Excuse Me? How We've Gotten the Motivation for Purity All Wrong

We're big here at True Woman about communicating winsomely. But would you mind terribly if I ranted . . . just a tad? (Pretty please?)

There's a "truth" I hear tossed around Christian circles that makes my stomach churn. It goes something like this:

Marriage is the ultimate reward for living a life of purity right now.

Come again? Marriage is a great gift, but it is not the ultimate reward!

It can be hard to believe, but God really is the ultimate reward; not a guy, not a relationship, not marriage.

Then there's the line that:

The ultimate reward of oneness in marriage will be worth every moment of loneliness.

Yikes, that's a looong time for tween and teen girls to wait for their reward—especially in a culture of instant gratification where the average marrying age for females is 27–30.

God really is the ultimate reward; not a guy, not a relationship, not marriage.

So a girl's to pine away in loneliness for three long decades? And then, suddenly, it'll all be worth it? I don't see how that's good news.

But this, on the other hand, is: You and I don't have to wait until marriage to experience the happiness we're looking for today! It is ours for the having—right now.

Single or married, sixteen or senior citizen, joy is found in God's presence, which can be experienced anywhere, anytime:

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Ps. 16:11).

Our hope for the "good life" isn't tied to marriage; it's tied to the One to whom marriage faintly points.

At least, that's what I thought . . . until I was corrected by Matthew 5:8. You know, the verse that says:

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall snag a great husband.

(Oh, whoops, I grabbed the wrong translation!) Let me try that again:

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

There. That's right. Seeing God is purity's reward. God-gazing is the greatest reward that exists.

David got that. In Psalm 27:4 he asked for just one thing,

"One thing have I asked of the Lord . . ."

What one thing would you ask God for? For most of my life, a husband would've been at the tip-top of my list. But when we read the context of Psalm 27, we learn that as David writes this wish, he has an enemy army encircling him. You'd expect him to ask God for weapons or a divine rescue, right? But instead, He asks to be able to gaze on God's beauty,

"One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple."

Let's make sure we're not misleading our girls. God is their reward; not a guy, not a relationship, not marriage.

And you, if you're single, or you, if you're in a miserable marriage, you, too, can experience the happiness you long for. Today! It's found in His presence.

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula Marsteller

Paula has served with Revive Our Hearts for twelve years. She is the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom. There's nothing she loves to share more than the gospel-centered truths that have so transformed her own life: what it means on a daily basis to be "dead to sin, alive to God, and in Christ Jesus." Paula, Trevor, and their son, Iren, make their home in New York.

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