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Guys who wait. What about them?

After publishing “Purity in Real Time” last week (click here to read), several readers asked for a related article pertaining to guys.

Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:

What to call it?

  • Some guys are fine with the word “pure” especially since there aren’t many good synonyms, but others want something that sounds more masculine.
  • Some possible manly words are “honorable” “valiant” “moral” “heroic” “chivalrous” “valorous” and “knightly.”
  • You could even go “vintage” with some timeless, strapping words like “seraphic” or “stalwart.”

Are any guys waiting?

  • Brad says: “I need one good woman and don’t want to settle before I find her.”
  • Jacob says: “I’m committed to waiting because God forgave me for some bad stuff in my past, and that forgiveness changed me.”
  • Jon says: “I saw what my grandparents had, and that had a huge impact on my view of sex and marriage. I’m sold on the covenant concept.”
  • Brock says: “I made a promise to God that I’d wait, so I’m gonna keep it.”
  • Austin says: “I don’t want to tell my future wife I’ve had sex with 1, 2, 3 or however many women before her. My wedding day will be one of the best days of my life because I waited, listened to God’s commands in the Bible, and know this is one woman I will give my heart to and have sex with the rest of my life. Many times obeying Him can be very hard, but when we do it He blesses us.”
  • Pure guys are out there, but the majority gives them no respect. And when guys don’t get respect, they can feel like giving up.

How can these heroes be supported?

  • Give them a vision for their future as husband and father. Nothing shows children a strong, stable relationship between their mom and dad like a father who waited to have sex just with their mother.
  • Encourage them to look within. What is the Spirit of God asking of them? What is He cleaning up? What charge has He given them?
  • Remind them that each person is more than a sexual being – and that purity is more than just about not having sex.
  • Praise them for their strength of resisting instant gratification.
  • Protect their eyes from needless views of sensuality through media.
  • Celebrate the benefits of waiting – not just in their future marriages, but in their spiritual walk along the way.
  • Help them with boundaries. Ask questions such as “How much sense does it make to be alone with a girl you find attractive?”
  • Welcome girls in their lives who can be trusted to not tempt them – girls who won’t be needlessly touching and enticing. Guys need girls committed to purity to help them remain honorable. It’s part of God’s whole design in the female role of “help mate.”
  • Keep them busy with other worthwhile activities – but not so busy that they have no active time with Jesus.
  • Teach them the ways culture is trying to mishape their brains. Introduce them to the men and women in Proverbs 7 and 31, and the men in Daniel 1 and 3.
  • Pray for them without ceasing. Interceding for them will be one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling experiences you share with God, and the guys in your life will thank you for helping them do what they could never do alone.

Flee from sexual immorality. (1 Cor. 6:18; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22)

Purity in Real Time

“I want to be pure, but I don’t know how.”

“My feelings are so strong – and everyone is telling me this is normal and purity is not.”

“I don’t understand what it means to guard my heart.”

“Some of the stuff I hear about purity sounds so extreme and impossible.”

The quotes above are true concerns Christian teens are facing today. Before addressing each one, it’s refreshing to read stories of how girls are proving that purity is possible in the 21st century.

Emma’s story:

“I make sure that the number of conversations I have with my guy friends is less frequent than with my friends who are girls. I enjoy having friends who are guys, but I make sure that they are always second in closeness to the girls in my life.”

Rachel’s story:

“Early in our friendship, I referred to my best guy friend as my big brother. And then I reminded both of us constantly that I was his little sister. By establishing this kind of relationship, we felt permission to be close without having the risks of romantic involvement.”

Stephanie’s story:

“I created a personal boundary of no kissing with my boyfriend (now fiancé) because I didn’t want to be the one to cause him to have a difficult struggle with temptation. I figured that if you give someone a cookie, next he will want a glass of milk. So, I decided the most loving thing I could do for this great guy that I love – is to hold off on kissing until our wedding day – when we will be married and he won’t have to resist the desires for more.”

Katie’s story:

“I meet with Jesus every day before I encounter anyone else so that He can mold my heart, make me more like Him, enable me to glorify Him, and give me purity from within. That is how any purity is possible and desirable for me. That is how His purity protects and leads me.”

Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:

When you don’t know how:

  • Develop an intimate relationship with the most pure Man to ever live. Pursue Him with the same level of interest you’d have for a really great guy. This One will meet all your needs so that you don’t put unfair expectations on a guy to meet them.
  • Delve into His Word specifically looking for passages about His love, His presence, His promises, and His purity. This will fill you up with His strength.
  • Think before you take your questions about purity to just anyone. Ask God to lead you to a mentor who will give you powerful, helpful, godly answers.

