Every Christian thinks about what kind of people they would like their children to marry. And if we're "good" parents and "good" Christians, we pray for those future spouses. We pray they will be good people, and that they will follow the Lord.
And we pray they will be pure until marriage. Don't we? I mean, aren't we supposed to? Isn't that what we all want?
Go off on a tangent with me here… I promise I will bring it back around.
I teach a childbirth education class for Christians. But it's not like stages of birth, what to expect, etc., except in how those things relate to the main focus of the class. And my main focus is this: keeping Christ at the center of your birth. Christ. At the center. Every decision, every time.
And also at the center as it relates to outcomes. What's a good outcome for childbirth? The only right answer is: Whatever God allows. Whatever. he allows.
Not healthy mom, healthy baby. That's not the only good outcome. Sure, we'd all like that. Nobody wants their childbirth to be complicated or tragic. But until we accept that God causes all things to work for good - including any outcome in birth - we have not surrendered our all to him.
So what does this have to do with spouses for our children and purity?
Simply this: I want my children to find and accept the person God has for them. Period. That's the good outcome. That's the goal.
Christians hold "purity" up so high. And with seemingly good reason. We want marriage beds undefiled. We want to protect our kids from the heartache and suffering that can come from intimate relationships outside of marriage, including the baggage they can bring into a marriage from that.
But do we want to teach our kids that only virgins are worthy spouses? Do we want to teach them that if that boy or that girl has a history that includes kissing or other intimacies that they don't deserve a holy marriage? Or if they themselves make a mistake that they don't deserve a holy marriage?
Or do we want to teach them that Christ's sacrifice covers a multitude of sins? That his blood purifies? That that man or woman who made mistakes in the past is now pure in God's sight?
Do we want our children to look for a virgin or do we want them to look for someone who loves and follows the Lord?
You already know my answer. I pray that my children find someone who loves the Lord and is willing to go all in, for better or worse, until death do them part. Someone who is committed to purity in their relationship with my child. And that's it. Because the man or woman who follows the Lord is pure in his sight, who are we to see them otherwise?
Nothing is more important than this truth: Christ came to seek and save the lost. Christ came so that we all might have forgiveness for whatever sins are lurking in our past.
I won't teach my kids to look for sexual inexperience.
I won't pray that my kids will look for sexual inexperience.
I pray that they look for Christ.
UPDATE: After getting some feedback yesterday, I felt I needed to come back and add something. This post was not meant to discourage you from praying how you feel led. I can't make those decisions for you, and I would never want to keep you from following the prompting of the Holy Spirit. For instance, one person told me that she feels led to pray specifically that her children's future spouses do not have a problem with alcohol. Because people in her family have that problem. Because she knows the heartache and the struggle and doesn't want that for her children. And that's wonderful. She is listening to the Holy Spirit.
And maybe you do feel led to pray for the purity of your children's future spouses. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Pray as he leads you. But as you teach your children how to pray for their future spouses, make sure they understand that it's because you feel led, not because that one virtue is not the be-all, end-all.
And make sure you aren't praying a certain way because some "good" Christians told you that you must.