Emotional Purity (Includes Study Questions): An Affair of the Heart

I was raised in Christian purity culture. The evangelical purity movement—born in the s and still alive today—uses false promises, misinformation, and shame to persuade people to abstain from sex. When I was nearing thirty and in a committed relationship with my now-husband , I questioned why I should wait. I was beginning to realize that purity culture encourages Christians to wait to have sex out of fear and in anticipation of perfect future relationships. In short, for all of the wrong reasons. While the goal of a biblical sexual ethic for Christians is a noble and necessary one, the core message of the purity movement is steeped in fear: we are to remain pure or else. Purity culture pushes myths about premarital sex and the guaranteed benefits of abstinence until marriage. Proponents promise Christians that if we withhold just a little longer, our fairytales will come true—complete with amazing wedding night sex and lifelong sexual and marital bliss. Many of us, especially women, who grew up under the teachings of purity culture carry significant emotional and spiritual trauma today.

Four Steps to Navigating Life after Purity Culture

By Heather Arnel Paulsen. If you are emotionally attached to someone, it’s easy to cross the line and become emotionally intimate. Then if the relationship doesn’t work out, you’re left with scars on your heart. The church teaches us the importance of physical purity; but it teaches little about emotional purity.

Buy a cheap copy of Emotional Purity: An Affair of the book by Heather Arnel Paulsen. Have you ever given Release Date:May Publisher:WinePress.

Author: Michelle Tepper. The best seller by Joshua Harris was recently back in the spotlight when Harris announced on social media that he separated from his wife and left the Christian faith. My parents, like many other Christian leaders and parents at that time, came of age in the sexual revolution. They were personally impacted by the dramatic cultural changes that came as their generation denounced previously accepted sexual values such as saving sex for marriage, marital fidelity, and sexual self-restraint.

As they came to faith and later went on to become parents and leaders in Christian ministry, one of their main goals was to create a church environment that modeled an alternative lifestyle to the increasing promiscuity in secular culture, with the hopes of protecting the next generation from making the same relational mistakes that they made. For many, this took shape through teachings on the importance of sexual purity, home and private faith-based schooling, and the elimination of dating in church youth groups.

The explanation was that dating was a slippery slope that led to premature emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy that would compromise personal holiness and weaken Christian commitment. In theory, if Christian youth were kept from dating until they were old enough to consider marriage, then it would minimize the opportunity for sexual mistakes and relational breakdown and pave the way for them to arrive at their wedding day spiritually, emotionally, and sexually whole.

I genuinely believe that at the heart of these teachings there was a healthy desire to promote a biblically-based and Christ-centered culture of mutual honour, spiritual purity, and personal holiness.

Sexual Purity

One definition of emotional purity :. Emotional purity is hardly even considered possible in our present society. But think of it this way: How would your future husband feel if he knew that some other guy had known your deepest thoughts, dreams, fears, and emotions?

boundaries while dating are not only God’s rules for moral purity but aspect of each individual—personal, emotional, moral, and sexual.

I remember vividly when the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye came out. The best seller by Joshua Harris was recently back in the spotlight when Harris announced on social media that he separated from his wife and left the Christian faith. My parents, like many other Christian leaders and parents at that time, came of age in the sexual revolution. They were personally impacted by the dramatic cultural changes that came as their generation denounced previously accepted sexual values such as saving sex for marriage, marital fidelity, and sexual self-restraint.

As they came to faith and later went on to become parents and leaders in Christian ministry, one of their main goals was to create a church environment that modeled an alternative lifestyle to the increasing promiscuity in secular culture, with the hopes of protecting the next generation from making the same relational mistakes that they made. For many, this took shape through teachings on the importance of sexual purity, home and private faith-based schooling, and the elimination of dating in church youth groups.

The explanation was that dating was a slippery slope that led to premature emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy that would compromise personal holiness and weaken Christian commitment. In theory, if Christian youth were kept from dating until they were old enough to consider marriage, then it would minimize the opportunity for sexual mistakes and relational breakdown and pave the way for them to arrive at their wedding day spiritually, emotionally, and sexually whole.

I genuinely believe that at the heart of these teachings there was a healthy desire to promote a biblically based and Christ-centered culture of mutual honor, spiritual purity, and personal holiness. However, even the soundest of theological teachings can at best be difficult to translate into daily practice and at worst, misinterpreted or reframed as legalistic requirements for Christian living that far exceed what is written in Scripture.

Drawing from fourteen years of fulltime Christian ministry combined with the experiences of friends and family, I have journeyed with many raised under similar teaching through very mixed feelings and outcomes.

Guiding Your Teen Through the Dating Game

The book starts with the story of Tracy and Mike, two Christian young adults who are both growing in the Lord. One could say that they are both financially, spiritually, and emotionally ready to enter in a relationship, or so it seems. A lot of people even women! She shared a Godly approach to dating, where accountability, blessing of mentors, and parents are present. Emotional Purity is not a step-by-step book on how to find your future mate. Above all else, Heather points us to find our desires and satisfaction on our Lord, Jesus alone.

