Sexual Purity: 10 Words of Counsel For Single Christians

Worth reading..!

Gospel Relevance

John Piper gives ten words of counsel in this fourteen minute video on sexual purity for single Christians.

Feel free to watch the video, or you can just read the ten counsels below, to go along with all of the the follow-up points that Piper makes.


1) Do not seek regular sexual gratification through masturbation. 

  • Don’t use it because it does not solve the problem in the long run.
  • It does not relieve and release the pressure for very long.
  • It becomes habitual.
  • It produces guilt.
  • It contradicts the God given design for sexuality.
  • Our bodies are designed for fulfillment through personal union and self-stimulation contradicts that purpose, and produces a sense of wrongness.
  • Last of all, masturbation is inevitably accompanied by sexual fantasies which we would otherwise not allow ourselves in reality.

2) Do not seek sexual satisfaction through touching or being touch by another person. 

  • This rule applies…

View original post 580 more words

Happy Easter!

Hey Guys— Happy Easter!

I think most of us are happy about the holiday. Some of us will be honest and say that its the days off the bring us joy, the other seemingly pious individuals will proclaim that Easter marks the Resurrection of Christ– an event that solidifies their salvation.
Either way, each group affirms their holiday through their own paradigm. And although Easter is a joyous occasion it is a confusing one because a lot of people do not know why Christ’s death was necessary– or even why Easter is good news. In fact– too many of us view Christ’s sacrifice through “pagan” lenses. We define sacrifice by how other world religions define sacrifice. So we see that there is  a big being in the sky who needs to be appeased– we present something to this big being– preferably something perfect so he can destroy it. Somehow in the destruction of perfection the being feels complete and reconciles others to himself and everyone lives happily ever after– In Easter we simply re-do this cycle except with Jesus.
Granted I used a lot of bias rehtoric– but for some of us (and hopefully not all of us!) this is atonement. We add some Christian-ese– and say that Jesus died in my place and for my sins but we do not know really what that means– we don’t  know how this happens or why it is important. 
In the Bible- even in the OT sacrifices are not about destruction of the elements, but about self-offering. (this is why in Psalm 51 David says that God does not desire his sacrifices– but a contrite spirit and why Jesus affirms the poor woman who put all her coins as donations to the synagogue). It is not about the element  per se but the person who is participating in offering something of them self to God.
It is in this framework that we understand the incarnation. The incarnation of God is his self-offering to humanity. God as man in Jesus was God’s offering of reconciliation to us— and how did we respond? We crucified Him.
But no one takes Christ’s life– He lays it down willingly (John 10) and his decision to continue his ministry of self-offering lead to His death. And on that Cross you can literally say that Christ bore our shame and rejection and sin for He came with arms spread wide– and yet the evil of creation nailed the creator on the tree. We crucified God– and He let us.
And in Christ’s resurrection Christ re-emerges–  He is not exhausted by our rejection– not destroyed by our evil and not deterred by our shame. He re-emerges and says that even in complete decimation I hold my love for you.  Christ’s death is the embodiment of complete loyalty and love of God’s enemies and His Resurrection is a promise for the chance at a different life. That is why we celebrate “. . . That while we were still God’s enemies Christ died for us. . . ” (Romans 5:10) and rose again.

Good job– you just narrated the gospel in a quick ADHD way. Yup– I did– but this Easter I really ask you guys to think about these things. Ask the uncomfortable questions and really try to understand why Christ’s death is important– I’ve only touched the cusp of Atonement in this article!
I really challenge you to not see your relationship with God as simply a personal interaction. Ask God what His life and death mean not just for you but for the world. Start spending time understanding the cornerstone of the faith — and you may just find that you have a deeper understanding of God and consequentially a resurrected Hope..

Happy Easter Guys,


Sex for Love

Today I was flipping through old journals, and given the discussions we’ve been having lately in devos I thought it would be a good one to share.

