Living a life of purity in this world is like walking through a muddy parking lot. The way you walk through it will depend on where you are going.
Where are you headed?
If you are heading to a mud volleyball tournament, then walking through mud is no big deal. You don't freak out about a splatter of mud getting on your shirt or inside your shoes or even on your face. Why bother, you are going to be covered in mud soon enough anyway! You might even start kicking it up and flinging it on others.
However, if you were walking across that same muddy parking lot on the way to a wedding, you would be more careful. If it was your wedding, you might even ask someone to carry you. You wold guide others along the more solid areas and away from the sloppy ones. You would be careful to direct your kids in the same path.
So, where are you headed? We are headed towards a wedding. We are the bride and we want to be presented to our Groom as spotless. While walking along life's path, there is no need to join in the mudslinging or indulging in the "ease" of just letting the mud get on you. There are ways to protect your purity. Let us walk together to help each other.
Our goal is to help guide others through the mud and slop. We are available for speaking, mentoring and other events. Contact us for more information.
You might read somewhere that the teen pregnancy rate is dropping. That is great news! But reducing teen pregnancy isn’t our goal. Reducing teen pregnancy isn’t our message. Our message goes beyond abstinence. Our goal is far above reducing or even eliminating unplanned pregnancies. Our goal isn’t even to reduce or eliminate teens contracting or spreading STD’s.
Do we want teen pregnancies to drop to zero? Yes.
Do we want the spreading of STD’s to drop to zero, especially in the teenage population? Yes.
But these are not our goals! They are natural outcomes of what we want to accomplish.
If you have ever had the opportunity to try and break a board, (HIYA!) then you have been told to focus beyond the board you are trying to break. You punch through what you are trying to accomplish. So what is our focus?
Our goal is simple: We want to teach people to live purely for God.
We know that if we can educate students on how to live purely, cultivate in them a seed to lead others and motivate them to do so within this un-pure world, then:
So how do we do this?
We teach what love is in public schools while sharing the facts about STD’s, teen pregnancies and condom use. Facts like condoms may reduce the risk of pregnancy but can not stop the spread of HPV, one of the most common STD’s today that is causing cervical cancer in younger and younger females and throat cancer in boys.
We visit youth groups and share what God desires from each one of us and how we can live that out while supporting each other.
We talk with parents to help equip them so they can help educate their kids, no matter what age.
We share our story because God gave us a second chance in order to do just this. We chose to live life according to “me” instead of “He” and He allowed us. But now that we live our life according to Him, He guides us.
I fight for purity isn’t just a hashtag so we can sound trendy. We live this fight out daily. And we will go to battle for anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Will you help us fight for purity?
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I finally decided to have surgery on my knee to fix a 30+ year old injury. This is an injury that I played with through high school, college and adult soccer leagues. It’s an injury that I continued to re-injure many times… over… and… over… and… over! I have had many opportunities to repair it over the years, but I haven’t for various reasons. Stubbornness is not one of them… really.
In junior high football, another player pushed his guy into the side of my left knee bending it a way that God did not intend it to bend causing an almost complete tear in my ACL along with some other damage. Because I wasn’t fully grown at the time, the doctor suggested that I not repair it surgically. They would have had to go through my growth plate causing my leg to stop growing. So I waited to get it repaired.
I played through high school and college. Every now and then, I would tweak it a bit or a lot and had to deal with the pain and swelling but would be able to get back to “normal” fairly quickly. The summer before my college senior year, I tore my right ACL ending my college career. (Don’t cry, it wasn’t all that…) I had surgery on my right knee over Christmas break and went back to school on crutches and in a brace. But I didn’t get my left one fixed.
Throughout high school and college I played with a brace. I hated that brace. As soon as I started playing in adult leagues, I stopped wearing the brace. It worked, or so I thought. My leg got stronger and I felt I was able to play better. And so it went for awhile. Then one day, with no one around, in my first game in California, my knee went out and that was it. I stopped playing. It felt unstable. Day to day, it felt like it was going to come unhinged at any moment. But I still carried on with life, sans soccer.
It wasn’t until our daughter started showing interest in soccer that I decided that I would need to get some stability in my knee if I wanted to be a part of her soccer life growing up. So, I decided to finally get this 30+ year old injury fixed.
My knee being unstable didn’t bother me. I could live with it as I believed that it only affected me. But when I started to see how it could affect others, I really saw how unstable my knee had become. I had tried to strengthen it myself. It didn’t work. Because of this, I had to decide to submit to someone who could strengthen my knee for me. I had to get a surgeon to physically operate on it.
