“Talking about Purity” requires talking about purity AND sex.
The world’s message communicated through media (magazines, manga, movies, etc.) talks about sex WITHOUT purity.
The Christian message about purity from the 1990s predominately talked about purity WITHOUT sex.
The messages were: “Let’s talk about purity”, but it said on the other hand, “Let’s not actually talk about sex”. They genuinely thought this was the best way to keep the young people from sexual sin. But unfortunately it resulted in many struggles for many Christian young people.
- One of the subliminal messages was “Just wait until marriage! It will be perfect!” – purity without talking about sex. Some walked in purity and waited until marriage. But they weren’t prepared and were a bit shocked when they discovered that it wasn’t perfect. This is why it’s helpful for Christians to talk about the realities of sex and marriage age-appropriately – sex is not a reward you get for staying pure. It’s more complex than that.
- For others, the subliminal message they heard through avoiding to talk about sex in the conversation of purity, left them with the idea that ‘sex must be so wrong and shameful, and that’s why they’re not talking about it’. Some of these young people struggled in the beginning of their marriages with sex. Having learned their whole life that sex is wrong, how do you automatically flip the switch when you say “I do”?! This caused great pain and strain in their marriages. This is so NOT God’s heart. He created it as a good gift.
- Some knew sex outside of marriage was wrong, but since it wasn’t really talked about, they began to be curious and look at porn and do things that weren’t exactly “sex” but definitely weren’t “pure”.
- For the youth who were inclined toward sexual discovery, the subliminal message they heard was that if the Christian adults aren’t talking about it, it must mean it’s something to keep secret. Those young people felt they couldn’t talk about it to people who perhaps could have helped them most; perhaps they talked with their peers but felt they couldn’t talk to someone older who could give wisdom.
Anonymous Testimony: “I know that those pivotal moments: the first love, the first sexual experience, the first heartbreak, the first casual sexual experience – each and every moment could have been pivotal for a change had I been in a discipleship relationship, had there been a place I could talk about these things. I did have one such conversation. It was an incredible blessing. I still remember it. My friends still remember how impactful it was for me. But it was only one, at 15. I needed access to conversation continuously. One casual sexual experience didn’t need to turn into innumerable. I am changed and new, yet still today, occasionally I walk through times of feeling the painful effects of those long-ago actions, just proving more and more that sex IS a big deal and how I wish I had treated it as such!”
Let’s be willing and courageous to talk about purity AND sex. We have the calling and anointing to offer God’s perspective on this conversation. Let’s walk together with people, along the walk of real life, and be a place of real conversation.
It’s not about just one conversation, it’s about continuous conversation.
And let’s be a safe place for people to come after mistakes, because each mistake is an opportunity to turn to Jesus for His forgiveness and restoration.
Let’s not be afraid of real talk about sex and desire.
And let’s not be afraid to speak wisdom without holding back, in opportunities such as these.
Did you know? The underlying idea of “it’s better not to talk about sex” in the 1990s Western Christian purity message can similarly be seen in Japanese sex education. The phrase often used to describe this “culture of silence” is “let sleeping dogs lie”. Interestingly, the author strongly suggested a need for change, involving “a strong emphasis on small group discussions” and a “heavily interactive” communication strategy (p 141).
Teen magazines are fully engaging with online platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, using youth-oriented language, and are talking about sex and how to end pregnancies. They encourage freedom in sexual expression and are normalizing abortion. The world’s definition of freedom literally leads to captivity and death. As teens are wondering which way to go, let’s get God’s ways out onto these platforms too!!! All humans were created to walk in His ways! We were created to walk on the road that leads to life and blessing!!!
This is what we are doing at PureHeart Japan (page focused on adult Christians) – sharing about purity, sex, marriage, and singleness and endeavoring to do more at PureLove Japan (page focused on unchurched youth). Want to get involved?
- Raphael’s Story
- Discipleship in Purity
- ‘What is God’s Design for Marriage and Sex?’
- The “M” word – It is possible and beneficial to shut the door
- And Her New Journey Begins, With Him
- Spiritual Impact of Sexual Sin