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Purity

Transparent stories from real people to create a series of “letters to my younger self” regarding virginity.

don't be conformedPart 9 of the Purity/Virginity series: (Today’s story is from a college student.)

Last night my daughter and I rewatched the movie “17 Again” starring Matthew Perry and Zac Efron.

Quick scenario:

  • Matthew’s character, Mike, is married (in the process of getting a divorce) from his high school sweetheart.
  • Mike was a star basketball player back in the day and missed the opportunity to further himself in college with a scholarship due to the fact that he ran off the court when he saw his unexpectedly pregnant high school love leave the game, and he followed after her.
  • Fast forward years later, with two high school aged children himself, quitting his job due to the fact that because of his lack of a college education he continues to get “passed up” on his job by younger/more educationally qualified folks, and Mike is now wishing he was 17 again to have a redo of his life.
  • Wahla! He is now 17 (and the adorably handsome young actor, in my opinion, Zac Efron is now Mike).
  • He’s back in high school, but now with his daughter and son. (The daughter that he had his senior year of high school.)
  • Events occur… Mike gains respect and a relationship with his children as his friends… he’s on the basketball team…The night that he left the court years prior is relived…and marriage is restored.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when the now-younger-Mike is in the health education class. That day’s subject is on human sexuality. The teacher makes a sarcastic comment about how they are talking about “abstinence” but says how it is “unlikely for seniors to remain abstinent”, and then begins passing our condoms. Mike takes a stand (while his daughter is in this class) and announces, “We should all make a pack to abstain from sex. Now who’s with me?” The class follows his question with laughter. While the condoms are being passed around Mike makes a passionate speech about “making love”, “waiting until you’re married”, and “holding a precious baby girl in your arms”. All the girls in the class begin to melt and puts their condoms back into the basket. They guys were like, “what?”. A fight ensues between Mike and “his daughter’s boyfriend” after the BF makes a comment about his weekend ahead.(Click here to checkout a You Tube clip on this portion of the movie. Awesome!)

This whole scene made me thinking about a letter that I had received from a college student regarding virginity. I’ve been waiting on God to reveal the right time to share it with you all, and I feel the nudge that now is that time.

So, this journal entry won’t be about “a letter to my younger self” like the others, but a still-young statement, followed by some comments and scripture. These are her words/feelings/opinion:

As virginity goes, I hate the way society is nowadays condemning anyone who still is a virgin but saying anyone who isn’t is a slut – and I think both are wrong. I respect the hell out of those girls for waiting. My best friend is a virgin and she does not judge anyone who isn’t and I love her for that.

That being said, I am not a virgin. I lost my virginity summer going into my junior year of high school and boy do I wish I waited. I thought I loved him and looking back at it now I know I didn’t,­ even though I would never take back any of the time we had together.

It’s so hard nowadays in college with the pressure from boys and the alcohol being a factor. I have done it with a few other boys and yes, alcohol has been involved which I am not proud of.

I know the person that I end up with will love me no matter what even though it will be a hard discussion one day that we have talking about all of these things but I want to be open about it- from me and from him.

I don’t think less of anyone who has or hasn’t had sex, I respect the people more that have waited and I give them props on props.

I’m not very open about my experiences with guys, but I talk about everything that has happened with my girlfriends and we are all very open about it. Some of them are in the same boat as I am and some don’t care at all that they have lost their virginity and some are virgins. Guys are much more vulgar and even way more open about it. I have rarely met a guy that cares as much about virginity and sex as much as girls do and that’s a shame. I know some that respect women more than others but that’s also a rarity in college as well

I so appreciate the realness of this girl. Here’s some thoughts:

