Just as an FYI… in this post, I am mostly speaking to women. However, my hope is that everyone can get something out of this.
I have been waiting for this one. Anxiously.
It is somewhat taboo for women to discuss the topic of purifying our thought lives. We talk about how men struggle with lust. We talk about how easily they can get caught up in lustful thoughts, pornography, and sexual relationships outside of marriage. But guess what, girls? We face this, too. It just looks different and influences us in different ways. And we don’t want to talk about it. But today, we’re going to.
Men are physical. Women are emotional. You’ve heard that before, right? It’s true. And the emotional side can be more dangerous. A woman is not necessarily drawn away by a good-looking man. Sure, when we see attractive men, we are enticed to look, but physical attraction is not the main tool Satan uses to distract us. A woman is more drawn away when a man shows interest in her. When he cares about her. When he is a friend.
Do you remember the movie When Harry Met Sally? One of the most memorable lines from that movie is when Harry says, “men and women can’t be friends.” Sally looks at him strangely and they go on to have an amusing, yet true, conversation about this. I believe and have experienced that the easiest way for us (as women) to get caught up in impure thoughts (and possibly more) is to develop close friendships with the opposite sex. It’s just dangerous.
I hope you don’t see this as a legalistic rule. It’s not. I didn’t always believe it was important to limit my close friendships to only women (or tried to pretend I didn’t believe it). And I have mistakenly become emotionally attached to male friends a few times in my life. In fact, it got me into real trouble about 10 years ago and I almost destroyed my marriage. Almost. But God had a plan. Part of that plan is to pass on my experiences to others. A few years ago, I read a book that changed my life. Every Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge let me know that I am not alone in my struggles with thought life purity. And if I’m not alone, then someone (if not everyone) who is reading this post needs it.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” We must protect our hearts and our minds. We must protect our marriages. Wives, listen to your husbands. Because if yours is like mine, he has a lot of wisdom when it comes to this subject. And I just happen to be hard-headed.
There is so much more to say on the topic of purifying our thought lives… for prevention, for recovery, and also just to keep our bodies (and minds) as the temple of God. It’s so important! This post has been mostly about preventing… about keeping yourself out of situations that can create impure thoughts. Later this week, I will continue with a post about dealing with the thoughts when they come into your mind. I’ve tried a lot of things, but the only way to truly keep your mind pure is to let God take control of your struggle. You will be seeing more about this from me in the future. Until then… if you have struggled or are struggling with this topic, please feel free to contact me. Privately, if you would like. I’m here for you. And so is Jesus.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8
Next Monday: Think on things that are lovely and commendable.