This post is for teenagers on the subject of purity.

A student recently asked a loaded question. The question came from eyes of pain. I don’t know what the pain was or what had happened but it was a question posed in longing.

“What is pure? I’m wondering how something not pure can ever be pure again.”

The question also came with fear 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 ever will be safe to be real, to be honest, to be imperfect.

Shouldn’t the church be the safest place on the planet for a kid to ask a question?

There should be no better place to ask why. There should be no better place to find care.

So, here’s my attempt to talk about what purity is to a kid who’s wondering if they’re going to be okay.

What is pure?

Isn’t it ironic that the word “pure” has become so confusing? I’m sorry that it can make you feel sad about who you are or what you have done or gone through. There is a holy type of sorrow, a grace God gives us for our failures before we ask to be forgiven–a sorrow that acts like a guide map back to his love and freedom. That kind of sorrow is a better sorrow–one that leads to wholeness and healing.

But the type of sorrow that comes from feeling ashamed in confession is not from God. That sorrow wasn’t meant for your heart. God loves, forgives, receives, wants, and adores you–God waits for you to turn to him and will never ever give up. It should be the first thing on our lips when we see you walk through the church doors or when we bump into you at the mall- 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 that you’ll find that there is enough grace to wrap around your entire situation. Not just some of your situation, all of your situation.

I hope you feel and grow to believe that you are loved beyond your mistakes and that your purity is so much more than your sexuality.

When you hear people talking about purity they tend to talk about sex things. Things that tend to happen on dates, in cars, at movie theaters, at parties, after parties, outside in the woods, on the street, or in the quietness of a home.

Purity includes your sexuality but isn’t trumped by your sexuality. It’s not the end game of your purity. It’s a part of your 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.

No one thing can take away the purity that God give’s to you because no one can reverse the effects of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. If you need it. It is yours. You can ask for it.

Purity is a condition of flawlessness. The sobering and somewhat comforting news is that all of us start of 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 and he carries us to God in the only way that perfects us again. He carries our purity in bags of mercy and his very sacrificial offering covers ALL of your sin–all of 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 ask to be made perfect again.

You can pray, “Jesus, make me flawless forever. I want to be like you.”

Sure, the Bible does talk about stuff that people will struggle with. And we can talk about ways to sort through all of these things another time, because they’re important things to learn about. But when you’re asking if purity is no longer an option for you–because the mess was too big of a mess. The answer is no.

  • Lust
  • Greed
  • Selfish Desires
  • Sexual Compromise
  • Crude talk
  • Addiction
  • Lying
  • Perverted Thoughts
  • Abuse

None of these things were things that God wants for his kids–none of this stuff was a part of God’s plan. But none of these things keep you from being made perfect again.

Even when one or many of these things show up in your life, God wraps you in…

  • forgiveness
  • healing
  • compassion
  • kindness
  • humility
  • gentleness
  • patience
  • mercy

God teaches you how to forgive (even to forgive yourself) and gives you the virtue of love that pulls every good thing together. God does this when we cry out to Him for help.

As you cry for help, you can find the purest place possible–it is reserved for you at the feet of Jesus.

When you’re settled in there–his peace will rule your heart.

You’ll sober from the intoxicating lies of the world as you rest in the knowledge that you are okay, you are more than okay, you are being made perfect (pure).

  • Pure is the moment your life changes in His presence.
  • Pure is the transformation that you long for when you turn to Him.
  • Pure is being forever flawless in Jesus’ name.

Your name, the name of the one that has messed up, is hidden in His name.

You may have some things making you feel horrible and broken. You may have chosen these things or you may have been victim of these things. Regardless,they are things that Jesus wants to soothe with his peace and tender love. Jesus wants to restore your memories of purity and give you the wonder.

Jesus is the purity.

Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritually purity–Jesus gives all of it. The church shouldn’t be about patrolling purity and passing out purity cards to certain kids who’ve only messed up in certain ways and for a certain amount of times. The church should be about offering Jesus even in her own imperfections. Because the church believes that…

Jesus makes us pure.

Jesus is the definition of pure.

If you know Jesus, you are becoming pure too, through and through.

Your past doesn’t get to define your future. Jesus does.

And if you don’t have anyone telling you that right now, I’m telling you that right now. I’m praying God will give you a person, a people, a group who will remind you of this often.

I want you to know MORE of him by asking you to give up ALL of you. It’s a brave exchange, but you can be brave when you know that nothing can change the ability of God.

Making the exchange is how purity returns and how you’ll find peace that supports the belief that you are loved, valuable, and worth Jesus to God.

Be brave.

 

Photo: Jay Mantri

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