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Purity Today

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
December 17, 2020 1:00 am

Purity Today

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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December 17, 2020 1:00 am

Everyone has a desire to be fully known. On FamilyLife Today, hosts Dave and Ann Wilson talk with author Carolyn Weber, about how purity relates to that topic in today's world.

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As a student at Oxford, Carolyn Weber was confronted with the claims of Christ and she correctly understood that to become a Christian would have an impact on more than just what she believed about God when I became a Christian and I started to think about relationships differently and I started to look back and think oh I wish someone had told me that I didn't expect much grief to wash and so once I was a believer and I was engaged to a nonbeliever who I tried to share the gospel with remains resistant.

I realize, wow, I'm neither going to have to get married, unequally yoked. What does that mean or this really needs to be reevaluated. This is family life today. Our hosts are David and Wilson on Bob being you can find us Christmas story of the coming of Jesus. It's a story of personal revolution in the lives of every person who believes will hear about that from Carolyn Weber today stay with us and welcome to family life to the thanks for joining us. I was on a radio interview a number of years ago there were two of us being interviewed and the question was about the purity, culture, and whether the purity culture that's been connected to evangelicalism is up in a negative thing or a positive thing should we be doing it differently. And of course family life. You know has a resource called passport to purity. We been encouraging moms and dads to be engaging with their children young about principles of purity when it comes to human sexuality, and I remember in the conversation. We were talking about how some people were damaged by messages that were part of the purity culture they felt like there was a lot of shame attached to people who made mistakes as they were growing up and I thought that's all true and we need to be careful that were not Pharisees, but we can't throw the purity baby out with the bathwater here yeah I agree because we still need to talk about it. I think for Dave and me as we are going through seminary and we look back on our early years of dating before we knew each other everything.

Some things that we really regretted and we were talking about that and Dave decided to write his masters thesis on an interesting topic, though, all the way back to that. I would think that I have thought about that in 40 years but yet you know most Masters theses are about theology and so I go to my readers and say can I do a Masters theses about the effects of premarital sex on marriage. They look to me like what I love to study that biblically and experientially. You know with people. What did they say and that's what I wrote it down and it was well received.

Yeah, I mean it was a very interesting study in the purity culture was actually trying to get at that there are consequences that you don't even know her to be consequences in your life and on your future marriage and one of the reasons that we want to talk about this is because it's almost the default today that once you meet someone and you're attracted to them and you feel a connection and you think maybe were in love that the next thing you do is you have sex with that person. Don't think that's new Bob well I about how to get you watch movies or television programs today and more blatant and that's where it goes and nobody even raises her hand and says all that's too better that you you would be better off if you didn't make that choice when it seems it's more commonplace than ever before. The couples are living together before they get married and we want just one step in here and saying on timeout. The Bible still speaks to the fact that human thriving is connected to God's plan for sexuality and God's plan for sexuality is that it happens inside the covenant relationship, a covenant commitment marriage and outside of that you have a good gift from God. That's being wrongly used and that sows seeds that are not there, a good harvest when I wish we had an expert would talk to this. We got a friend who is both friend of expert Carolyn Weber joining us, Carolyn.

Welcome to family life today. Thank you so much for having me out. I wouldn't identify myself as a sex bird. Certainly glad to join the conversation here is an author, a professor she lives in Canada with her husband Kent and their four children.

She's been a guest on family life to the before we heard the story of her surprising conversion from being a secular feminist at Oxford, to becoming a follower of Jesus in the first book that she wrote called surprised by Oxford and then she wrote another beautiful book called holy is the day we talked about that we talked about the miracle C-section. The you almost did not survive and you've just released the beautiful new memoir called sex and the city of God that is a look back at your transition from how you viewed relationships prior to being a follower of Christ to how you started to view relationships and particularly marriage. As a follower of Christ, how you met Kent how he was instrumental in all of that. Let's go all the way back to when you were in high school your family of origin.

Your mom and dad. Their marriage broke down right yes it dad I did.

