Simply put: purity isn't a "singleness thing," it's a lifetime thing.
Yes, that's right.
I remember when I was single, I worked hard to remain pure while I waited to be married! It was difficult. Our sex-saturated society mocks abstinence and pushes every temptation imaginable into our view. It is only by God's grace and His strength that we can walk through our single years and remain pure in body and heart. But this post isn't about purity while single. It is about purity while married. I know some of you singles reading this might be shocked and wonder how purity can be a challenge after marriage! I mean, doesn't the struggle end once you walk the aisle and say your vows?? Far from it, I'm afraid.
Before marriage, the struggle is to keep our body and heart pure, saved for our spouse. So what's the struggle AFTER marriage? Actually, it is exactly the same! - to keep our body and heart pure, saved for our spouse. And the battle is fierce.
Take a look around. Do you see the divorce rate? Have you noticed that affairs and infidelity is at an all-time high? Have you seen the ads, commercials, and TV shows that mock a happy, fulfilled marriage and parade lust and adultery like it's something we should be engaging in? I have. The other day I saw a yogurt commercial where two women gulped down spoonfuls of Greek yogurt because, magically, the more they ate, the more their husbands turned into a celebrity look-a-like. Hmm. A subtle point to lust? Looks like it.
Satan is sharp and is, indeed, roaming around like a hungry lion anxious to devour our marriages. It is up to us to build up walls of protection and guard against his devices.
So what are some practical ways we can have purity in our marriage?
- First, delve into the Word of God. We are like sponges. If we are full of Jesus, there will be no room for anything else. It is not just important, it's VITAL, to soak ourselves in the Bible. Memorize scripture. Learn more of Who God is. Study. In so doing, we will grow and soak in all that He is. And the more of Him we have, the less of the world we will want.
- PRAY. It is important to saturate our marriage and our husband in prayer. Pray for your husband to be strong, to be courageous, to be the leader that God has called him to be. Pray for strength for him when temptation arises. Remember that just as Satan is after you, he is also going to come against your husband. Pray. It's powerful.
- Have an accountability partner. It can be your husband. It can be a friend (of the same gender). Whomever you chose, make sure that they are strong in their faith and passionate about purity. Pray together. Lift one another up with encouragement. I am thankful that I have a few select women in my life that I can call on and say, "Hey, Satan is trying to fill my mind with impurity. Pray for me right now, will you?" We need each other. It is important to have someone cheering you on, running the race with you, and lifting you up in prayer.
- Remove the bait. Satan will come at us in different ways. What tempts you may not tempt me. So it is important to search our hearts and lives and find whatever our "thing" is that is enticing and remove it. If your computer is a problem, put in a filter, get rid of it, or appoint someone to keep you accountable. There are websites that link your net history to another's computer for better accountability. If it is a TV show or HBO blockbuster, consider turning off your satellite or cable or removing your TV from your home altogether. It isn't extreme to obey the Lord.
- Steer clear of the devil's pawns. Impurity is everywhere. TV shows like "Sex and the City" and "Friends" where fornication and adultery is praised, should not be considered. Movies like "Magic Mike" where women are encouraged to gawk and giggle over male strippers, we should stay away from. Romance novels like "Fifty Shades of Grey" that explicitly describe what should be private and sacred, should be tossed in the garbage. Music that approves what God calls a sin, we shouldn't let our ears hear. Do not give place to anything that is unholy. If you compromise in the name of entertainment, don't be surprised if you suddenly find yourself unsatisfied in your marriage and far from the Lord.
God is pure, therefore Satan is on the attack against the purity and sacredness of marriage. It doesn't end at the wedding. Purity is a lifestyle. It is a direction. It is an attribute of Christ and, therefore, should be pursued forever.
Cheering you on!