It’s easy to be excited about purity when you’re just starting out.
Those hopeful days of youth camps and February rallies, the heady feeling that anything was possible (remember that?) – it’s all so promising. The church feeds its youngsters a dream of saving themselves sexually for a spouse they “deserve”, promises them a “beautiful, amazing, radiant” marriage of their dreams someday if they do. I don’t think I exaggerate when I say it’s part of the spiritual foundation of my generation.
Never mind the fact that it sounds disturbingly like prosperity gospel applied to dating (“obey and you get X”) and that we “deserve” precisely squat from God. It still works like a charm to motivate young believers. At least during the first few years.
I’m here to tell you that a number of Christian singles are now older, wiser, and looking around for something more.
We thought we could wait through our mid-twenties just fine. That’s how most singleness books seem to define “waiting”. Finishing college first seems smarter anyway. But our thirties? Nobody really tells you about that. How regrettably few are the Christian books written for those who are asked by God to really wait. Even fewer are the books than offer us more than just how to stay busy – like how to shepherd our hearts, to stay nourished through the disappointment of a “hope deferred” (Prov. 13:12).
And one of the biggest casualties is our purity. After fifteen years, it doesn’t look so hot. Don’t get me wrong – purity is still crucial, and it’s still commandment. I have my purity. I’m not giving it up. But that purity ring of yours has long since become merely a reminder of your present singleness, not your promises to God. The wait, the whispers of the world, and the lies of the kingdom of darkness – they say that you’re no longer cool for avoiding the party; you’re just missing out. If Satan can’t beat your purity, he’ll try to use it against you. He’ll twist it into a tripwire for your joy and contentment, in a variety of ways.
Ever wish we could just…go back to our younger days and get that fire back?
I’m praying for tired singles tonight, that God will “renew your youth like an eagle” (Psalm 103:5). We must be on guard against our opponents, who seek the faltering or distortion of our purity. Here are three of them.