I think I came from a family that many would recognize, identify when I do find it ends the price by Oxford as loving enough to get by broken enough not to deserve God's attention. My parents were not believers. My home is not shaped by faith media links to loose Catholicism by my grandparents and kind of European Catholicism but not really any sort of faith ends. My father had been a self-made man. He had been very successful in business and he lost that business and went through some very difficult times. He ended up actually having a nervous breakdown.

As a result, and doubtless a mental illness, and my mother was raising us essentially alone and there are no lonely path for her in many ways and so I define myself by high school as definitely want meeting to be independent, self-sufficient, I wasn't going to trust the father let alone heavenly father, eternal father, I didn't really know any Christians. The few Christians that I did sort of know writer stereotypes in the media, our you know one or two people that perhaps a high school that didn't seem to fit in, so I was like many, I didn't really know Jesus at all in the Jesus I knew was this media server presented Jesus and I didn't think religion was relevant to my life. I didn't think Christianity was relevant and I think that's really what people are drawn to us, how is faith relevance my lighthouse relevance. The things I struggle with her. My daily concerns and so that's where I was at the time I rented Oxford.

I was really quite determined to be self sufficient sentence on independence and in no need of a Savior and how did that worldview.

How did that way of thinking in form, dating relationships, your view of human sexuality coming in in high school your boyfriends you you were engaged to be married when you went Oxford were true. Yes, I was pretty much so I mean in high school. I think I was fairly busy. I was student Council President cheerleading captain and all those kind of things I love high school I was really focused on my grades focused on anybody University focused on knowing that I needed a scholarship because at that point my family was very very poor and my father was on the picture at all.

My mom is really struggling.

I worked a lot of jobs in high school and in college.

My mother also dealt with alcoholism. So a lot of the support of the family felt to me and I was really joyful and happy and enjoy school in a lesser think is too busy for boys, which I think can sometimes be a great default but it wasn't actually a faith-based decision and by the time I entered college I started dating and I was actually quite seriously engaged my college sweetheart.

By the time I left for my graduate work. I would've define myself as agnostic because I couldn't disprove God he would've defined itself is really quite overtly atheistic, as was most of my circle of friends. Christianity wasn't really seen as intellectually acceptable or viable.

It really wasn't even talked about.

I didn't really know any Christians. Even in my academic circle and a perfect example of someone he can go through you know 20 years of public education and not even crack open a Bible which is shocking. So you know you not reading it is a historical text anything along those lines.

So with some that's the position I was not. So I was really entering Oxford without any worldview of a critic of Christianity as I listen to your your background your story.

I don't know if my wife and said no there going only goodness it's very similar to mine. Even the fact that I went to the Oxford of the Midwest. Ball State University found Christ at the University but here here's my question because my dad walked out when I was seven years old. My mom was an alcoholic. She was working tirelessly to provide. I grew up sort as an agnostic city went to church, but never really read the Bible myself until college, when I realize now looking back I wonder if you experience the same thing.

I still had.

Even though I would wouldn't have known it at the time, sort of a father hunger, a desire for a dad.

I didn't have one and I looked at God is an absent father. You know he's not around just like my dad. One round. Why would I be interested.

Some of it I now know was living in denial but there was definitely this sentence from 67 years old. All through my life. Longing for looking for a father's love, did you experience centers that part of your story absolutely so greatly which said that because I think that's really an integral and a part of who we are when I studied literature. That's what we call a monolith, which is the great search for the father right about Darth Vader right.

I'm your father or something really deep about finding our fathers in this price that you can always be sure of your mother. You can never be sure of your father. There's this deep archetypal search we have for the father that really runs through so much who we are and I really I wouldn't in retrospect identified as having this longing wanting to be close to her father's there's when I did my minor in psych. There's a lot of research that shows that we shape our idea of eternal father of heavenly father based on our relationships with our earthly fathers. While my earthly father was loving and I knew he loved me but he was intermittent and difficult and volatile, and untrustworthy. When I was growing up and I think that not many way shapes that idea exactly the same way that it doesn't negate the longing and that's what I wanted to explore in this book. What's it called sunset patina that longing that deep longing we have that can only be filled by God, and we feel that eight and we had twinges of that joy.

