A Graceful Maiden's Memoir

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song!" - Psalm 28:7

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Purity of Mind

Every girl wants to be loved. From the time we are little, we dream about our wedding, and the day when our own Prince Charming will ride up and sweep us away.

As the ten years approach, we begin to realize that the longing to be loved by a man increases. Pretty soon, you start hearing from your acquaintances about "who likes who" and their secret crush. You look about you and sometimes, it begins to seem as though you're the only one without "someone special."

Hopefully, as in my case, you find close friends who share your values and morals, but al around you, you still see couples your age, pairing up. Even some of the people you thought shared your convictions begin to stray, until they too have "someone."

Why can't you too have the special closeness with a young man? Well, God commands us not to. Three different times in the Song of Songs, we are told to "not arouse or awaken love until is so desires." (Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, and 8:4) So, what does that mean? One aspect of it is that we're not to spend hours daydreaming about the most desirable young man at that time, when you are not ready to marry, and God has not told you that His timing is perfect. Even if you never even have a boyfriend, it is still all to easy to dream about "what ifs." I know, for I've done it.

Matthew 5:8 says "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." If we give a little piece of our heart away to every passing fancy, what will we be left with to give our husband one day? Wouldn't you rather have a heart intact, to offer him is spotless purity?

"Well, how can I help it?" you may ask, "My thoughts just naturally start thinking about him!" If I find my thoughts thinking about things contrary to what I know I should be thinking, I find that it's best to turn my eyes and thoughts to Jesus. I give Him the situation, and ask Him to help me keep my thoughts pure. I try to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Finding a close group of girls, if possible, that share your convictions and can help keep you accountable is also extremely helpful. It helps a lot sometimes to share with them how you are feeling and your thoughts, and ask them to pray for you. Just getting things out in the open often helps a lot!

So what should we think about? Paul answers that in Philippians 4:8 - "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Quite a high standard, no? But it is what God commands.

So the next time your imagination begins to wander, take your thoughts captive. Began to think about God's lovely creation, His true Word, other's admirable attributes, or God's noble character. "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." - Colossians 3:2

God will help us. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul tells us: "No temptation has seized you, except what is common to man. And God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

16 Comments:

  • At 9:56 AM, June 22, 2006, Anonymous Anna's Mom said…

    Dearest Anna Naomi, You are SO RIGHT ON ! When I was your age I did get sucked in and unfortunately spent way too much time daydreaming about a young man who now is NOT my husband.
    I have to confess that even after I married your Dad I had dreams about the other man. Finally God lead me to destroy any letters, cards, even pictures of him and in that way not leave the enemy a foothold. Perhaps my experience can give you young ladies warning to WAIT on The LORD NOW and use your time well and constructively. There really are so many good things to do and so many people that need help, love, and nurturing in nursing homes or even by writing emails or even REAL letters or just "being there" for your own siblings or parents or grandparents.
    BLESSINGS to you, dear daughter, and to your friends and "blogmates" : )
    Love, Anna's Mom

     
  • At 8:09 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Samantha C. Brooks said…

    Great way of putting things, Anna. Thank you Mrs. Lofgren for sharing your story also! I understand the troubles of striving for purity in every way. My sister and mom both tell me they've had their teenage 'crushes' but nothing compares to the love they share with their husbands now. I'm sure your future husband will greatly appreciate the fact you waited for him and stayed pure until God wills for you to marry.

    God Bless

     
  • At 10:53 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Kelsa said…

    Wow! What a wonderful post! You are so right, and I can totally relate! I really struggle with keeping my thoughts where they should be. Thanks for the encouragement!

     
  • At 7:58 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Ella said…

    Anna, you posted a very real truth. I sometimes have to bring thoughts into capativity that are about guys. I have to pray about it an awful lot, because I might see guys that are exactly as I want my future husband to be, and I begin to imagine. I so don't want to! Like you said, I want to go to my husband spotless. That doesn't mean just sexually, but emotionally as well. Thank you for your truthful message.
    I also agree that it is good to have friends that are on the same page as you. I had a close friend, yet she wanted a boyfriend, and I spoke ill against having one. Now, I praise the Lord that all of my friends are likeminded!! (Even if I have never met them before:)

     
  • At 11:19 AM, June 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anna, I will be honest with you. I'm slowly getting sucked into the crush world! I'm trying my best to get out but It's so hard! I had to tell you this because we are friends, and friends are always honest! I'm blushing as I write this but I needed to tell you!

