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Purity Is About More Than Sex

Purity Is About More Than Sex

Purity is so much more than waiting until marriage to have sex and sexual pleasure. Purity is a mindset; it’s a heart posture; it’s a lifestyle. It’s not a box we can check, striving our best to achieve and perform, playing under the rules of pass/ fail. Purity has to be viewed as something bigger and deeper than that, or else it won’t be valued or protected.

When I was thirteen, I was introduced to pornography by a couple of my friends in middle school. I remember what it made me feel, what it did to my body, and the warped picture of sex and relationships it instilled in me. For many months after that, I battled with the temptation of pornography.

I didn’t think pornography was something girls were supposed to struggle with, and I assumed lust was only a man’s struggle. I wrestled with self-hatred and shame because of this, thinking I was the only girl in the world fighting the temptation to watch pornography. And for years, I carried this shame, feeling dirty, as if I’d permanently damaged my purity.

One day a friend shared with me how much she regretted giving herself to a random guy she met in college. After that, she began exploring her sexuality through pornography. It became such an intense addiction that she couldn’t go a day without it, and she craved it. She didn’t tell anyone, and this secret addiction consumed her life and thoughts and hindered her joy,
confidence, and relationships. She couldn’t find contentment in anything else because the high that virtual sex brought her in the moment dulled everything in real life. One day she hit rock bottom when she realized she had completely lost herself and isolated herself because of her addiction and the shame that came with it. She didn’t know what else to do, so she went to
church. While there, she met and connected with other people in her stage of life. She started meeting a particular girl for coffee. Over time, my friend confessed her secret addiction. She hadn’t told anyone before. But when she shared it, she felt the shackles fall off. Of course, her addiction didn’t go away at that moment, but through accountability and with the help of God’s Spirit, she overcame it and now shares her story with so many people.

When my friend shared this story with me, I immediately felt comforted. I wasn’t alone. I shared with her my struggles and my past with pornography, and I began to weep. I had never told anyone. And in that moment, saying it out loud to someone who understood and wasn’t judging me, I felt hope for the first time. After confessing it, I, too, felt the soul ties break. I felt the label of lust and shame disappear. I felt hopeful again. I felt myself again.

If this is your struggle, too, I hope you know that you are not alone, and I want you to understand that you don’t have to let this label or dependence rob you anymore. Find someone trustworthy—someone who loves God and loves you—and confess. Healing and freedom and accountability are found in confession. You were made to love and to be loved.

You were made to live and to live to the fullest. You weren’t made to find satisfaction from a computer or phone screen.

The good news is that God’s grace covers all your sins and shortcomings. He can redeem the most broken and messy parts of your heart and life. I don’t care what you have done or what has been done to you—God can redeem it, restore it, and use it to help and free others and if you are in a relationship and you have failed and failed again, don’t give up hope and throw in the towel. God isn’t mad at you or disappointed. In fact, Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God loves you so much, right now, just as you are. He loves you so much that he wants purity for you from this point forward because he wants you free, healed, whole, joyful, peaceful, and innocent again! Picture yourself as a little kid, running around with bliss, joy, and innocence. That is what pursuing purity brings.

Purity is protection. Purity guards our hearts and our bodies. Purity has made it easier for me to make decisions and use discernment. Purity is a gift we’re given, not a list of requirements to get to heaven. I think for so long our culture has painted purity as a list of what you can’t have. That’s not been my experience at all. Purity has given me far more than it’s taken away.

Too often when the topic of purity is brought up, it’s within the context of rules or reprimands. We walk away feeling hopeless, like the rules are impossible to follow and we’ve already failed. I’m here to tell you, even if no one else has, God didn’t encourage you in the way of purity to set you up for failure and rob you of fun or pleasure. Rather, as the creator of pleasure itself, he challenges you and me to pursue purity to preserve our future—to preserve our future intimacy, our hearts’ health, our discernment. God wants to give us something, not withhold it. The idea of purity has become a joke to many, yet those same individuals wonder why their lives are so full of anxiety, anger, hopelessness, and relational disappointment. I can assure you, following God’s way is always in your best interest, for your own protection and future pleasure!

Fighting for purity is not popular, and it’s not easy. None of the movies that make it onto the big screen are presenting this message. I would guess that most of your friends aren’t either. Social media definitely isn’t. Don’t let the pressure to compromise, cave, and conform keep you from living a life of conviction and clarity. I believe that for you and me to find the love we want, a commitment to purity is essential.

Excerpted from The Love Everybody Wants by Madison Prewett Troutt. Copyright © 2023 by Madison Prewett Troutt. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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