Chasing Chastity, Vying For Virtue

Are you desiring to reflect a life of purity but feel as though your thoughts constantly lead you to undesired actions? Perhaps, you think the urges are just too much to withstand? Well, as a 32 year old woman who has attempted to live a life of abstinence, I can attest that I understand. Here is my purity story-- full of realness chronicling my continuous path of chasing chastity and vying for virtue.

At 16 years old, I was sitting at the table, eating breakfast and suddenly I felt as though the Lord was nudging me to save myself for marriage in every way. I had just gotten into a relationship four months prior, so I brushed it off. That same day the Lord led me to hear a story about a young lady who made a decision to wait until marriage for her first kiss. The story delineated details about the connection that is formed when physical bonds occur between two individuals-- also known as soul ties. I then heard the Lord speak in a way that I had not experienced before. I felt His presence and a longing to make a drastic pledge-- no matter the cost. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I told the Lord I will dedicate my relationship to Him. I proceeded to ask my then boyfriend if we could wait to kiss or be physical in any way. Frankly, I thought he would tell me I was crazy and break up with me on the spot, but that was not the case. When I presented to him what God put on my heart, not only was he understanding, but he agreed not to kiss or engage physically. Truthfully, my teenage hormones yielded a little sadness, as I wondered what good-good we would miss out on, lol! Simultaneously, I was ecstatic that he was even willing to join me in the pursuit of purity.

Later that evening, I went home and worshipped God and thanked Him for giving me the strength to be obedient, regardless of the outcome. That day, Jesus and I made the covenant of our "Purity Vow." My parents were elated and shortly after, presented me with a Purity Ring to accompany the decision to honor God with my body.

Eventually, I found myself single again and thrusted into the dating world. I was floored at the amount of men who refused to wait until marriage. The games...oh the games that were played were unprecedented. The men I met seemingly enjoyed pretending to respect my wishes to abstain, only to "change their minds" after a few months or less.

Nevertheless, I continued to navigate the torrential waters of online dating... only to end up drowning in a sea of unequally yoked suitors who wanted one thing. Y'all already know! After three months of straight lunacy, I met a wonderful, respectful and attractive man. Unfortunately, he possessed another faith so I convinced myself that we would just be friends.

After six months of "friendship" my heart beated a different tune and I desired to be with him romantically. I knew he and his family were devout in their religion. Consequently, the situation was just not God's best for me. In the end, I chose Jesus. Why is this experience significant? It was the 1st time that I walked away from a great relationship because I wanted to please God and keep Him on the throne of my heart.

At this point, I was 23 and still a virgin...barely, but still trying my best to wait to engage in the ultimate intimacy with my future husband. Well, I did not take the time to properly heal, so I traversed upon a journey of serial dating, embarking upon rollercoasters of false validation. Despite the fact that I am blessed with an awesome father and two loving brothers, I wanted to be pursued and held by men. You see, as a physical touch love language subscriber, I thoroughly enjoyed cuddling, hugging and even sleeping next to the object of my affection. Dont worry-- although unwise, there were rules and a method to my madness. They were predominately men I knew for a year or more and some were close friends. We always had a verbal understanding that it would go no further. At the time, I saw nothing wrong with my actions as I kept saying, "We are not having sex, so I see no issue." Conviction from Holy Spirit told me otherwise. Over time, common sense whispered a little something to me too. It was foolish and dangerous to play such a game with myself as well as the men-- even if they were trusted friends and suitors...they were still MEN. Furthermore, I still had desires and I rustled the terrain of temptation way too much. You would think I would have stopped there but no... more compartmentalizing men and using them to validate my need to feel desirable, beautiful and wanted occurred for years. This toxic cycle continued until I made the decision to be modest, stop the behavior and wait on who God had for me. Then... I met the love of my life. He was everything I dreamed of and possessed all the qualities I yearned for in a husband. He treated me with dignity and respect. While we were deeply attracted to one another, we tried our best to maintain abstinence. The