Defining emotional purity can be a bit like trying to touch air. We can see the effects of air, but we can’t grab it. It slips through our fingers with us being unaware.
We can’t see emotional purity the same way we view physical purity. It’s not tangible and frankly can be a bit elusive. But the effects of our emotions are very real for many of us.
Emotional purity, in a nutshell, is saving a certain level of emotions for a committed relationship. “Okay, Heather, what does that mean?” you ask.
Maybe I can help explain by sharing the blueprint for marriage. Stick with me; I promise to help make emotional purity tangible for you.
Ephesians 5 is packed full with the blueprint for a Christ-centered, godly marriage. The goal and vision of a godly marriage is to point people to Christ. It’s meant to be used as a tool to bring people to Jesus.
There’s something sacred and beautiful about this notion that God created marriage to make much of Him. Marriage isn’t about me, and it’s not about my husband. It’s about God!
Let’s think about our relationship with Christ. It isn’t until after we make a commitment to Christ that we begin to experience the benefits of a committed relationship with Him. So a relationship that mirrors Christ and His Church waits for a commitment before certain emotions are shared. And it isn’t until after we are married that we can freely experience all the benefits of being married—physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
But what is the line of “guarding your heart” vs. being careless with emotions? Does this mean we never talk to a guy? Does this mean we can’t be friends with guys? I don’t think so, but boundaries can be helpful in navigating these elusive waters.
Think of a bull’s-eye target. There’s a tiny circle surrounded by rings that get larger and larger. That center circle is your emotions that should be saved for your mate. It’s those things that should be shared and experienced with just one other person. As you go out, you have a small group of friends that you allow into your life and heart. The farther out you go, the larger the group is, and the less of you you share.
Proverbs 31:12 says that a good wife does her husband good all the days of her life. When I was single, one goal I had was to “do my husband good.” So I came up with a list of questions I’d ask when I interacted with single guys.
- Would I treat him this way if he were a married man? (Chances are if he was married, I’d not manipulate situations to be with him or pay attention to his every step at youth group or be aware of his every move.)
- Would I talk about this topic with him if his (future) wife were sitting here? (This helped me know what I should talk and share with him.)
- Would I think about him this way if he were married? (This helped me keep my thoughts in check.)
These simple questions helped me as I tried to navigate what emotional purity looked like in my heart and life. Emotional purity is really a matter of the heart. I’ve come to realize matters of the heart are very rarely black and white. This is where seeking God, desiring to make much of Christ, and relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit to show you what emotional purity looks like in your life.
If your heart is longing to make the gospel visible in your life, I pray that God shows you how that will look!
So how about you? How would you define emotional purity? Leave me a comment below with your answer. I will choose one of you to win a free copy of my book, Emotional Purity: An Affair Of The Heart.