When your feelings are so strong:

  • One of the best life lessons you can ever learn is to not make emotions-based decisions. Practice this in everything you do, and purity will be just one of the many benefits.
  • Tell yourself that your feelings do not rule you and do not have to be obeyed.
  • Follow truth, and over time your feelings will catch up. This is how strong habits, good self-discipline, and mental toughness are achieved.

When you don’t know how to guard your heart:

  • This may be a sign that your identity is not firm enough in who Christ says you are. Focus your Bible reading on what He says about your worth. Then you will have a new motivation for protecting yourself.
  • Be encouraged by a recent five-minute video made by Sadie Robertson. To watch, click here.

When you need to know purity is possible:

  • Actively look for more stories of girls who are living a pure life.
  • Remind yourself of the God you follow. The One who says to you:
    • “For nothing will be impossible with Me.”
    • “Blessed are those who wait for Me.”
    • “I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
    • “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
    • “You are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you.”
    • “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace.”
    • “I will guide you continually and satisfy your desires.”
    • “You can do all things through My Son who strengthens you.”

4 Reasons Abstaining from Pre-marital Sex is So Romantic

You know there’s benefits to waiting for marriage to have sex, but you sort of forgot what they are. People ask you to defend your position, but you stumble over what to say. The noisy, promiscuous messages all around you have drowned out His quiet, still voice beckoning you to focus on His very special and glorious creation of sexual intimacy within marriage.

Biblical (Romantic) Starting Point:  

  1. The whole idea is very poetic. You were made to be a separate individual for a time, and then with marriage you’re brought together as one. The two shall become one flesh…So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” (Mk.10:8)
  2. You are not doomed to a lonesome existence. Unless you are called to and equipped for celibacy, you have always belonged to one member of the opposite sex. “My beloved is mine, and I am his.” (Song of Solomon 2:16)
  3. Husbands and wives earn rights to share each other’s anatomy. Every time you keep your body covered from anyone who is not your spouse, you are protecting it to be cherished by your life-long lover. “The wife does not have exclusive authority over her own body, but the husband shares with her; and likewise the husband does not have exclusive authority over his body, but the wife shares with him.” (1 Cor. 7:4)
  4. It’s not overrated and it does feel amazing. The bedroom of a married couple can be a happening and holy place. “Let marriage be held in honor and keep the marriage bed pure.” (Heb. 13:4)

Keeping Room Tips:

  • Focus on your individual role as half of the “two.” If you attempt to become “one” with another before you are fully developed as an individual (something that is best determined by godly counsel), you will take on too much of the other person. Co-dependency, a true romance killer, can happen either before or during marriage if the timing of becoming “one” isn’t carefully considered.
  • Remember that just because you haven’t met, doesn’t mean you don’t already have a spouse. Giving your heart and body to someone to whom you aren’t married causes you to forget you are already spoken for by someone who is meant to love you until death separates you. If he or she is deserving to be your mate for life, isn’t she or he worth waiting for now? Isn’t this worth dreaming about until the right time?
  • Have fun with modesty and training your body now for future affection. Your body’s co-owner will thank you for it when you’re first married, and later, will take care of your shared body into old age, too. This is true passion.
  • Choose to believe that married sex is where it’s at. The entertainment world can’t mimic it, and no matter how close you feel to someone you are dating, there is nothing cozier than such marital coming together that it even reflects Christ and His Bride. (Eph. 6:32)

Teen Interest in “50 Shades” (And what you can do about it)

You probably know that the lust-filled, erotically charged movie, “50 Shades of Grey” is being released today, but did you know that many teenage girls are excited to see it?

Keeping Room Tips:

Teens need your help in understanding that this is not a harmless romance movie or just another “chick-flick.” Not so many years ago, this movie would have been rated “X.”

Teens need your help in understanding that this movie is not promoting or celebrating God’s design for beautiful and holy sex in marriage.

Teens need your help in understanding the potential consequences and damage to their lives if they begin to expose themselves to this kind of lust-filled, immoral sexuality, not to mention the movie’s other disturbing relationship themes that include self-gratification, intimidation, control, inappropriate submission, etc.

Teens need your help in understanding that purity gives them strength, beauty, holiness, joy, peace, love, maturity, and freedom, and they are not missing out on anything if they protect themselves from this movie.

