Here’s something you should know about me: if there is one thing I hold near and dear to my heart as a daughter of the King, it’s my purity. However, if there is one thing I struggle with daily as a living breathing human, it’s my purity. I’m sure there are many sisters of mine in Christ out there, as well as brothers, that understand where I’m coming from.
As so many girls before me, I began seeing boys in a whole new light starting somewhere in my junior high years. I hit the ground running with those pesky hormones and was on the marriage track by the age of 14. It’s true. Boys were on my mind 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If there was a poor soul unlucky enough to get my attention, they’d be stuck on my radar for ages. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend, I was looking for a boy that would date me and then propose to me and then marry me and then have children with me.
It wasn’t until my second semester of college that I finally realized that this obsession with finding a man was seriously affecting my walk with God. Every girl wants a guy to sweep her off her feet- that’s no secret. But when that’s the most prominent thing on her mind, it becomes the most important thing in her life. (Romans 8:5) I heard a preacher say once, “We make idols out of what consumes our thoughts.” When I stopped to consider what consumed my thoughts, I realized it wasn’t God, it was whatever boy happened to be in my life at the time.
And what were these thoughts? When I should have been striving to do God’s work, I was striving to get/keep a boy’s attention, instead. When I should have been content with the beauty God blessed me with, I was worried about my weight, clothes, hair, and any other thing some guy might consider unattractive. Oh and when I was rejected by yet another guy, I was consumed with sadness instead of knowing that God loved me unconditionally and wholeheartedly.
Unfortunately, it wasn't just my mind that I gave over to men. As a beautiful poet named Janette Ikz (whom I quote many times in this post) said, “A virgin in the physical, but mentally just a grown woman on the corner in heat who was tired of the wait… who flirts with the ideology of ‘Can you just tell me how much I can get away with and still be saved?’” I went through the usual roller coaster of regret and shame that slowly wound back to caring about my own satisfaction for a little while before I appropriately fell, once again, on my knees, asking God for forgiveness. These emotions ran on and off in every short-lived relationship I was able to hang on to.
Ultimately, I realized the only person I was serving was myself. I continued treating my body like a worthless object, giving my heart over to anyone who was willing to take it, “ready to sell my aorta for a quarter, not knowing the value of its use to me (Janette Ikz).” I could act like I cared about my faith, but as long as I was still making these poor decisions, it was obvious God was not the main focus in my life.
And all of it- what I set my mind on, how I treated my body- affected my actions. Just consider, how was I supposed to be a witness for Christ, an example to others, if all people saw was a codependent basket case that relied on the approval of men for my own self-worth?
I thank God so much for wiping the filth from my eyes so that I could really see what was important in this life. When I finally gave in to God’s will for me, I found a joy that no man could ever bring me. It has been, for the better part of three years, my passion to present myself as a pure offering before God, so that I can be ready for Him to use me in whatever way He sees fit.
What began as a commitment to be physically pure soon evolved in to much more. God opened my eyes to the entire meaning of purity. God calls us to have a pure heart, mind, body and spirit, all at the same time (Hebrews 10:22). This doesn't just mean abstaining from sexual impurity. Don’t get me wrong, that’s very important, but we must also live purely in every other aspect of our lives as well.
God pressed the fruits of the spirit firmly on my heart and I knew that to be pure, I should consider everything with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (I have these words hanging above my desk in my room as a constant reminder.) I must love everyone. I must express my joy constantly. I must have peace about what I cannot control in this life. I must have patience with others, with my future, with everything. I must be kind. I must be good, inside and out. I must be faithful to Christ. I must be gentle. And I must have self control. Always.
But it’s not easy. For three years I've struggled to be all these things, but I am no saint. Even at my best, I could never perfectly live the life God has called me to. But it’s my job as a Christian, a servant of Christ, to continue to try.
So that’s why I decided to make a Purity Covenant. I called Chelsea and told her my idea. I wanted her to officiate a ceremony, with my mom as a witness. We stood outside a depiction of Jesus’ empty tomb and I committed myself, officially, to live a pure life before God. I chose the empty tomb as a symbol of what Christ overcame. He died for me and He overcame that death so that one day He could save me. It is only fitting that I overcome my flesh so that I can live my life, which is no longer mine, but indeed His, as a pure witness to be used to further His kingdom.
