Is Purity Relevant For Those Over 35?

15 Sep
lily of the valley

"Lily of the Valley". Image by Jamelah by flickr

Church culture subtly but firmly dictates that the Faithful Single woman comport herself in accordance with a list of commandments:

  1. She will not have sexual intercourse
  2. She will not have sex of any kind
  3. She will not engage in heavy petting
  4. She will not kiss
  5. She will not flirt
  6. She will not be alone with a man in her home or his, or alone at all with a man whom she is courting
  7. She will not live alone but with roommates or, preferably, with her parents
  8. She will not wear apparel that in any way exposes any part of her body between the neck and the calves
  9. She will not watch, read, or listen to any kind of media that depicts nudity or lovemaking or sex
  10. She will not think about anything related in any way to lovemaking or sex, this may or may not include marriage

To be a committed Christian single woman in her 30s or 40s who does not adhere to such a Code of Purity  is to be an anomaly.

And this is where I find myself.  Desiring purity, but not a code of conduct that does not fit the practicalities of my life as an older single.  Homeownership is my goal, not living with my parents.  Deftly navigating my way through a world of men who are comfortable with their masculinity and sexuality is my objective, not isolating myself from this male population.  Being fashionably and attractively attired is my ambition (and professional responsibility), not oblivion to stylishness for the sake of an image of modesty.   I read romance novels sometimes.  I watch and enjoy Sex and the City.  I want to be kissed and touched and held by a man.  I desire marriage desperately.  The Older Christian Single who is singularly devoted to and satisfied by church work is not me.

 Recently, though, I read afresh in the Girl’s Guide to Marrying Well that passage in Ephesians (you know the one): 
There must not be even a hint of sexual immorality among you; and
No immoral or impure person has any inheritance in the kingdom of God; and
Don’t be deceived by empty words, because of such things God’s wrath comes on the disobedient.

Not even a hint of sexual immorality? What am I to make of these words? 

“This passage of God-breathed Holy Scripture,” the Accuser eagerly explains to me, “basically spells out that you are definitely going to Hell.” 

OK, so the Accuser is also a liar.  But what is the truth?  How does God feel about the continuing blemishes to my sexual purity? 

As I pondered these things my mind turned towards the life of David. 

During his lifetime, King David sinned grievously against the Lord’s commandments on many occasions.  Among other misdeeds, he entered the tabernacle, touched and ate the consecrated bread, which was lawful only for the priests, he stole (by conversion) Goliath’s sword, he coveted his neighbor’s wife, he committed adultery with his neighbor’s wife, and he even committed murder.  Yet despite David’s extensive list of transgressions against the Lord’s explicit and express commands, God extols David as a man after His own heart. 

David’s predecessor King Saul, on the other hand, did not violate the law of God in any of these ways.  Yet the Lord rejected King Saul and was grieved by him.

By this I am encouraged that the purity that God seeks is not a purity that can be tallied up and scored at the end of the night.  God is looking for the pure in heart.  Not the perfect in deed.  The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are blameless toward Him.  2 Chronicles 16:9. 

Yes, purity is relevant.  But for me purity means being real with God about where I am, what I am feeling, what I have done, and what I want to do.  Purity means having a heart that trusts in the unfailing and perfecting love of God.

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2 Responses to “Is Purity Relevant For Those Over 35?”

  1. Anonymous April 18, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    GOd word says his thougths are higher than ours. I am learning at 50 GOD has conjure
    Everything and he can use anybody with a willing heart

  2. Giray April 19, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    I advocate purity teachings from teens to age 34

    I think this is a very sensitive issue. Some Christians are strong to go over 35 and beyond without being married. I think for me having really believed in morality and no sex before marriage coming to 38 watching christians who did not even try to maintain purity settle down and have children hurts.
    At the moment I am meeting men I never would have met before because I was adhereing to only seeking a believer and some of these guys arent Christians but lovely inside and outside.

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