Part Two: A Mother’s Plea for Purity…

Part Two: A Mother’s Plea for Purity…

I never intended on writing my former post; it simply wrote me until I pushed the publish button. That being said, I never intended on writing this follow-up post, but I sense I’ve struck a chord in some of you. That being said, all the chords that I struck weren’t necessarily in tune with mine. I’m OK with that; thus, some further thoughts and, perhaps, some further ones after these. I’m content to follow this chord wherever God leads. My heart is in the right place … next to His … next to yours. Thank you for the privilege of your moments here. I don’t take them lightly; I consider them a gift from God. Shalom!
“After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, ‘Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome and FIGHT FOR YOUR BROTHERS, YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS, YOUR WIVES AND YOUR HOMES.’” (Nehemiah 4:14).

Five years ago, I walked into a local gas station to purchase my forty-four ounce Diet Coke with two teenage sons in tow. That day, I got more than a caffeine jolt; I got a reality jolt—pornographic magazines in full view and within easy reach of any customer. While I was over-filling my cup, I watched my sons catch a whiff of the “yuck” as they passed by for a sniff.

It made me mad. Hopping mad. The kind of mad that stirs a mother’s protective heart and moves her to action. After taking the boys home, I returned to the store and spoke with a manager. I explained to her that I wouldn’t be doing any more business with them until the pornography was removed to an isolated location. At least that way, customers would have to be more intentional about their sin. I further explained about how hard it was for me to raise Godly young men and that this store was making my job more difficult by advertising the “yuck” in such blatant fashion.

I’m not sure if she or the other curious onlookers, who couldn’t help but offer their ears in the matter, really “got” what I was saying, but as I left the premises, I did so knowing that I had sown a seed on behalf of the kingdom … on behalf of the cause of purity. And friends, that’s really the root of the issue.

Purity of heart and life.

My former post focused on how we dress, but really our dressing is only one facet of the issue. Purity encompasses all components of our daily life. Our eating, our drinking, our dressing, our conversation. What we watch, what we read, what we speak, what we hide. How we do, how we don’t, what we will, what we won’t.

Purity is an intentional pursuit. It never happens by accident. Our human nature doesn’t default toward cleanliness. Most days we default toward our fleshly pursuits because most days we operate out of our emotions rather than our will. Purity isn’t based on how we’re feeling; feelings are at the root of most impulsive reactions. Instead, purity is based on the willful decision to act contrary to the flesh.

To walk away, stay away, and refuse the way of a wayward heart.

To follow after, to follow further, to follow harder toward a sacred heart that belongs solely and fully to a Lover who bled long and wide and high and deep for its cleansing.

And until we get that, until we understand that purity is a pursuit rather than an occasional by-product of our salvation, we shouldn’t be surprised when wayward glances and rebellious steps become the norm rather than the exception. Both in us and in those that we love.

Men and women. Boys and girls. Sons and daughters. Nieces and nephews. Grandchildren and the neighbor’s children. All of us stand at risk where purity is concerned. None are exempt from the wily schemes of an enemy whose sole intent is to steal, kill, and destroy. Thus, we must be vigilant in our pursuit of purity. And to be frank, our kids aren’t wise enough to keep to that road on their own.

That is why our Father has put them under our influence, and while I have not always been a perfect parent, I’ve always been a willing one. It is my privilege to be a mother … a woman of profound persuasion in the hearts and lives of my children. At the ages of almost twenty and eighteen, two of them have reached adult status. The others trail a decade behind. Still and yet, they are mine to parent, and for as long as I have breath, I will always go to the mat on behalf of their holiness.

You can be sure that there are others who are willing to seed their hearts to the contrary; I’m well aware of those others. Outside influences continue to interrupt the process of my children’s sacred shaping, but I am vigilant to root them out and to keep them at bay. Madea is alive and well and kicking in this season of their lives.

But there is coming a day and has come a day when my children will walk the fruition of their early shaping. I won’t be there to watch them choose and to guide their hearts as they go. Those moments will be theirs to manage. But they won’t approach them or enter into them without knowing how their parents feel about those moments. Why?

Because in the “now” we are willing to open up our mouths and our hearts about everything while they are yet still with us. We are content to say “no” while others are easy with their “yes.” We are willing to activate parental controls while others are willing to look away. We are consistent with our guidelines while others are consistent with their inconsistencies. We are fervent about our faith journey while others are fervent about their fleshly wants. We are serious about our parenting while others are serious about themselves.

We simply and profoundly are committed to our responsibility as the keepers of a sacred trust—our children. Some days it looks a whole lot like “baseball bats” and “because I said so.” Some days it wraps more tender with an “I’m sorry” or “I could have done that better.” But all days begin and end the same. With love as our guide and with purity as our goal.

