I have so many reasons why the purity of my life matters. Why it matters to me, and why my husband and I have committed our lives to sharing with others the importance of a purified life. The simplest and what seems to me the most obvious, is for these people right here...my kiddos.
Each one is watching me in their own way. No matter what stage of life they are in, they look to me as mom (and mom-in-law), and they pay careful attention to how I live my life, how I make decisions and how I do, or have responded to the waves of the world around me.
My three-year-old daughter, Monterey, watches my every move. Her sparkling eyes follow me daily and she mimics my steps. She copies how I get ready in the morning and she helps me in the kitchen. She uses my words and she is building her own way of seeing her value as a little lady who is loved by God. We are showing her by example how to guard her heart and her mind, and to make decisions based upon God's words and His love that He has for us. I want her to see that what I value for her I also value for myself. My role is to guard her heart for her until she ultimately learns how to guard it for herself.
My now teenage, and middle son, Nathanael, has a completely different way of watching me. I have a much more challenging situation to be able to observe what he is learning or to talk to him about what he is thinking. My middle son lives with his father in another state. I have limited physical time with him for now and much of my interaction is over the phone, through text messages, or via Skype. This doesn't change the reality that he is still watching me. Even in dealing with our circumstances, I know that he is observing the different worlds around him. I daily remind myself that God is in control and sovereign. Without looking to God for my support, it is too easy to get caught up in the "not fairs", the "I wish"'s, and the "I don't like this" sort of mentality. During the middle school years our kids make most of their decisions based on what us as parents, and even more likely, what their friends and peers are going to say or think of them. Our kids are taught to begin to be independent at a time when truly they are not capable of actual independent living. (That will be a rant for another day.) Regardless, as my child observes living and lifestyles around him that are not the same, he is actually looking and watching for what is true, what will stand, and again, basing it on what he has already learned from the bible. For him, my role is to make sure that my decisions follow the way of wisdom and purity so that he will see these choices made regardless of circumstances. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that he is actually going to make wise decisions at this time. So for me, living purely for my son is one of many battles in the war for his heart and his life for God. Again, I must match my words to my world. As is often said, things are caught, not taught. I want him to catch the cleansing fire of the pure life.
My oldest son, Colby, is now married to a lovely young lady, Jennifer, who has entered our lives and is now part of our family. Although they have their own place to live, and are in the beginning stages of establishing their lives as man and wife, I know that they still look to me and Rob for example guidance. My role as mom had transformed with him and is in such a sweet place of adult friendship, family and love. Colby has watched how I have chosen to live my life for a long time now, and praise God, He has chosen this same path for his own life as well as his life with Jennifer. Just as when I married Rob five years ago, their life of purity does not end with a wedding ring. It is a shift in thinking from "I must keep myself pure for God", to "I want to remain and live pure not just for myself and God, but for my spouse too." I pray that Rob and I will continue lead the way for them to see a godly marriage that continues to choose purity in a world that can get us very messy.
Another reason that should be obvious is when it comes to my husband and our marriage. It was vitally important that I was keeping myself pure for myself and my relationship with the Lord even before there was even a friendship between Rob and me. Now that we are married, I must endeavor to continue in the battle for my purity in order to protect my marriage. My love, my devotion to Rob and my satisfaction in our relationship should not be in question. Through Christ, I am able to love Rob completely, to keep my life devoted to my growing in Christ and unified with my husband. In doing these things, I can be satisfied in my relationship with my husband because I am not looking to the world to fulfill me, nor am I dissatisfied with where we are at in our relationship. When those moments or seasons do come where I may not feel connected to Rob, I can recognize my need for help and with the eyes of purity, I look to Jesus for that help, not the world, not another person and not an ideal or a fantasy.
The next area of my life where purity matters is in ministry. Now don't confuse having an actual job in ministry or being a defined missionary as the only thing that I am speaking to. Any time we surrender ourselves to be used by Christ is a part of ministry. That means, at home, at church, at the grocery store or hardware store. However, for me it does mean when I'm teaching students at a school or church, when I am meeting with someone one on one, or by my interactions with others in the community. If my walk doesn't match my talk it will surely be seen by others. My hope and prayer is that my daily living is an example of what I would say to another and that if I met a student on the street that I have just taught in a classroom, they would be able to see those lessons in my life that I have just shared with them as being valuable and worthwhile.
So why do I fight for purity? Because these people are worth fighting for. My kids. My family...and yours.