Lord, Make Me Chaste…Later!

  Imagine that you're attending the wedding of a girl you once dated. As you go through the receiving line, the groom suddenly puts his hand on your arm and says, "I want to thank you for standing watch over my wife's heart. Thank you for guarding her purity." Well, how many people think it's their job to guard other people's purity? Joshua Harris, the author of a best-selling book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye, thinks it's everyone's job. Most Christians claim they desire purity in their relationships, but Harris asks, "do we live the kind of lives that foster this purity?" Many kids think they're pure enough if they refrain from going "all the way." But that's not good enough, says Harris. True purity is not some point on a sexual scale. It's "a direction, a persistent, determined pursuit of righteousness." We cannot simultaneously explore the boundaries of purity -- getting as close to the sexual edge as possible -- and also pursue righteousness. And that's why Harris advises young teens against "dating." Couples who date one-on-one struggle against their desire to be physically intimate. The longer they date, the stronger the desire becomes. If we really want purity, he says, we have to change both our attitudes and our lifestyles. For starters, we must learn to "respect the deep significance of physical intimacy." The secular world says it's okay to fool around, to "try out" people emotionally and sexually. But God says to guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between husband and wife -- and that means before marriage as well as after. Well, you may be thinking, "one little kiss can't possibly do any harm." But look at it this way. Harris writes that God designed sex "to end in full consummation....Physical interaction encourages us to start something we're not supposed to finish. It awakens desires we're not allowed to consummate, turning on passions we have to turn off." And that's why, he says, "I avoid one-on-one dating.... It encourages physical intimacy and places me in an isolated setting with a girl. Can't I handle it?" Harris asks. "Yeah, maybe I could... but that's not the point. I won't stick around to see how much temptation I can take." Harris urges other teens to do likewise, to adopt a lifestyle that promotes purity instead of threatening it. Young men "need to stop acting like 'hunters' trying to catch girls and begin seeing [themselves] as warriors standing guard over them," he says. And young women must not, by actions, words, or choice of clothing, deliberately stir up lusts in their brothers in Christ. With more than a half-million copies in print, Harris's book I Kissed Dating Goodbye offers some good insights into a Christian view of sex and dating -- ideas that might help your own kids. They could learn why Christ said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." And they'll also increase their chances for happiness here on earth.


Chuck Colson



  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary