Personal Challenge #9: “What was the defining moment where you actually understood that your sexual purity was worth protecting?”

Journal Entry, Age 23
I want to get to the place where, when faced with temptation to do something with a guy, I would be incredulous at the very idea – “As if!! I’m keeping myself pure!” because I will KNOW deep in my being that this is simply not my Father’s heart for me.

After 10 years of dating the world’s way, I found myself in captivity to sexual sin. When I was 24, I spent one year of nearly no contact with men, during which I walked through a great deal of emotional healing. This was followed by several years where I believe God was hiding me from temptation, allowing me to grow in the area of purity and in my resolve to stand firm in the face of temptation. The walls around my resolve had been crushed to rubble, and during this time these walls were built back up. It was a process of rebuilding: deconstruction of the foundations of who I thought God was, reconstruction of those foundations based on who He IS, rebuilding of the foundations of who I am – my value and worth. It was a process of learning the truth, deep down in my heart, so I wouldn’t forget: The truth about sex. The truth about God. The truth about my value. The truth about men’s value. Together with God, those walls were built back up, thoroughly, labouriously, lovingly, with many, many tears. I began to see myself as a treasure of great worth, and learned to guard my heart and my sexuality accordingly! I learned to cherish my freedom with all that I am. 

When I was 28, for the first time in 4.5 years, I was offered sex from a goodlooking Christian guy. This was the first time I got to see that when given opportunity, I would NOT fall, that I saw my sexual purity was worth vigorously fighting for and protecting! 

I had learned how valuable I am and how valuable my sexuality is. It was SO easy to say no to anyone who would want to break down the precious walls that had been so laboriously rebuilt and treat me and my sexuality cheaply. “You want to destroy these walls? You want to send me backwards years of healing? You want to destroy me? LOL! No thanks!” I would hold out for a man of honor who would honor me and protect and uphold purity and never dream of trying to break down those walls.

My journey of learning to obey – to keep following God’s ways even during hard, hard times – started out with fearing consequences. I learned that NO temporary pleasure (or escape from dark moments) was worth captivity ever again. I had learned that the effects of falling in sexual sin again would be another big pit to dig out of, and I had finally learned that I didn’t want to put myself through that again. At that phase, I would play it out to the end: ‘If I say yes to the temptation, and experience the pleasure that sin brings for a short time… Then what happens after that?’ I had experienced only too many times the aftermath of this, and I was over it. 

But then I saw His love in His instructions. And then, I saw that it WAS possible to follow His instructions – more than just because I feared the consequences – but in freedom and joy. I never knew that before. Each time I resisted temptation, I got a little stronger, and built a little more muscle.

By dying to the desires of my flesh, by elevating obeying God over obeying my flesh, I became freed from the slavery of sin. Where before I could not consistently resist temptation and I was truly enslaved to sin (I always feared the next time I would fall, I even had nightmares where I would fall, accidentally), I am now enslaved to righteousness.

“‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. […] “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. (Ezekiel 36:24-29;33)

Personal Challenge: “What was the defining moment where you actually understood that your sexual purity was worth protecting?”*

* Lisa Bevere