The integrity of my knee is like purity. When I was thinking it only affected me, my strength of my knee… or my purity was something I could live without. Lack of purity causes instability and weakness that we may not recognize. When you live just for yourself, you tend to allow instability or weakness in your life because you think that you are the only one being affected or hurt. It’s when you see that it affects someone else that you will see the instability or weakness and see the need to fix it. You also have to admit that you can’t do it on your own. Only then will you seek out Someone that can be your strength. Living purely is something you can’t do in your own strength.
I do NOT want you to think my husband is hot. In fact, I really don't want anyone looking at or considering him in that way at all. And how much more so if the person doing the gawking and ogling over my spouse is also married, or at the very least, in a dating or engaged relationship.
Being involved in a ministry that is based on purity definitely gives me a strong view on topics related, and even more so when it comes to my marriage with Rob. I waited too long for such a blessing to not be protective of him and us. There are so many different purity battles that we all regularly face, and unfortunately, we have a tendency to add to our discontent and wandering heart without even realizing it. When I pledged my heart, my love and my life to Rob through marriage, I did a couple of different things. I made a commitment to be there for Rob in all things, the good, the bad and the ugly. I also made a vow to keep myself my body, my mind, my eyes and my heart for him and no other. Until death do us part.
Now...If I spend the rest of my days with Rob, noticing other guys, commenting on another's physique, enjoying any other male companionship in any way that resembles what I should have with Rob, then I am personally putting up little time bombs into my marriage that will wait for just the right moment to explode. I certainly wouldn't want Rob to be doing those things to other women!! I spent many months watching his eyes as we began noticing one another again. What was he looking at, or better yet, what did he choose not to look at? Was he making his eyes available for the world, or was he choosing to have his eyes on the Lord, and therefore keeping his eyes on me.
There have been times in gatherings with friends that I hear the hypothetical conversations of, "If you could have one Hollywood star and no consequences who would it be?" Or another, "He is so hot! If I could just..." And then there is, "I wish my husband (boyfriend, fiancé) would: do that, be that, act like that, look like that, say those kinds of things to me." Maybe the most dangerous is the conversation between a couple, the one of, "If we could each have one other person for one night, no questions asked, who would that be??" Oh how we put our relationships in harms way with this kind of thinking and speaking. There is NO ONE that I want to do certain things with other than my husband, and I would never want him to think that I was desiring someone instead of him. The reality is, there is no option of "no consequences" and thinking this way only put chinks in the bond of my relationship with my spouse.
What has come to my attention lately is how common it is for us to flaunt not just ourselves, but our spouse for the world to see. This has become more prevalent as we have moved full speed ahead into the world of social media. Often, when we post details about dates with our spouse, or significant other, we are personally truly feeling real love and emotion with them and for them. We really did have a great time with them, or truly were surprised by a gift or special treatment from them. So then the natural tendency is to share our thoughts about how we feel with others. What ends up happening though, is we are posting how he or she may look, how they act, or our opinion about our attractions to our own spouse. (Which in and of itself is not a bad thing. I sure do hope that you are in love with your spouse and that you do tell them that as often as possible in fun and surprising ways.) However, what we post is, "look at my hot wife," or "I love you my amazingly handsome, charming, witty, smart, talented and best dad ever to our children...oh did I mention he's hot?" Many of the posts include interesting or crazy hashtags, none of which I am going to write here, because I really wouldn't want you looking there anyways. Remember, we are talking about purity here.
Now again, in and of itself, there is nothing wrong with these kinds of posts. May I just toss out there as a word of caution. If I advertise for the world, something that I hold dear, I also am putting a lure out there. It may not be an intentional lure, but the bitter taste of displeasure, of dissatisfaction, of loneliness in others, or the misguided desires of self and self pleasure can so easily be ensnared by such a comment. And when I have just advertised my spouse to the world via social media, I have just put little targets on my relationship and without proper protection through prayer we can easily be hit.
My hope for my marriage is to keep the doors of dissatisfaction closed. To keep my one true love as just that, the one that I adore and will love until death do us part. And I will not put him out there as a banner for "hottest husband ever," "the studliest stud muffin," or "Mr. Romance 101...in the flesh." (Even if I believe all of that stuff to be true to me.)
So please know that it is ok with me that you don't even pay my husband any mind when it comes to his romance, his looks, his brains, or his brawn. Those things are reserved for me through the covenant of marriage, and believe me, I waited a long, long time for my prince charming to come.
This picture was sent to me by a friend. Since receiving it, I have had a lot of thoughts running through my mind. It has sparked a lot of ideas and emotions. Maybe it is because of what we do, but most of my thoughts tend to be on how this scenario came to be and how the moment that is portrayed is not the important moment but somewhere earlier on. Below are different thoughts or questions that have come to mind.
