The Sweet Christian Bride

Accountability for Purity

by admin on July 20, 2011 in Purity with No Comments

Now that you have prayed for God to guide you in maintaining sexual purity, and now that you have established boundaries that keep you from activating your sexual triggers, you will need a system of accountability to help you endure the long (but rewarding) journey ahead of you.

Accountability is simply a system of checks and balances that are personalized for your goals, which in this case are purity related. If you are familiar with accountability already, you might immediately jump to the idea of an accountability partner.  This is a person of the same sex with whom you meet on regular intervals and who addresses specific areas of your life with you that you desire growth in.

An accountability partner is one who loves you enough to keep on loving you even after she hears the dark stuff and who keeps on loving your fiancé even after she hears your struggles or frustrations with him.  This is a woman who can keep you from gossipping while inviting you to deeply share your heart.  If you are struggling with sexual temptation, with self-condemnation, with judgement of others, with fears about sex or any other snare or sin, this is someone to whom you can confess and who can in turn pray faithfully for you.  They might not be the best equipped to counsel you, but they can uphold you in prayer and encouragement.  An accountability partner is someone you have given permission to show you where you are falling short.

Sometimes your accountability partner might not be geographically close to you, in which case, you need to rely on friends who are in close proximity to carry out some of the “checks” that you agree to have in place.  For example, if one of your boundaries is to avoid watching movies in the dark after 10:00 P.M., then a roommate would be a practical person to hold you to that.  Because she is there, she can actually come in and turn the lights on for you if need be.  An accountability partner who is miles away could arrange to call you, but if your phone is not where you can hear it, there is less chance of success than having a person on the ground to carry out your plan of attack against sexual temptation. 

Other ways that friends can be useful include having couples that you can go on double dates with to avoid prolonged time where you are totally alone with your fiancé.  Or having someone you can send a photo of your outfit to before you leave the house for a date.  That way if your attire could be arousing to your fiancé, you have another set of eyes to help you determine whether you need to change.  Or perhaps having a friend be alerted to “justification” language in your chit-chat.  If she can spot a desire to cheat at obedience in other areas of your life, she can help identify those words or thoughts that could also trigger a latent desire you might have to cheat at sexual purity.

If you know any older, married, Christian couples whom you want to be like, ask them if they would be a mentor couple to you and your fiancé.  Usually this entails meeting regularly and talking with them or spending time with them so you have opportunity to learn how they became who they are today, like in Hebrews13:7-8.  Mentor couples are people who can offer counsel based on experience.  Not only can they be supporting you in prayer, but they can actually advise you what to do or not do based on their own experiences.  There is no reason to re-invent the wheel.  If you can gain strides or avoid danger by walking in their path, then you would be wise to do so. 

For issues of theology or for issues of therapy, a pre-marital counselor is a very important part of your accountability.  Simply setting up rules without knowing why you need them or what your tendencies are that would influence your response to them can cause resentment towards God or towards your accountability partners.  You might find that a past experience is coloring your views of purity.  You might find that your generational history has provided a skewed example of purity.  You might find that you have questions about what God says about purity.  All of these warrant a professional counselor, either a pastor or a licensed therapist.  This professional can help you understand why you are who you currently are and how to make true mental, emotional, spiritual, or behavioral changes.

As you create your system of checks and balances, don’t forget to include each other.  You are moving towards oneness in your engagement, which means that you are starting to become a team.  In a team, if one person loses, the whole team loses.  Conversely, if the team wins, then everyone on the team receives a win.  If you are trying to stay pure and your fiancé is not, you will not move towards oneness in this area.  You need to be on the same page about your purity goals and your boundaries for achieving those goals.  Being able to speak up when something is not right and being willing to sacrifice your own sexual desires for your fiancé’s sexual purity goes a long way in establishing the kind of team you will be once you are married. Remember that you are building habits and patterns now that will come to play in your marriage.

Before you begin arranging the pieces of this accountability puzzle, however, spend some quality time in Scripture.  Ask God what purity looks like to Him.  Ask Him to reveal glimpses of His magnificence to you through His Word.  The more you spend time with Him, the more you will not only know how to please Him better but also want to please Him more.  A large part of adhering to obedience is fixing your eyes on Jesus.  Let Him show you that His way is better.

And lastly, though arguably most importantly, the Holy Spirit is your guide.  Consider it a blessing when the Spirit convicts you of sinful desires and behaviors.  He is warning you that danger is near.  God wants to protect you from evil and loves you enough to pull at your heart strings when you are heading the wrong way.  Listen to the Holy Spirit.  Know His peace and His warnings so that You might be guided by the One who truly knows the way.

By Lindsay

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