When God Writes Your Love Story: The Ultimate Approach to Guy/Girl Relationships is a The authors advise single people not to be physically or emotionally intimate with others, but to wait for the spouse that God has planned for them. Really Loved Me: Questions on Dating, Relationships, and Sexual Purity.

Earlier this month, when I heard his marriage had ended , I wanted to feel angry. Many people did. But I was sad. Promises of future happiness, of wellness, health or material blessings are powerful. Sign up for our weekly newsletter. We see this, at the moment somewhat spectacularly, in the apologies and statements made by Joshua Harris. We feel. As individuals and as a collective we feel hurt, let down, betrayed.

Let me begin with a confession. Perhaps my mind was too full, too tired, to make room for what Berlant could give me.

Emotional Purity

In fact, the only thing I did learn when it came to the subject was not to have it until marriage. Single women and men wore their virginity like a gold star. And if you lost it, your gold star turned into a scarlet letter.

Spiritual and women have emotional purity, i kissed dating. Biblical dating. Test healing. One online dating uniform dating goodbye opens with giving away your​.

This is really great, Darcy. It occurs to me that this whole “courtship” thing really does have a lot in common with Pharisaism–“God gave us a rule save sexual intimacy for marriage , so let’s build a colossal fence of man-made rules around it don’t hold hands! I can still remember my pain of marriage when my husband left me, Dr. Amen to all of that. I can’t stand Josh Harris. And all that courtship stuff is the reason the “Bible Belt” is full of pornography stores.

Sexual repression instead of plain old self-control leads to sexual perversion. You may not like the teachings or the way that they have been implemented, but, it is sad that you speak of a man such as Josh Harris is this manner. In addition, I’m sure he has nothing to do with the porn shops, anywhere. They were there before he was born, and have probably been replaced by the ‘net, today. Speak of others the way you wish to be spoken of. He is a real live person, I can attest.

I love your posts, Darcy. LOL So I have a “boyfriend” and we “date”.

FLESH SERIES: Boundaries in Dating

After becoming a bestseller on the Christian book market, the book was republished in and then revised and expanded in It tells the story of the authors’ first meeting, courtship , and marriage. The authors advise single people not to be physically or emotionally intimate with others, but to wait for the spouse that God has planned for them. The first edition was packaged with a CD single by the Ludys: “Faithfully”, a song they had written specifically to accompany the book.

Bill was concerned about the growing emotional distance between them. in their children’s lives, seeking to protect their innocence and purity for marriage.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Emotional purity involves protecting your heart from becoming too intimate with someone of the opposite sex so you don’t have to suffer through emotional damage over and over again.

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages.

Beyond the Purity Culture Wars

Understand that when you awaken emotions in a romantic relationship, you create a strong bond that hurts badly when the relationship ends and the bond is broken. Know that there is a lot more to relationships than romance. Remember that all believers are your brothers and sisters in Christ.

I read Joshua Harris’s Christian cult classic, I Kissed Dating Goodbye. of purity culture carry significant emotional and spiritual trauma today.

Next Live Stream: 9 am Service — please wait. Watch Now: 9 am Service. What if my girlfriend or boyfriend sleeps on a separate bed when they sleep over? Is that okay? So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. This is really dangerous territory for a lot of reasons. Rather than putting ourselves in a tempting position, Scripture tells us to flee temptations, not put ourselves in the path of them and then will ourselves not to succumb.

And even if nothing physical happens, the struggle with lust will most likely be there.

4 Steps to Navigating Life after Purity Culture

Thought I would include this post up here since I cant seem to find it online anymore and it was an incredibly helpful resource for me in my late teens. For young people, these focus for the most part on the subject of chastity. In this age, the most pernicious error revolves around a true understanding of human sexuality. But what of the heart?

What of the emotions?

I don’t believe that teaching emotional purity induces shame. There are some people who “date” with a courtship mindset, while others’.

Books have appeared that are completely devoted to the subject, talks have been given about it at conferences, and it is bound to come up in almost any courtship discussion. The idea definitely sounds good and the phrase has a nice ring. It has been equated with physical purity, something that many young Christians are striving very hard to have in their romantic relationships.

But in real life — in the nitty-gritty of real relationships — is this even attainable? Short of a hard-core betrothal, where there is a binding marriage-like agreement between the man and the woman before they get to know each other which carries its own risks , there will be an emotional connection in courtship. In his book, The Four Loves , C. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.

It is entirely possible to stay physically pure while still having an emotional connection with the person you are courting. Another issue that arises from this teaching is found in the phrase itself. This contributes to a lot of unnecessary guilt in young people who are honestly seeking to honor God. As in most things, balance is key. In our courtship and engagement, my husband and I went through several stages of reserve around each other.

In addition, there were many things that we wanted to say to each other during that time i. As such, during our courtship there was a physical reserve along with an emotional and verbal reserve.

Practical Tips for Embracing Purity in a Romantic Relationship