"Are you really going to stick to your whole purity ring thing? Like, you know, wait until you’re married to have sex?" I was shocked. I couldn’t believe my friends would even consider asking me such a question. They knew my conviction on this subject. I was pretty open about it. I thought it would be normal in my circle of influence to wait until marriage to have sex with my husband. I thought that was a common conviction of women in the church. I thought all girls were being taught the same message about sex that I was taught at an Across My Heart retreat almost eight years ago. So why was it such a surprise to my friends that I was going to wait?
The devil has taken the message of purity and warped it - to make us believe that our virginity makes us worthy in God’s eyes. It has caused the church to turn sexual purity into an idol. Sexual purity is a gift from God, and it is just that - a gift. It reveals God’s heart to us. The gift of sexual purity should never take precedence over the Gift-Giver.
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.
A friend of mine recently reminded me that we can’t base what we know on what we feel. Our feelings are inconsistent and dependent on our surroundings - and God knows that. God’s love and presence are independent of our feelings. Faith is what we have in spite of our feelings.
I have realized recently that the gift of hospitality looks different than I have imagined in my head. My gift of hospitality can’t wait to be used until I live in a house. Or on my own. Or until I’m married or have kids or have the time or money. God has given me the spiritual gifts I have now to be used right now. I need to learn how to use all my gifts in my current season, location, and state of being.
Although one of our missions at Across My Heart is to encourage girls to save sex for their marriages, we realize that there are young (and older) women in the church who did not wait until marriage to have sex. This blog is for you. If you’re scared, I beg you to keep reading.
I am strong. I am not one to shy away from conflict. I am outspoken. I like to ask people to be friends with me. I like to tell people the things I like about them - even if I don’t know their name.
Although this might sound like a good thing, sometimes this trait can be perceived as too strong. When people point this out, I tend to shrink into my turtle shell and shut down, believing the lie that I need to change, that my personality is too much for others to handle.
Like most of you, I love to watch rom-coms. I’m not the biggest fan of the Hallmark channel, but my parents are in December and February. My personal favorite movie is 10 Things I Hate About You, but I am definitely a sucker for the storylines in The Notebook, The Longest Ride, The Proposal, The Lucky One and plenty of Disney favorites (I am a proud Disney fanatic, no shame). But friends, we need to WAKE UP.
One of my good friends and I decided we were going to change the meaning of New Year’s resolutions for ourselves. We decided to do one thing every day that scares us. We realized that we were letting fear control our life choices - fear of what others think, fear of failure, fear of rejection. Do I take a chance at failing and do this thing in front of me, or do I ignore it and go on with my life? This is much like Jonah’s situation.
Now that I am nineteen years old, the gift opening process has lost some of its magic. I can’t decide if this is because I don’t have a list of thirty-five different toys I want, or because I don’t open toys that my cousins and I sit and play with on the floor together all day, or some other unknown reason. I have found more joy in watching my young cousins faces when they open their presents. I can’t help but wonder if my parents watched my face like that.