  • Society does have its way of swaying people’s opinions about things, especially sex. Girls AND guys…don’t be conformed to the world. Romans 12:2 says, Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” You may think, “But I want to be with the in-crowd”, “Everybody else is doing it”, or “But he says he/she loves me”. Oh how your hearts tug for the longing of the acceptance of others. But PLEASE listen to me when I strive to encourage you to allow God to transform you! The things of this world, whether other’s opinions, sexual trends, etc., will change, but one thing will not change and last forever…God’s love for you and His desire for you to follow His ways and will for your life. (Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”)
  • Not-going-with-the-crowd can try your patience, test your faith, and yet make you strong. James 1:3-4 says, “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” Be strong! Stick with God through each step of your life. You’ll discover that you don’t need the acceptance of others. Only God’s approval matters.
  • Don’t know what to do? Ask God. “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” James 1:5-8. Be loyal to the one who created you.
  • It’s not only Mike’s plea to abstain, but God’s. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;” 1 Thessalonians 4:3
  • So you’re not a virgin…change, repent, trust God to help you through it, amazing things wait before you (and your spouse). Will you be judge by God in the end? Yes! We ALL will. So why not soften your judgement by abstaining now instead of thinking, “Well, I’ve done it so I may as well continue.” No!
  • Speaking of judging…I am so grateful to read how this beautiful young lady’s friends don’t judge nor does she. Judging is NOT for us to do, only God. Amen! “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
  • Alcohol…blurs vision and mind.  Beware!

Now, I don’t know this girl’s current status, and frankly it’s between her and God, not me. I do know that I pray for her and so many others I know to follow God’s path and seek His will for their lives.

Thank you, oh young one, for sharing your heart and thoughts. I love and appreciate your realness. Praying for you.

Thank you, reader, for praying for all those who are specifically in high school and college to remain abstinent for sex, or to turn their ways now from ALL sexual promiscuity.

Thank you, virgins, for staying strong. Don’t let the comments and ways of the world get to you.

Thank you, God, for being forgiving.

Now, thinking back about the movie and it’s ending, he did make the same decision regarding running off the court, but now it’s because Mike realizes how precious his older life is and the children he has. Just like in life, we make mistakes/ooops/ut-ohs, but what do we do about it? In this case, praise the Lord the pregnant teen didn’t abort. She and the father chose to marry and make a go at it.

When life throws us lemons, make lemonade.

Yea, Mike played the what-if game. We could play the “what-if” game. But it’s dangerous. Don’t live in the past, it’s done. Embrace the present. Learn from the past. Live today!

Oh my, how I could go on and on, but I sense God holding me back.  He knows best…remember that. ;)

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I pray that you will enjoy soaking up The Son every moment of each day. –Stephanie

dear younger me

Part 8 of The Purity Series.

Dear younger me,

Before I share anything with you about what you go through in life, please allow me to share with you something that I wish I would have known, paid attention to, and or lived by. It’s a lot, but worth the read and wisdom that comes from it:

“So I tell you, live the way the Spirit leads you. Then you will not do the evil things your sinful self wants. 17 The sinful self wants what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is against the sinful self. They are always fighting against each other, so that you don’t do what you really want to do. 18 But if you let the Spirit lead you, you are not under law.

19 The wrong things the sinful self does are clear: committing sexual sin, being morally bad, doing all kinds of shameful things, 20 worshiping false gods, taking part in witchcraft, hating people, causing trouble, being jealous, angry or selfish, causing people to argue and divide into separate groups, 21 being filled with envy, getting drunk, having wild parties, and doing other things like this. I warn you now as I warned you before: The people who do these things will not have a part in God’s kingdom. 22 But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their sinful self. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. 25 We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit. 26 We must not feel proud and boast about ourselves. We must not cause trouble for each other or be jealous of each other.” Galatians 5:16-26

Just the other day I was speaking with my son. I told him that just because you can, doesn’t mean that you should. This is actually scriptural too (1 Corinthians 6:12-14 make sure you read through 14!)

As guys, we think (and often believe, because it’s how we see it) we live in a world of “double standards”. People will tell you, “boys will be boys” or “oh, that’s just how boys are”, but we do not need to think of ourselves as better than we really are. (Romans 12:3) Be humble.

God created us all equal. Treat women with respect. God put them here for a purpose, and it is NOT for we boys to use for when we feel like we want to. Just sayin’.

Yes, I lived life the way “I” wanted to. If I wanted it, I schmoozed my way and got what “I” wanted. Most of the time it was not in a way that would glorify my momma and daddy, and definitely not God.

