Q: I am a 20 year old single young woman in college. I made the choice to stop dating, remain pure for the Lord and my future husband (God willing) when I was fresh out of high school. God has blessed me in my single hood but I find it difficult at times to have pure, God-honoring thoughts! It’s easy to get distracted. How do I maintain mental and emotional purity as a spiritually maturing woman?
I can tell you’re a head’s up girl who loves God and genuinely desires to give Him your life. I’m proud of you for questioning the standard dating-go-round and looking for ways to “remain pure” for God and your future husband. Whether my email helps answer your question or not, I want you to know I am inspired by your devotion and I know that God is going to bless you for running hard after Him! It’s hard to fix our thoughts on what is true, noble, right pure and lovely (Phil. 4:8) in a world that focuses almost entirely on relationships and sex. Seriously–I know it’s a struggle! The simple answer is, unfortunately, that there isn’t a simple answer. If I’m going to be completely honest, even the godliest of girls are going to have moments when they long for something they don’t have–including a husband, including marriage, and yes, including sex. The important thing is to recognize those moments as soon as possible, and then give them to God. He understands our weaknesses. He knows how we’re wired and what we desire. But He also says that He is enough. We don’t have to be in a relationship to be complete and happy and desirable and loved. Here are a few tips/tricks to help you keep your mind focused where it belongs:
- Check your media intake. What songs are you listening to? What TV shows/movies are you watching? What kind of books are on your nightstand? Nothing starts a craving for love and romance like media can! Taking a break from triggering media (aka, a media “fast”) might be a good idea.
- Read the Bible. Unless you’re camped out in Song of Solomon, it’s really hard to have impure thoughts while reading God’s Word! Lol! So soak it up. memorize it.
- Pray. God knows what you’re going through! Jesus was human and sympathizes with our weak, hormone-laden bodies! 😉 Ask Him–beg Him–to empower you through His Spirit to keep your mind pure.
- Be realistic. Like I said earlier, there will always be times when we want something we don’t have. Contentment is a funny bird. You’re a beautiful 20 year-old who wants to have a relationship with the right guy in God’s perfect timing. Having a pure mind doesn’t meant that you’ll never have thoughts about, or a longing for, a relationship. In my new book, Crushed: Why Guys Don’t Have to Make or Break You, I included a chapter about contentment–what it is, and what it isn’t. I think it might be especially encouraging for you in this season of singleness!
These are just a few ideas to get you started. At the end of the day, the Holy Spirit is your best friend and biggest advocate, though. As you seek God, the Spirit will guide you into all truth (John 16:13). He’s a much better teacher than I am! Praying for you as you seek to make God #1 in your life, and thoughts!