For their sake. For our sake. For the kingdom’s sake.

Friends, our homes are worthy of a vigilant fight. If we won’t wage the battle for them, then we can be sure that the enemy holds the upper hand against them. And when it comes to the enemy and his intention, there is never an occasion when he is for us. His agenda always roots to the contrary. Of that, I am certain.

Thus, let us strengthen our frames and steady our feet for the sake of our homes. Never apologize to anyone regarding your personal pursuit of purity and the steps that you are taking on behalf of your loved ones to know the same. Don’t be afraid. Don’t back down. Don’t settle for the easy way out. There is no easy way when it comes to purity of heart and life. Thankfully, we don’t go it alone. The Lord is great and awesome and will fight alongside us to bring us to our final and perfect end.

It seems a long season to get there, but it is but a breath from now, and our God is worth every hard and difficult intention that we walk in our “current” for his name’s sake.

Keep to it, friends. See to it. Our salvation draweth nigh.

In the name of the God who created us for a kingdom, and of the Jesus who died for us so that we could share in that kingdom, and of the Holy Spirit who keeps us to the road until we reach that kingdom, may all glory and honor and praise be His, now and forever more. Amen. So be it.

As always,


Copyright © March 2009 – Elaine Olsen

UPDATE: I can see that this post has opened up yet another issue as it pertains to purity…pornography. It has touched our household in many ways over the years. I know that many of you are trying to raise up your children with the truth of all things pertaining to purity and sensuality. Thus, let’s offer one another some practical resources for walking this thing through. What has worked for you? I will try and compile some of these things for a further post, but I need your input. Write it in the comment section or send me an e-mail. Let’s help one another here. As a mother of 3 sons and a daughter, I don’t have the market on wisdom here, but I have the passion to see all of us succeed at our responsibility of “training up a child.” Let us NOT FEAR; let us armor up for the fight! Our knees are the best posture for the road ahead.

24 Responses to Part Two: A Mother’s Plea for Purity…

  1. You are so right…our kids are not wise enough to make the right choices for themselves. That is why we are to train them and even protect them from influences in age appropriateness.

    So many statistics (I’ve included some on my blog in the past) clearly indicate that we are failing our kids…and thus our society. It is so encouraging to hear other mothers being vigilant and going to battle on behalf of their precious little ones.

    After all, we are intended to raise warriors, but how can they fight if they are stuck in the enemy’s traps?

  2. Now here's a soapbox with MY name on it! If I were to get started I'd probably not finish. All things Hugh Hefnerish make me spittn' & sputterin' angry.

    In keeping with the pornography topic, I just have to say I have a love/hate relationship with the internet. I've got enough firewalls and spam traps to keep most junk at bay, but every so often a title slips through that realy makes me fume. I can't hit "delete" fast enough!

    I'm no prude, but the sex-saturated material, not to mention advertising, so cheapens the fabulous, fun, lovely, amazing domain of godly sexuality. No wonder the world is so confused.

    Great chord. Go get 'em, girl!

  3. Elaine, THIS is powerful!!!! It’s a “Mother’s plea” but from the Father’s heart.

    I take this stand beside you.

    “O God of Jacob
    Give us clean hands
    Give us pure hearts…”

    Intentionally pursing purity and holiness,

  4. Amen, amen!

    You couldn’t be more right…purity in our homes is certainly worthy of our vigilant fight.

    Thank you for the powerful encouragement to strap on the Lord’s armour and battle strong for the purity of those we love.


  5. Amen, Elaine! It does get confusing when the “yuck” becomes the norm and is coming at our kids from every angle. Thank you for this post!

  6. I’m an empty-nester now and know that one of the hardest things to do as a parent is to be consistent. Doing the right thing, teaching the right thing, disciplining at the right time, etc. when you’re tired and just feel like letting it slide… Just let me encourage everyone to continue to “be the mom”. Anything else, and we fail our kids…

  7. Love, love this post and so agree with Cheryl – just “be the mom”…

    not the friend…

    not the buddy…

    THE MOM!

    Awesome words of truth.

    Blessings this day,

  8. I can echo Sassy Granny’s comment…We went through a very painful time when we discovered that pornography had oozed through our firewalls, anti-spam programs, anti-everything software, and even got past our own parental supervision.

    We thought we had placed all protective devices on our computer and had taken all the steps to protect our children. We had the computer in a high-traffic area of our home. Supervised our children while they used it. And yet, it took only a moment for our then eleven-year-old son to be exposed to pornography. Extremely graphic pornography. That moment of exposure was all it took to open a door that Bill and I both had to put a shoulder to in order to get it closed again. And while opening the door took moments, shutting it took much, much longer.

