At the Well.....Purity

Greetings at the well!
Lord, we thank You that You have brought us together here to learn from one another and to fill our cups with Your Holy Presence and Your Living water. Give us wisdom today as we again come before You, seeking to live out our faith as Titus 2 women, bringing Your refreshing water to everyone we encounter.




Titus 2 calls us "to be self-controlled and pure.....so that no one will malign the word of God."


How do we teach the next generation (both our daughters and other young Christian women) how to live a life of purity WITHOUT falling into legalistic rules, or on the other hand, to slip into a worldly mindset, teetering on impurity?


How do we live, as Jesus said, "in the world" without being "of the world?"

How is the word of God "maligned" when we aren't living in purity?


Wow, these are some "tough" questions, aren't they? But, yet, God calls us to be pure.


First of all, "purity" comes from the blood of Jesus. It is never something we can "muster" up on our own. It is only the power of the Holy Spirit living within us that empowers and enables us to live in purity.


"God has united you with Christ Jesus...Christ made us right with
God; He made us pure and holy, and He has freed us from sin."-1Corin. 1:30

But, we must also cooperate with the Holy Spirit and WALK in this purity by our choices, commitments, and values.


"God has called us to live holy, not impure lives." -1Thes. 4:7

We have to be careful about the TV shows we watch, the music we listen to, the books we read. Our choices are important. We need to choose things that glorify God, not lead us into unwholesome thinking or tempt us to sin.


But, here is where it can be tricky. We do not want to legalistic, piling rule upon rule on our kids. That will turn them running in the opposite direction. And, here is where I have struggled.


TV is an example. At first, we said "no" to all evening Disney and "Nick" shows. I don't like their push for romantic relationships with children, their focus on clothing, disrespect for grownups, and the music videos! But, as our children grew up, they wanted to watch shows their friends watch and felt like they were "missing out." So, now we take it "show by show." As parents, we need to watch with them to point out values that we do not agree with. Some shows are still "off limits." And, we will turn off a particular episode of shows that they are allowed to watch .

The point is that we want to fill our hearts and minds with things that glorify God. We don't want to become too familiar or comfortable with ideas that are "worldly" or hinder our walk with Him.


"Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind. Then, you will know the will of God." Romans 12:2


So, how do you keep "purity" from being a list of rules or becoming legalistic?


When you make purity a matter of the heart. Purity comes from a heart of love for God, and a close relationship with Him. When we love Him, our heart wants live to please Him. When we are walking with God and watching a movie that grieves the Holy Spirit, we, too will want to walk away from it.


The things that offend God offend us. The things that make God sad will also make us sad. As we continue to grow in our love relationship, we will seek the things He wants and turn away from the things He doesn't.


How does living an impure life as a Christian "malign" or shame the Word of God?


The world is watching us as Christians. We are Christ's ambassadors, His fragrance, His reflection. It is so important to our witness to live in purity.


Unbelieving husbands are "won over not with wive's words but when they see the purity" of their lives. (1Peter 3:1-2)


Philippians 2:14 says, "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe..." To shine the light of Jesus to the generation around us, we must live in purity.


We don't want to "blend in" as Christians! We want to offer "an alternative" to the world's standards! We are set apart and "peculiar", strangers and aliens in this world. (see 1Peter).


Webster's says "pure" is "free of dirt or pollutants." That says it all! We want to keep the "dirt and pollutants" from our hearts and lives. Again, we don't want to conform to this world, but allow God to renew our minds and transform our lives. We want to live IN the world WITHOUT becoming like it.


And, finally, when we live pure lives, God can use us.


"If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for an honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work." -2Tim. 2:21

Isn't that neat? We are special utensils in the hand of God. He wants to do things IN us, but also through us. He wants us to be ready for His call and purpose.


So....how?


The best way for us to teach our children about purity is to LIVE it. It means we can't tell them one thing and then do something else. (We can't talk about TV to them and turn on "Sex in the City" when they go to bed.) We need to keep our hearts pure within a close relationship with Jesus. We need to ask Him to continue to purify our hearts, thoughts, and motives. We need to talk to our kids. Explain these things to them. There is a battle going on for their hearts and their purity. We need to prepare them. We need to pray for their purity (as well as our own!).


