Tearing Down the Purity Culture Wall

I had a wall within my heart. It was called purity culture.

If you’re not familiar with purity culture, please see more of my posts on this subject, especially my review of The Scarlet Virgins. But here’s the basic definition:

“Purity culture” is the culture fostered by teachings of courtship, emotional purity, and modesty, which emphasize the prevention of lust, premarital sex, and emotional entanglement.

The goals of purity culture were noble. Abstinence before marriage is absolutely what Christian people should practice. However, the methods and teachings of purity culture caused the erection of walls between young men and young women.

Instead of being able to interact freely, many young people are afraid, awkward, or uncertain about interacting with the opposite sex. Many have found it difficult to get married at all. Many more, upon marriage, have discovered that they are unable to perform sexually, or they fight incredible guilt about sexual relations with their spouses.

This morning, as I talked with my Heavenly Father, He showed me that I had an emotional wall of purity culture, obstructing my ability for the love of God to flow to my sisters in Christ. “Love your neighbor as yourself” applies to all our relationships. But purity culture prevents or obstructs that love.

This was not a mental wall. Let’s be clear. Mental barriers are actually easy to remove. They come from wrong beliefs, and you can remove them simply by learning the truth. However, emotional barriers actually exercise a lot of control upon our mind. Our emotions tell our mind what to think; what to believe. If you remove a mental barrier, but not the emotional one, you will struggle to actually accept what your mind knows to be true.

Which is exactly where I have found myself.

There is one caveat to removing this emotional barrier of purity culture, however. You need to make sure that it is the love of God, and not lust, that is on your side of the barrier. If you remove the purity culture barrier, but are filled with lust, that lust is going to flow forth. Please note, again, that this is in the emotional realm, not the mental realm. Thoughts of lust come from lust within the heart, not the other way around.

So as I prayed, I asked God to remove the purity culture wall within me; to wash it away with His rivers of living water; and to replace it with His love. As I prayed, I saw the wall washing away with His mighty torrents. It’s gone!

Spirit, break out
Break our walls down
Spirit, break out
Heaven come down

— Kim Walker-Smith


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2 Replies to “Tearing Down the Purity Culture Wall”

  1. We need boundaries in relationships, and relationships with the opposite sex is no exception. We’re only fooling ourselves to think that our sexuality doesn’t affect our relationships. Purity culture built arbitrary, inflexible boundaries driven by fear. The solution is no boundaries, but healthy boundaries that we understand and feel safe.

    1. ^^ I highly agree. I still haven’t come to a true resting place as far as these things go, I’m not nearly as careless as I used to be, but I’m very guarded now, and i know I am. God taught me a lot in the past through my own mistakes, but now, even though I’m open to whatever or whoever God has for me, I’m still very afraid of being too open or being to forward or out of place with men. I do believe God has called the man to be the initiator. But I know I make it hard through appearing aloof and guarded. Boundaries are needed, but too much of a good thing can end up being a negative thing too. Everything must be done for the glory of God.

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