Looking back at all the women I had my way with (just to please my selfish needs), hard partying, and countless selfish acts to satisfy my immediate wants, I am ashamed.

When I finally met the one God had planned for me, I felt such humiliation and impureness as I told her about my past. Our relationship almost didn’t grow when I was so honest with her. Your future wife and I took some time off.

I knew she was the one for me. We had met when I finally decided to get back in church. I didn’t know at first that my life would feel such shame over my past and love for my future bride. I began to pray. I really didn’t know how to and where to even begin, but God did. I just started sharing my heart to God. You know what? He listened!

A few weeks had pasted before you and your bride reunited. We prayed together (that’s something a godly friend recommended we do), and I could feel forgiveness, love, and a pureness that I had never experienced before. Wow! How refreshing and what a relief!

If I could tell my younger self (which I am now) to not follow your ways but God’s, get your booty in church and surround yourself with good Christian folks, and to not forget all those bible teachings and preachings that my parents instilled in me and I learned as a kid…it would have saved me much heartache.

Yes, I am a man of God now. I love your momma and the children God blessed us with. Oh my! I pray for my son and their sisters daily! (Yikes!)

Stay strong, young man. Treat others (especially women) with respect. Put a smile on God’s face.

Sincerely and Humbly yours,

The Future You

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Part 7 of the “Purity” series:  Pregnancy before marriage?

lifeDear younger me,

You are ingrained through friends, family, media, school, etc. that the only way to get pregnant is to have sex. (Okay, unless you go and pay for all the medical technology, but I’m not taking about that here.) On the flip side, it has been embedded in your mind that the only way to NOT get pregnant is to NOT have sex. True!

I have had friends who got pregnant while on the pill or the slip of another form of “protection”. Listen, the only true way to not get pregnant, and to not contract any sexual disease as well, is to NOT have sex.

Let me tell you a little story. My (our) parents’ anniversary was always really close to my birthday. I’d do the calculations and ask questions, but my parents always denied that they got pregnant before marriage.

Later in life, when I was the age of sexual promiscuity, the truth was told. I (you) are a product of our parents sexual lust for one another before even thinking of marriage. They were Christians, but they gave into their flesh.

I thank them and God that they did not choose to abort me. They chose life. They chose me. Yay!

They have told me of the struggles they had in their young marriage. Their stories encouraged me to not to want to have to go through what they did.

Mom and dad totally gave their lives to Christ, and raised me and my siblings in church.

Their true story put fear in me when it came time to dating. I did NOT want to get pregnant before marriage.

So this letter is in turn not a story about what happens to you, but what happened and you were the result of.

Mom and Dad’s marriage was a success, but that is not the statistical norm. Through God’s grace, fear, and love they survived.

In 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 we read, “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

My folks always told me that their actions were not just a physical thing, but in the end it was totally a spiritual, mental, and emotional experience with real consequences.

So I want to encourage you, like “our” parents did me, to stay pure. Don’t give in to the desires of your flesh, but stay close and true to God and the desires He puts on your heart. Christ is IN you! When you use your body for anything other than glorifying Him, you are sinning against Him while He is within you. Ugh!

So, I guess besides the fear of God in me, I choose to remain a virgin until marriage because I fear of getting pregnant. It only takes one time…just like with mom and dad. Once!

Sincerely,

Your older self

 

If you find yourself in and unwanted/surprise/ooops with-child situation, PLEASE visit a pregnancy care center like: http://www.plantcitypregnancycenter.org/

If you want to know a biblical answer to the question, “If a couple gets pregnant before marriage do they have to get married?”, please check out: http://www.gotquestions.org/pregnant-married.html

If you are young and want to get more information of abstinence, check out: http://www.whatisimpact.com/

 

 

true devotionYou are about to read the sixth entry in a series titled “Purity”, specifically virginity. First of all, thank you for reading and sharing this topic that is so prevalent and needed to be discussed in our society. As with all entries in this series, I would encourage you to read before sharing with a young person. Today’s topic is regarding oral sex.

