A student recently asked a loaded question through eyes of pain. I don’t know what the pain was or what had happened, but she asked in longing: What is purity? She said, “I’m wondering how something not pure can ever be pure again.”
The question also came with fear that I’ve noticed before. A teenager wants to share the details of their journey with someone safe. But what they’ve seen and felt in the church makes them wonder if it’s ever safe to be real, honest and imperfect.
Shouldn’t the church be the safest place on the planet for a kid to ask a question such as what is purity? There should be no better place to ask why or to find care. So here’s my attempt to talk about what is purity to kids who wonder if they’ll be okay.
What Is Purity: A Scriptural Look
Isn’t it ironic that the word pure has become so confusing? I’m sorry it can make you feel sad about who you are or what you’ve done or gone through. There’s a holy type of sorrow, a grace God gives us for our failures before we ask to be forgiven. This sorrow serves as a guide map back to his love and freedom. This is a better sorrow—one that leads to wholeness and healing.
But sorrow that comes from feeling ashamed in confession isn’t from God. That type of sorrow wasn’t meant for your heart. God loves, forgives, receives, wants and adores you. He waits for you to turn to him and never gives up. The first thing on our lips when you walk through the church doors or when we bump into you at the mall should be “God loves you.”
If there was a time that made you feel unsafe on your journey with Jesus, it was probably because we messed up the message. I pray you’ll find that there’s enough grace to wrap around your entire situation. Not just some of your situation but all of it.
I hope you feel and grow to believe that God loves you beyond your mistakes. Also know that your purity is so much more than your sexuality. When people discuss what is purity, they tend to talk about sexual things. Things that tend to happen on dates, in cars, at movie theaters, at parties, after parties, outside, on the street or in the quietness of home.
Purity Involves Surrendering Your Heart
What is purity? Purity may have something to do with what you do with your parts, but it has more to do with how much you’ve surrendered your heart. Nothing can take away the purity God gives to you. That’s because no one can reverse the effects of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. If you need it, it’s yours. You can ask for it.
Purity is a condition of flawlessness. The sobering and somewhat comforting news is that we all start off like Linus, holding his dirt-wad blanket. We’re scruffy and flawed in sin.
Being human equals being in need. We’ve all messed up. Jesus is the only One who hasn’t messed up. He carries us to God in the only way that perfects us again. Jesus carries our purity in bags of mercy, and his very sacrificial offering covers all your sin—all my sin—everyone’s sin. The gift of God is a flawless forever life in Christ.
So even in your imperfection, God is making you perfect in the arms of his Son. It’s never too late to ask to be made perfect again.