I remember as a preteen girl writing letters to my future husband. In those letters, I often wrote the words, “I am staying pure for you” or, “I am keeping my purity to be a gift to you on our wedding day.”
From what I have read and heard, this is not uncommon. Many girls are motivated to keep their purity for similar reasons:
- To keep their wedding night special
- To love their future husband
- To protect themselves from guys who will use them
- To reduce possible martial issues
- To avoid STDs
Reasons such as these are constantly emphasized among young women when purity is being taught. And I don’t like that.
Are these bad reasons to stay pure? Of course not. I believe they are great reasons to stay pure and not dive into sexual sin. However, I don’t believe they are the best reason. In fact, I don’t believe those kinds of reasons will truly motivate you to stay pure. There are better, higher, biblical reasons to fight for your sexual purity.
Before we begin, I want to let you know who this who this message is for:
- Girls/women not yet married. You need to develop the proper motivation for staying pure. If your motivation and hope is set poorly, then you will have a much more difficult time staying pure. Not only that, your heart will not be in the right place before God.
- Single women. Even if you are called to singleness, this message is for you. Though you may desire to be single, the temptation to sexual sin can arise. You need to have the right mindset and motivation to stay pure.
- Women who will teach those girls. Honestly, I am tired of hearing and reading the message that girls need to stay pure for their future husbands. It’s not the right motivation and it totally leaves out the single women around us. It’s time we taught our girls what the Bible actually says about staying pure.
Why Your Wedding Night Should Not Be the Motivation to Stay Pure
There are two main reason why those kinds of motivations should be avoided, or at least on the bottom of our list. For one, this kind of motivation will not last you. What happens when you find “the one”? If your sole motivation to remain pure was so that it could be something special shared between both of you, why would you bother holding off until the wedding night? I have heard of stories of Christians who got engaged and didn’t wait because they did not see the point. Despite the fact that they still got married, it was still a sinful act.
Not only that, what if you are called to singleness? If at some point you decide or recognize or it just happens to be that you are single, what will keep you from sexual sin? What will stop you from looking at porn? What will keep you from that one-night stand? If your only motivation to stay pure was to hold out for your husband and to keep your wedding night special, what happens now? What will motivate you to stay pure in those tempting moments? Your only motivation is gone.
The second reason we should give up this kind of motivation is selfishness. I’m sure in some ways this motivation is set on pleasing your future husband, but in many other ways this motivation is also self-centered and self-seeking. You want to stay pure because you don’t want to ruin your wedding night. You want to stay pure so you don’t have to face the conflict that might bring up later down the road. You want to stay pure so your heart doesn’t get played with.
Though those are valid reasons (and I definitely held to some of those too) we are never called to such a selfish outlook. We are to be like Christ, who gave Himself up for others. We are to be like Christ, who put off what He wanted and submitted to the Father. Friends, there is a higher, better motivation. And in those powerful moments of temptation, you will have a better reason to stay strong.
Biblical Reasons to Remain Pure
God Commands You to Be Sexually Pure
First and foremost, our ultimate reason for staying pure should be because it is what God commands. No questions asked, no “buts”, no grey area, no compromise. God has given you a command in His Word and your job is to submit to it, not find loopholes.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 ESV
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” Hebrews 13:4 ESV
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28 ESV
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5 ESV
Those are just four verses from the New Testament in which God commands sexual purity. If you aren’t convinced, you can go a search the many other verses spread out over both the Old and New Testament.
There is no getting around this command. God has made it plain and clear that the only kind of sexuality that is supposed to happen is between one woman and one man who are married. This excludes any use of porn or any sexual activity with someone who is not your husband (this includes your fiancé, ladies).
Remember what your God-given life purpose is: Glorify God. When you are not obedient to this command, you are dishonouring Him. Your highest goal and desire in life should be to glorify and love the God who took a wretch such as you and I and died in our place, taking the punishment we deserved, and gave us righteousness rather than condemnation when we hated Him. So strive to be obedient to God in your sexuality.
Biblical Love for Others
Your striving for sexual purity should be motivated by a biblical love for others. It’s one thing to bring sin upon yourself, but when you commit an act of sexual immorality with a guy, you have led him into sin as well.
Maybe you had done your best to seduce and persuade him to be sexual with you and he finally conceded. Or maybe he sought you and you gave in. Either way, you were involved in committing that sin and you helped him commit it.
[Side note: I am in no way referring to rape. Rape is his sin, and the victim should not be given any blame.]
This sexual sin is no representation of love. If you are both believers, you both knew that this was sin, and you led one another to it. How is that a selfless act of love towards a person you are apparently madly in love with?
Instead, love one another enough not to drive the other to sin. Lay down your life, your desire for sexual fulfillment, and say no to sexual immorality. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 ESV).
It’s a Distortion of the God’s Intentions for Marriage
Do you know what the purpose of marriage is? Ephesians 5:31-33 ESV says, “‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (I highly recommend you go and read Ephesians 5:22-33 because it explains this fully).
The purpose of marriage is to point back to the gospel. Marriage demonstrates the gospel; as the wife submits to the husband like the church does to Christ, and the husband loves His wife as Christ loved the church. Sex is a part of that. In sex we selflessly love one another. So when you are sexual outside of marriage, you distort this message. As one who has been saved by this gospel and wants to shine that gospel to nonbelievers, you should desire to remain sexually pure.
A Final Encouragement
This is the end message:
Women who desire to be married: Strive to glorify God in your purity. Don’t hold out for your husband, but hold out for God who has commanded you and created sex for your marriage.
Women who are single: Keep striving to be sexual pure in your call to singleness. Let your motivation be the obedience to your heavenly Father and point others back to Christ through your faithful obedience.
Women teaching younger women: Don’t motivate your girls to save themselves for the non-existent, perfect guy. Motivate them to save themselves for the real, constant, perfect God.
I hope this can be an encouragement to you in your battle for sexual purity, whether you are fighting it yourself or coming alongside another.
Love and grace,