Purity is Under Attack
As I mentioned in the first article of this series (see article HERE), our family has been enriched and our perspective expanded to a global scale through our overseas assignments. The difficult, albeit invaluable, side to international living and travel, however, is seeing firsthand the less-than-pleasant characteristics inevitable to any society: crime, lack of cleanliness, homelessness, and poverty. One societal vice that entered our family conversation during our time in Korea was human trafficking; the military installations there diligently educated and warned families concerning this very-real danger. While I found it difficult at that time to explain human trafficking to my young teen daughter, a recent event—the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl not far outside my own circle of friends--made me thankful for the awareness that we gained on this subject. As I prayed desperately for this teen’s safe return, I also educated myself further on this issue, from which the United States is hardly immune. According to an organization that assists domestic sex trafficking victims, an estimated 100,000 children are trapped in the U.S. sex industry, and an estimated 300,000 more children in our country are at high risk. As the mother of a 14-year-old daughter myself, these statistics are quite unsettling. There are so many threats to our children’s purity in today’s world, from sex trafficking, to substance abuse, to sensualized media intake. How do we even begin to protect our children from these attacks on their physical, spiritual, mental and emotional well-being?
We are Not our Own, We are Bought with a Price
As has been my consistent theme throughout this series (see previous articles HERE), the important first step to fighting for our children’s purity is to instruct them in the Word of God. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word (Psalm 119:9).” A quick perusal of a concordance returns a number of verses on the subject of purity. Matthew 5:8 says that the pure in heart will see God; 2 Timothy 2:22, that we are to flee youthful passions and call on God with a pure heart; Titus 2:14 and Hebrews 9:14, that Jesus’ death purifies us to serve Him; 1 Peter 1:22, that our souls are purified by obedience to the truth. Thus, we see that purity, which is key to human interaction with God, begins with salvation, and continues through obedience to God’s Word.
In addition to these verses, there are several which directly address the purity of the body:
1 Corinthians 6:20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God in your body.”
2 Corinthians 6:14-16, “Do not be unequally yoked to unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness…what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God…”
1 Corinthians 6:15, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!”
Any number of applications can be made from these verses, from the importance of proper nutrition and exercise, to avoiding drug and alcohol abuse, to driving within posted speed limits, to setting healthy dating boundaries. As we teach God’s expectation of purity, as well as exemplifying it in our own lives, our children will gain an understanding of the significance of their physical bodies in God’s view, and begin to take the responsibility for keeping themselves pure.
Whatever is True, Whatever is Honorable...
This discussion would not be complete without consideration of what I see as a major threat to our children’s purity, namely, their exposure to sexually-themed media--movies, books, online pornography, and possibly even illicit online contacts by those who would prey on children’s innocence for their own gain. According to another organization that seeks to help victims of sex-trafficking, an estimated 76 percent of sex transactions with underage girls begin on the internet. In the fight for our children’s purity, staying abreast of the latest tactics of those who would harm our children, as well as vigilantly controlling access to harmful media is vitally important. We must teach our children to focus their minds on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable…(Phil. 4:8).” With effort, parents can create a thoughtful balance that trains children to be “wise as serpents,” while allowing them to remain "as innocent as doves (Matt. 10:16).”
Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes (Neh. 4:14).
Fighting for Your Children Series