A few weeks back, Justin and Jessica McAuliff, leaders of our youth ministry delivered a message about purity. Now, my initial reaction as a grown man hearing a youth pastor mention the word purity brought the immediate thought of abstinence and protecting one's virginity. As a young married man expecting our first child in a matter of weeks, my reaction was to turn and point the finger at the younger teens in the room, thinking that this obviously wasn't applicable to me and that they'd better listen up to the message. See, in my mind, I was already past the the point of worrying about my purity. Right? Wrong!
Quickly, I realized that this message was very much directed right at me, and likewise, to all men, whether single or married, young or old. Justin and Jessica were truly talking to the teens that night and their message to them did get through. But there was another message that I was also receiving from them, and it came through as clear as a blue sunny day!
Fellas, there's a purity crisis among us MEN, and it's taking over our lives and we have got to put a stop to it right now.
We've got all these new technologies on the internet, plus our blackberrys and iphones. One of the ‘perks' these days is the social media outlets we now have adopted. These social networks are consuming so much of our downtime, and unfortunately, much of our productive work and family time too. The problem I'm seeing with these different technologies, is the ease with which many men are now finding the ability to harbor hidden lives and relationships.
The question below is one I'm going to direct toward married men or those in stable relationships:
Are you creating and/or accepting friendships with women you don't know on Facebook or Myspace? And are you finding it hard to stop these relationships from going too far?
Before you go accepting that friend request or responding to these private messages, you'd better ask yourself this:
What is my ‘purity' worth to me? In other words guys, what's your value as a husband, a father, a business man, a role model, or a friend worth to you? Are you going to get down a hole you won't have a ladder to climb out of in the end?
See, for me, it's peace of mind in knowing that since dating and marrying my wife, I've got no hidden paths to second and third girlfriends and mistresses. No one's going to disrespect my wife and talk about me sleeping in another woman's bed last night, last month, or even last year! The point here is I've got no ghosts in my closet that are going to jump out when I least expect it.
Now if you're the guy that's reading this, and you're thinking that you won't ever get caught for having these other relationships, cause you're too smart to get caught, brother, please keep reading! You might soon realize that this blog post was meant for you.
It's crazy to me that in just the past year alone, I've seen very close friends and family of mine… guys just like me and you, trying to lead ‘right' lives as men, but going down the wrong path. Some of my brothers are losing or severely damaging their marriages and families to those very issues I've mentioned above. Many of these guys had their lives together and quickly got derailed from their tracks by the same simple mistakes… opening their lives and emotions to outside relationships along the way, that should never have been given access to begin with.
Guys you can't allow the devil (or some hot ‘friend' request on FB) to buy your purity at a low price. Ask yourself is it worth it to get with that girl? Really?
Your desires to want to have as many women friends/lovers as you possibly can, are going to be short lived and will end with many areas of your life suffering for it. Divorce, losing your kids, your business and career, losing respect amongst your family and friends, and allowing your kids to be raised without a permanent father figure or some other dude! Need I continue? Guys, this is the risk you run because you can't exercise self control.
And guys, it's not just facebook you need to worry about. For those of you entertaining these IMs and private text messages too. If it's inappropriate, and you'll know if it is, just stop!
Impurity will cost you something, somehow, at some point. We will pay a large price for that false sense of satisfaction!
This being said, it is important to note though, that if this is you, if you're reading this blog post and you know that the person described above resembles you or someone you know very well, you should know it's not too late for you or a friend to regain your values and purity.
As a Christian man, it's important that I reference a bible lesson about ‘casting stones'. Please read John 8: 1-11. It's a story that's sure to remind and comfort you, knowing that Jesus Christ redeems our purity. Don't think that because you've gone down the wrong road already, that it's too late to change your course. NO ONE has the right to tell you otherwise either. You CAN change. You CAN start a revolution for purity. As young men wanting to change the course for a new generation, we need to begin:
- Respecting our women. Value them, court them, honor them and love them, with your mind, body and soul. Brothers, stop trying to sleep with every woman you meet. Let her know her self worth is important to you. Dont put the cart infront of the horse, get to know her as a person, before you try to get in her pants. MAN UP! Husbands, just 'cause your married, doesn't mean you should stop courting your wives too. Date your woman every day! Don't forget to date your daughters too, so they grow up knowing what a good man should do and doesn't bring home ‘Mr. Pants on the ground.'
- Being great role models and fathers to our children. Whether it's your children or they're your cousins, your nieces/nephews, or your friend's kids. These kids are watching you as men and whether you realize it or not, your behavior will mold their lives and their character. Did you know that our generation has more men dropping out of school, raping our women and going into prison because of the lack of a father figure in their homes. If you're a single man and you've got less responsibilities in your day, get off facebook and go volunteer even an hour a week to being a positive role model for kids who need a male figure in their lives. Don't talk about doing it, just do it!
- Building up our own character. Don't be one text book image in the face of your wife, kids, friends, co-workers and family, and then go live a double life cheating and lying to yourself about someone else. You're not only cheating on your commitment to your wife and your family, you're now cheating God and every younger man around you that looks up to you for a benchmark of a value system and for what they want to be and do when they grow up. Be the same person even when no one is around.
Guys, stop following the crowd! Your character isn't defined by the car you drive, the house you own, or anything else that's material. These things come and they go, like the wind. Be the person that can be trusted, honored, respected and most importantly, loved.
If we get enough real men to swim against this current of lies and deception that plague our social environment today, then we will change the direction of the current and the benchmark for future generations.
Remember, the root of the purity crisis is in our HEARTS. If we don't get our hearts right and get our hearts committed to being pure, it won't happen.
A True Revolutionary won't just do something, they will do WHATEVER it takes!
Guys, please keep up the fight for your purity.
Thanks Justin and Jessica for helping me start this revolution.