By Erin McNew | Staff Writer
Photo credit: Donna Irene Photography
As women, we get caught up in the beliefs of the world. We get caught up in the world’s thinking that we have to wear this new cosmetic or have this new hairstyle in order to be beautiful in the eyes of our male counterparts. We get caught up in all of these material things and forget that we can establish beauty in the eyes of others simply through our decisions and our actions.
Did you know that purity is beautiful? I believe that committing your body to the Lord before a man makes you beautiful. And as many mornings as I wake up, do my hair, put on make-up, and throw on a dress, in my heart I know that I’m beautiful without all those things.
Purity, chastity, and virginity have all come to be somewhat strange words for men and women I believe. For so many individuals they’ve grown to be inherently intimidating or fear inspiring words. And coming from someone who strives to adopt those words to their identity in the eyes of Christ, I find that kind of sad. I find it discouraging to know that the decisions of myself and others have grown to be things that have the potential to make a person undesirable and strange. Because I feel as if that’s discounting a personal choice. And, honestly, sometimes it’s almost discounting a personal feat.
I would venture to say that humans have the inherent desire to be sexually active once they come of a particular age. And that to refrain from that desire is almost to refrain from instinct. Not to flatter myself or anything, but it takes a lot of strength and focus not to act on those desires. And it takes a lot of wisdom to be able to recognize those things that will increase those desires within you. Humans have a natural want to live in communion with others. And it’s difficult to remind your mind and your heart that sex doesn’t guarantee that when your body is telling you it does.
For those who don’t understand why purity is in some sense of the word attractive, I would honestly venture to say they don’t understand. Hard work is attractive. Passion is attractive. Cleanliness is attractive. And, just as those things apply to our lives in general, they apply to purity and chastity. An individual who works hard to preserve the best of their physical self for a spouse they have yet come to know is attractive. An individual who has a passion for the Lord and his promises of redemption, healing, and new life is attractive. And an individual who pursues cleanliness of heart that it might function properly in the context of love and affection is attractive.
I commend the man who ventures to pursue the heart of a chaste woman. Because each and every day I’m becoming increasingly well acquainted with the difficulties this brings. It’s hard to mold your heart to a value it does not inherently hold for itself in the interest of another. I get that. I get the questions that must go through your head. I get that you must wonder if it’s worth it. I get that friction and frustration must be encountered when you desire something your significant other refuses. But I’m telling you that despite any argumentation or spats that may result from this disjunction, she appreciates your effort. It’s hard. It’s hard to justify expecting that of someone for the sake of nothing but your own heart. But there’s little you respect more than someone willing to try. The human heart is well versed in the art of empathy. And it’s in that art in which so much of your strength lies. It’s that art that lead our Savior to give his life for us. And it’s that art that gives romance a heartbeat. For love is not a selfish endeavor, but rather on that thrives in an environment bathed in selflessness.
Your body is woven from the light of heaven. Are you aware that its purity and swiftness is the envy of angels and its courage keeps even devils away.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:4
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. – 1 John 4:18
P.S. You are enough.