I am a sixth grade teacher at a middle school. I unfortunately hear and see the temptations, acts, and body language students (as young as the age of twelve!) deal with. My heart aches each time I hear of these young people delving into sexual activity. Parents, although some children/teens are innocent themselves, some of their friends may not be. The conversations are ones that should not be even in their casual vocabulary.

This type of conversation may not be one that you have with your middle school child; that is totally up to you. But, don’t be oblivious in thinking that they haven’t heard about oral sex or aren’t curious about it. I would encourage you to talk with your son and/or daughter and let them know the effects of any type of sex.

I’m praying for you all.

If this is the first entry you’ve read in this “Purity” series, here’s a brief synopsis: These are stories from readers of all ages and stages, virgins and non-virgins before marriage, some who are not married yet and others who have been married for decades, etc.. Whatever the case may be, their testimonies have been turned in to letters to their younger self.

Now here’s the sixth “Letter to my younger self”:

Dear younger me,

Yes, you remain a virgin until marriage, if you are talking about intercourse. I got into oral sex, thinking it was all cool and that I was still a “virgin”. I was also ashamed to ever admit that I was a real-sexual-intercourse-kind-of-virgin. Why was I ashamed? Because if I admitted that I was a virgin, I would have been looked down on, or people would wonder what was wrong with me. I also chose to not have intercourse because I did not want to get pregnant.

While I went through this process for years, I didn’t think that it affected me. Then I began to think about STDs. What’s even crazier to me is that I was still living the Christian life. Yes, you are a church going girl.

When I met my spouse, it was then that I realized that I felt used up. I felt dirty.   I didn’t feel as beautiful on the inside as I should, especially for a “Christian” girl.

I’ve discovered that ANY type of sexual activity before marriage is a sin against God, myself, and my future spouse.

I want to warn you and say, “Wait, wait, wait! Sex is something very very special and precious. It is a precious and holy gift that you will be glad you shared with only that one person. Wait in EVERY sexual way. Wait!”

Not only is sex physical, but it is something spiritual, mental, emotional, and more. It is oneness between two people, and a very godly experience.

Today I thank God for having mercy on me. The memories of those past experiences have stayed with me, and I do not desire that for you. Stay pure and true to your Christian faith and what the bible tells you.

“That is the way we should live, because God’s grace has come. That grace can save everyone. 12 It teaches us not to live against God and not to do the bad things the world wants to do. It teaches us to live on earth now in a wise and right way—a way that shows true devotion to God.” Titus 2:11-12

“Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.” Ephesians 5:3

“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4

With deepest respect,

Your older and wiser self

For more information on oral sex in and outside of marriage please visit: http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-oral-sex.html

Laguna BeachDear Younger Me,

Temptation is strong, present, and real. You will be tempted many times in your life to give into having ANY form of sexual relations with someone. Being tempted isn’t a sin. When you give in to that temptation…THAT is sin.

You will go away to college and meet a gentleman that is older than you. You won’t meet him in college, because he is about seven years older than you are. You will end up meeting him through mutual friends in church. You actually date this mutual friend’s brother before finding your “Mr. Right”.

While you are away living in a large university town, you discover that your classmates are quite promiscuous. They gossip about their relations, the number of guys the sleep with, and the partying that they regularly partake in. They even make fun of you, while still remaining your friends, for being a virgin.

When your “older boyfriend” comes to stay with you for weekend dates, they just can’t believe that you two do NOT sleep together. They just can’t grasp how two people can be in a relationship and not have physical intimacy.

Oh me, but you do have intimacy! Synonyms for the word intimacy are: passion, closeness, understanding, caring, and fidelity.

Passion. You can’t keep your hands off each other, but you know your boundaries. There is passion! Sometimes you’ll have to go for a walk, a long walk, together to make sure you are out of a temptatious surrounding. But you stay strong and respect the boundaries that you’ve set for each other. Boundaries that are “God-approved”.

Closeness. Closeness isn’t just meaning physical space. It describes your relationship with God and each other. Closeness means the level of communication you have with one another.

