Saturday, March 19, 2011

In A Word: Purity

In a about a week I'll be taking part in a middle and high school girl's purity retreat. I've been asked to be a group leader as well as speak to the girls during one of the evening sessions. I've been thinking over and over in my mind just what I should talk about and how I should handle questions and issues that the group might bring up during the retreat. One thing that has stuck out in my mind the most is the fact that staying pure is not limited to abstinence until marriage. Staying pure for God means staying pure in body, spirit, and mind.

Growing up, my Sunday School class used to sing a song that goes like this:

 "Oh be careful little hands what you do, 
Oh be careful little hands what you do, 
for the Father up above 
is looking down with love, 
so be careful little hands what you do."

Each verse of the song covers a different area of life in need of caution. The rest of the verses are as follows:

"Oh be careful little eyes what you see..."
"Oh be careful little ears what you hear..."
"Oh be careful little feet where you go..."
"Oh be careful little mouth what you say..."

I remember singing this song with its catchy tune and little hand motions every Sunday morning. At the time, I don't think I realized just how important this song would be years down the road. As far as I was concerned, I shouldn't hit my brother or sister (hands), I shouldn't watch grown up movies (eyes) or listen to people fighting and swearing (ears), I should stay away from bad people (feet), and I definitely should not talk back to my parents (mouth).

This simple children's song, however, carries of a lot of protection with it for the teenage years on into adulthood. If we're honest, not a day goes by (no matter our age) where we're not bombarded with all kinds of temptations that lead to nothing but death and destruction to the body. It's up to us to stand against these forces and choose to be pure for God. Remember, our "bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in us, whom we have received from God. We are not our own; we were bought at a price. Therefore we are to honor God with our bodies" (I Corinthians 6:19-20 paraphrased).

Being pure is being aware and prepared for the dangers that are constantly lurking around us. Being pure is not giving in to the temptation to click on the Internet site leading to adult content. It's learning to flip the television to another channel when we realize the "family" move we're watching isn't so family oriented. Being pure is knowing how to say no when pressured into having a sexual relationship with the significant other despite the idea that "everyone is doing it." Since when did Hollywood become everyone? Being pure is choosing the child-safe checkout line at the grocery store to avoid magazines featuring unrealistically thin men and women. There's not a quicker way to pull us down and steer us towards drastic and damaging eating habits than to be made to feel ugly and worthless by a magazine cover featuring a model that has been air brushed too many times to count. 

Honoring God with our body and treating it like the temple it is means to remain pure in every area of life. Keep the eyes focused on the presence of God in all circumstances. Tune the ears into songs of praise and the still small voice of the loving Father. Walk in the light of His path towards events and activities that are pleasing to Him. Speak the Word of Truth and fill the mouth with praise to the King. Lift hands in activities of service to others. Lift hands in praise. Lift hands into the hands of the Father. Above all, keep singing the words of the song above. They are words of warning and words of guidance; words to live by.


  1. What a very important biblical topic that will rest on the hearts and minds of the young ladies you will address ....I will pray for you Amanda that God will speak through you not only in what you say but how it will flow from your mouth as well .... It is so very hard a topic in a broken world however from reading your blog I know the LORD will do wonderful things through you next week ....Rest well and enjoy your week .

  2. Thank you Summer for your words of encouragement and for your prayers!! Blessings :)