6 Misconceptions about Purity

Anastasis Faith

Our culture has a lot of misconceptions about purity. As a result, many Christian girls growing up today in America are being trained to believe lies about purity. It’s so hard not to believe these lies because they’re so subtle—and they’re all around us. The other day, I discovered that in the past few months, I’d come to believe some of our culture’s lies about purity. Thankfully, God helped me identify the lies I’d believed and escape them.

1.     Purity isn’t less fun.
First of all, just because you say no to flirting, dating around, kissing, etc, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your single years. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your guy friends. It just means that you can enjoy your guy friends in a more God-glorifying way.
Secondly, the “fun” that the world defines is a messy, dirty attempt to satisfy yourself by using other people. The result is many messy, dirty consequences. On the outside, a flirty girl who always has a guy with her seems like she’s having fun as she laughs at every joke—funny or otherwise—that escapes his mouth. On the inside, however, she’s trying to piece together her broken heart that has been shattered by so many worthless relationships. The girl who finds herself pregnant in high school isn’t going to live a “fun” nine months dealing with the consequences of her decision to “have fun.”
Purity isn’t less fun. It’s more responsibility, but all of your friendships—with guys and girls—will be truer, deeper, and based on a platform of respect instead of desire for attention.

2.     Purity isn’t more rules/regulations.
Purity doesn’t mean there are just more rules for you to follow. Purity isn’t a set of rules. It’s the condition of your heart. Do you desire to pursue Jesus with your whole heart? Do you desire to honor your future husband by keeping yourself pure for him? Do you protect the guys around you as your brothers in Christ?
If you do, it will be reflected in your behavior. You won’t have to worry about being a flirt because your intentions are pure. Your behavior is fruit of your heart.

3.     Purity isn’t a burden.
This kind of goes along with the last point. Because purity isn’t more rules, and because it’s the condition of your heart, purity isn’t a burden. Pure actions flow out of a pure heart. It is a breath of fresh air to those around you. Purity should never, ever be a burden. If it is, then you are believing a lie from Satan that if you lower your standards a little bit, you will have more fun. You’re believing Satan when you say that purity is cumbersome. You’re believing Satan when you decide to let it all go.
Purity isn’t a burden. It’s a delight—a reward. If you don’t believe that, then you are believing lies.

4.     Purity isn’t only outward behavior.
Again, purity is about the heart. It is your outlook on life. The thoughts on your mind. The words on your tongue. The desires of your heart. Purity is about your whole being. A girl with impure intentions will not come across as pure even if she tries to behave well. However, a girl with a pure heart before God who loves the people around her will be able to enjoy her friends in a harmless way that will reflect her pure heart.

5.     Purity isn’t something you will regret.
I promise you—you will never, ever, ever regret the choice to be pure before God and people. Honoring God and honoring people is something that will come back to reward you. God will bless you mightily if you choose to obey His call to purity.
You will look around and see those girls who decided to “have fun” and threw purity out the window. Their lives will be a mess.
Purity is something you will never regret.

6.     Purity isn’t easy
Purity is hard. Purity is about controlling your entire body—even your thoughts—and striving to honor God with every ounce of your being. That is hard. But God will not leave you alone to do it. God will be right there beside you, giving you the grace and the strength to do it.
Purity isn’t easy, but purity is so worth it.

What are some of the misconceptions you have had about purity? What are some of the lies you have believed? What course of action do you plan to take now? Share in the comments!

When the World is Spinning Too Fast

Anastasis Faith


“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.”
Psalm 46:10-11
   
Life is beautiful. Anyone who tells you any different is looking through the wrong pair of glasses. If you’re thinking to yourself right now, “what planet did you come from? Life is bleak and cruel,” I get it. I’ve been there too. I’ve gone through tough times where it felt like my heart would never stop hurting, and I’ve said those very words to myself—life is cruel.
Sure, there will always be ups and downs, but if you’re in one of the downs right now, let me just encourage you to stop for a moment. Take a break from the everyday grind, find a quiet place to think, and breathe deep. Rest. If you don’t have a lot of time, that’s okay. All you need is a few minutes to be still. I don’t know if you live in the country or the city, but if you can, find a quiet spot outside or take a walk and look around you.

“My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”
Psalm 62:5-8

Where I’m sitting right now, it’s late afternoon on a cool fall day in Texas. (Well, technically it’s winter, but if you’re familiar with Texas weather, you know that we really only have two seasons—summer and fall. :P) The sun is just beginning to sink in the soft blue sky, casting its farewell rays through the mostly bare branches of the trees, down onto the carpet of leaves scattered across the ground. A gentle breeze is rustling through the evergreen needles of the towering pines. A few wisps of clouds are rolling lazily across the sky, and I can’t help but remember how very blessed I am to be alive. Each one of us has so much to be thankful for.
There’s beauty all around me, but you see, I just had to stop for a moment, look around, and give my soul a chance to breathe. Time flies. Already, a new year has arrived Don’t let yourself be so busy all the time so that you miss out on all the blessings the Lord has in store for you! The beauty is there—if only you will open your eyes and let it in.
God is in control. You can trust Him, and He loves you. He is there for you. Rest in that.

