Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tips for Mental Purity

Girls are emotional... big surprise, right? What we fill our minds with will determine the way we see the world and the way we react emotionally.
Have you ever concentrated on really learning something for a few weeks in a row? Or playing a game? Your mind creates a pattern, and you start seeing things through that pattern.
My grandparents gave me two books of Sudoku (a numbers game) last Christmas. Now, I didn't know much about it, but it looked like fun, so I started putting my mind to work learning the pattern of the game.
After a while, I would find myself subconsciously seeing things in rows and boxes even when I wasn't playing the game.
I'm going to give you a few examples of the most common things that affect our minds and emotions in a romantic way as girls.

1. Romance Novels (yes, even Christian ones)

2. Chick flicks and Romantic Comedies (also of course any other movies with not-so-cute sexual stuff in them)

3. Wearing tight (or 'sexy') clothing and some kinds of high heels (your guess is as good as mine as to why these affect us, but they do)

4. Looking at those bikini-type magazines at the end of the checkout line

5. Allowing a friendship with a young man to get deeper and deeper and deeper

I'm sure that there are more, and that they vary from person to person, but these were a few of the most common.

Now, what do these things do?
I'm not sure what it is about Romance novels, chick flicks, and Romantic comedies, but they tend to make us dissatisfied with what we have, and the men in our lives (i.e. our Dad, older brothers etc). This leads to rebellion and disrespect. The men in the books are created by a woman's imagination. Our fathers were created by God. Though they aren't perfect, God requires that we respect and obey them in the Lord.
Romance Novels also (obviously) make us impatient for a romantic relationship. The kind of desire it gives us, is one that no man can or will ever fulfill.
Tight clothing tempts us to flaunt our bodies. High heeled shoes can make us walk in a 'sexy' way.
Those magazines with the pictures of the perfect model in the bikini make us dissatisfied with our bodies and with being modest. The message is that you have to be immodest to be attractive.
A deep friendship with a young man encourages you to lean on him for your emotional needs instead of on God and your parents. (This isn't saying that you can't be friends with young men... just don't let it go too far. Don't ever tell him, or write him something that you wouldn't want your parents to read with the knowledge that you were sending it to him.)

There are obviously other, different effects from the ones that I've mentioned.

The most serious thing that happens, is that all of this stuff fills our mind and we start thinking in the patterns that were created by the author, the director, or the screen writer. Often, we're so anxious to finish those last few chapter to find out whether so-and-so gets together with what's-his-name, that we stay up late to read it and forget about reading the Bible (or else rush through our Bible chapter and never remember what it said).
Only when you fill your mind with God's word can you see things His way, and react the way Jesus would want you to.

Now this isn't to say that you can never enjoy another mindless chick flick, or read another happy ending. But there are a few things that you can do to undermine the effect they have on you.

1. DON'T FORGET TO READ YOUR BIBLE!!! And I don't just mean skimming a chapter a day. Set aside a time (I usually do my Bible reading at night before bed) and pray that the Lord would give you wisdom to see what He wants to show you that day. Then read however much you want, it doesn't have to be a set amount, but let it shape your mind. Soon you'll start seeing things 'through' the Bible

2. Don't be afraid to skip those parts in the book that give you that naughty feeling thrill

3. Fast-forward any inappropriate parts in the movies. And feel free to avoid this or that movie that you know is a problem.

4. Dress modestly ;-)

5. Guard your eyes. Yes I know, 'girls don't have to guard their eyes'. But we do, really. Sexual images may not affect us in the same way that they affect men, but they DO affect us. Don't look at those magazines; even at the covers. Look at your shopping cart if you have to.

6. Don't think of young men as potential husbands, and DON'T tell them secrets and stuff. If you wouldn't tell your boy cousins, than why in the world would you tell a completely unconnected boy?

7. Do not EVER allow your thought to linger on a young man, and don't think about what it might be like to hug or kiss or whatever. If we can take every thought captive in obedience to Christ (easier said than done; it takes lots of prayer and diversion) than we're on our way to emotional purity

Now, I, personally, don't read romance novels. I started to read them when I was about thirteen, but my Mom made me stop and I'm really VERY VERY thankful that she did.

But don't focus on 'fighting the bad', focus on being more like Jesus. Don't be legalistic, but strive for purity!

I hope this was helpful. As always, if you have any thoughts you'd like to share, please feel free.


Brooke said...

Joy, this is excellent!! You wrote this beautifully and all of it is so true and very important.

This spoke to me in certain areas. Thank you for writing this.

I love your site! You are a great writer, and I thank you for doing this blog for others. I can't wait to read the next topic!!

God bless,

Kate Marie said...

I had no idea you had this blog! I love it!!! Actually, I've been looking for something like this for ages.
And this post was very timely. I'm glad I read it.
Keep it up!!!!!!

Megan said...

Thank you VERY much for your thoughts on this subject. I needed the encouragement! God bless you!

Anonymous said...

I dig your site outline and I plan on
returning again! I just love finding blogs like this
when I have the time.
Thanks a lot for your beautiful thoughts.

Keep it up your good work.

Joy said...

Thanks girls! I'm so glad that it was helpful!
(And I'm glad that you like my site outline)
God bless!

Melissa said...

I am SO THANKFUL I found this page! It was exactly what I was looking for when I needed some encouragement. I am a Christian teenage girl and I feel like I am going too far with one of my guy friends. Thank you so much for this; I loved it and it really made sense and related to me. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

I struggle with mental purity and waiting for God to send Prince charming my way. But if you never get close yo a guy how do you know if you should marry or even be in a relationship with them? And what do you do if you have a crush on a guy? Not trying to be a pain just wondering. :)

Anonymous said...

Please just call me Belle