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Dating and purity

Recently a young woman wrote to Boundless concerned that her devotion to purity was getting in the way of forming relationships with young men. My heart's desire is to marry someday, and I am happy to wait for the man God has for me. It's crazy how much I know about the topic of purity — what purity looks like, how to embrace the feminine heart, how to not lead men on — but when it comes to real interactions with Christian men, I feel like all that knowledge runs into an alley of pitch black darkness, never to be seen again.My mother and other family members have been wonderful models of what pure and holy women of God look like. But I have a hard time simply being friends with men. I don't want to carelessly marry any man, but I also don't want to remain unmarried because being 'too pure' stood in the way. Can a fixation on sexual purity become a hindrance to relationships with the opposite sex? When we allow purity, or virginity, to become our identity rather than our relationship with Christ, we can begin to act in legalistic and unnatural ways.

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In it, the speaker said, "Why would you want to have rushed sex in the back of a car? Now sex." While he does make a point on the potential quality of those two encounters, his implication was that if you save sex for marriage, your reward will be amazing sex with your spouse.Thousands of people seeking sexual satisfaction filled the great Temple of Diana, which overlooked the city of Ephesus.Temple prostitution, homosexuality and pedophilia were rampant.These feelings come from viewing sex as the enemy rather than Satan, whose goal is to corrupt all of the good things God has created.Yes, purity is beautiful, but engaging with another individual in meaningful and intimate ways within the proper context is equally beautiful. As a teen, I was not a stranger to the purity movement.

In fact, a search of "purity" on Christian turns up 709 products.

When we elevate the cause of sexual purity to the same level of importance as God himself, it becomes an idol.

Someone in this position may feel more of a passion for modesty, and emotional and physical purity, than for experiencing a close and abiding relationship with Christ. We think purity is a virtue that can be bartered for good married sex.

A friend of mine, who experienced a legalistic upbringing, pointed out that an unhealthy "passion for purity" can also have a negative effect on married women.

Something I encountered early in my marriage was the fact that it's impossible to flip a switch in your mind that sex is all of a sudden 'good,' when for so long you thought of it as 'bad.' It was hard to ignore some early feelings of guilt because suddenly it's magically OK that a man is seeing and experiencing all the things you'd saved up.

In reaction, some Christians have become almost fanatical about purity.