Wednesday, September 28

Powerful Purity

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. --Proverbs 31:10-11

When I was 14, I began a collection of letters written to my future husband. Most of them were just to let him know that I was praying for him even though I didn't know his name. If nothing else, they were a constant personal reminder that no matter who I dated in the time before God introduced us, I was committed to purity. Eight years later, I finally was able to write a name at the top of each letter instead of "Dear Future Husband". When we became engaged, I gave him the entire collection as a gift.

A friend of mine is a junior high teacher at a small Christian school. Last spring she was given the somewhat daunting task of conducting a "sexual education" series for her students. As I had been praying for God to give her the right words to say to those young ladies, I looked through some of the "Dear Future Husband" letters I had written to see what sort of things regarding purity impacted me the most before I was married. One letter in particular contained a Shakespearean sonnet.

Sonnet 52
So am I as rich whose blessed key
can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure
the which he will not ev'ry hour survey,
for the blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure.
Therefore are feasts so solemned so rare,
since seldom coming, in the long year set,
like stones of worth they thinly places are,
or captain jewels in the carcanet.
So is the time that keeps you as my chest,
or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hid,
to make some special instant special blest
by new unfolding his imprison'd pride.

Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope.
Being had, to triumph, being lacked, to hope.

The imagery of portions of that sonnet are quite similar to that in Song of Solomon as well as the description of the virtuous woman described by King Lemuel's mother in Proverbs 31. Clearly, Solomon and Shakespeare both regard modesty and purity as a beautiful thing. I hope the girls in my friend's class realize what a beautiful treasure they possess simply by being female. I pray that some day those girls will be appreciated and valued for the precious jewels that they are, and that they will come to understand that God values them on a level that doesn't even begin to compare to anything here on earth.

Purity is a powerful thing and it doesn't just mean waiting for marriage before starting up certain physical activities. Purity is an attitude that should be embodied by anyone seeking a spouse, and not just those in the giddiness of starting a dating relationship. A virtuous woman is indeed a treasure, but the man who finds her must be worthy of her.


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