I could use a lot of words to describe what purity is, and those words may be different for everyone, but one thing is certain:
Purity does not happen by accident
In an article recently featured at crosswalk.com, Christian author and CEO of Hearts at Home, Jill Savage, discussed “Four Decisions Healthy Couples Make.” The article mentioned decisions that couples need to make in advance. Among these were the obvious: date nights, get-aways, and intimacy. The fourth one, however, really caught my attention. It was the decision to set boundaries.
Jill says, “Temptation often happens when we least expect it, and if we haven’t put boundaries in place …we may find ourselves drawn to someone other than our spouse. …Too often, we move through life without much intentionality, and then we pay a hefty price down the road.
While this article, in particular, is dealing with marriage, the concepts are very applicable for those of us in a battle with lust.
How often do we stumble and fall when ‘there’s nothing better to do?’
For many of us, lust can become a leisurely fall-back activity equivalent to Gramma’s knitting. It is a habit, like picking our nose or chewing our fingernails. It becomes something we just do simply becaue something must be done. If you are still actively involved in pornography then there is an addictive pull added to that. When life slows down and your body is allowed to speak, it speaks loudly and commands control.
For those walking in freedom, it would be a bad move on our part to figure that we are tempted less. No one plans to fall, but still we fall when we don’t have plans at all.
How often have you fallen when a rainy day has cancelled a trip to the beach and sequestered you in your home, alone and mopey? Have often have you fallen when a stomach bug has you feeling down and missing church or when a fight with the best friend leaves you feeling angry and discouraged?
We have, for some reason, adopted this line of thinking that since we want to live a pure life and walk in freedom, that our life will go in that direction. Wrong. We are not on an auto-pilot course to purity. It is a walk, which means we need to walk, with purpose, intention, planning. We need to know where we are going and know what we are doing before that down time happens.
What plans do you have in place to protect yourself?
In a moment of honesty, I will tell you that my biggest weakness on this earth is having a laptop computer. Each one of my family members has a laptop, but I had a desktop, a huge very non-portable desktop hooked up at the base of our staircase so anyone coming downstairs can see what I am up to before I know they are there. Nine times out of 10, when I have fallen, it has been with a laptop computer.
The bad news? My new position at the school this year comes with my very own laptop. Ugh. But it all comes down to planning. To being intentional. To putting safeguards in place that will protect me in my weakest moments.
I know how to disable inPrivate browsing (one of the worst things for us to have on our computers) and it is a pain in the rear to enable again. I also know how to disable the ability to clear Internet history and how to lock a computer out of a router. Guess what steps I am going to implement when I get that laptop?
(PS: I can give you a tutorial of how to do this if you would like. It’s good for parents to protect their children as well, and I teach it at any workshop with parents.)
Could it be undone?
Most definitely;but if I take the time to undo all of the safety measures, I have gone from unintentional temptation to intentional provision for sin.
It is a completely different mindset and not a transition I make easily.
What steps do you have in place to make your purity intentional? If the answer is “none,” what steps could you put in place to fix that?