to the Purity Post! Here's a little info about me and why I want
to help teen girls understand and choose purity:
From my earliest memories through
tenth grade, I was raised in a very strict Christian setting.
I was sheltered from ungodly influences in every way. My television
viewing, music, reading and clothing were pre-screened and selected
for me by my parents, who took their cues from the church where
both were staff members. I attended a small church school, and
my friends were all church members. During this time, I can remember
listening to sermons on soul-winning and thinking, "Who could
I witness to? I don't know any unsaved people!" And, other than
a few relatives that I visited only on holidays, this was true.
Everyone that I interacted with thought and believed as I did.
Outwardly, I modeled every church
rule but not by choice. Although I knew the Bible quite well,
I had not learned to apply it to my life. I didn't think I really
needed to, since everyone else seemed to exist just to apply it
for me. After all, I read my Bible daily and went to church it
seemed at least once a day. Wasn't that good enough?
My parents' position gave me the
perfect opportunity to see the ins and outs of the church and
its leadership, and I became a quick student of the hypocrisies
I found. Without a close relationship with God (though I'd been
saved at five years of age), my disillusionment grew. Outwardly
conforming but inwardly rebellious, I was ripe for Satan's attack.
And it came, the summer between
tenth and eleventh grade--the summer we moved from Michigan to
Maryland. That summer, I found out that a lot of the restrictive
rules that I resented were not put in place by my parents' heartfelt
convictions, but by the leadership of our old church. I was relieved
when some of the restrictions fell away but angry because I felt
they had been unneeded all along.
Then, I was enrolled in another
Christian school, this time not a school at the church we attended.
This school had a more open enrollment policy, and far fewer rules
to follow. Some kids were enrolled there because of the status
of attending a private school. Some were sent by their parents
as an attempt to curb bad behavior. Suddenly, I was not
surrounded by people who believed and thought as I did. I felt
like I'd just arrived from a foreign country, and didn't understand
the local culture. I became a target of ridicule by a few very
vocal students. Remember, I still didn't have the close fellowship
with God that I needed to face this kind of rejection. I felt
In response to my misery, my parents
allowed me to switch to public school mid-year. At least there
I was not made fun of, but my bad experience and the feeling that
I was a social outcast made me too shy to attempt to choose friends.
Instead, I just sat quietly with whoever would reach out to me.
partying and sex, I often felt completely clueless. It was becoming
apparent to me that the small group of church friends I'd left
behind were the only other teens that practiced even the most
explicit biblical commands, let alone the endless list of standards
I'd been taught.
I was sure I was defective. I didn't
want to go back to that small church in Michigan, and I was clearly
too warped to fit in anywhere else. I didn't feel I was better
for following God's standards, just weird. I'd have chucked
them all just to be accepted, and when given the chance, that's
just what I did.
Later, at a Christian college, I
realized my mistake, but there are unfortunately no "do-overs"
when it comes to life decisions that you regret. Now the tables
were turned, and I wished to fit in with the godly girls whose
"glow" I saw and envied. I wanted to be found attractive by the
Christian guys who seemed to be doing something with their lives--some
of whom were quite good looking, I might add--but I knew better.
I'd heard plenty of sermons about how these good guys aren't interested
in girls who've dragged their reputations through the mud, so
I didn't even want to run the risk of certain rejection.
I could go on, describing my attempts
to fit in with "middle-of-the-road" Christians, and how I ended
up dating a guy who skillfully portrayed himself as a Pastor's
son and good guy who'd made a few mistakes, but actually ended
up being a player who used me, negatively influenced me and made
me feel even dirtier and more wicked than I already did. By the
time we broke up, I can honestly say I hated myself. I guess like
the prodigal son, I really had to end up in the pigpen before
I learned to value my relationship with my Father.
Thankfully, just as in that story,
He lovingly reclaimed me, but I still bear the scars and loss
of testimony that I thought would be "no big deal" back then.
Forgetting the sin I've stored in
my memory banks is still a daily struggle for me, and it makes
my current life as a purity girl extra hard. If you heard something
familiar in my life story, and especially if you feel friendless
or like you're the "only one" who's trying to do right, I encourage
you to read the following archived study, "Elijah
the Loner." I also encourage you to take a long hard look
at what you believe and why. It's not enough to follow the rules
laid out for you by adults--if you don't know why you're doing
them and if you don't choose them for yourself, you'll quickly
give into temptation, just as I did.
Please don't feel that you have
to make the same mistakes I did. Your choices right now will influence
your happiness today, ten years from today and for all eternity.
The stakes are too high to gamble on sin.
Choose purity. You're not