    I can’t express the frustration, pain, and GUILT hubby and I felt..sometimes still feel…over what transpired. It wasn’t because we weren’t trying our best. It happened because of our own ignorance. Nevertheless, it happened.

    I don’t share this painful part of our lives to get anyone’s pity. I share it to echo the words on your post:

    “Friends, our homes are worthy of a vigilant fight. If we won’t wage the battle for them, then we can be sure that the enemy holds the upper hand against them.”

    Amen, Elaine…AMEN.

  9. As one who is raising two boys, I also say AMEN. The outside world is definitely not helping one bit. I have instilled in mine and keep doing so hoping that it will shape them for the rest of their lives and into the lives of their children. Being a parent means more or should mean more than just being the egg and sperm donor. I love my boys and I will fight to the death for them in whatever capacity that is necessary. As a footnote you may of noticed two teachers that were in the paper recently for taking indecent liberties with their children in the classroom. One of them I went to school with and was a minister in a local church. The devil is working overtime my friends! Get him behind!

  10. Amen. Purity is SO important, and you’re absolutely right that our children don’t have enough wisdom to do it on our own. Thank you for this incredible reminder.

  11. Beth E’s story is particularly chilling because that has happened to a “friend of a friend.” I realize that a new level of vigilance must be taken now that my oldest son is nine.

    I don’t want to live in fear, and I don’t want to over-shelter my children. I want to tell them what they need to know at the appropriate time, and I want those details to come from me, not from peers.

    This week alone I have learned that some female peers have reached the age of maturity and are being told the details by their mothers; these are Godly mothers who have shared this with me so I will know. They do not think their girls will discuss this with anyone but of course they can’t be sure. I do not feel ready for all this!

    I also live this issue through the lens of a brother who was introduced to pornography at an extremely young age and spiraled downward rapidly from there.

    Sorry for such a long comment! You have struck a chord with me. I would love insight about when and how you first discussed these matters with your own boys.

  12. Amen, amen, amen!
    Years ago I walked into a local 7-11 and was stunned to see the porn at kids’ eye level right there at the checkout counter, so there was no way to avoid seeing it…and no way to protect my 5 year old son from seeing it. I got home and wrote to 7-11 corporate with my concerns, and they replied that they left it up to the discretion of individual managers where they posted the porn. That’s the same as saying they don’t care if porn is forced into the faces of little kids. I swore right then never to set foot in ANY 7-11 again until and unless the corporate policy changed. Some things just aren’t worth it.

  13. You wrote:
    Purity is an intentional pursuit. It never happens by accident. Our human nature doesn’t default toward cleanliness. Most days we default toward our fleshly pursuits because most days we operate out of our emotions rather than our will. Purity isn’t based on how we’re feeling; feelings are at the root of most impulsive reactions. Instead, purity is based on the willful decision to act contrary to the flesh.

    Wow! So much truth in all of this post – where to start in the comment aisle?!?! – but it all reminded me of Daniel – and that Integrity of Heart that he had – the same Integrity of Heart that Christ desires for each of us to have…

    Integrity that means: “Doing what’s right when no one else is looking, except God.”
    [my definition]

    Thank you for taking a stand for what was right and good and pure and holy – not many others would have done that.

    Looking UPward and Choosing JOY,
    [Time to FLY]

  14. Keep being the vessel, sister.

    Be vigilant in bringing God’s truth… even if we’ve heard it… we need to hear it and hear it and live it and keep on keeping on!

  15. Elaine, again, this is such a timely message. My sons are married now, but when they were teens, my husband and I had to deal with this very issue. It’s like a cancer that seeks to attach itself to young people. Now, our sons tell us how thankful they are that we were so involved in their lives. Your children are so blessed to have godly parents. One day, they will thank you for your love, dedication, truth, and prayer. I so appreciate your honesty and boldness. God bless.

  16. Elaine, this says it all: “Purity encompasses all components of our daily life. Our eating, our drinking, our dressing, our conversation. What we watch, what we read, what we speak, what we hide. How we do, how we don’t, what we will, what we won’t. Purity is an intentional pursuit. It never happens by accident.”

    I don’t think I can add anything more to what you’ve already said.

  17. Elaine, something that has worked in our home for safeguarding our kids is having the computer in the kitchen in plain sight! We do not allow our kids to have computers in their rooms. This way, we can at all times know what they are looking at.

    They also know what our rules are about computers while they are at friends homes. While we have told them, that doesn’t always mean that they will listen. My hope is that my words will ring in their ears if they are tempted to look at things they shouldn’t.

    I also would suggest taking your kids to a “true love waits” class. Eric and I taught one at our church and it really opened our eyes to what kids think and deal with when it comes to sex. It was a great class and I hope helped a lot of our youth learn what God has to say on the subject.

