I am reading a fantastic book by John Piper called:A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God. It helps you to read and understand the book of Ruth. I found this quote especially beautiful:
"The mood of American life today is, If it feels good, do it, and away with guilt-producing, puritanical principles of chastity and faithfulness. But I say to you who are unmarried, if the stars are shining in their beauty, and your blood is thudding like a hammer, and you are safe in the privacy of your place, stop...for the sake of righteousness. Let the morning dawn on your purity....stand with Boaz and Ruth in your commitment never to have sexual relations outside of marriage."
The beauty of the gospel tells us though, that whoever has failed to keep that commitment *can* have forgiveness. Isn't that so encouraging? I will be completely honest with you...I did not wait until marriage but *oh* how I wish I would have. I can't tell you how much I completely regret not waiting! What a beautiful thing it is to be your beloved's only after committing yourselves to one another before the Lord. What joy there is to know that the Lord is mighty to save and forgive.
"Don't be like the world. Be like Boaz. Be like Ruth. Profound in love. Subtle and perceptive in communication. Powerful in self-control. Committed to strategic righteousness."
Oh! For the young people today to grasp the absolute beauty and sacredness there is in protecting their purity. Parents need to understand this as well. Dress your children in a way that keeps them modest (not frumpy...but just covering their bodies in a way that honors Christ). They may fight you on this...but you are the parent. Help them value the gift of their purity. It is your job to teach them and train them up properly. I encourage you to read my post about Christian parenting HERE.
I want my children to have class. The definition of being classy is: stylish and sophisticated, elegant. This does *not* mean "uppity" (in my definition) but I desire for them to value Christ enough that they desire to dress and carry themselves in a way that honors Him. I do not expect them to dress in an expensive way nor really be "stylish" as the definition describes...but rather I want them to behave in a way that reflects a character of kindness, humility and dignity. That dignity doesn't stem from their own self worth...but rather a knowing that Christ is their all-in-all and that He lives *in* them. He deserves our reverence and we should reflect this in our behavior. I desire for them to stand out in a crowd because they will not lose their convictions for the sake of being a man-pleaser. I desire for them to share the gospel with boldness and love to save a dying world.
Do you share these hopes for your children? Then encourage purity. It is *difficult* in a day of social media and "do whatever feels good" thoughts to remain pure...but it can be done. Relying on God's strength and constant time in His Word...you *can* hold on to that beautiful gift the Lord has given you. It is worth *too* much to give away easily! Young people ~ hear me! Parents ~ hear me!
Young people who are not ready for marriage do NOT need a boyfriend or girlfriend. Hand-holding, kissing, hugging...it all starts out innocent but always leads to more. Teens...you will regret it one day. Parents....you may often not even realize it is happening. Even the most devoted-to-Christ person can fall on this slippery slope! Do not put yourself (or your children) into this place of temptation. Use wisdom in all situations!
I will close with this quote from John Piper (in the book I linked to above...which I highly recommend you read):
"But for those who have not yet had sexual relations outside marriage - indeed for all who hope to fight for future holiness - I am pleading with you, for your own sake and for the glory of Christ, that you embrace the strategic righteousness of Ruth and Boaz. They are models of deep, strong, righteous, passionate love - better models than politicians and movie stars."
Please, if you have loved ones that could use this encouragement ~ share this post. Not because I am looking for a high reader volume but because I truly desire for people to live lives of purity and righteousness to the glory of God. :)
I pray you are encouraged today!
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