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Dear Princess, Number 9 (Spring 1999) | Timeless Truths Publications

The Path of Purity

Mrs. Carol Faidley

No discussion about love in action would be complete without reference to purity, courtship, and marriage, three closely-linked topics. Assuredly, you have given due consideration to these meaningful matters, all demanding a goodly measure of patience, prayer, and trust. For us whom the Sovereign Lord has richly blessed with children, it is never too soon to begin learning and teaching scriptural truths in these areas. Even those without little ones underfoot or by their side can pray for friends and family and strive to be an example of purity and godliness. We want to overcome the humanistic, immoral influences upon our families of a me-first, entertainment-oriented, romance-mentality generation. To do so, we must do our research! We must be ever vigilant to explain and demonstrate God’s point of view on love, romance, and relationships…. long before our young people turn “sweet sixteen,” and erroneously equate “being grown up” with dating, romance, and intimacy. Perhaps our parents failed us in this arena of adolescence. Is that any excuse for us to keep from doing our part in training our children in God’s ways? God forbid, may it never be so! If they can internalize scriptural principles and learn from our mistakes, rather than making the same ones themselves… then all the better!

Moral purity is not just a matter of heeding a long list of do’s and don’ts or refraining from crossing a line called impurity. It begins in the heart and motivates us to move with determination toward a life of holiness and righteousness, no matter what our age. “Who may ascend the hill o fthe Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.”* (Psalm 24:3-4) “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”* (Psalm 51:10) “Blessed are the pure in heart,for they will see God.”* (Matthew 5:8) Young people today desperately need a Biblical foundation for living and a Christian world view—especially in this society where the Christian foundations are crumbling and the moral absolutes of right and wrong are made light of or ignored all together.

Purity is not a static condition either, but an ongoing process—something we have to constantly work on… but how? One pursues a path of purity by seeking God and His wisdom and avoiding situations of temptation in daily life. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”* (Matthew 6:13) “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”* (1 Corinthians 10:13)NIV The catch is that we have to be dedicated to finding that way out of temptation, and even anticipating it beforehand, so we can avoid evil and even the appearance of evil. In other words, we must support the beliefs and convictions of our heart with our actions in day-to-day living, a plan that takes wisdom, discernment, and integrity, as we test every thought, deed, and motive by the truth and love of Christ.

The Book of Proverbs, God’s textbook on wisdom, is brimming full to overflowing with wise counsel on how to keep on the paths of righteousness and moral purity. Solomon advises listening and heeding parents’ instruction (for children and young people), guarding our hearts, and staying away from evil. When the rubber meets the road, our walk must back up our talk. Our feet should never take us where our hearts cannot keep us with a clear conscience. Where we go, what we do, what we read or watch, who we choose as friends, what music we listen to, what we do with our free time, and even how we dress and carry ourselves must line up with sound scriptural principles for the Christian life. The more we read and study Proverbs, the more God’s wisdom becomes a part of us—and Biblical ethics can influence all our decision-making.

Modesty in how we clothe our bodies and how we interact with people are a real indication of our commitment to God’s best for us, as well as a measure of our spiritual maturity. Knowing, as women, that a weak point for men is often “the eyes,”* (1 John 2:16) we must disregard worldly fads and fashions and purpose to dress in a manner that will adorn the Gospel of Christ. We want to draw attention to our face, where Christ’s love can shine out, not to our bodies, as the world does. In the majority of social settings today, including church services, it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate Christian women from those of the world, because they dress the same. My dear sisters, this should not be! Design, cut, style, length, snugness of fit, femininity, fabric thickness, and transparency need to be considered in choosing Christ-honoring apparel. Women should dress like women, not men. (And vice versa.)

As with any issue, one can show legalism if the spirit of the law is disregarded and we do not want to err in that way. Yet, I urge you to closely and honestly examine your modesty quotient and testimony to the world. What message are you and your daughters really giving out: “I’m a woman of the world and I’m available,” or, “I’m a child of the King and I’m not for sale”? A dear Christian friend was bold enough to challenge me regarding dress over a decade ago, for which I am extremely grateful. I now pass on the challenge to you! As moms, rather than being a stumbling block to our daughters, who imitate and look up to us, and to the men and boys God has brought into our lives, let’s purpose to choose a better way. Concentrate on developing the inner beauty of Godly character, which is of great worth in God’s sight, and the outward beauty will become less important.

Begin by prayerfully evaluating and rearranging your wardrobe to promote modesty, discretion, and moral purity. Take time to do a check up periodically, asking the Holy Spirit, our best Teacher, to guide you. Sometimes outfits can be altered to an acceptable level of modesty, but often just have to be replaced. Build up slowly and try to choose shades that are becoming on you, especially your four or five best colors that you can mix and match. Yard sales, thrift shops, consignment stores, or home sewing are all great ways to find conservative clothing and economically expand your wardrobe. Forget current fashions altogether; they are atrocious! The trio of modesty, discretion, and moral purity is woven together in unity and purpose, just as we parents should be with each young person in our home. “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”* (Ecclesiastes 4:12)