Purity is something that we battle for all of our lives. If we’re not battling for it, we’ve already given up on the idea. For a Christ-follower, purity is not an option, it is a command; an expectation; a requirement. Purity goes hand-in-hand with holiness, which we are called to be since Christ is holy. Makes sense really: Christ lives within His followers. Holiness and unholiness don’t mix. Something cannot be both pure and impure at the same time. You are one or you are the other.
Therefore, the battle must be waged. It’s not easy. It’s often not fun. It is, however, a matter of life or death. I would say ask any one of several who have lost the battle, but most of them are dead now. Amy Winehouse is one of the most recent examples. It starts by giving in a bit and in small areas, usually, then the enemy completely overwhelms. Listen to hints of the progression towards destruction from Winehouse’s own mother (source):
In an interview in 2008, her mother Janis said she would be unsurprised if her daughter died before her time.
She said: ‘I’ve known for a long time that my daughter has problems.
‘But seeing it on screen rammed it home. I realise my daughter could be dead within the year. We’re watching her kill herself, slowly.
‘I’ve already come to terms with her dead. I’ve steeled myself to ask her what ground she wants to be buried in, which cemetery.
‘Because the drugs will get her if she stays on this road.
‘I look at Heath Ledger and Britney. She’s on their path. It’s like watching a car crash – this person throwing all these gifts away.’
How bad does it have to be for one to come to terms with a child’s death before it ever happens because you know it’s inevitable? If we give up the spiritual battle of purity in our lives (and you’re fooled if you think it isn’t spiritual), then you given in to all that is destructive.
Old married guys (just like singles) have to deal with it, too. Everyday, married couples have to wrestle with issues of purity: our thoughts, our practices and our habits. We are called to purity in all aspects of our lives all the time. It’s a fight.
I just read a really good, article on this struggle and some great advice on how to deal with it. Read this excerpt (and then read the entire post):
Trisha and I have spent more time apart this summer than we have at any time since our separation five and a half years ago. I’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t brought up questions and concerns and conversations. I’ve been free from pornography for almost six years. It no longer has a grip on my heart. But neither of us are stupid either. I’m one choice away from compromising my integrity; my relationship with God; my marriage; my boys. I know that.
There’s a lot of honesty in there. Honesty is where it all begins. Being honest with ourselves, our weaknesses and our failures. Being honest with God regarding our need for Him. Then understanding that this is going to be a lifelone fight for our lives and for our families.
It is hard…very hard, but it is worth the fight.