Written by Tory Shephard
The cold winter months upon us, I find myself missing the warm rays of the sun. The thing I miss most, though, is the fresh summer fruit that comes with the changing seasons. The other day when I was hungry for a snack, I spotted a glowing delicious looking apple with deep red skin. I grew excited just thinking about biting into this juicy apple. I immediately took a big bite, and I mean a BIG bite. Suddenly, my face scrunched, and my eyes squinted. The look of my face was the epitome of disgust – it was a rotten apple.
When you think of purity, what comes to mind? Wearing modest clothing? Remaining a virgin until marriage? Oftentimes, we limit purity to outward appearances, just as I had judged the apple by its exterior. Although this is a part of purity, we must examine our lives as a whole: the inside as well as the outside.
David understood this, so in Psalm 51:10 he asked God to “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” David knew that having a pure heart means more than flirting with physical boundaries.
So why is purity such a struggle? I think it’s because we focus too much on set rules that can depict purity such as “I won’t wear a skirt above my knees” or “I won’t show my midriff”, rather than honoring God’s will when it comes to purity and allowing Him to transform our hearts to His mindset. Just like I assumed the apple was delicious because it looked scrumptious, we can assume by doing pure things that we have pure hearts.
Now by all means, setting modesty rules and buying rings and necklaces to remind us of our promise to honor abstinance is great, and God commands us to dress appropriately and procreate within the boundaries of marriage! But our true focus should be on our Lord, who alone can purify us. “Once we let Him purify our hearts, our actions will change because we love him and want to honor him with our bodies” (John 14:15, 21, 23-24).
Girls, while the world looks at our outward actions, the Lord looks at our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). Are you guilty, as I am, of having a shiny red outside with rotten insides? We desperately need to fix our eyes on God and let him purify our hearts in order that we may live pure lives. Sisters, God does amazing things with lives focused on Him – and He starts at the core! :)