Hi friend! I’m glad you could make it.
Got your frappuccino? Iced tea? We can sit over there—by the window overlooking Main Street. Nothin’ like a cold drink and this pretty view for a heart-to-heart.
All settled? Good. Let’s talk 🙂
I’m just gonna be honest with you and blurt this: Purity is my biggest struggle.
It’s not easy to cultivate innocent thoughts or avert my eyes when the world constantly slams sex and profanity in my face. It’s a constant battle for me to chase Jesus when the enemy, who knows my weaknesses, fights daily to throw me off course.
Get my drift?
Our culture’s defiance of God and morality makes it painfully difficult to flee lust and impurity. It’s no wonder Paul said it’s better to marry than to burn with passion.
But we can’t all get married—like, now. We haven’t all met the one. Yet we’re still tempted. We still experience burning desires, and we are still responsible to practice patience.
So how can we do it?
I came up with a list of 5 things we should avoid in order to grow flowers in this season. Things I, or people close to me have struggled with. Things that kill innocence, class, and a relationship with the Father.
Though this post is about singleness, remember that purity is a constant battle–regardless of relationship status. Class is something we have to work at, no matter what season we’re in. And chasing Christ is a must every day, every hour.
Sweet friend, please don’t learn these lessons the hard way like I have many of them. Let’s work together to actively avoid these things…
When seeking virtue, avoid…
1) Sensual novels, music, and movies.
How can we be filled with Christ if we indulge in immoral entertainment or pollute our minds with provocative song lyrics? Short answer: we can’t. It’s nearly impossible to cultivate pure thoughts when we allow inappropriate or pornographic images or words into our lives.
Avoid things that bring longing for intimacy that can’t yet be met. We can’t risk providing for the flesh or giving the devil a foothold in our lives.
Flesh-satisfying pleasures are fleeting, unworthy of attention. Don’t give your enemy the satisfaction of tearing down your purity.
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5, ESV).
*also see Romans 12:1-2
2) Questionable situations with the opposite sex.
“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love *until it pleases” (Song of Solomon 8:4, NKJV).
*until it is time
I’m not saying you can’t hug a guy or hang out with friends of the opposite sex, or even go on a date (those things are all good!). But there are certain subjects that we should be careful about discussing, places we should avoid going, and even physical positions we should say no to when it comes to spending time with a guy. Avoid any inappropriate or questionable elements that could lead to big problems.
We won’t all have the same ideas of what to avoid and why, because the Spirit directs us all differently. So ask God to show you where you should create boundaries, and follow those guidelines. He will help you if you ask Him to!
3) Unequal yoke.
A lot of times we interpret unequal yoke to mean we simply shouldn’t marry an unbeliever. But, because dating or courting is meant to lead to marriage, we must also avoid dating relationships with those who do not follow Christ.
Sometimes we grab the person closest to us out of desperation. Or because that person is too amazing to resist. But God forbade unequal yoke for a reason. He knows bonding with an unbeliever is playing with fire, and it only ends up in third-degree burns.
I know it’s easy to be lured by charm and appearance. But don’t let the enemy lure you. Don’t burn yourself by starting a relationship that can’t rightly end in marriage. If Jesus isn’t top-priority in your prospect’s life, chances are He’ll lose priority in yours.
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness” (2 Corinthians 6:14, ESV)?
“Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3, NKJV)
When seeking respect, avoid…
4) Preoccupation with self.
Ohhhh, this is dangerous. Anytime self thoughts consume us (whether good or bad), we plant rotten seeds. Self-consumption reaps selfishness, friendlessness, and a strained relationship with Christ.
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2, ESV).
5) Chasing attention.
This isn’t an easy one!
When it comes to guys I’m attracted to, I have to work extra hard to restrain uninvited flirtation or step back and let him lead. Resisting the urge to chase can be painful–especially when it seems like the person you like will never notice you.
But, I’ve been told by some pretty classy and respectable guys that girls who chase are the most unattractive kind. We aren’t meant to take the lead, and when we do, it only comes off as aggressive or desperate.
The right person will notice you in the right time, for the right reasons. You don’t have to bolt after attention.
Whether it be through clothing (or lack thereof), in-his-face-flirtation, or just self-centered talk, you can’t buy gold with cheap currency. In order to get a prince, you gotta be a princess.
“But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4, ESV).
Now that I’ve thrown a soggy blanket on our coffee date, let’s grab a refill and talk alternatives. Or rather, the Alternative to this negative list.
And that is Jesus.
The One who created the single season. The One who created the beautiful desire for marriage. The One who makes all things beautiful, when the time is right. The One we must embrace if we hope to survive this fragile season.
If you’ve made moral mistakes or struggle with purity, then friend, I’m right beside you. And I am in no way condemning you. You are human, and you will sin. But don’t ever let past mistakes or present sin discourage you from running to Jesus. Maybe you gave away something valuable. Maybe you looked at something you shouldn’t have. Maybe you got too close to something that could have burned you. My heart aches for you. But GRACE is bigger than your shortcomings. Turn from your sin and ask Jesus to make you clean. Embrace the second chances He graciously offers. He loves you so much.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:7-39, ESV).
–> Also see: To My Friend Who Feels Unforgivable
Now that we’re sipping our refills, let’s chat in the comments!
→ How can we embrace Jesus during the single season? How can we be filled with Him?
→ What are more positive ways to resist temptation as a single person?
Related: 5 Ways to Embrace the Single Season