If you have been a Christian for even a day, I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of guarding your purity. For the longest time, I thought to guard my purity meant, sexual abstinence and being sexually pure. I have been a Christian for 8 years and I recently learnt that there is another, more subtle but just as spiritually wounding form of impurity and that is, emotional impurity.
Emotional impurity by definition is to be emotionally attached to the opposite sex before marriage. This means giving of yourself emotionally to a boy/girl by having extremely deep personal conversations that lead to a premature bond, that God created to be formed between husband and wife. As the more emotionally inclined gender of the two sexes, we as women, are in danger of falling into this type of impurity.
From a young age, we have been exposed to the idea of falling in love, from Disney movies to songs on the radio. Our conversations with friends are saturated by this very idea of falling in love and finding the ‘one’. This excitement about falling in love and marriage is normal, in fact, God wants us to fall in love, he created it. What God is against, is a cheapened version of that, where we lose ourselves. An expert in the topic of Emotional Impurity, Maria van den Bosch, says “It’s been said and better than I ever could. But sexual impurity isn’t the only thing that cheapens love. Emotional impurity does a pretty good job of that too.”
Emotional impurity can also be described as the lusting of the heart. Lust by very nature is having a strong desire for something or coverting that which God has not given to you. Lusting with emotions is not the same as falling in love with someone. “Lust of the emotions basically consists of infatuation, obsessing over someone else, spending an inordinate amount of time concocting fantasies of what it would be like to be married to that person, and/or fantasizing about romance and marriage in general instead of focussing on the time God has given you and using that time to accomplish what He wants you to,” Maria says. The reason why this is a problem is that as Christian women or women seeking Jesus, we can harbour these emotions of impurity, sometimes not knowing what we are experiencing or because we have mistaken these feelings for love, and as a result, form idols in our hearts that draw us away from God.
For those who are familiar with the Bible, you know that there is no sin that breaks God’s heart and threatens our covenant relationship with God more than idolatry. For example, a man lusting after a woman isn't actually having sex with her, but he is committing adultery in his heart (see Mt. 5:28), in the same way, a woman who spends her time fantasizing, obsessing, thinking about and being consumed with a man is lusting and idolizing him. The bible says we should, “Love the Lord [our] God with all [our] heart and with all [our] soul and with all [our] strength and with all [our] mind”(see Luke 10:27), anything else we give this kind of devotion is an idol.
Loved Girls, as I have mentioned I spent close to 7 years of my walk with God not aware of what I was harbouring in my heart and as a result, I have hurt my relationship with God and my brothers in Christ in a way that I could never take back. If you find yourself in this kind of relationship with a boy/man, I would suggest you talk to someone who is helping you in your Christian walk, confess this sin and put the necessary boundaries in your relationship with this boy/man.
One of my favourite scriptures to meditate on about guarding my heart is found in Proverbs 4:23, and it reads: ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.’ Guarding your heart against emotional impurity is something that will benefit you greatly in your relationship with God and one that I am sure your future husband will be grateful for one day.
Top Photo from: Cara Jourdan Posts
Bottom Photo from: Unknown