Understanding. Understanding that those weekend dates when he will come to visit can be tempting, but a greater understanding that God has a plan, and that having sex before marriage is NOT part of His plan. The fear of God was instilled in both of you, and you both desire to please God and not man.

Caring. This boyfriend is a godly man. He is so compassionate about you, but he is more caring about his relationship with God. That’s what you want! You want a mate to love Jesus more than they love you. That may be difficult to comprehend, but trust me…you want it because they want what God wants.

Fidelity. Did you know that intimacy and fidelity are synonyms? Well, they are. It means being faithful to your spouse. You and your man are not married until college is over. You must remain loyal to each other until you two become one in marriage.

Fast forward a couple of years from when your college classmates make fun of you and listen to the comments they now say:

“Jill, I know I always laughed at and didn’t believe you at first about how you and your boyfriend did not have sex with each other, but the truth is, I so wish I had that kind of life. I admire you.

“Jill, you are the one who will have the “white-picket-fence” type of marriage. You remained a virgin through years of dating. That’s the kind of relationship I wish I had.”

“Jill, be glad you didn’t sleep with your man. You are so strong and good. I was weak and bad. I’m sorry I made fun of you.”

To God be ALL the glory! Your actions (or lack of in their case) spoke a volume of a testimony.

So…younger-self, remain pure. Stay true to God. Others will gossip and laugh at you, but in the end, they will glorify you. When they do, give God all the glory! That is a testimony that speaks loud and strong.

Sincerely,

Yourself about twenty-five years later happily married to “Mr. Right”

the ultimate wedding gift

Dear Younger-Self:

You saved yourself for marriage for 29 years. While there are those who applaud you, you do take a lot of grief for it, from men as well as women.

Is it hard staying a virgin? Absolutely! Especially a male. Believe me. Girls saw it as a challenge, even at a Southern Baptist University. Thank God for will power, self-control, and being married to education!

I believe that staying pure is the ultimate wedding gift I can give my wife.

You will have an unfortunate event that takes place. Mom, the most important person in your world – best friend, confidante, biggest supporter, etc., passes away when you are in your twenties. That experience will throw your world upside down. It will create a huge void that your work just can’t fill.

Mom always said you’d meet the right girl in church. After mom passes you will meet a girl, think that you are falling in love, and end up marrying her. Unless…you take your time and get to know her a little bit more first.

Despite the fact that your bride is a Christian and grew up in a Christian family, she doesn’t see that saving yourself for your spouse is really possible.  She ends up being with quite a few before you.

Not to pass any blame at all, but the void that you feel with mom dying was yearning to be complete. The girl you may marry isn’t the right match for you.   And if mom hadn’t died shortly before, I think I would’ve seen it.

I didn’t get to know her well enough honestly and who she really was. If not for that void I was searching to fill, I wouldn’t have moved as fast and would’ve, at least in my mind, seen she wasn’t the one for me. I know mom would’ve been wise counsel for me if she had been alive, so there’s that too. No blame on anyone intended, just was an impossible situation for me at the time. Think I’m still searching for that “One.”

So my advice to you is WAIT AS LONG AS IT TAKES. So you may be the thirty or forty year old virgin. Great! Don’t settle. Don’t look for others to feel any voids in your life, look only to your Heavenly Father. Allow God to fill you and make you complete.  Get to know your future spouse and their heart.  When you need wise counsel, seek God and godly wisdom before jumping all into to anything in life, not just marriage.

Sincerely,

Your Future Self

“Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband.”  Hebrews 13:4a

 

 

 

mercyDear thirty-years-plus-younger-me,

May 15th is a day that I will never forget. No, it’s not my birthday, nor my anniversary, but the day another day that is imbedded in my mind.

I was considered a “good girl”. I went to church and knew what the bible told me about sexuality.

When I met John, I was planning on staying true to my “church-girl” knowledge. We began dating and a few months later I felt as if I was “in love”.  How could I not?  He was tall, athletic, and handsome! I thought that having sex was the next step. In some ways I felt like that was how I was to keep him and our relationship.