    ~ashley~

     
  • At 2:49 PM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Anna Naomi said…

    Thanks for the comments!

    It is all to easy to see a young man, and start thinking, is this the one? even before you even really know him! But, God is faithful.

    Ashley, I'm sorry for what's going on right now. I'll be praying for you. Try praying whenever you start thinking about a crush, it really does help - a lot!

     
  • At 3:39 PM, June 23, 2006, Anonymous mg said…

    I don't understand how spending time and dating young men is harmful. You can learn a lot about relationships and qualities about men you like and dislike through special relationships. you don't have to committ any sins, or engage in any physical actions, but i don't understand why you would prevent yourself from getting to know young men that you might be interested in and spending time with them. Things like goign on a date to the movies or just spending time with each other is not harmful. I had many relationships with young men that were very valuable prior to meeting my husband. These were boys that I knew from my church or school, and that i allowed my family to know.

    I think your conviction to purity is noble, but it is only natural that you become attracted to an interested in young men as you grow older. there's nothing wrong with that.

     
  • At 4:18 PM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Anna Naomi said…

    Mg, thanks for your comment. I know that spending one-on-one time with young men will help you get to know them, and will probably show you things you want in your future mate. However, it is very easy to get pulled into more than just talking. I feel that when I'm young, and am years away from marriage, it is very harmful to awaken feelings that can't be righteously fulfilled. God also does say in the Song of Songs not to awaken love before it is time.

    It's also very freeing to not be caught up in having a boyfriend all the time and trying to please him. Thus, I am free to serve my family more and grow closer to God.

    Yes, we do get more attracted to young men as we grow older, and it is natural, probably because in older times, girls did marry young. However, times are different, and I think that not spending time dreaming about young men not your husband is a very good idea. I realize that I lack experience in these matters, and maybe you had a good experience, but I believe that the best thing to do is to avoid boyfriend-girlfriend when young. Plus, I have read books and learned from those who have gone through harmful relationships.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

     
  • At 6:35 AM, June 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are so right! I wish I had stonger friends. Like you, a lot of my friends who I couldn't imagine dating now have boyfriends. I pray that the Lord will lead me to girls who desire to be pure and holy.

     
  • At 1:10 PM, June 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks Anna! All this month God has been faithful to me! I have friends who like minded! I haven't even seen them! Thanks for being my friend!

    ~ashley~

     
  • At 1:10 PM, June 24, 2006, Blogger natalie said…

    Good thoughts! :-)
    (I think, in relation to the dating/not dating issue, there are other, better ways of getting to know young men. Family get togethers, church events, etc, can provide safe situations for people to begin to get to know each other while protecting women from giving away pieces of their hearts.)

     
  • At 1:22 PM, June 24, 2006, Blogger Anna Naomi said…

    Thanks for visiting my blog Natalie! Yes, there are better ways of getting to know young men, such as the group situations you mentioned.

     
  • At 3:45 PM, June 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My parents said I'm not going to date but be courted. They said courtship is the way God planed it. I think thats so much better that dating!

    ~Ashley~

     
  • At 5:41 PM, June 26, 2006, Anonymous miriam hart said…

    I have many boys who are friends, but no boyfriend. I believe it is okay to have friendships with boys as long as it doesn't go beyond that. But daydreaming that this one or that one will be your future husband is not right.
    I have had my imagination stray and I pray that the Lord will keep me on the right track. Thank you for your encouraging post Anna.

     
  • At 5:44 PM, June 26, 2006, Blogger Anna Naomi said…

    I agree, Miriam! Friendships with young men, as long as they are just friendships are good, but hard to have. It's been fun though to have "the foursome" sometimes, when we're together as friends. However, it's been forever it seems...

     
  • At 9:31 AM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Bekah T said…

    Yay Anna! Well said! Im am with you and for you! Love you!

     

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