May I ask you something? Do you ever feel as if you’ve totally missed the mark? Like you’ve messed up the perfection that God started with when you were born? Like you have contaminated the goodness He created in you? Maybe it is something small and silly that makes you feel inferior. Maybe it’s a huge secret, a sexual sin that keeps you cowering in your walk with God. Memories can be more convicting than any judge or jury.
I went through a real period of struggling with my own purity at the beginning of my college years. I thought I had completely blown it. Memories came back to haunt me and make me feel inferior. In my mind, I was no longer pure. I had ruined the perfection God had created in me. Let’s test that against Scripture for a second . . .
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me (Ps. 51:5).
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).
There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins (Eccles. 7:20).
Okay, you weren’t born yesterday, so you can handle this . . . you weren’t born pure. You were innocent when you were born, but Scripture says you were born sinful. So this notion that you have "lost" your purity is nonsense. You never had it.
I know young women who have some yucky stuff in their past but whose lifestyles exude purity. And I know young women who think they are pure in a very technical sense but whose lifestyles are anything but pure. Innocence is where you begin, and it is possible that you have lost some of your innocence, but purity . . . that’s where you end up!
As you confront lust and make right choices with the help of God and friends and lots of fast, strategic exits, that little monster lust slowly becomes God’s originally created, contented, uncompromised companion purity.
I used to feel guilty for always running into lust. He was smaller and his roar less threatening each time, but he kept showing up. The fact that he showed up to taunt me, I learned, was not my sin—it was a given and a chance to walk deeper and closer to my dear God if I said "no" to lust. Purity is a process. What a freeing secret . . .
—Adapted from And the Bride Wore White, Chapter 6, Revised Edition, 2012