PURE IN HEART
To be pure is to be clean, wholesome, and abstain from evil or wrongdoing. In church culture or society, purity typically used in reference to a person’s sexual behavior. It is very common in church culture to have teens take a purity oath, swear to be abstinent, and wear a ring as a pledge. This is a great concept, but Biblical purity refers to more than sexual behavior. It is an issue and attitude of the heart. And as parents, we must be teaching children to be pure in heart.
“Pure in heart” refers to the spiritual center of life. This is where thoughts, desires, a sense of purpose, will, understanding, and character reside in each person. Being pure in heart involves having a heart oriented toward God, where there is no hypocrisy or hidden motives. A pure heart can be identified by a driven desire to please God in all things and above all things. It is more than making sure we do things externally right, instead it is an internal purity of the soul.
The Christian remains pure by keeping our hearts, minds, and bodies holy. We must guard our emotions, visual and mental images, and thoughts as well as our bodies, to be used for God’s will and for the future spouse God may bring to our lives.
PURITY IN SOCIETY
Let’s be honest about something. Staying pure in our culture today almost feels impossible. Simple things such as getting on Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook can feel like you are entering dangerous territory. Heading to school, heading to the mall, or hanging out with friends can put our daughters in tempting situations.
Immorality and impurity are two very real things that Christian girls need to be equipped to fight against. So how do we teach our daughter’s to stay pure?
1. STOCK UP ON SPIRITUAL AMMO
The very first thing you should be doing is to turn to the written Word and see what it has to say about purity. The Bible is our guide for all things in life, including our daily lives and how we are to respond in different situations where we may be tempted.
Encourage your daughter to always turn to the Bible first. And allow her to stock up on spiritual ammo-verses that she can memorize to be used in spiritual warfare.
As a parent, you can encourage her to:
- Write down the verses on a note card.
- Stick the notecard somewhere that it is visible, like the bathroom mirror.
- Have her practice memorizing the scriptures on purity.
By practicing the verses, your daughter will be tying them on her fingers as a reminder and writing them deep within her heart. (Proverbs 7:3)
Below are six verses on purity for your daughter to memorize and meditate on.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10)
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word” (Psalm 119:9)
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8)
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desire” (Romans 13:14)
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16)
*Encourage your daughter to keep these verses close to her heart. When she is in a situation that may jeopardize her purity, these Scriptures that are written on the tablet of her heart will become her strength.
2. MODERATE MEDIA USAGE
In today’s culture, our daughters are bombarded with sexual content from television shows, highway billboards, to mall advertising, to movies, to the Internet, and on their smartphones. Various forms of media such as television, tablets, smartphones, and computers can provide a window of opportunity for your daughter to become involved in situations or view unwholesome media, that ultimately may jeopardize her purity.
It is far too easy for an innocent conversation on social media to turn into something flirtatious or suggestive. An innocent looking movie may provide your child with a glimpse into another world that is just too tempting to ignore, thus helping instill a desire for lust. Uncontrolled desires or lusts that are not monitored can get out of control quickly.
HOW TO MODERATE MEDIA USAGE AND PROMOTE SAFETY
*Be aware of what your kids are watching on TV, what they are doing on the internet, and what they are reading. Set safeguards and boundaries, and give lots of instruction in this area.
*Set time limits on all types of media for all ages of kids. Unlimited and unrestricted access to the various forms of media can lead to many problems.
*Keep the phones/computers/tablets out of bedrooms every night.
*Do random checks of text/video/search history.
*Watch age-appropriate movies and television shows.
*Check out Christian reviews on movies before watching them.
*Install a filter on technology,( where you have control of the passwords), and you can choose what to filter such as language and nudity.
*Do not allow a computer in a room with a door, if it is one that your child will have access to.
Parents of teenagers need to be vigilant as you try to guard the hearts, minds, and souls of your daughter against the dangers that you did not face at their age. It is important to have informal and open discussions with them regarding the possible temptations they face on the screens at their fingertips.
3. TEACH THEM THAT THEY DON’T NEED BOYFRIENDS
Society tends to push girls to look good for boys or men, even in kindergarten girls try to look their best for a cute boy.
Middle school girls focus so much time on hair, clothing, and makeup in hopes of looking cute and appealing to a boy. This behavior is scary and unfortunately appears to be the norm. It seems to be expected that girls have boyfriends, even as young as seven years old. Even if high school girls appear old enough for a boyfriend, they are often not emotionally mature enough to handle the consequences that go along with it.