Flee from sexual immorality…They are godless (movie makers), who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality(1 Cor. 6:18; Jude 4)

The Maker of Love (A Video Message)

They know what it’s like to be single, to wait, to doubt, to struggle, to be tempted, and even how to remain pure in a dating relationship. Most importantly, they also know Who made their love possible. In the following Keeping Room video, Tabor and Kristin share insights from their dating experience, and demonstrate their love story with the Maker of it at the center.

 

Purity Training: How’s it Going?

Parents and their kids know that long gone are the days of “the Birds and the Bees” and having “the talk.” Now there’s plenty of information available to prepare families for the temptations and changes that have occurred in culture and relationships effecting young people today. And fortunately Christians can find many great Biblically-based resources to guide them along the way. However, life gets busy and maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been purposeful about this topic for yourself or your family, or maybe you’re just getting started. You can review the Keeping Room Tips below to evaluate your strategy and your progress.

Keeping Room Tips: 

1. There is NOTHING more important to growth and development than the relationship between parents and their kids and teens. If you don’t do anything else, pour yourself into this relationship. Make it your greatest priority to treasure and honor one another and create an environment in this relationship where everyone feels connected to one another and safe to talk.

2. Purity training is a personal, developmental journey from early childhood through pre-marital counseling and even into marriage. Choose resources that focus on God’s design for relationships as the foundation, and then update your library as confusion, questions, and distortions come up. Make authentic, intimate relationships the life-long goal, and purity becomes a rewarding part of that, not something that is seen as a restriction.

3. Invite each member of the family to be open about their faith journey. This will invite a mutual spirituality in the home and prevent any family members from feeling like they are worse sinners than others. Call sin what it is, and model a repentant lifestyle. Remember that criticism and shame do not motivate, and cause great damage. Encourage family members to know what it means to be in Christ, to have Christ in them, and to learn to be confident in who He is calling them to be. Youth who have a well-formed identity in Christ and an active, personal journey with Him won’t feel as great of a need to go looking for approval from others through sexual encounters.

4. Parents can’t presume to understand what it’s like growing up today; and young people can’t dismiss the value of experience. However, age isn’t a requirement to have wisdom – Heaven is. Make it a family pastime for all members to seek and pursue wisdom together. Expect and encourage kids of all ages to be able to receive wisdom from the Lord, and everyone reaps the benefits. While you’re at it, lead your family toward other character traits and Fruits of the Spirit by using word studies and dinner time discussions on topics such as self-control, self-discipline, holiness, faithfulness, glorifying God, etc.

5. The burden of responsibility for purity-training falls on parents, but there are other important forces that come into play. The media is selling sex to kids 24/7 and some adults have forgotten that sex isn’t for kids. Even during the earliest phases of growth and development, ask the Lord to show you who the influences are (for purity and impurity) for everyone in the family. And revisit the list of influences in every stage of life, validating the pressures family members can feel from negative influences, and showing gratitude for Godly mentors. Then spend time talking about and drawing near to the most Pure Mentor there ever was: Jesus.

 6. All families fall somewhere on a continuum for how much they engage with the secular world – at what ages, and what activities they will include and not include. It’s challenging to find the right balance of guarding ears and eyes without creating a legalistic home. For every individual, and without violating His Word, there comes a point where they have to decide for themselves what the Holy Spirit is and isn’t asking them to be involved with, and what He says is appropriate for them to see and hear on a regular basis. Create a family life that prepares and frees everyone for individual surrender to the Lord when they are old enough to do so. As children grow older and there can be less emphasis on rules and a continued great emphasis on relationship, there are fewer reasons to rebel and more freedom to personally obey the Lord.

 7. Slow, meditative focus on God’s Word has a lot of competition in an impure/high-speed/super-stimulating/immediate-gratification world. Recreation and entertainment offer you an escape from the world’s rapid pace. But escape doesn’t fulfill starving minds, hearts, bodies, and souls. Feed your weary family’s hunger for Truth, Rest, Fulfillment, Holiness, and Peace with the feast of God’s Word.

Pray that each member of your family grows in wisdom and stature…craves pure spiritual milk…seeks knowledge of God…flourishes in righteousness…produces fruit in keeping with repentance…and builds the Body of Christ in love and through work. (Ps. 92:12; Lk. 2:52; 3:8; Eph. 4:16; Col. 1:10; 1 Pet. 2:2)