Oh, how I could go on and on about this topic! It is one that is dear to me. I also blogged about it here . But, I want to give you the opportunity to share your thoughts and revelations!


Please comment. Please dive in and share your input. I am looking forward to hearing from all of you!


Lord, thank You for the blood of Jesus that purifies us from all unrighteousness. Help us to live this life of purity in You. Help us to be a light shining in a dark world that mocks purity and living for God instead of yourself. Grant us the grace to walk in purity. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.







16 thoughts shared....:

Laurie Ann said...

Tracy, one thing you said sticks out in my mind..."(We can't talk about TV to them and turn on "Sex in the City" when they go to bed.)" I totally agree. We cannot talk one way and walk the other. When our daughter was young we used to watch ER on Thursday nights. I had to explain a scene that came on one time as "they were wrestling". We never watched the show again. I didn't find something to occupy her time so I could watch it. I realized that if she knew I was watching something "wrong" then my witness was destroyed. Thanks for bringing up this subject! I can't wait to gather my thoughts on it and post.

Chelsey said...

Great post Tracy. Thanks for bringing this topic to The Well today! Great words of wisdom.

We used to struggle with the whole "lots of rules" thing to. But a few years ago, we realized just how simple this really was - it really only begs one question... does what I am doing align with Christ and the Word of God. I mentioned this in my post today - but purity comes when we put on the fullness of Christ. If we are doing that, we can't go wrong in our motives! For our family, however, this meant doing away with the TV all together! :) It was the best thing we ever did!!

Thanks again for a GREAT post!

JesusRulzMe said...

Good morning sister Tracy!

I LOVE this topic! I thank God for bringing this to your mind! :-)


And I agree with you, the BEST way to teach our children is by LIVING it. The hypocritical "Do as I say and not as I do" really doesn't fair well.

Bless you today!
Sunny

LAURIE said...

Tracy,
Thanks for leading us today AT THE WELL on this great topic. Like Laurie Ann, I also liked what you had to say about "doing what you say" by not turning on shows after the kids go to bed. One of the rules that we have always had is "no r- rated movies" - we don't go see them, we don't rent them. And if you live in our house - you don't do it either. That was always a major issue with our boys when they became of age, they felt like they were "old" enough and "mature" enough to see a r-rated movie.

Our stand was always what you see at the theatre is between you and God but in OUR house NO R-rated movies! And that wasn't just something we said we did it. There are alot of movies I would love to see but don't because they are rated r. We cannot set standards and live differently. How else will our kids know what the standard is? by their friends? or by what is lived in front of them day to day.

There is so much power in Purity!
-Blessings, Laurie

Gina@Chats With An "Old Lady" said...

We had someone recommend a movie to us, and then said, "You probably don't want to watch that with your kids, there's a lot of cussing in it..." I wanted to tell them that if there was too much cussing for my children, then there was too much cussing for me. If it's sinful content for my kids...it's sinful for me!

YOu are so wise to point out not being "legalistic" with this, although I do think that word is thrown around too much and people try to justify activity by using that word. I think that some don't even know what that word means anymore and just use it as an argument anytime they are challenged...but I digress!

You have handled the TV thing the same way we have handled it...and with music as well. Rather than saying "all secular music is bad", we talk about what the lyrics are promoting and if they honor God. I must be honest, there isn't much left of secular music when we evaluate it that way, but I think it's the way to evaluate rather than throwing it all out.

I find it interesting when we say, "that doesn't affect me..." and yet everyone around us can see in the way we talk, dress, and handle relationships that it DOES affect you.

Ultimately, we either glorify God...or we don't. I think that if we thought about all we do in those terms, so much would be put aside!!!

I do believe that the church is getting so pulled into impurity that the world can hardly see the difference anymore. I feel the pull myself. I am determined to fight it!!! It's in all of us!!

Gina@Chats With An "Old Lady" said...

We had someone recommend a movie to us, and then said, "You probably don't want to watch that with your kids, there's a lot of cussing in it..." I wanted to tell them that if there was too much cussing for my children, then there was too much cussing for me. If it's sinful content for my kids...it's sinful for me!

