When my husband and I moved to Dallas five years ago, we joined a church that stressed the importance of living in authentic community. We plugged into a small group that consisted of couples who’d been married 1-3 years. Our mentor couple paved the way for us to be open and accountable in all areas of our marriage, including the often-taboo topic of sex.
I remember picking up the phone and calling my mom to share a struggle I had. I was in seminary and had just started dating my husband Jeremiah. I had a strong attraction to him spiritually, emotionally, and physically and I felt like temptations to compromise my purity were all around me.
I shared with my mom how I couldn’t wait to get married so those struggles would disappear. She paused for a minute and shared a very important truth:
“Samantha, even when you’re married, you’ll have to work hard at your purity….
Last week, while we were eating out I gazed out the window and snow started sprinkling out of the dark sky, covering the sheet of snow on the ground. It was heavenly. So clean. Fresh. Pure. I could almost taste it. I laughed and smiled like a little girl.
I was reminded of the verse in Isaiah that says: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” – Isa. 1:18
Sin stains. It’s dirty. Evil. Wicked. It breaks the heart of God. It has separated all of us from His love. Its pathway leads to death.
Sin doesn’t deserve to be made whiter than snow.
But because of Jesus’ suffering on the cross, his resurrection, and our repentance and belief in Him, we’re made clean again. The crimson stain is blotted out because of his shed blood- as if we’ve never rebelled at all.
Today, even though there’s no blanket of snow keeping the ground warm here in Dallas, I feel like a little girl leaping for joy that my sins are forgiven, but also perplexed why God chooses to save us?
Abortion. It has happened to one out of four women in the church today (yes, the church). Abortion is familiar territory in my husband’s family. Sitting on her couch one day, my relative chose to reveal the pain she still carries today 35 or so years ago. Hers was performed in the 70s when free love and free sex danced among the streets. When not much was known about abortion- just that it was a procedure.
“We [her husband] just did it not knowing what we were doing,” she told me. “I’m sick to my stomach every time I think about it. The loss is still with me knowing we have a baby in heaven.”
It felt surreal to hear about her pain– the emotional, physical, and spiritual toll it has had on her. She knows it and desires to educate others about the trauma she experienced and deals with today.
The bottom line is that God’s grace is still near. His forgiveness is real no matter what what we have done. And she knows that. But sadly, it will never take away the pain she senses every day. This video of a courageous 12 yr. old girl stirs my heart to action– especially now that I have a greater glimpse into just how deep the pain cuts.
I just received several copies of the bookzine I contributed to with LifeWay. It’s called Insider: What Guys are Thinking and Why You Need to Know by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice (based on the book: For Young Women Only). I contributed the article: Avoiding Digital Dangers. My main points for teen girls to consider when they’re online were: Say no to excessive digital doses, peel off the masks, guard from infatuation, and your relationship with God trumps everything. You may just have to purchase the book to read further. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to see the article. Teens using wisdom on the internet is a huge passion of mine and I’d be glad to offer any advice.
Newsweek claims the Jonas Brothers are so pure they could be carved from a bar of ivory soap. All three of them have made committments to wait for sexual activity until they are married. They are setting the bar high and that is just what we need. Amanda Riddle, one of the brightest-mature teens I’ve ever known, has a poster of the brown eyed brothers in her bedroom. In her eyes, they are the hottest teen band on the planet and the phenomenon is growing. It’s pretty evident the role their parents play in their life. They thought of the purity ring thing and they figured their parents were smart. Now they wear them everywhere they tour. They give credit to their parents for their choices. http://www.newsweek.com/id/105564