Crocodiles, Donuts & the Glorious Destiny

Sarah Otteson   -  

Psalm 73 is a beautifully honest passage of scripture that I believe every young person can identify with.
If we’re honest, purity at 17 feels like wrestling a crocodile on a slip-n-slide in the dark with donuts falling from the sky. It makes no sense! At least, it makes no sense to culture, friends, and even our own bodies. It’s a myth to think not everyone struggles with this.
I grew up the daughter of a senior pastor, never knowing a week without a Sunday in church and attending a Christian school. As one from the “inside” I see the great epidemic stemming from three vital elements needed in the lives of our young people today.
Community. 

That fancy “C” word translates to “friends” or the people who have a voice and a vote in your life. Who are they? If you are a parent, do you know who these people are in your son’s or daughter’s life? Are you one of them? If you are a student, are their people in your life you have given this place of authority to that haven’t earned it?
I remember when I was in high school I engaged into a dating relationship with a guy before I even knew him, only because he was a couple years older than I was! I look back and feel so dumb now, but I don’t think it’s far off from where students are at today in the desire for status and acceptance. Both are mega potential stumbling blocks when is comes to chasing after purity.
Dialogue. 
If you are driving in the middle of the night and the road leads you across a bridge, would you like to know before or after you enter across the bridge that with any weight it will immediately give way and crash into the ravine depths below? I’d imagine” before” would be the only answer to suffice and the following thought would be “duh!” How different is talking about purity, sex, and real honest questions? Not addressing the issue before the crash and burn is becoming catastrophic to our generation. Parents, don’t be afraid to ask questions even if you fear the answer is something you don’t want to hear. Open dialogue and your honesty is a nugget of wisdom your student needs to navigate this walk. Be transparent. Start the conversation before you see it is necessary. Play the offense. Create the rapport that allows your student to know they can always come to you unashamedly to process and ask questions.
This is something as the church we need to be stronger at. We are so grateful for our amazing Youth Leaders who walk with our young people and can be that voice and sounding boards in their lives alongside our parents.
Jesus. 
Yes of course, any plan that is meant to succeed has got to have Jesus as the anchor. Purity is a real struggle. But Jesus is a real stronger power. Through Him there is no temptation we cannot overcome.
When Elliot and I first started dating, we both made an unwavering decision to not kiss before we got married. It was tough! When people asked I got all sorts of comments, “that’s impossible…there is no way I could do that…why does it even matter?” Yes! It probably is impossible! And you are right, there is no way I could do that either. But it matters because that is what Jesus called us to do. Not by our might, but by His power. It was not easy and to be honest I still can’t believe we (we = Elliot + Sarah + a whole lot of Jesus) did it! But that commitment to purity created so much trust between us. Now that we are married, that same respect and purity demolishes any fear either of us might have of the other stepping outside the boundary of purity in marriage. It’s a beautiful freedom.
I entered high school with a very small community and a naive understanding of potential ramifications that crashed into my realities. But I am so grateful that while Jesus said to me, “I’ll take you as you are,” He didn’t stop and continued with, “I love you too much to leave you that way.” He planted incredible mentors in my life and friendships that saw me through some tough seasons of growth and transformation.
The fruit of purity is intimacy. It sets us on track to the glorious destiny Jesus has planned for every son and daughter.
Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?…
Psalm 73 

23 I still belong to you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart;
    he is mine forever.

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