Monday, September 26, 2011

pursuit of purity

many years ago, i decided that i wanted to remain physically pure until i got married. my parents even bought me a purity ring to symbolize my goal.

flash forward to the present, and while i may still be physically pure, my mind is anything but. with the help of public schooling and questionable film and television content, i am no longer naive. the fact of the matter is, once you see or hear something, you can't unsee or unhear it. it's physically impossible. whether the original seeing or hearing was intentional or not, the devil has a way of using this questionable content and numbing us to its influence. eventually, we are so comfortably numb that we see no issue with what once would have at least brought up a red flag.

i'm not sure what it was, but something this summer woke me up and made it impossible to remain comfortably numb. i'm tired of my purity ring being just jewelry that i wear, with no true symbolism anymore. i'm tired of catching myself thinking that i'm somehow holier than people who have had premarital sex or children out of wedlock. basically, i'm tired of lying to myself about my purity (or lack thereof), so i've decided to create a new symbol.

the ring finger of the left hand has special significance because it's where we place the wedding ring. since marriage is one of my biggest dreams, i look at this empty finger of mine a lot. therefore, i decided that this was the perfect place for my new symbol: nail polish. i can imagine what you must be thinking. nail polish? really? it might seem ridiculous, but you know what? it works. having this one nail painted over the past month has truly helped me to guard myself against tempting my purity. not only that, since having only one nail painted is unusual, it makes people curious, which allows me to share what i'm doing and have people hold me accountable.

my goal is no longer simply to remain physically pure until marriage. instead, i'm focusing on holistic purity: purity of the heart, body, and mind. as i've recently learned, true purity encompasses every aspect of one's life. abstinence is only one aspect. my heart and motives must be pure as well. really, i'm only lying to myself about my strive for purity if my mind is full of worldly and lustful thoughts. neither can i truly claim to be pure if my heart contains jealousy and covets the marriages or romantic relationships of others.

yes, i struggle with being content in my singleness (especially as friends left and right are getting married or engaged), but i don't have to struggle alone. God knows what i need (which is perfect, because half the time, i don't even know what i want, much less what i need). in this waiting period, i will pursue holistic purity and take comfort in that i serve the author of time.

Matthew 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."

2 Timothy 2:2: Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Psalm 51:10: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Ashley. Very convicting. It's easy to refrain from sinning physically, but mentally is so much harder. Whether it's lust, coveting, greed, hatred/malice...all these thoughts cross our minds and it's a matter of whether we entertain those sinful thoughts or immediately push them away and "bring our thoughts under captivity". I know I definitely struggle with this. I'm glad the nail polish thing is working for you!