    Thanks for another great post! Let’s keep fighting girls!!

  18. I'm in total awe here Elaine. I did not have resources except God's word and that best posture of being on my knees.

    I love the one line from your post:
    "Purity isn’t based on how we’re feeling; feelings are at the root of most impulsive reactions. Instead, purity is based on the willful decision to act contrary to the flesh."

    I've sought resources out because my marriage has been at stake with this issue. Unfortunately, on the other person's part, he has ignored my resources research. So, in this case mine hasn't worked "yet". I have noticed a slight curbing of certain activity/behavior since I've gone to the mat for my marriage. I leave it with my Master & Lord! He'll take care of it as I prostrate before HIM in obedience. [Look very closely that I'm saying I'm laying face down before God!]

    I look forward to whatever resources are compiled.

    Thank you for your frankness and transparency here Elaine!

  19. Elaine, I’m sure glad the Lord allowed our paths to cross. Thank you, for the work you are doing sister, to carry the banner of virtue and purity high. I noticed your reference to Nehemiah 4 and I camp out on that passage in my upcoming Bible study (releases May 1) called “5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter.” Love, love that passage. When I saw it on your blog, I knew I liked you right away. 🙂

  20. We were not walking WITH God even though we knew of God while raising our children.

    But today….if I would be given the chance to even discuss it with our adult children, I would tell them that their eyes were intended for their spouse and spouse only.

    Thank you, Sweetie, for taking a stand. And I totally agree…never ever appologize for standing for God and PURITY.


  21. Wow, Mrs. Elaine. I pray that I will be that kind of mom that fights for her children’s purity in prayer most of all. I know that He is able to keep them from stumbling (Jude 24,25). I know He can keep me from stumbling too-praise HIM.


  22. I will never apologize for this pursuit, as a woman, and as a mom. NEVER.

    my husband and I have taken a very aggressive course as it pertains to this issue:

    1. My husband purchased the book “Every Young Man’s Battle” for ME–MOM. He knew that I needed to be informed about the struggle so that I could deal with my son (and daughters) appropriately.

    2. We have our son read the “Rebelution” blog. PHEnomenal, and the issues seem to hit him right where he needs it. He’s learning not just to resist, but to rebel against the flesh and the attacks of the enemy.

    3. We don’t sneak around with our son. We have prayed with him, and he has agreed to a system of accountability in the home. He has to ask to turn on the Internet. Since we homeschool part-time, he has to use it for his research and homework and to access his grades. We also allow him to email classmates and other friends. We have his internet connection cabled through our router, and we turn it on as he asks and IF we can supervise. We also have a VNC viewer installed on both of our computers. It is basically a “monitor copy” of his monitor on mine or Brian’s. I can shrink it so it is in the corner of my computer. He’s aware we’re looking, and we have discussed with him that just as we see what he is doing on the computer, God sees everything we do, and even inside our hearts and minds.

    4. We’ve come to realize the “triggers,” and we are trying to help him see them too. We’re not going to have him at home forever, being able to VNC him and turn on his internet, and we know that full well. So we’re trying to equip him with the knowledge he needs now. So many times what causes the temptation is something the “lamp of his body” sees. Unfortunately, this goes back to your last post. If we think the way we dress or carry ourselves doesn’t matter, just remember that it only took one look for David to get into trouble. (ok, stop ranting, Laura).

    4. We try to make sure that our son is surrounded by other Godly influences, people who confirm what his parents are saying…his youth group leader is a great example.

    5. The largest of all: PRAYER is the greatest weapon. We have taught our son that God will ALWAYS provide him a way of escape, but he must pray for them, and desire them, and obey them. Since I have begun to battle this on my knees as a mama, I have seen an enormous difference in my son. I almost didn’t believe it myself, but doesn’t that tell you too much about me? We need to believe that God can and will…I had to get over thinking, “There’s no hope for him. He’s surrounded with it. He’s going to leave home, and then what?” Who am I to think that God isn’t big enough to keep my son from sin, from lust? HE CAN! And I’ll spend a lifetime on my knees asking Him to.

    Thanks, Elaine. Sure do love your obedience to the Holy Spirit.

    Oh, and for daughters, I get “Virtue Alerts” from Vickie Courtney. I LOVE her!!!! She is helping me with the new battles I have coming down the road with my daughters….oh myyyy.

  23. I heard my pastor say once that people are drawn to pornography because of a deep need that isn’t filled by God. They think they are looking for something other than God, but it is really God they are searching for. Only He can fill the void.

  24. Great Post…..

    I found your site on stumbleupon and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

    Thanks for sharing….

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