How can a young person, really any person, stay on the path of purity? Have you ever given this question any thought? Would it encourage you to know God has?
Psalm 119:9a says “How can a young person stay on the path of purity?” It obviously must matter to the Lord because He went so far as to put the question in His Word. Purity is a big deal to God, because He knows what happens to those who do not remain pure. He knows how impurity doesn’t just wreck lives, it wrecks families and futures.
If you look to our culture, the idea of purity is almost nonexistent. The modern day philosophy is if you don’t get AIDS and you don’t get pregnant, then you’ve dodged a bullet. Anything else gets a green light culturally speaking. No wonder our young people have difficulty maneuvering their way through this. Sadly, our young people aren’t the only ones who fall in the area of purity.
The Good News is God has the answer. If you continue reading in Psalm 119:9 He clearly tells us how to stay on the path of purity: “By living according to Your Word.” Living life as the Word of God directs is how to remain on the path of purity.
You see, the world says anything goes, but God doesn’t. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 says “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” Holy means set apart. He’s calling us to live life differently.
Having an understanding of what God calls love helps us to live a life of purity. The word love in Scripture can be philia, eros, or agape. Philia is the Greek word for brotherly love or friendship. This is what you feel for your BFF. Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, derives its name from Philia. This is the bond between friends that carries you through time.
Eros is the love of things that bring you pleasure and are discarded when they ceases to bring you pleasure. This is the kind of love you have for inanimate objects, such as computers, cell phones, cars, etc. You love your cell phone and you enjoy using it, but when a newer, faster model comes out you’re more than willing to cast the one you have aside to acquire the latest technology. Now your old phone doesn’t get its feelings hurt and say “She just used me. She pushed my buttons and then cast me aside.” Of course not, it’s an object created to be used.
Agape is unconditional love that is selfless and loves even when love isn’t returned. This is the love God has for us [John 3:16, Romans 5:8]. It’s safe to be vulnerable in this type of relationship. God intended for sex to reside in agape love relationships between a husband and a wife [Genesis 2:23-24].
Agape love is spoken about throughout Song of Solomon. It is the love 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of in verses 4-13: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
When we gain a true understanding of the word love, we will look at our relationships differently. To be a people of purity, we have to do things God’s way. Apart from Him we will fail, and fail miserably [John 15:5].
Ask the Lord to search your heart and reveal any misconceptions you have about love and sex. Ask Him to show you how He would have you relate to others, what is appropriate and what is inappropriate. Reflect upon your relationships with others and make sure they’re in line with the way God’s Word calls us to live.
You’ll be amazed by what He reveals. He’s not standing by waiting to kick us when we’re down. He is for us and He desires to give us abundant life [John 10:10]. When we open ourselves up to His best, He won’t let us down. 1 John 4:8 tells us God is love…God is agape. His desire for us is to live in His agape.