What would the differences in tone be in the two pictured? The top picture seems like one of despair. Like she is saying she knows she messed up and the consequences are so huge that she doesn’t know what to do next. One could read into it a sense of need to cover it up. Similar to when Jenna found out she was pregnant with Colby. Her first thoughts were that no one needs to even know about this and she could take care of “it” before anyone found out. That anyone included her mom and me. Praise God that He intervened and showed Jenna truth.
On the other hand, maybe fear of disappointing her parents is the primary driver of her statement. “I have really let them down,” she might be thinking, “what are they going to do?” I knew about Jenna being pregnant for weeks before telling my parents. The fear of letting them down was so big, but I couldn’t hide from it. Whenever commercials came on about baby products I would freeze. “I can’t watch this, they will know that I got someone pregnant. But wait, if I don’t watch it, then they will know that I am avoiding it and think I got someone pregnant.” When I finally couldn’t take it any longer, and the “right moment” never happened, I told them through sobs and tears. My dad’s first action was to walk out of the room. My fears jumped up and started screaming, “See, you disappointed him so much.” But they were quickly silenced when he returned with a box of tissues.
The bottom picture has a completely different tone. More of disappointment, not in something she did, but in not having a chance to live. Here she is developing and growing at a rapid rate looking forward to what life has for her only to see that it would end before she even would get a chance to cry.
Those are the initial, almost of the surface responses that I had. But then, as I was thinking about it, it struck me that regardless of what kind of tone or thoughts going through the top pictured girl’s head, there was something bigger in play here. What lead to this moment? What caused her to feel this way to make that statement?
This is why we do what we do.
This girl may have been told not to have sex. Or, as in a lot of cases that we hear, she was told to at least use a condom or her mom took her to the doctor to get on the pill. “After all, kids are kids and they are just going to do it anyway.” (One of the biggest lies out there, by the way.) Either way, communication did not happen soon enough and/or often enough. It has to start as early as possible with age appropriate information that builds on itself over and over.
The issue isn’t a positive pregnancy test. It was way before that.
The issue isn’t her having sex with her boyfriend, or the guy from the party, or whomever. It was before that.
The issue isn’t in letting her date or hangout with a guy by herself or whatever else. It was before that.
The issue lies in all the decisions that led up to that moment.
It isn’t the last turn that caused you to get lost. If it was, then you just need to go back to that crossroad. It usually is one turn after another that leads to being lost.
And who is responsible for these decisions. The girl? The parents? The boy? His parent’s? The answer is, yes. All of them are responsible.
We know that a couple hours in front of a student, usually their freshmen year in high school isn’t enough to equip them to set the appropriate boundaries they will need to get through life the way they have planned. (And by planned, I am talking more about avoiding what they don’t plan. No one ever plans to have a baby in high school or to get an STI… ever.) We know, that no matter how cool you think it is, our story is our story and as impactful as it may be, won’t be the deciding factor in the moment. Hopefully it will help them make choices before that point.
What we do know is that by training and teaching students on an ongoing basis, we can make a bigger impact than just ourselves in a health class. We can start to turn the tide of peer pressure to abstinence and living with boundaries be the norm not something to mock. We know that when students are taught the big picture, and not just what is impacting them now, they will take it and run.
Also, we know that it isn’t just a battle for students. We need to help parents. We need to show parents that it’s more than just “having the talk.” It needs to start when our kids are young and be a lifestyle that they are brought up in. Open communication. Trust building. Leadership. Guidance. All of these are important in raising children who will communicate; Children who will trust parents enough to share with them what is going on in their lives; Children who will follow and who will learn and be teachable.
Abstinence only education gets a bad rap sometimes… OK, many times. People believe that it is a message of, “Don’t have sex” period. End of story, see you later. Yes, abstinence means you don’t have sex, but it’s the “why” that is more important. Our purpose is to provide the students with tools and resources so that they can make a decision of abstinence because it is what is best for them and their goals.
Proponents of using birth control and other forms of protection are only addressing two issues when they talk about “safe sex.” (Actually now, the new term that they are using is “safER sex.”) The two areas they believe they are keeping safe from are pregnancy and STI’s. Safe means “free from harm,” or a 0% chance. In this case, safe sex would mean there is a 0% chance of getting pregnant or contracting an STI. And we know that there is no protection that can guarantee 100% safety from these two areas. Hence the term “safer sex.” But safer than what?
So-called “comprehensive” sex educators are called such because they talk about protection. But what they don’t discuss is that there is no protection from the social, emotional or spiritual consequences of sex or even intimacy. So a more “comprehensive” approach to the whole picture of sex and intimacy is actually abstinence because it is only abstinence that can and will protect you from not only the physical, (pregnancy and STI’s) but also the social, emotional or spiritual aspects of sex.
Rob and Jenna Crenshaw are founders of Crossroads Club