors the man’s position as leader and initiator in a relationship and honors God’s pattern for her femininity and feminine mystery.
Study the lives of women who exuded this: Mary the other of Jesus, Ruth, and Abigail. Each of these ladies shared a common theme — their lives were marked by surrender and they laid down their own agenda from the very beginning of their stories.
The best way to guard feminine mystery is not to hide in the corner but to cultivate a posture of heart that says, “Lord, the things You have entrusted to me are sacred, and I want to treasure and value them the way that You do and not just hand them out to anyone. I would rather wait for Your time and Your way.”
While these things may not necessarily be attractive to a man who has been shaped by the culture but will be attractive to a man who values the things that God values. Wait for a man who will protect purity and femininity and not one who desires to conquer those things.
Join Leslie and her husband Eric at their upcoming Purity Summit on Sunday, September 22 live in Windsor, CO or via simulcast (available for streaming through December 13, 2019).