Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Letters to my daughters: Sexual Purity

Dear girls,

Let’s talk about sex.

I know, I know.

I know you. I know you’re rolling your eyes right now. I know you’re thinking, “Mom, we’ve talked about this, and I’m done with it.”

I know.

But humor me for a minute.

See, last week the blog world—sorry, the Christian blog world—blew up over the topic of purity or premarital sex or chastity or whatever you want to call it. Lots of posts were written and, sadly, lots of flaming arrows were thrown.

I don’t want to get involved in all of that.

What I do want to do is to make sure you know what’s what about sex. No, not technically—I’ll let you have the joy of figuring that out on your own one day should you get married. But even though we’ve talked about premarital sex before, and you girls know clearly where your dad and I stand on the issue, I want to make sure you’re really clear.

Really. Clear.

Because, you see, I noticed something about the discussions that were going on around the blogosphere last week. Many people talked about “issues” like the “purity culture” and “shaming” and “guilt” and creating a “theology of sexuality,” but most left out the most important place to begin a discussion of humanity and sexuality and marriage:

The Bible.

God, as the creator of sex, has something to say about how He’d like us to use that gift. These aren’t my rules; they’re His. And as Creator, He has every right to make certain demands on His creation.

You know the demands. They are clearly given to us in several places in Scripture, particularly in I Corinthians 5 and 6. Paul uses words even I wouldn’t use—it’s a little hard to read—but it is the word of God and we need to take care with it. There are many other places in the Bible where God deals with the issue of sexual purity—this is just one of the biggies.

So God’s word is clear: He doesn’t want us to have sex before we’re married. Period.

But why? Why is this such a big deal? Especially if someone is in a committed relationship and they plan to get married, why shouldn’t they be free to show their love to each other?

Well, there are a few possibilities given to us in I Corinthians 6. Our bodies belong to Christ, if we believe in Him, and He doesn’t want us to use them in this way before we are married. I guess that’s one reason.

Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19)—that could be another.

But I really like the answer Paul gives in the next verse (I Cor. 6:20): “God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

See, He loves you so much that He sent His one and only beloved Son to die for you. You are worth it. And because you're worth it to Him, He wants to guard you from sins that might harm you.

This is one of those sins.

We might not understand why God has given us this command to stay sexually pure before marriage, especially since it’s a command that seems so difficult to keep, but we know one thing for sure: He loves us enough to die for us. If the life of His Son was the price He had to pay for our sins, doesn’t He have a right to request—no, demand—our obedience? 

In all things, even this?

When you were little we lived on a busy street. I hated living on that busy street because it was always such a chore to keep you in the back yard, which was not fenced, and to keep you from running to the front yard where you could possibly get hurt by running into the street. You would always try to sneak away, around the corner of the house, pushing those boundaries to see how far you could get before I caught you and made you come back to safety.

In a way, that’s how I think it is with God and our sexual purity.

He knows the danger to us, both physically and emotionally, so much better than we do. He loves us enough to give us boundaries and to tell us clearly what those boundaries are. Marriage is the boundary. Not a committed relationship (you have no idea how many people who were just sure they would be married ended up breaking up). Not outside of marriage. Just marriage. Period.

Now hear this, my darlings. You might mess up. You’ve pushed boundaries all your lives, so this is one that might be particularly difficult for you. I hope it won’t be, but you never know. But hear this: nothing is outside the grace of God.

And nothing will keep me from loving you. Ever.

We are sinful people—“prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.” There is not a single day of our lives that we are not in need of the tender, loving forgiveness of our Father. Praise Him that He so freely gives it. And know that this is not the one unforgiveable sin. There is grace.

That’s not to say that we should sin so that grace will abound. No. Our love for Jesus and His love for us should be our guiding light, always.

Last thing. Remember this: sex is an act of the body; purity is an act of the heart.

Work on your heart.

I love you so.


Linking this post to Richella's Grace at Home party.


  1. Excellent. Just bookmarked...in case the internet still exists in its current state when my kiddo is old enough for this discussion. (Stop it! She is just a baby! Don't tell me it'll be here before I know it!) :)

  2. What wise, wise words....and I especially like the part at the end about God's grace for if we do mess up. It's so hard to convey 'the rules' and also 'the love' at the same time - and you did it brilliantly!


  3. Love it!! For our daughters . . . and our sons too!! Have a blessed day!

  4. Yes, this exactly. Praising God for you - as their mom and a role model to me and countless others. Thank you.

  5. While I wish I had more time for the computer, your post had me thinking it is good for my soul to be out of the 'scuffles.' I'd just get riled up and become unproductive in reading all the comments/theories/discourse. I think you summed up this topic beautifully - when God says something, he always, always has our best interest at heart. Thank You.

  6. Bless you for writing this. Wish there were more daughters with moms like you. :)

    I featured this post at this week's Grace at Home party--thank you for linking it up!