Growing up in purity culture

What is lust? What isn't? How can I guard myself...
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Re: Growing up in purity culture

Post by MrMarried »

SeekingChange wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 8:47 am
MrMarried wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 7:56 am These are stereotypes, here, but our culture is pretty messed up, and while there are things about purity culture that sound odd to me, it sounds better than fornication culture or rebellious teen culture.
They are both their own form of slavery... the self-righteous are just as lost as the sinners, maybe even dangerously more so, because they are less likely to see their need for a Savior.... why not actually look for someone who has found freedom in Christ, no matter their background? Why not point our children to that freeing truth?
I've spent a lot of time among Christians who don't believe in fornication and adultery, but among those who do daddy-daughter balls or say they are in 'purity culture'.

Do you have some reason to think that they are 'self-righteous' or do not see their own need for a Savior? Do you have a reason to think that many in 'purity culture' are unsaved?
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Re: Purity Culture's lack of redemption

Post by mjake »

DoveGrey wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 5:28 am I can imagine the dishonesty was painful for you to discover. It occurs to me that she believed a false narrative about you as well. Not one that you told, but one that she'd been duped into believing by others. This one's the narrative that no good man will ever want a wife with a past. Purity culture is big on that. It's insulting to a man such as yourself who is mature in faith enough to realize premarital sex is not The Unforgivable Sin.

I am sorry you were both so unfairly affected by this. To enter a marriage where both partners have false assumptions about each other has to be stressful.
I don't think she had intentional false assumptions about me; rather, I think sex itself became a trigger for her, and I could be a very good husband and friend and yet still, the slightest indication that I was in it for the same things as the other guys, could be all she needed to reinforce a belief that I'm just like everyone else.

It's ironic that my not following her script gave her the time she needed to develop a strong sense of guilt and shame. Her pattern was to fall for a guy and rationalize she was "in love" and the relationship became sexual between 3-4 weeks later. That opportunity happened at 4 weeks, and because she'd been so big on her narrative, saving herself for marriage, I put a stop to it. It wasn't making sense. And I remember, very clearly, asking her at that time, how guys managed to resist such temptation? What would have happened had the guy just pushed in after she positioned herself as she did with me? And she said something that really should have raised a bigger red flag at the time. "If that that had happened, it wouldn't have been the end of the world for me, but I probably would have stopped seeing him."

I am not a saint!!! I wanted really badly to have sex with this beautiful and exciting young woman. But it wasn't about me; it was about respecting her narrative. I held off for 5 months. It wasn't easy, and if I didn't mention it previously, I was not a virgin. I'd had a 2.5 year relationship prior that became fully sexual the last six months.

During the vetting process, I was 100% open and honest about everything. She claimed the same, but just happened to leave out a whole lot of important details. I see vulnerability as a good thing, a strength. She sees vulnerability as weakness, an opportunity to gain the upper hand because she wants to keep things private (while not saying so at the time).
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Re: Growing up in purity culture

Post by Grapo »

Is this defending "purity" culture?

My parents were active Baptists, and I made a profession at around 13 like most of us in Royal Ambassadors and Girls Auxiliary. I was a fan of Jesus and the Bible, but not submitted to God. In HS I pushed boundaries and became active as a freshman in college. For 10 years I was pretty uninhibited. I was still a Sunday School teacher and didn't see a problem with choosing what I wanted from the buffet until I met a girl who lived her life to please God. Never noticed anyone like that before. I knew I was in trouble. I tried to behave, couldn't, and after 4 years, God saved me, and my girlfriend, who had no church background, evidently at the same time. I started getting along better with her as we studied a Biblical view of marriage. I felt like she was the best I would ever find, so I proposed, and we were married two months later. I trusted God to help me be faithful, because I didn't think I could on my own.

We eventually had 6 girls and a son. Before our oldest was in K. we heard about homeschooling, and loved the idea for logistical reasons and the fact that most of the bad I learned was from unsupervised peer interaction. We read "I kissed Dating Goodbye" and listened to Dobson, Doug Phillips, Doug Wilson and Denny Kenniston tapes and books about courtship, marriage, child training etc. I took my four oldest daughters to a purity weekend out of town. We encouraged our kids to do things in groups and had a great network of like-minded people and churches. We didn't allow being alone with boys or "dating", but my kids were very busy and happy. I told them when a boy comes along with a job that can support a family or $50k in the bank, then we'll talk to him about possibly courting you. Some tried that weren't ready and they weren't happy about being told no. Eventually each was taken by a young man who convinced me and my wife he was ready and able to create a family: spiritually, financially and emotionally. The males I interviewed one-on-one like a very serious job interview in which I asked him about everything I could think of that pertained to being husband material, esp. about being "equally yoked" which heavily but not only spiritual. All 7 are married and active in churches. They all like each other and their bils and sils. 6 have children so far.

For 10 years I "dated" for fun and un-Biblical physical interaction, just like most everybody else, even "church" people. I didn't think that would be helpful to my kids, so we didn't allow it. Were they all virgins when they married. I don't know. I've heard the courtship horror stories. We tried to teach our children to respect others and honor God's laws so they would have life instead of death and did things the way we did because we thought it was best for them. We got a lot of flak from some, but it didn't bother us, and the kids seemed to accept our rules and our reasons. If they did anything behind our back, I don't know, and sort of don't want to know. Now I have 6 sons-in-law and 1 daughter-in-law, none of which I would have chosen, but my kids seem to like them a lot and I love them. I knew almost nothing about raising godly kids when we married, but God directed us in all kinds of small and large ways and gave us info from wise people when we needed it. We pray every day that they and the grandchildren will have challenging but fruitful lives contributing to God's Kingdom.
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Re: Growing up in purity culture

Post by Pearl »

Grapo wrote: Mon Jan 30, 2023 3:01 pm Is this defending "purity" culture?
The term seems fraught with nuance. Your family sounds very similar to the one I grew up in. My husband "courted" my dad first, then me. He didn't have to have his life all figured out, but he at least needed to be heading in the right direction. I was the oldest, and the guinea pig for my parents ;-) My husband was (and is) a patient man. Perfect for me! We are happy. I have zero resentment towards my parents-- I love them and desired their input. My two siblings each had different courtship and marriage journeys, but they are also happy. And my parents are the proud grandparents to 11 grandchildren!

So is "purity culture" worth ditching? Not sure... I think the impetus is worth considering even if the methods are questionable.
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Re: Growing up in purity culture

Post by DaveW »

Plumpurple wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:27 am I believe there is definitely value in the core of the teachings in most areas - it's primarily about the language/spirit being used with it and whether or not love and respect for one another always go hand in hand and take priority over our physical desires. The tone and language with which values are communicated heavily influence how those values are internalized and put into action.
One of the teachings that I found most disturbing was the idea (promoted by the congregation I attended in college) was that one was supposed to sexually be the equivalent of a 5 year old right up until you say "I DO." Any kind of sexual feeling desire or even curiosity was "sinful lust." If you ever desired to masturbate, even if you struggled against it successfully, you were demonically possessed. Dating was absolutely forbidden as it could engender this "lust."

Another thing I found disturbing (NOT taught in that congregation) was that if you ever had romantic feelings for someone - either a by having a boy/girlfriend or even a "crush" as it were - you had given a piece of your heart away to never be returned. So when do you eventually get married, you cannot give your spouse your whole heart, since little pieces of it are with several other people.
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