Purity: A Second Look

Being the semi-snarky version of myself, I recently posted this status to Facebook:

I appreciate that ‘The Bachelor’ and his fiance are saving their intimacy for marriage, but is really a “win” for purity if the Bachelor spent all last season making out with 12 different women in the running? Just asking. Call me a cynic.

(To be fair, my first post read “woman” instead of “women” – iPhone, my bad, I own it.)

I truly am glad for Sean Lowe, aka ‘The Bachelor’, and his fiance (the soon-to-be Mrs. Bachelor?) Really, I am. The couple has expressed a desire to “abstain from having sex until they are declared husband and wife” the news tells us – the fact that such news is “news” is another blog for another day – and good on them for making a pledge and sticking to it.

abc_the_bachelor_jef_130314_wblogWhat I find ironic, as my Facebook status suggests, is that ‘The Bachelor’ Sean Lowe spent all last season of this how-is-it-still-running reality show locking lips with 12 other rose-ceremony contenders. As one of my Facebook buddies aptly noted, “I thought I was the only one that thought monogamy and celibacy were both important to purity!”

I’m assuming Lowe’s commitment to purity didn’t begin the night before he gave away his 11th rose (I don’t know, maybe it did). The point is that purity is a lifestyle, not just a commitment to keep your clothes on. ‘The Bachelor’ has gotten some flack for claiming to be a “born-again virgin”, I’m not even talking about that. (For the record, it’s totally legitimate that people can turn from a former life and turn to a new one. That is the Gospel, after all!) My trouble is Lowe’s definition of “purity”.

The dictionary defines purity as “the quality or state of being pure”. Did you catch that? Quality or state, a state of being. In other words, it isn’t what you do it’s what you are. If you know me, you should know I can hardly go a blog post with referencing Scripture. The Bible says we are to “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:11-12) Example. Again, a word that implies continuing behavior.

‘The Bachelor’ may have purposed to not sleep with a woman until he can sleep with his wife. That really is a great ambition. Purity, though, demands more of our bodies, more of our hearts, more of our minds.

“Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:15-16)

If you think that remaining pure all the time is a tall order, it is. A life that has been made new by Jesus is a life that has daily desire and ability to commit to radical purity. Purity, or holiness you could say, isn’t practiced in a vacuum. Yes, it is difficult. Yes, the standards are high. But, yes, it is possible by admitting that we can’t and God – through the life of Jesus Christ – has. Jesus offers you his purity in exchange for your impurity – take it.And, as a general rule, don’t take relationship advice from reality TV stars that spend two months hanging out in a hot tub with a handful of gals trying to find ‘the one’.

That was free.

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