Pastor’s Column: Purity & Pre-Decision in Relationships
When it comes to teenagers, one of the most important things to convey is that our purity is tied to God’s will. It’s impossible to live God’s will for our life and have a totally different idea about sex and dating outside of what God says. It’s like serving two gods; you cannot be passionate about Jesus and passionate about an impure relationship at the same time. The Bible says in Matthew 6:24 that, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate the one and love the other or you will be devoted to one and despise the other.”
In a dating relationship, if we love Jesus and at the same time engage in something sexual, then we are telling God that it’s not Him that we want in our hearts but our own sexual desires. It all boils down to two things: purity and pre-decision.
Purity is absolute. If you’re impure in one area, then you run the risk of allowing that impurity to affect every area of your life. In a relationship outside of marriage, your purity has a ceiling. You can only be pure in your physical affection to a certain point before it demands that you take it to a level reserved only for marriage.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything that you do and this is the wellspring of your life.” This goes way beyond sex, this is all about your very identity, who you are. Every single time you compromise purity, you lose a bit of who God created you to be. And on your wedding day, if there is nothing left of you, then there’s nothing left for your spouse.
Now this is where pre-decision comes in.
If a teen is going to do what it takes to guard his or her heart and keep themselves pure then one not only have to pursue purity, but they also have to make some pre-decisions. I liken pre-decision to the backseat of a car: The time to decide that you don’t want to have sex before marriage is not when you’re lying in the backseat of your boyfriend or girlfriend’s car, but rather before you get there in the first place. You have to decide beforehand what your standards are, and not in the midst of lust or emotion.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 it says, “God wants you to be pure and holy, so you should keep clear of ALL sexual sin. Then each of you will control your body in a way that’s holy and honorable, not giving into lust…” The way you do this is to decide ahead of time that you’re going to stop falling into the same traps you always do.
All this said, a consistent pursuit of a relationship with Christ cannot be understated. It’s in Jesus that one finds their identity and purpose. Outside of a life-giving relationship with Jesus one is left to pursue other means to try and fulfill that which only Jesus can fulfill. Guarding your heart begins with giving it to the One who crafted it in the first place and allowing Him to define its value.
Pastor Terry Parkman is the NextGen Pastor at River Valley Church. From youth, to young adults, to emerging leaders, Terry desires to work with other leaders in developing a movement that is defined by a generation of influencers who are passionate about Jesus Christ and what He calls this generation to accomplish for the Kingdom. With over 16 years of experience in working with the Next Generation, Terry is passionate about helping this generation discover their purpose, developing them as leaders, and empowering them to step out into the plan of God for their lives.