It sort of a foretaste of the heaven there that happiness that were created for.

But I felt deep within me.

It's just I was also busy kicking against it because were fearful of it as well. It leaves us incredibly vulnerable and so I was really quite been LI and I wasn't really really promiscuous and I wasn't dating all over the place. But I also wasn't in a holdup in my room. You know, like so many others I just sort of midstream in many things and and just was working without a compass or a night there were things that I knew I long to write, felt, and I get this the student site and talk with now will say so many of the same things to me that you just said take Christian or non-Christian secular campus or Christian campus. You know I have this longing special secular campuses or feel like something doesn't sit right had this one night stand right had this relationship that's on a part in a they identify this longing, but they feel it to. There's just not really anything to slotted into like Mike Pascal said I can't shake the way that we all have, I know that I tried to fill that need.

Longing even though my dad was in the home, he was emotionally absent in many ways and so I think I was trying to find that even through relationships with men or boys even growing up of just wanting validation wanting someone to see me someone to know me you think that's pretty common for women all and I think it's very common for everyone. Men and women. Women perhaps localize that more because that's what we do, but I think I think well I haven't met a single person who hasn't long to be known. And that's why was so moved and I first read the Bible, sense it made the notion of a fallen world made sense. The way that the story move from Genesis to Revelation. And there isn't anyone that doesn't longing to be fully known, and how powerful a verb that is in the Bible in terms of marriage as well. To be fully known and so that's where you a minute marriage to meet like this many competent because in a sense, it's the only relationship where we make a promise we have a covenant we don't do that with any other relationship, but it's also we were really really intimately know whether we like that are not without its proof of grace, that there isn't a bubble over our head saying what we think we are married, you know that God knows the hungry God is there and the heights and depths of it that such an intimate relationship. There's not even here between but we all long and nothing else can replace it reminds you of a quote of actually use and I don't even know exactly who said it, but it's the quota says the man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God I love that quote because as I'm listening to you and thinking of our own journey. It could be said.

Anytime a man or woman knocks on the door of any any search there longing for a father.

Yeah. And when we when we understand who God really is made known through Christ. I think my journey was finally I found a father who loves me was that your story yes, very much so.

Because that's what I tried to frame this most recent book around that metaphor of knocking and the knocking at the door and the searching and whoever knocks it will be answered, and I think aptly so I think it was because I was trying to apply an earthly template of understanding father to God and that isn't big enough. It doesn't work that way and also that fathers are human and their fallible to just as we all are all going to fall short and were all sinners. So there's this way in which God is just that template doesn't work it's it's too small for him and II think I was afraid of that and anyways I was actually afraid of really recognizing who he might be and what his promises might actually be they were true. Carolyn what shape your thinking about sexuality as you were growing up.

You didn't have a covenant marriage were mom and dad are living happily together to give you that picture so you're a teenager faced with desire and pressure, and interest and questions in your making choices in that moment what's informing those choices for you and what's what's causing you to make the choices you made as a young person to get involved sexually with the boys you were dating in high school and college. What I think what it was was like for many people in mainstream North America right I probably knew more divorced couples that I knew Mary couples probably knew more miserable, divorced for married couples. Then I knew committed and thriving and happy or healthy Christian couples not necessarily Christian couples have to be happy joy joy all the time, but that there was a consistency and a commitment and I think the big bellringer for me was when I became a Christian and I started to think about relationships differently and I started to look back and think oh I wish someone had told me that I was so mentally that I didn't expect so much grief to Washington. I can remember just simply sitting with friends. For instance, were Christians who were saying grace before meals and I thought wow you are so lucky saying grace before meals like what luxury how beautiful that is amazing that it is this grief that wash and I mean I think we all have different conversion paths and for some it's a quick boil and for some it's a slow mountain you know everyone is a Peter or Paul or somewhere in between and I envy the peters but speaking is appalling. You know what it's like when you don't have is very clear and looking back and thinking wow I wish I had known this or this or this.