In devotions we have really done a great job talking through these issues– outlining different perspectives– being respectful and diving a little deeper (whether on paper or in our own minds) about what we desire in this realm of our Christian lives. And you know– as we dive into these subjects not only do we formulate foundations for our Christian lives– but we also may intentionally or unintentionally feed misconceptions of God’s character when doing so. I discovered my misconceptions the other night.
I was flipping through old journals when I found my own list of “things I want in my perfect man”. Hubba hubba. I sat back ready to enjoy myself. And it was fun– reading about what I thought was important at the time– what I didn’t think was so important etc. On the back though I found a list I had made for ‘myself’ to be a “perfect woman”– attached was a letter I had written–addressed to me.
Oooh. Jeeves.  I began to read the letter, to my horror I had addressed a letter to myself that was filled with shameful condemnation. Fourteen year old me was telling me of the horrors of sex and why I should never engage in it before I was married. Over and over I reiterated to myself– that if only I could keep my legs closed and my face smiling could I be fit for a loving marriage and relationship with God. And in my sex-shaming letter there was an underlying toxic misconception that if I was good then I would be worthy of good treatment.In other words, if I did all the right things I would be loved. 
That is not the gospel.
My misconception revealed itself in my”dating philosophy”, but I know I’m not the only one who has this toxic seed in my thinking and this seed can show its face in a realm of different paradigms, like grades, friendships, basketball.. you name it.
But God doesn’t look at us through that paradigm. He looks at us at all our ability and inability to do well, our sin and righteousness, conceit and humility and loves us anyways. He gives us love before we do good– and then through His love makes us able to be good (traditionally known as justification through faith and sanctification).
That is what overwhelmed the woman at the well. She was a Samaritan and an outcast– and when Jesus is kind to her she proclaims, “Come see the man who told me all that I did, Could he be the Christ? (John 4:23). In other words– come see the man who knew all I did and still loved me– could He be Christ himself?
So I look back at my letter and wish I had known the deepness of God’s love then. But then again, in hindsight– I’m thankful I know it now. And now that I know His love I do pray that God would keep purity on my heart not because He will love me if I do– but because He gave me that instruction because He loves me– and on a side note while dating Chaz God has really been showing me the delights of waiting alongside of the difficulties. And that’s how we as Christians should live, in majesty of God’s love and eagerness to manifest that love in our deeds. That is the gospel we live– it is the life from which we breathe.

The Physicality of Beauty

                In the last few years there has been a strong resistance against women portrayed in the media. People rightfully complain that women are sexualized and oppressed with an unrealistic standard of beauty and activists have aimed to instill realistic views of beauty and a higher self-esteem in young women.  I fully affirm their intentions and it is important for people to have a healthy view of themselves and others, but the typical model used by such individuals may not be as helpful as they think.

                When faced with mainstream views of beauty people often claim, “ that these standards are unrealistic” (rightly so) and “that everybody is beautiful in their own way.” Fair enough—I completely agree. What I do not agree with is how these two ideas are then implemented in culture. The next step from individuals who are anti-media (as far as views of beauty in the strictly physical sense are concerned) is to affirm beautiful qualities in other people. These movements come in the form of “imperfectly perfect” tags or “#flawless”, where people affirm their “imperfections” and proclaim that they are valuable and beautiful in spite (and in some cases because) of them.

These movements are not problematic because they motivate people to appreciate themselves, rather they are problematic because they affirm the concept that in some form or another ones physical appearance and how one feels about their physical appearance affects one’s value. A person in these forums may say something along the lines of, “ I have scars on my knees #flawless,” but what they really mean is that the physical scars on ones knees may seem like a flaw, but really they are an asset to my perceived perfection or “flawless-ness”. This perfection does not refer to ones physicality necessarily, but to one’s very being, their immateriality (personality) included. And may I say that although this is very romantic in nature, we cannot hold physical appearance so close to our value (even positively), because it is just not realistic. Sometimes we are ugly and that needs to be OK.

Ah. Ugly, it is such an “ugly” word. You probably cringed when I said it and if I called myself ugly you would run to my rescue affirming that it were not true. The question though is why? Probably because you are afraid that if I call myself “ugly” then I will think of myself “less than” or “not equal to” others, and this is the notion that we need to kill if we want individuals with a strong self-concept.  It is absolutely OK to not be beautiful, in the physical sense of the word.  We need to have the self-confidence to admit that sometimes we are ugly (also in the physical sense of the word). When your playing sports, sleeping, crying, eating with your mouth open, wearing those plum pants you might be ugly. That is fine. It is okay. Human beings are sometimes beautiful and sometimes gross, and there is nothing surreal about that fact.