Prom night of my senior year was just around the corner. I’d seen how prom night was glamourized in the movies. I’d heard how couples go away with a group of friends and have a fun night away after prom. In just a few months my boyfriend and I were going to be going to different colleges, and I didn’t want him to forget about me. I “loved” him, and I he said he loved me too. The time to demonstrate my love for him seemed perfect.

May 15th came and went, and so did my physical purity. I lost my virginity. Me remembering the exact date…that right there should give you some indication of the impact it makes on one’s life.

Now that I look back I see my weakness. At the time, I did not realize the emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual bond it created and caused.

When he went away to a separate college than me, he took a part of me with him. We were apart from each other in distance, but we were also apart in our relationship. Our relationship had dwindled. We would try to rekindle our love each time we saw each other over the next few months, but in the end it didn’t work out for us to be together.

The emotional bonds caused turmoil for me for the next few years in my life. Breaking up and getting back together with a guy that was not my life partner nor soulmate. I desperately tried to hold on to what I had already lost. But since I had already lost my virginity, it was not a “big deal” to have sex with other boyfriends. This led me to three additional empty relationships.

Then something changed…I did not know it at the time but God was working in my life. I met a young man. We began dating and, yes, we had sex. It was not an ideal location, time, and space (in my college apartment). What I didn’t realize until much later was that he was a virgin. When he told me that that was his first time, it changed everything. I thought to myself, “Was I really THAT girl? Was I that causal and callous regarding sex and my body?”

Wow…only reflecting now, almost thirty years later, do I come to terms with the fact that by my choice of having sex, I robbed him, my future husband, of the pure wife he had always dreamed of. How selfish of me!

You see, as a teen, life was all about me. Through the years I have learned to be less selfish, to put others and their needs before mine, and more importantly to put God before anyone or anything else.

I am grateful that my God and my husband are forgiving and show mercy. If I could do it all over again, I would make a different choice…I would WAIT.

Ephesians 2:4-5 says, “But God is rich in mercy, and He loved us very much. We were spiritually dead because of all we had done against Him. But He gave us new life together with Christ. (You have been saved by God’s grace.)”

People will say they love you, but God loves you so much more! I am grateful for the rich mercy He has shown me.

Sex is a strong bond physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally that is meant to be between a husband and a wife.

Please take my advice and save yourself for the one you marry, not only for you, but for them too.

Is that hard? Definitely!

Will it be worth it? Absolutely!

You can do it! You are a strong and beautiful young girl. Hold on to that “church girl” self and believe that God’s word is true. Don’t get caught up in the glamorization of prom night, college parties, or any other scene that you feel temptation is too strong. You are stronger!

Save yourself from the mental, physical, and psychological chaos having sex with someone other than your spouse brings.

Lovingly,

Yourself years later

 

Throughout the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing real stories from real people who have a real message they want to share with you.  Names have either been omitted or changed to protect their privacy.

I pray that these testimonies will touch your heart.

I thank each and every one of you who have shared your hearts.  I love and appreciate you and your honesty, and  am so grateful for the transparency that each of you presented.

Today’s testimony comes from a young lady who is still in college.

purity 1

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

My whole life my ultimate goal was to stay a virgin until my wedding night. Girls who I went to high school with would constantly ask me why I was waiting, and guys would pressure me to give in to the temptation. I knew that staying pure was something that was rare, but I was willing to wait for my husband and I whole heartedly wanted to honor God.

My freshman year in college I was told would be the best year of your life. I would make new friends, have fun, and it was a time to grow up.

The “college life” got the best of me and I started falling away from the church and from God. I started partying and tried so hard to be accepted by the cool, older college kids. I was trying to find my identity in that.

I lost my virginity during that time and it was while I was under the influence of alcohol. The night it happened after I sobered up, I realized what I had done and I felt completely AWFUL.

Something that I had waited for my entire life was gone in a split second.

In that moment I thought that I would never get forgiveness from God.