And I wanted to tell anyone that would listen about this decision I made. Because I want you to know that you’re not alone in your struggle. Being a Christian is not easy- it’s demanding. We are called to be better, and sometimes that’s just hard. But we’re in it together. God has given us this family of Christian brothers and sisters to keep each other accountable and to encourage each other when we need it.
So hopefully this finds you wherever you are in your walk with Christ and touches you in some way. Whether it be a reality check, encouragement boost, or just something that builds your faith, I hope that my commitment before God, myself, and now you, will glorify God above all else.
I will leave you with this.
I still have hopes of falling in love, but I am content with the love God has for me. And if He chooses for me to live my life without a man, I know that I will still have joy all the days of my life, because ultimately I am the bride of Christ, and He is my groom.
I am waiting for my Lord in a white dress, veil on, flowers in hand. I will watch and wait for His return, but while I’m here, I will strive to keep my heart pure for the glory of His kingdom and one day I will present myself to Him, so that He may be pleased.
The Purity Covenant
· I, Lindsey Francis, commit before God to strive to live a pure life, which my Father has called me to do.“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” – 1 Timothy 1:5· I ask God to create in me a pure heart and renew in me a steadfast spirit. –Psalm 51:10· I understand that to fully embody purity, I must be of pure heart, mind, body, and spirit. –Hebrews 10:22· I must flee from youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. – 1 Timothy 2:22And keep myself unstained by the world. – James 1: 27· I must try to consider everything with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in my actions, as well as my thoughts. –Galatians 5: 22-23· I accept that, as a Christian woman, I have responsibilities to men, myself, and other women, for which I promise to hold myself accountable.To men, I promise to be modest in actions and appearance, as to prevent you from strayingfrom your own purity. -1 Corinthians 8: 7-13To women, I promise to be an example to you, young and old. I will strive to live a life pleasingto God, so that you may see His work in me and know how you must live your life, as well. – 1 Timothy 4:12To myself, I promise to do all these things, not for my own gratification, but for the praise of myHeavenly Father, so that He can use me for the glory of His kingdom and victory over evil. – Galatians 2:20· I promise to wait for the man God has chosen to be my husband. And that, while I wait, I will do so with the pure heart God has called me to have.
· I promise not to give over my heart to any man unless I am sure God has approved.“And I will know you…Because when you speak I will be reminded of Solomon’s wisdom,Your ability to lead will remind me of Moses,Your faith will remind me of Abraham,Your confidence in God’s Word will remind me of Daniel,Your inspiration will remind me of Paul,Your heart for God will remind me of David,Your attention to detail will remind me of Noah,Your integrity will remind me of Joseph,And your ability to abandon your own will, will remind me of the disciples,But your ability to love selflessly & unconditionally will remind me of Christ.” (Ikz)· I promise not to give over my body to anyone but my husband.o I will not dwell on mistakes of my past, but on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. – Philippians 4:8· Even before I am married, I commit to the life of the “Wife of Noble Character” in Proverbs 31. As I wait for my husband, I will strive to clothe myself in strength and honor, wisdom and loving instruction. I will not sit idly, I will laugh at the time to come, and above all, I will fear the Lord, my King.“And you will know me, and you will find me,Where the boldness of Esther meets the warm closeness of Ruth.Where the hospitality of Lydia is aligned with the submission of Mary,Which is engulfed in the tears of a praying Hanna.I will be the one, drenched in Proverbs 31… waiting for you.” (Ikz)· And when I struggle, I will not lose heart: “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18· I promise to keep all these things, regardless of my relationship status.“But to my Father, my Father who has known me before I was birthed into this earth,Only if you should see fit…I desire Your will above mine,So even if you call me to a life of singleness,My heart is content with You – the One who was sent.You are the greatest love story ever told,The greatest story ever knownYou are forever my judge and I’m forever Your witness.And I pray that I’m always found on a mission about my Father’s business.Oh, I will always be Yours!And I will always wait for You Lord, more than the watchmen wait for the morning.More than the watchmen wait for the morning…I will wait.” (Ikz)“For the grace of God has appeared, with salvation forall people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldlylusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and Godly wayin the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope andthe appearing of the glory of our Great God and Savior, JesusChrist. He gave himself for us to redeem us from alllawlessness and to purify for himself a special people, eager to do good work.” – Titus 2: 11-14