A generation of girls made an abstinence pledge with the doe-eyed hope of a passionate wedding night only to discover their new husbands (who often were virgins themselves) had no clue what they were doing. Depending on how good your communication with your new spouse was, this night could still end up being sort of what you hoped and dreamed for. But, it could also end in frustration. Your first sexual encounter, what you had been waiting for and saving yourself for, could seem to be a disappointment.
As I waited to cross the street to get to the restaurant in my shorter than usual dress, it happened. At that moment as I waited for the light to change, a group of men rolled down their car window and hooted and hollered at me. It was my first experience truly being catcalled.
The Purity Movement of the 1990s and early 2000s encouraged women, like myself, to save sex for marriage. Unfortunately, sometimes the message sounded more like this:it’s wrong to be sexual.
Rather than looking forward to their honeymoons, women felt like their sexuality was a bad thing, and these same women reportedly had trouble “flipping the switch” to enjoy sex in marriage. It’s no wonder! They perceived sex as bad for so long that they continued to do so, even after they tied the knot.
Let me do you a favor and clear that up right now. Sex is NOT bad. It is good… in the right context.
Your neckline must be two finger lengths from your collarbone. You can’t watch that movie. Your shorts are too short. You shouldn’t date. Sound familiar?
Like many of you, I grew up in The Purity Movement of the 1990s and early 2000s. To be honest, purity seemed kind of cool at the time. There were giant conferences promoting it, teen pop stars modeling abstinence, and parents buying their daughters fancy rings if they committed to saving sex for marriage.
You could even say that purity was popular.
Purity... what does it mean? Why is it important? And why does God care? There is a lot of confusion surrounding the word.
Many see it as old-fashioned, oppressive, or even “cringy”. The word elicits feelings of shame and anger toward Evangelical churches that explained sexual purity poorly.
We’ve all had days when life won’t let up. Days when when our circumstances just seem to drag us down. Days when we feel the brokenness of our world so keenly. On these days, the despair threatens to swallow us up. Our circumstances bring feelings of loneliness. Hopelessness. Negativity. Anger. Defeat. Stress. Rejection. Anxiety. Shame. Fear. Bitterness. Our emotions can blind us and tell us lies about our circumstances. It’s only when we encounter Jesus, the Truth, that we can be set free from these lies.
Sometimes it can be difficult to draw any sort of parallel between our lives and fairy tales. Is that because they don't exist or because we don't spend enough time looking for the lessons hidden within these stories? Snow White is one of the most iconic and difficult to relate to fairy tales, but even in her story there are treasures to be applied if we just open our eyes to them.
Take time to remind other women in your life how beautiful and loved they are. It is so important for us women to stick together and to point each other to the Biblical truth about who we are, who God says we are. Share this with a friend or tag someone in the comments as a loving reminder that they are a beautiful creation of God’s - they might really need that this week.
We live in the age of dream-seekers. Of heart-followers. We’re told that in order to be happy in life, we must follow our hearts and chase after our dreams. Then, and only then, will our lives truly have meaning.
“Follow your heart.” It’s Disney’s mantra. Nearly every princess ends up with a dashing prince because she was listening to her heart. She found that fulfillment came from being true to herself.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if it worked out that way? If we listened to our hearts, and ended up with a fairy-tale ending?
But there’s a just one flaw.
When we just consume media, and don’t take time to dissect what we are consuming, we gain nothing of value. If we want to gain anything of positive impact we need to be diligent in looking for it. The Bible can be used to help us see what is good about a story. What we should take away and maybe even allow to impact our behavior. The Bible also can show us what is not good.