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.”
Psalm 51:12

“Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my soul.”
Psalm 54:4

Even if life feels too hectic to handle, pray for a peaceful heart, then do your best to slow down and He will pour His grace and peace over you. He is there for you. He is always enough.

“Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.”
Psalm 63:3-4
 
Take a moment to praise Him for who He is, and for the beautiful world He created for His children to enjoy. I know for me, that small step works in leaps and bounds to help me gain some perspective when I feel overwhelmed. Search for things, great or small, that you can thank Him for. Maybe it’s that mug of hot coco you’re sipping on right now, with marshmallows and whipped cream. :) Or the last strains of Christmas songs playing on the radio that warms your heart. Maybe it’s the laughter and love all around you as you spend time with family. You could even thank Him for the cozy fire in the fireplace, and the fuzzy socks that feel so soft on your feet. Thank Him that even though the coming school semester will be stressful, it’s an incredible opportunity to learn and grow. Not many people in the world get to go to school!
No matter what you’re going through, there will always be something you can choose to be thankful for. Focus on that instead of the negatives, and it will help you find joy this season. And guess what? Joy is contagious. As you choose to start focusing on the positives, you will help others around you do the same! Never forget that one kind word, one smile can brighten someone’s entire day.
So when you feel like the world is spinning too fast, remember—life is beautiful if we take the time to adjust our focus.

Sunny Bodenhamer is a Christian, homeschooled girl learning to be a light in this crazy, amazing life we’ve been given, reach for the stars, and believe that anything is possible through Jesus Christ. She believes that every day is a miracle full of second chances and beauty, if we stop and take the time to see it. She loves to write, crochet, drink coffee, and hopes to inspire and encourage through the written word.


Is your life overwhelming? What has God been teaching you through the business? What are some things that you’re thankful for? Share in the comments!

Happy New Year! | 2015 Morning Glory Recap

Anastasis Faith

Happy New Year!


Wow! 2015 was an incredible year of growth both for Morning Glory and me personally!
First of all, in May, an essay that I wrote about Morning Glory received third place in TeenPact’s Jimmy Brazell Community ImpactScholarship—which then was read in front of over 750 people, and caused Morning Glory’s big “growth spurt” that almost doubled its size!
Just a few weeks after that significant event, in June, I was thrilled to announce the launch of Morning Glory’s Blog! This blog has grown a lot as well over the months, and I’m beyond excited to see it start coming to life! This was my idea before the Daily Devotional, but was something that God prevented me from starting until the right time—and I’m so thankful for that!
Starting next week, the Morning Glory devotional/blog schedule will change. The current schedule has devotionals being sent out Monday through Saturday, with new blog posts every Tuesday. The new schedule will result in no Saturday devotional. Instead, a new blog post will be posted on Saturday, not Tuesday.
As a recap, here at the top six posts (because there was a tie for fifth place) published in 2015 on this blog.

Can’t see past the pain of a trial? God does have a plan for the hurt, and He’s using this in your life. This list of reasons to be thankful submitted by an anonymous guest poster will change your perspective on your trial.

Tip 6 in our series, 10 Tips for Beating a Crush, was to avoid things that often cause you to think of romance. Not far behind this one was the similar post, “Why I Avoid Romance Novels and Movies.” Are you surrounded by romantic books, movies, and music? You may be creating a difficult environment for yourself to beat your unhealthy crush.

Tip 1 was to change your mindset. How do you view guys? Are you making these mistakes and viewing them through a selfish lens? How do you view your emotions? Changing your mindset can make a huge difference in the way you think about and treat guys.

All the practical tips in the world can’t help you beat your crush unless you have the heart to do so. This blog post discusses the difference between a crush you should eradicate and a crush you should manage, and explores some of the root issues involved in a crush.

You cannot beat a crush unless you beat your daydreams. Are you drowning yourself in romantic daydreams? What are the pitfalls of daydreams, and how do we beat them? Read this post for practical advice on conquering this huge struggle in any girl’s life.

You’ve fought hard. You’ve tried to resist. But you find yourself failing yet again. What does God’s Word say about our weakness? What do we do with our weakness? How do we get back up again? What do we do when you finally realize that you’re not strong enough?

And that was our 2015 Morning Glory Recap! Special thanks go to my faithful team of devotional writers, Beth, Taylor, Abby, Sarah, and Bethany—Morning Glory would not be possible without these amazing young ladies. I’m so thankful for each of you who take time to read the devotional and blog, and I’m especially thankful to those of you who take time to contribute and send encouragement to me and the devotional writing team!

Looking at this coming year, I’m becoming more and more excited about the new things God will do with Morning Glory this year! We’ll see where He takes it. :)

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