I went through a really rough 6 months after that. I fell deeper into the sin. I thought, “Well I’ve already done it now so there is no going back”, and I was delighting in the guilty pleasures. Fortunately I’ve only slept with one guy (he was my boyfriend at the time), but every time we had sex I had been drinking. Deep down I knew it was still wrong but I continued to do it, and when I drank I didn’t have the remorse until afterwards. The worst part about it was I didn’t love him. When I had sex with him the first time we were only dating 3 weeks. Then I felt like we had to keep dating because I had sex with him and I couldn’t get out of it. Eventually I hit rock bottom and I realized that God was trying to reveal Himself to me the whole time.

I realized that what I was taught as a child was true. God is a FORGIVING God and He LOVES me no matter what I did. He just wants me to strive to live a life that brings glory to His name.

In that moment I asked for forgiveness and from that day forward I have strived to stay pure. Although I have forgiveness from God, I still have that baggage and it will be with me for the rest of my life.

Looking back, I was filling a void in my life. I was yearning for acceptance from others and wanting to fit in. Actually, there was a guy who I was dating in high school who broke up with me because he said I was too good of a girl and he was a bad guy and he just couldn’t date me anymore because I didn’t want to have sex with him. I think that had a lot to do with the void that was missing because I wanted to just be accepted and wanted. Having a relationship was really important to me (ugh so dumb), but I think I was just tired of people judging me in a way because I was such a good kid. So that’s where I was weak and fell into the temptation.

Now, I desire to fill any voids with Jesus Christ. HE makes me whole again!

Dating has become harder for me because I am searching for a man after Gods own heart, and more times than not guys who love the Lord as much as I do are still virgins. For me it’s a struggle to find someone who will accept that baggage and want to be with someone who isn’t a virgin.

With that being said, I KNOW the Lord has someone amazing planned for me and I don’t let my past mistakes define who I am or let it shape my identity in God.

My advice to people who aren’t married and still virgins: WAIT. WAIT. WAIT. It will be worth it in the end. A quick moment of “pleasure” isn’t worth the lifetime of guilt, hurt, and shame. Your virginity is one of the best presents you can give your spouse. Resist the temptation and the Lord will reward you 10x over.

My advice for people who aren’t married and aren’t virgins: Let go and LET GOD. Give the hurt, shame, and guilt to the Lord and let him wrap you in His arms and hold you close. Strive to also resist the temptation from here on out. There is such thing as being pure and not being a virgin. You physically are not a virgin, yes, but SPIRITUALLY? YES 1000X YES. Once you have asked for forgiveness, you have been made new in HIS eyes. You are a virgin in HIS eyes. Sure, this might not clear your memory of the past things you have done, but it does clear your future up with the one who truly matters, and that is GOD. He will bless you for putting your faith in Him and allowing him to take control of the situation.

 

A Colorado sky, from my friend Merrie.

A Colorado sky, from my friend Merrie.

Well, I guess the time has come to begin the series.

A couple of months ago I felt God nudging me to journal about purity, specifically virginity. I was like, “Seriously?” And God was like, “Yep.”

I have been so excited, humbled, and so many other emotions throughout this experience by the many letters, texts, messages, and conversations I’ve received and had with you all.

I wasn’t sure how God was going to lay it all out, but now I see. The responses have come from high school and college age students, anonymous and not, single, married, divorced, very few virgins, and countless who lost their virginity before marriage. Women were the ones who responded the most, with only a handful of men. The way things seem to be flowing, it’s still not too late to send me your thoughts. I would LOVE to hear more stories so this could be as real of a testimony as one can get without revealing any names. (Totally confidentiality.)

So, here’s the plan (at least that’s the other nudge I’m getting from God right now): There will be a series of “Letters to my younger self”. The responses were so overwhelming and diverse, one journal entry wasn’t going to cut it. Even though the ages and stories were diverse, there was a common thread that appeared to be weaved through them all.

This morning three various places in scripture were laid before me:

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Luke 1:26-28

“Remember what happened long ago. Remember, I am God and there is no other God. There is no other like Me.” Isaiah 46:9

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

When I read these, it was as if the Lord said, “Now is the time.”

So I hope that over the next couple of weeks that you will stay tuned, share, continue to send me your stories, and pray. Two things that this series has, and desiring continuation of, is being bathed in prayer and being transparent.

I pray many blessings and much JOY for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie