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Can you become pure again . . . ?

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Can you become pure again if you’ve already had sex multiple times and even gotten pregnant and had a miscarriage?—Anonymous, NC


Shayna Answers:

Dear Anonymous,

Yes, you absolutely can become pure again.

You can find an amazing story about a woman regaining her purity  in John 8. Scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery. Instead of stoning her, like everybody wanted Him to, Jesus, according to tradition, wrote the sins of her accusers on the ground in front of them. They didn’t stick around long after that. Then Jesus said to the woman: “Go and sin no more” (verse 11).

Jesus demonstrated that everyone’s life is plagued with sin, whether or not we get caught in the act. He’s not interested in killing us or even humiliating us because of it. He wants to forgive us for the mistakes we’ve made. First John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” All we have to do is genuinely repent for messing up, abandon our past behavior, and desire to change. And God doesn’t leave us to do these things alone. His Holy Spirit gives us the strength to change.

From your question, it sounds like you want to do this. So, confess your sin to God and ask for His forgiveness. Next, you need to establish new patterns of behavior.

While the editors of Insight wish you would wait to date until you’re at least in college, here is what you can do now. James 1:14, 15 points out that we are tempted by our own desires. The level of temptation you’re going to experience in your current relationship or future relationships is going to be pretty high, because you’re used to acting a certain way.

To deal with this, change your expectations about physical interactions in your relationships and establish new physical boundaries for yourself. For example, you may decide, “I’m not going to be alone with the person I’m dating.” Then make a mental commitment to stick to your plan. You’ll also need to tell your current significant other or your future significant others about your new physical boundaries.

Set new goals for yourself in your relationships that are not related to sex. For example, you may make it a goal to spend 10 minutes each day talking to your significant other about your spiritual life and praying together. You should also consider finding an accountability partner, such as a Sabbath school teacher or youth pastor, to talk with about your relationship, to pray with you about it, and to help keep you on the right track. If you keep the focus of your relationship on God, this will curtail the temptation you’re fighting (James 4:7).

In the future it’s important to date a person who shares your spritual, physical, and moral standards. They will be less likely to oppose your commitment to purity.

Finally, you may need to change who you’re hanging out with—your friends. This will be the hardest advice to follow. Because our friends influence how we think, how we feel, and even what we feel comfortable watching and listening to, you may have to get out of a negative environment to live a pure life.

Also remember that purity doesn’t just encompass what we do with our bodies. Matthew 5:27, 28 point out that our thoughts must also be pure. Second Corinthians 5:17 says that when we are “in Christ,” we are new creations. Being faithful to your commitment may literally mean that you become a whole new person.

Next week we’ll talk about the second half of your question—how to deal with pregnancy or a miscarriage.



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