By Liv Dooley
It’s time for some real talk today. We’re not beating around the bush any longer because none of these producers on Netflix are and if you’re old enough to watch it, joke about it, and hear of it, you’re mature enough to talk about it. You already know what we’re talking about. Sex. I get it, it feels awkward to talk about on this blog, especially if your mama brought this blog to you, telling you to read it, but it’s necessary.
I went to church my whole life, but going to church and setting goals based on a God you’ve heard about are very different from having a relationship and setting goals in God. I will say that there were times I read the Bible and prayed when I was a teenager. There were times I felt His presence. There were times I felt His Spirit talk to me about purpose when I spoke in church on youth Sunday as I read the announcements. There were times when I felt peace as I encouraged my friends to give their lives to Christ. There were times when I felt the passion of Jesus’ pursuit growing stronger as I voiced my choice to remain a virgin until marriage. Unfortunately, many of those times were overshadowed by a thing that I fed regularly through the music I listened to and the books I read.
My mom didn’t let me watch a lot of things on television. She freaked out when she found out I’d snuck and watched a movie she’d prohibited me from when I was 13, and the sad thing was the movie sucked. I didn’t even enjoy it, but that’s another story for a different day. She refused to purchase cable because of all of the uncensored content she assumed was on it, and my brother and I weren’t even allowed to have televisions in our rooms. Watching TV was not my issue, but books and music were.
They allowed me to enter into a world that I wanted to know so much more about, and they fed my imagination. My mom wasn’t a big reader and she rarely asked me what I was listening to so I was free to feel whatever I wanted when I listened to my music and read my books. There was only one problem. A lot of the music and some of the books I chose to enjoy made me feel like the goals I’d set to honor God were stupid, immature, and unrealistic. The more and more my friends caved in to the pressure to have sex with boys, the more I questioned if it was even important to save myself for marriage. Why are we talking about this? Because it’s Valentine’s Day, and sex is everywhere.
Even though I remained a virgin throughout high school, the fact is that my purity had already been compromised, long before I made any decisions to do anything with anybody. If you’ve heard that word before (purity), then you know it’s usually associated with virginity, and there’s some good stuff there. God does want us to remain pure. He loves sex so He created it for marriage, and there’s so many amazing things you get to enjoy when you choose to do it His way. But, it’s not just about virginity. It’s way more than sex. It’s about the music you listen to, the Netflix series you watch, the books you read, and the magazines you look at.
Whenever you set a God goal, whether it’s to remain a virgin (or celibate because it’s never too late to do it His way), begin singing on the praise team, or start praying with your friends, you need to know that you have all of the confidence and the courage to do it successfully in Christ. The next time you choose to set a goal in God, think about the things you can do to support it, to make it easier, to help it grow stronger because it’s not stupid. Those desires are necessary, important, bold, and courageous, so surround yourself with people who encourage you and compliment you in that goal, change up the subscribers you follow, and be careful of the places you go. If you’re interested in pursuing purity, as I hope you are, I want to introduce you to Jamie Grace. She’s been featured on People Magazine for her choices that are so…opposite our culture today. Let me know what you think of her. I can’t wait to hear! For now, let’s pray:
Dear God, in the name of Jesus, we thank you for showing us who we are as you show us who you are. We get so wrapped up in this culture today, before we realize it, we’ve adopted the lifestyles of those whom we look up to-even when we know they’re not right for us. Help us to be the standard You’re looking for in this generation as you remind us that there’s a reward that’s greater than our popularity in this moment. We give you our interests, our YouTube subscriptions, our Netflix series, our favorite books, and all of the artists we love as we ask that you show us who to look up to that will lead us back to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
I love y’all. If you want to learn how to set God goals, join me at Unconditional this year. It’s going to be a good time! In the mean time, check out one of my favorite music videos of all time here.