In a report, published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, finds an estimated 55 percent of U.S. teens have had sex at least once by the time they turn 18. Whether a girl is too immature to handle the decision of having a boyfriend or not, the consequences of sex could result in a pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
Teenage hormones are the chemicals that cause the physical growth and sexual development that will carry your daughter through her teens and into young adulthood. As these substances take hold of her body, you’ll notice that her emotions, moods and sexual feelings become much stronger.
These hormones can also cause your daughter to make impulsive decisions, like experimenting with sex. Rather than trying to prevent your daughter from having sex, or sheltering her during her teen years, focus on the reasons why she does not need a boyfriend.
REASONS WHY SHE DOES NOT NEED A BOYFRIEND
- Time to focus on her own unique gifts and talents
- Strengthen her faith walk with the Lord
- By abstaining from anything impure will promote purity of the heart
- This will prevent her from getting into a situation where hormones could take over
- It’s okay to have fun without a boyfriend
- Grow into the wonderful daughters of God that she is supposed to be
Peer pressure, low self-esteem and low self-confidence, and hormonal surges could lead your daughter to take chances or engage in risky behaviors such as having a boyfriend or having sex. And as your daughter enters her teenage years, it’s important for her to understand that she does not need to have a boyfriend. Instead, teach her to be BOLD!
4. TEACH HER TO BE BOLD
Encourage your daughter to be bold in her faith. By being bold in her faith she can speak up for herself if she is ever in an uncomfortable situation. Teach your daughter to use her words and actions for good.
HOW TO TEACH HER TO BE BOLD
*Encourage her to memorize the word of God.
*Have your daughter declare the scriptures when she is feeling weak and the enemy is screaming at her, trying to intimidate her. Jesus spoke the word to the devil when he was alone and tempted, and temptation can be very overwhelming for our daughters putting them in precarious situations. Each time Satan tempted Jesus, He answered, “It is written” (Matthew 4:4, Matthew 4:7, and Matthew 4:10). Jesus began the word and continued to use it. Many of us often start getting into the word (reading the Bible), but then forget about it or turn to the other ways of living. Encourage your daughter to keep studying and obeying the word of God.
*Only God’s word can save us (James 1:21).
*Model fearing God and not people pleasing actions and character to your daughter through your actions and words.
5. TEACH HER TO LOVE THE CREATOR ABOVE ALL
A girl’s value is not a guy whether she is 13 or thirty. Marriage is not the ultimate goal in life. But loving Christ is. Help your daughter to love Christ first, then to protect that love at any cost. Teach her that her relationship with her Creator is to be first in her life at all times.
Her identity (like ours) is to be found in Christ alone. Knowing and believing this will help protect her from being hurt in relationships. Please understand that this is not a one-time conversation, but an intentional focus on raising your daughter. She must see you loving Christ first. She must know what her priorities are with loving Christ first, then her parents, her siblings, and so on. Of course, this would change if and when she would get married. However, she must understand that we love Him because He loved us first. (1 John 4:19)
6. PURSUE AN INTENTIONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HER
Be intentional about your relationship with your daughter. Every day make it a point to ask her about the things she is interested in. Do something special with her, such as going out to eat, things that are not part of your daily routine.
Be upfront and real with her. Don’t hide your emotions. Have a good laugh with her. Don’t be afraid to cry in front of her.
Encourage her in her successes, whether big or little. No matter what your daughter’s age, it’s never too late to begin building a relationship with her. The most important thing you can do is invest in your daughter because everything else will build upon this relationship.
Don’t miss an opportunity to tell her about your mistakes. It is important that our daughters think we are not perfect. If she thinks that as mom’s we are perfect, then she will not feel comfortable sharing anything with you or me.
Share with your daughter examples of how you overcame your own struggles and failures. No matter how difficult the topic of a conversation is or how busy your schedule is, it is important that you stay connected.
She needs you and your time, that is the best investment you can make.
No matter how difficult a topic makes you feel, sex, dating, and other sensitive topics are best coming from a mother. You can do this MOM! She will learn best from you, not the television, YouTube, or a book.
Above all, we need to pray for our young daughters. Pray that God will protect them from temptation (Matthew 6:13), that they will purpose in their own hearts not to defile themselves (Daniel 1:8), and that they will keep themselves pure (1 Timothy 5:22).
