I've been struggling lately. The idea of getting back into the dating thing is both exciting and horrifying all at the same time. I haven't started dating, and probably won't for a while but it's something I am contemplating. I'm terrified about how I am going to be who I say I am, and who God calls me to be, in the face of temptation. The thing that really scared me is that I have had an opportunity to make a new friend. He's someone I could totally see myself dating at some point. Here is the problem - I have felt temptation and there hasn't even been a legitimate opportunity for misbehaving. I had a day of feeling obsessed and ill about who I could see myself becoming.
It's funny because even before I knew that my husband was cheating, long before I suspected that I would ever be single again, God had begun to speak to my heart. Mostly it was about purity and how I remember knowing with certainty that it was important to be a virgin when I got married. Technically I thought I was. I began to see though that what I had done prior to marriage was not pure. God convicted me that purity, not virginity, was the goal. I even had a conversation with a close friend about how different my line would be if I had to go back and start over. I had a clear sense then of where God was saying my line should have been. Thing is, I really didn't think it was ever going to be an issue I had to put into practice.
Now that I do there's this internal urge to justify that it would have been so much easier if I had to meet that goal having never experienced sexual intimacy. Meeting that goal, while knowing what I'm missing, seems like an impossible task.
I found myself contemplating behavior with my new friend that would clearly cross that line. I actually had this internal dialogue that said I should just go ahead and screw up once and then get my crap together and worry about purity later. Then I realized that to do that would make me just like everything I say I'm not. When will it be easier to not sin? Well the answer is it won't - I just have to not sin. Starting now, at my first opportunity.
Well at some point I called some friends who I honestly thought would give me the "just go for it and don't worry about the consequences" response. They both said "stop - don't - who are you?!?!" So then I realized that I needed to go where I should have started...to The Source. I need Him to help me stay pure. I need His strength made perfect in my weakness. Sure I can avoid temptation, but there will be some no matter how careful I am. I began to sense His words on my heart. I know that the only way I will succeed at being who I say I am, and who He calls me to be, is to intentionally take "every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."