Monday, November 12, 2012

Pledge of Purity

This weekend was a very special occasion.



Nope and nope.

This weekend, our daughter made a vow of purity.

In our culture, we must be INTENTIONAL about living a life for Jesus. If we just go with the flow...we will find ourselves seriously compromised or worse.

Believe it or not, this was not our idea.

It was Jensi's.

She has had some wonderful influences from the youth ministry at our church. One such influence was another young woman who had a special ring and pledged to remain pure for her future spouse. This made a profound impact on our daughter who (in true Jensi-style) wouldn't let us rest until we had helped choose the perfect ring for her!

What began as just a simple ring for her grew into a full Bible study for me.

I began to search the Word of God for what He might want her to know as she made this vow for her life.

As the list of Scriptures I wanted to share with her grew longer and longer, I realized that this was not something I could do in a half hour time slot or on the fly. It needed to have our full attention.

As I prayed about how to share these truths from the Bible with Jensi, I got the idea for a retreat. In a perfect world, Jensi and I would have jetted off to some private resort in the mountains and had a mother-daughter weekend complete with skiing, hot chocolate and pedicures. That not being our present reality, we opted to borrow a room at the church on a Saturday morning.

We met for a block of 2 1/2 heavenly uninterrupted hours.

It was a precious time for us to share honestly about our culture, God's plan for us as Christians, marriage, sex, how to live in a godly way and just plain old question and answer.


The following day we held an informal ceremony. She was insistent that both of her parents be present. (I love her initiative!)

We prayed over her...and she prayed too. We prayed for her future mate and for God to do His work in her life. Precious. So very precious.

Then, as her daddy held her ring, she took her vow.

And he slid the ring on her finger.

Shivers came to both of us as we realized the next time a ring goes on that finger...

What a joyful time in life this is! So excited to see how God uses our daughter and what the marvelous plans are that He has in mind for her!

For those of you with children "of age" and would like to do something similar I encourage you to sit your pre-teen or teen down and ask them about it. Would they be interested in something like this? Do they want to take a personal stand for God's ways? Do they want to enter marriage with a clean slate? Would they like to get the most out of what God has planned for them? If so, then I would encourage you both to have a similar study and ceremony.

We found her ring online and there are many dealers of "purity rings" and a simple Google search will show you the many options. It took us several WEEKS to choose the perfect ring for her to wear for the many years that will pass until she marries. (the MANY MANY MANY years that will pass!) ;) She was an active part of the ring selection. And remember, it doesn't have to be an actual purity ring. It could be any ring that is special to them. It doesn't even have to be a ring at all!

This special paper was also available online. Click here for the link to the one we used.

I wrote out the general outline of our study...and I've been asked if I would share it. I am more than happy to...and I pray that others might find it useful in their own pursuit of protecting their children's hearts.

If you haven't already, PRAY for your child's spouse. He or she is more than likely already out and breathing and doing life too. Pray that they are making a similar commitment to the Lord. Pray for their spiritual growth.

 I want to make a special note to you if your children are in their older teen years. I clearly haven't parented beyond age 12 1/2, but I want to remind you that it is NEVER too late to sit with your son or daughter and let them know you are lovingly praying for their future. Perhaps your child has made decisions that you would not approve of, but you can always open the door for conversation and forgiveness. God is not a God who demands perfection! He is abundantly loving and forgiving. You can always encourage your teen to seek purity from this point forward. These truths are still true for them no matter their past. I John 1:9 is a wonderful verse to cling to in such a situation!

The Study:

I wanted to cast a vision for Jensi to see that God has her entire life in His scope. I wanted her to understand this vow is not just about what she won't do but as a step of faith to TRUST what God has planned for her. That said, I do NOT know what He has planned for her. He may not have a spouse for her at all. We discussed this. 

Being that the chances are good that she will marry, we proceeded under that assumption with the caveat that God has that choice to decide if she'll marry or not.

Define purity. (regular dictionary, examples of something not being pure.)
Purity verses: Psalm 86:11, II Cor 7:1 , I Timothy 4:7

God's plan for you:
Jeremiah 29:11, Eph 2:10
Psalm 34:8-10
Ps 121, 139:1-4 You are constantly in God's care, His watch and on His mind
Ps 42:8 Each day God is pouring His love on you
Ps 127:1 

Our culture is not godly.
Romans 1

A spouse is a life gift.
Ecc 4:9-12
Gen 2:20-25

Examples of serving couples in the Bible:
Priscilla and Acquilla (Acts 18 and other places)
Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) clearly a negative example, but how united a couple is 
Abraham and Sarah (Genesis)
Joseph and Mary (Luke and Matthew)

While you wait for your spouse:
Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, 8:4
Eph 5:2
I Cor 6:12-18
I Cor 6:19-20 
Romans 12:1-2
Only marry a believer 2 Cor 6:14
Concerns of the married I Cor 7 (this is long and very exhaustive. we plowed through it.)

Once married:
Hebrews 13:4
Malachi 2:14-16
Prov 5:15-19

Divorce is not God's plan for you:
Romans 7:2-3
Matt 5:31-32
Mark 10-2, 11-12
Luke 16:18

Reality is that men live shorter lives than women. In this overview of her life, we talked about the fact that she may end up widowed at some point in her life. She is not to "die of a broken heart" but to remember that God has plans for her and to live each day for Him.

I Tim 5:11-14 (younger widows should remarry)
II Cor 5:9--what is our goal? What we do matters.

There is no magic in the format of this...I just spent several days praying for what I should share with her regarding this topic. There are probably tons of great verses I have left out...and there was a TON of discussion that happened around all these verses! I pray that this will help other parents and their children in their own pursuit of purity!


1 comment:

  1. This is just beautiful! I love your daughter and am amazed at how intentionally you parent!


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