If we want to raise young men and women who have strong self-esteem do not teach them to add transcendent notions of goodness to their arbitrary physical qualities. Because in all reality, one day their skin will wrinkle and their hair will go drab and all they will have to cling onto is the catch phrase that “they are beautiful, if only they choose to see it.” And in the romantic sense that might be true, but it is still an insufficient foundation to build one’s sense of worth. Instead teach them that some days they will be incredibly striking, and other days will be a little rough—but what they should put their faith in is not the physical attributes of their body, but the mind inside it. Because whether or not the corporeal image is attractive, the mind shall always be enticing.. A person who knows that they themselves and those around them are valuable, both when they are physically striking and when they are rough around the edges is a person who has mastered the art of confidence and has shed off shallow notions of love.

Glory to the Father

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged.

I wish there were reasons for this, but honestly one, I’ve been busy and two, I’ve been learning. The last two years I’ve learned so much from God and I wasn’t ready to share this information because I was still processing it. And although none of us stop learning, I think I’m at a better stage to share my growth now than before.

I’ve come a long way. Sometimes I look back at my old posts and cringe– I think ugh… I can’t believe I wrote that or I can’t believe I thought that! My views have evolved so greatly and it’s not that I’m not still a firm Christian– I am— but my understanding of God has deepened exponentially.

At one point I worried about money, love, marriage and “sin-management”, but can I tell you guys something? After a long course of lessons from God I realized this— that nothing but the Love of God carries us. Nothing else. I’ve come to realize all acts, beliefs and theories must stem from this understanding that God loves us so deeply and His love truly is unconditional.

I lived with a lot of pain, shame and abuse I hurt regularly on the inside and I craved for attention from others. On one hand I had all these unhealthy tendencies on the other hand I had a desire to do good. So when I did bad— I had an unhealthy way of “punishing myself” for my wrongs. But God doesn’t look at us in terms of “good and bad”. He looks at us as broken and He spends time carefully knitting out lives back together. We LITERALLY don’t need to worry about anything– we must only continuously submit to the Holy Spirit and take experiences as we go.


I know this article is a bit nuance and not necessarily practical— but the lessons I’ve learned from resting in God’s embrace are astronomical. I suggest that you take the daring step to believe in His scandalous love and see how it transforms you too!

Celiabacy: A Message to Christian Singles

A few weekends ago I went hiking with some of my friends. I’m back from College now, and I haven’t seen these guys for almost a year. It is safe to say that we all had a wonderful reunion.

As we were catching up one of my friends announced that he was thinking about converting to Catholicism. We all found this incredibly interesting and started asking him questions as to why. One of the things he said was, ” When I went to Catholic bible studies I was amazed. There were guys my age, 21, 22, who were giving their lives to become priests– to live a life of celiabacy– and they were happy! My friend continued to explain the other points, but I got caught on this one statement. Celiabacy brought these boys joy and I began to wonder, do I find joy in my celiabacy/chastity? 

If I’m going to provide an honest answer I will say up until now, no. I didn’t.  I always spent my time frequently praying for my husband, imagining my husband and anticipating married life. I didn’t want the gift of singleness! I wanted to get married and have a man of my own– and although I’ve sustained my purity I never cherished it.

“… there were guys my age, 21, 22, who were giving their lives to become priests– to live a life of celiabacy– and they were happy!”

How odd this statement was to me. Men finding happiness in purity? It’s not that I didn’t believe it, I did, but I couldn’t get over how it violently confronted my own wishes– and then of course I was moved to repentance. You see we can so easily make love and sex an idol in our own minds, but it ought not to be. The thing about the gospel is that asides from Christ you virtually are not in ultimate need of any other indulgence. You live for Him, you die for Him– you do everything for Him and when you have sex or abstain from it– yes, you also do it for HIm. You do it in worship and today that thought captivates m and I am proud of my chastity — however counter-cultural that may be. I’m proud that my self- control brings God glory and I’m proud that because of this I’m able to understand His spirit and preserve my love for Him– not His love for me— but my love for Him.

You see, whether you’ve always practiced absitence or you’ve made a new commitment to it, the truth is that the act of absitence itself is a living sacrafice we make to our God. It is an image of self-control and divine commitment and for that we should be happy. 

So if you’re single, yes, go pray for your future spouse that is a good thing, but also thank God for your singleness, your joy in Christ and the opportunity for worship, because that is the present and we do not wait until the future to express joy for our gifts. 

G Van