by Lisa Yabra
Purity can be a touchy subject to some, especially because of the way both the church culture and the culture outside the church have twisted it to be something that it was never intended to be. Before we dig into the practical ways to help your daughter walk in purity, let’s make sure we have the right foundations to build on. When teaching your daughter God’s precepts, it is important to teach her the heart of God behind them. You see, teaching without explaining the whys, the hows, or the benefits behind each of His principles may cause that knowledge to become superficial and, as a consequence, she won't be able to form her own convictions.
Teaching without explaining the heart of God behind His rules could ultimately lead her to live a legalistic and religious life at the expense of an intimate relationship with Christ. If she knows God, she will more easily come to love Him and, as a result, will most certainly follow His commands out of trust in His nature.
This is the way the Apostle John taught us. John might be one of the best examples in history of someone who understood God’s loving nature. In 1 John 3:1-3, John’s exhortation to live a pure life begins with the truth and hope of the great love God has for us and His goodness. Only after He explains these truths does he allow himself to encourage us to live a pure life. Notice that he says, “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
John never based purity on a rule, but on love. He bases a pure life on the hope of God’s goodness and love and even states that, if
we love this God, it’s obvious we will want to be close to Him. As a car helps you get close to a loved one who lives far away, so is purity the vehicle to be close to God.
Not living a life of purity robs your daughter of God’s best for her. God hates sin because it hurts her and other people around her. In the Bible, the Greek word for sin is hamartano, which means “to miss the mark and so not share in the prize.” The prize of living according to God’s truth is the indescribable blessings He’ll pour into a life that obeys Him. That is exactly what Jesus meant on His sermon of the Mount when He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8). The Greek word for blessed literally means happy. It describes a believer in an enviable and "fortunate" position from receiving God's provisions and favor. Obeying God ultimately leads to living a life full of joy and God’s blessings. Teach her God desires to bless her!
Once you have explained to her the whys and the benefits, you will be ready to get into the hows. Let’s roll up our sleeves and dig into the practical ways to teach your daughter how to live a life of purity:
- Teach her that purity is a process.
- Teach her that purity begins with Christ.
- Teach her that purity is a matter of the heart.
Many believe we can lose our purity, but the Bible is clear that we were born without it. Psalm 51:5 says, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” We can’t lose what we never had, rather purity is something that we can gain and only through the sacrifice of Christ. God makes us pure through His Son, but our souls are in continual contamination by temptations. Teach her that she will surely mess up and that she will need to come to Christ in repentance every time she falls. By doing this, Christ will make her heart pure again. And that leads us to the second point.
There’s nothing in us that can make us walk in purity, only His grace alone enables us to do that. We are no longer under the bondage of sin but rather through His grace we have everything we need to live a godly life. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men. It instructs us to "renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live sensible, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12). Teach her that the Holy Spirit is the only one who can teach her to live a pure life. And the teacher can’t teach you if you don’t go to class. Teach her to sit down in God’s presence, teach her to spend time with God!
As much as she wants to live a pure life, her acts will never be pure if her heart isn’t. Jesus said in Matthew 23:26 “First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” Just as her fresh clean clothes would go dirty if she used them right after a sweaty day playing outside, so will her actions be contaminated by a dirty heart. So, how does she keep a pure heart?
“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word” (Psalm 119:9). Teach her to read, memorize, meditate and ultimately dwell on Truth! She won’t be able to make pure choices if she doesn’t know what is pure. She needs to know God’s Word!
Have a spa day with your daughter! Buy or make purifying facial masks, and while you wait for the mask to dry, talk to her about points listed above. Show her that just as it is important to clean herself to protect against physical impurities, it is also important to do the same with her heart using scripture. Finish by memorizing Truth together. I suggest Psalm 51:10!
Lisa Yabra is from the Dominican Republic and holds a degree in Clinical Psychology. She uses her love for teaching and writing to help women of all ages live in the freedom of God’s truth. Lisa is part of the True Girl’s Dominican team, where she is fighting teen pregnancy and trafficking and reducing fatherlessness and broken marriages. She is a teacher on the True Girl tour in the Dominican Republic and a contributor to our blogs.
For more on this topic, join us this fall for a 6-week online Bible study with Dannah Gresh and Erin Davis! This study is geared towards girls 13-18 and their moms. We'll discuss the 7 secrets to purity from Dannah's book And the Bride Wore White. You can register here today!