7. CONNECT HER WITH A MENTOR
Find a wiser, older female mentor that mirrors your morals and values. Allow your daughter to be mentored in this relationship. The power of a wiser and older relationship is extremely valuable. It will help instill and reiterate what you have been trying to model and teach your daughter. The Bible teaches that he or she who walks with the wise will grow wise.
Having a mentor could be the one relationship that helps your daughter through her teenage years, especially if you and her hit some turbulent times. A good mentor will back up and support you by model and teach your daughter. And the more support you have in your daughter’s life will promote wisdom, spiritual growth, maturity, and support. She will have the support and strength to be able to navigate through life, help cultivate a modest heart, and protect her purity.
8. TEACH HER THE FOUR TYPES OF PURITY
PHYSICAL: It is important as parents that we start teaching our daughters from a young age the importance of not having to touch or have physical contact with members of the opposite gender. Explain and teach them that other than hugging and kissing their parents, that they should save their hugs and kisses for the person they are going to marry. And those are privileges of marriage and reserved for your future spouse.
EMOTIONAL: It is important to teach our daughters that a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship is a very special relationship to save for the one she is going to marry. Teach her that He has a special person for her, and to encourage her to save her heart for that special person. When she gets a little older, you can begin to encourage her to be emotionally faithful to her future spouse by saving their emotions for that person. And it is very important that you start her teaching both aspects of purity in relationships when your kids are young. You want her to understand this before emotional attachments or physical involvement takes place.
PURITY OF MIND: As parents, we need to be actively guarding what goes into our daughter’s mind through her eyes and ears. There is a very real battle for your daughter’s purity that is waged in her mind.
PURITY IN DRESS: Teaching our daughters to dress modestly is a slippery slope if we are not careful. A very modest dressed young gal can have a very impure mind and heart. If we are only teaching modest through our daughter’s clothing, then we have completely missed the entire issue. Modesty and purity are issues of the heart, that encompass an entire attitude and dressing modestly is only one aspect.
However, by having a modest dress code for our daughters will teach them to respect themselves, focus on their heart and what is truly important in relationships. By also dressing modestly it teaches our daughters to not cause young men to have impure thoughts nor draw unwanted attention and accentuate certain body parts.
9. TEACH HER TO THINK FOR HERSELF
It is important that your daughter is taught why something is wrong instead of why “its wrong.” Your daughter needs to be wise enough to be able to use discernment in different situations. So, instead of just handing your daughter a list of rules and boundaries (no dating, curfew is at 10, and skirts must be fingertip length, and never touch alcohol), train her to think for herself.
The day will come that she’ll be out of your house. By teaching her to be equipped to fight the battles for purity on her own comes in a combination of parental guidance, experience, and Biblical wisdom. She will eventually develop her own set of personal convictions.
Your daughter needs you to be her greatest confidant, wisest mentor and counselor, and her prayer warrior. No matter how hard it may be to get to that point or the battles that will undoubtedly happen, do whatever it takes for that to happen. Teaching your daughter how to remain pure is very important. You are helping her to cultivate a modest heart and Christlike attitude.
10. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE A ROLE MODEL OF MODESTY AND PURITY
In a quote from Jeff Randleman, of DeliberateDads.com, he said, “Our kids learn by watching. Our example is the most consistent and persistent that they see in the home. If our kids only see us telling them what to do and not exemplifying it ourselves, they won’t understand the important nature of it, and will come to see us as hypocrites.”
The main idea here is to not be a hypocrite. If we want to teach our daughters the concept of modesty and purity, then we must be role models ourselves. As parents, it is up to us to set the standards of the home. And as a mother, if you want your daughters to become modest young women someday, then it means that you are to help set the standard by being an example of a purity and modesty.
Here are a few ways to consider being a role model:
*Dress appropriately. Make sure that you do not have body parts hanging out or are dressing provocatively.
*Speak life: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians: 4:29
*Explain: Discuss with your daughter why modesty and purity are important. Be sure to use Scripture to support your statements.
*Pray: Ask for guidance in all areas of raising your children.
God calls us and our children to a life of purity, and modesty is a natural outworking of a pure heart. The most important reason for embracing a modest lifestyle and seeking to become pure in heart is because God’s Word tells us to do so. If the Holy Spirit lives in us, our bodies are God’s temple, in which we are called to remain pure in heart and modest in actions.