Originally, the title of this post was going to be “How to… Stay Pure as a Young Person,” but then my 13-year-old son studied Psalm 119:9-16 and said, “This really applies to everyone, not just young people.” So, in the amazing wisdom that God gives through children, let’s talk about a lifetime of purity.
First, what do we mean by purity? Purity means to be free from guilt or evil, to be innocent. It can also mean stainless or whiteness. Spiritually, this means that regardless of our sins and the stains they created in our lives, “we can become as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
Second, how do we become pure? Psalm 51:1-10 says only God can make us pure. Apart from Him we cannot claim purity (Proverbs 20:9). Matthew 5:27-30 tells us that purity begins in the heart, and John 17:17 says that purity only comes from God. Regardless of your past, you can become pure by the cleansing power of His blood (Galatians 2:20).
Finally, how do we stay pure? The scripture that began this discussion between me and my son gives us the crystal clear answer to this question: Study and obey God’s Word.
How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you — don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. I praise you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us. I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word. (Psalm 119:9-16)
10 Things a Young Person Should Do to Stay Pure
Because I asked him to, my son wrote a list of 10 ways a young person can stay pure based on Psalm 119:9-16. Here’s what he wrote:
- By living according to God’s Word. (v. 9)
- Seek God with all your heart. (v. 10)
- Hide God’s Word in your heart. (v. 11)
- Praise God. (v. 12)
- Follow God’s laws. (v. 13)
- Rejoice in following God’s statues. (v. 14)
- Meditate on God’s precepts. (v. 15)
- Consider God’s ways. (v. 15)
- Delight in God’s decrees. (v. 16)
- Don’t neglect God’s Word. (v. 16)
3 Basic Steps to Purity
My son then went beyond my request and offered these 3 basic steps for staying pure.
- Decide to live according to God’s Word.
- Fill yourself with God’s Word.
- Seek God in prayer each day and allow Him to live and work in your life.
As a parent, I am concerned about my kids straying (wandering) in an increasingly Godless culture. I wonder if and how they can avoid the scarring mistakes of teenage stupidity that can create a lifetime of struggle with guilt. Fortunately, God’s Word says a lot about how to become and remain pure. And as a parent, I can encourage purity, pray for purity and model purity. But it turns out that my kids can do the same for me.
DISCUSSION: What life lessons have you learned through your kids?