YOu are so wise to point out not being "legalistic" with this, although I do think that word is thrown around too much and people try to justify activity by using that word. I think that some don't even know what that word means anymore and just use it as an argument anytime they are challenged...but I digress!

You have handled the TV thing the same way we have handled it...and with music as well. Rather than saying "all secular music is bad", we talk about what the lyrics are promoting and if they honor God. I must be honest, there isn't much left of secular music when we evaluate it that way, but I think it's the way to evaluate rather than throwing it all out.

I find it interesting when we say, "that doesn't affect me..." and yet everyone around us can see in the way we talk, dress, and handle relationships that it DOES affect you.

Ultimately, we either glorify God...or we don't. I think that if we thought about all we do in those terms, so much would be put aside!!!

I do believe that the church is getting so pulled into impurity that the world can hardly see the difference anymore. I feel the pull myself. I am determined to fight it!!! It's in all of us!!

Teresa said...

I have felt that if the Holy Spirit is residing in me (and He is) then everything I watch or listen to He is seeing and hearing...We have taught our children that Jesus is sitting right there in the room with them, hearing and seeing what they are watching...Would He be sad to see them watching a particular show?
Also we only have one TV and it is in the family room...none in bedrooms. I agree with Laurie Ann,
we can't talk one way and then live another..and just wait...if you don't have a teenager yet...they will call you on hypocrisy in a heartbeat!!!
Blessings!
Teresa

Joyfull said...

What a wonderful post on purity. I love the verse from II Timothy and the encouragement to live out day to day our values. This topic is also dear to my heart and I am excited to read and learn from others view on purity.

Kat said...

I really liked the idea of "legacy" that stood out for me. I really want my legacy to my daughter to be that of a Mom who loved God more than anything. I want it to show in the way I live and how we live as a family and we are trying to make sure of that. Like you said, we can still enjoy some of the things (the whole Disney channel issue) the world has to offer. We just have to make sure it lines up with what God says. We too filter her shows on Disney and all channels. I just didn't realize until just recently how important it was for ME to screen things on TV and such for myself! Don't get me wrong I never watch really bad stuff, but it still wasn't what I think God had in mind for me viewing. Thanks for reminding all of us that it's not only our children that need 'screening' :) Our heavenly Father is asking His children to 'screen' too! Great post!

LauraLee Shaw said...

This is SUCH a great topic and one extremely worthy of discussion. Also so many aspects to it, and you definitely hit a bunch of them. So much wisdom here. This line was a highlight to me:
But, we must also cooperate with the Holy Spirit and WALK in this purity by our choices, commitments, and values.

Rebecca said...

You wrote, "you make purity a matter of the heart. Purity comes from a heart of love for God, and a close relationship with Him. When we love Him, our heart wants live to please Him." That about sums it up for me.

I couldn't agree with you more! I believe the best way to teach our kids is not with a list of rules, but by addressing matters of the heart. There is nothing legalistic about wanting to live a life that pleases God.

I really appreciated the verse from 2 Timothy...it inspires ME to keep myself pure because the desire of my heart is for God to use my life for His good work.

Thanks for all the great thoughts! Rebecca

Daniel's Mom said...

Wow, such a blessing! You shared great wisdome and insight,Tracy. I'm new at the well. I finally figured out what the linkey was for. :-P So I actually posted about purity on mine. I've been misusing it.

Gina@Chats With An "Old Lady" said...

thank you for commenting on my site, and ESPECIALLY for visiting! I am enjoying getting to know you...and am thankful to have come across your blog! Do you live in Maryland? You want to do coffee????

Hugs!

Gina@Chats With An "Old Lady" said...

thank you for commenting on my site, and ESPECIALLY for visiting! I am enjoying getting to know you...and am thankful to have come across your blog! Do you live in Maryland? You want to do coffee????

Hugs!

Kathryn said...

Tracy, I love this topic and this post! I wanted to join you "At the Well" on Monday, but I'm late. Still got wonderfully refreshed, though! :-)

Regina said...

Hello, I did post on the topic At The Well this past Monday but I didn't leave a comment here, sorry. Sometimes I wonder if I really have anything useful to say at all! But here is the link anyway..
http://kneelatthecross.blogspot.com/2008/09/in-world-but-not-of-world.html

I really enjoy all your posts At The Well.
Regina