Purity…a gift? So says Jonathan Daugherty in this post, and, by George, the Bible seems to back him up. Paul writes in Titus 2:14 that Jesus “gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.” Jesus, the gift in whom we hope and thus purify ourselves.
The problem, of course, is that we don’t think of purity as an ongoing gift, let alone the work of Christ within us. We think of sexual purity as synonymous with only virginity, or abstinence, or pledges…none of which are enduring (e.g., for the person who abstains from pre-marital sex and remains a virgin until the wedding night, what then? Is purity no longer possible?). We miss the message of the Bible that purity is an ongoing pursuit, a long obedience, God’s very will for us and a result of “God-dependent effort.”
Jonathan gets it right in his challenge to us to shift our thinking regarding our personal pursuit of purity, a journey that “is not one of ease or comfort. In fact, it costs. A lot. And it even requires pain as part of the process.” Part of that shift, as individuals and parents, involves viewing each day not as a burden or an exercise in anxiety management, but as an opportunity to embrace the process of purification as a gift that involves suffering but produces perseverance, character, and hope.
“It is often hard to see this connection between pain and purity, but once it is realized the pace seems to quicken toward the life you always desired.” Jonathan Daugherty