I worked hard to remain pure. I vowed. I strived in my own strength, often failing miserably but never failing "all the way."
So I walked down that aisle with my own erroneous and defective definition of what I thought purity meant.
On that day I pledged before God and others to give myself fully to my husband, to love and to cherish him, to honor and to serve him.
I have done none of those well.
And little did I know that my pursuit of purity would begin after the wedding bells stopped ringing.
Eventually love left. The opposite of cherish is to neglect and I was much better at the latter when it came to my husband's needs. My lack of honor left him feeling disrespected as I sought to serve myself above all.
My misconception that the pursuit of purity ended with the putting on of a few rings led me down a path of impurity.
Since then I have learned that purity is a process.
We were not born pure, but through Christ we can become pure. As I continued on my journey toward becoming Christlike as a married woman, I was not prepared for the temptations along that road.
Those temptations of yester-years are the same temptations of today. Yet, I have learned that purity is not defined by my actions. Purity is about the condition of my heart. I felt worthy to wear white on my wedding day based on my own accomplishments up to that moment. But my heart had no clue what purity was. And I succumbed to the temptations that knocked on my door. But I Corinthians 10:13 says that "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
Yes, God is faithful. It is His faithfulness that continues to draw my adulterous heart back to Him time and time again. And it is because of His faithfulness I really, truly have learned to love the Lord my God with all my heart, will all my soul, and with all my mind. He clothes me in white day after day and has taken the shame of my youth and has turned it into something wonderful for His glory.
God calls us into an intimate relationship with Him and in the process purifies our hearts making us worthy to wear white.
"You are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you" (Isaiah 43:4).
Purity is a high calling and can only be attained when we respond to the voice of the bridegroom. It is in the intimacy of Him in you and you in Him that the manifestation of purity can be evident in our thoughts, in our actions, in our hearts.
We spend so much time thinking about God but: "How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important." (C.S. Lewis)
“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame;
For you will forget the shame of your youth,
And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.
5 For your Maker is your husband,
The Lord of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.
6 For the Lord has called you
Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Like a youthful wife when you were refused,”
Says your God.
for they will see God."Matthew 5:8
Cartoon this week is posted on Inking the Heart's facebook page.