Because this made sense made sense on things that hurt now or things that didn't work now and so once I was a believer and I was engaged to a nonbeliever who I tried to share the gospel with remains resistant and a very loving person to again. I'm not in an extreme example of having been in an abusive relationship or volatile relationship. Actually somebody very very loving who you could've argued was more loving than some Christians you know, I realize, wow, I'm neither going to have to get married, unequally yoked.

What does that mean or this really needs to be reevaluated because I'm starting on this foot that's something different than you know entering together. We both convert later or starting out together on the same foot.

What can happen when I can even pray with this person more. We don't even share the same worldview and really drawn to Augustine with all of this because I was really interested in his notion of the two cities you know that when things well down there is the city of God in the city of man, and actually called to live in peace together but they have two very different to && and that makes all the difference. And you have to decide which citizenship is yours and you answered a whole different set of rules and action for the Christian. The bar is higher and it's different and there's more social responsibility. You are your brothers or your sister's keeper and as I began to think about my life being my citizenship choosing to be wanting to be part of the city of God, wanting to live in the eternal city wanting to have the eternal inheritance and not a temp oral begins to shift in color. Everything and thinking about my responsibility to someone else in relationship to as well as ordering my lives, which is again what Augustine brings up but I kept going back to the first commandment because before the Christian.

It really irked me. It really many think God was heavy-handed and jealous and command daring and my father was, like a king. Later, when I taught King Lear before and had students weep, who said to me about my father is like that you know some demanding my love, but not really delivering often himself, you know this Old Testament, God seems like he's got a screw loose the stocker and he wants all of man. He wants all the other commandments. Based on this, but as I became a believer and even thought about something like you know what what Augustine explores the city of God and when we organize our lives. According to that first commandment.

That's a first name for a reason. Everything else does fall into place, and how men does that make me think about my relationships differently and I think it's kind of where the hummingbird hit the glass take us back to your conversion experience and you tell your fianc about how you are now following God once his reaction and I'm sure that your lifestyle, your views on premarital sex, all of those were kind of shifting what was his reaction. His reaction was, I think, like many, oh that's good. Great, I'm happy for you that's wonderful and you can do your thing and I'll do mine and we can we can entirely get Mary. This is fine. This is an issue.

It was like the reaction my mom when I came home and it and talk to her about becoming a Christian. Oxford and you know it was like oh that's great you're good person I'm really happy about that. Again, people don't always react with antagonism. These here.

You know my brother's first words to me were a great night heavy-handed flowers on an airport, shaking his head no fear in a way easier to engage that than it is the kind live and let live. Response and said that I was in the situational row.

I had known him for a long time, many years. Our families are close and it was looking like we were just Kennedy getting married and I could have just to continue to roll on into it. Hope for the best and think maybe the warm up after married or maybe a bit open to this. It was actually in many ways more difficult.

So you said when you came to Christ, you found yourself thinking I wish somebody had told me some of these things earlier talking to people today who may need to hear some of those things about being unequally yoked, and what that can lead to and why that's a problem or about God's design for sexuality and why we ought to observe his ways and not just go with what the cultures telling us if you were sitting down with that young person today who is saying okay so only what you what you think and what you believe these things, what would you tell with my Christmas things I've actually talked about being unequally yoked and some think that that actually refers to a we got to talk about yoke and the notion of bearing burdens and with great love the Bible you can't make this stuff up. It is so brilliant he can't ever get to the bottom of it and is a literature person.

I just love it back. There's nothing I've ever read. That doesn't point more to the glory of God. Secular Christian and there's in the Bible is just amazing and like Curtis that you have not the imagination for reality in a way in and being yoked equally yoked is a great metaphor because living on a farm.

I understand that but if you know it when you put the yoke around the oxen. If it's not equal. They will go in circles actually go crazy which is a great metaphor for marriage yoked together. But if you're going not in there and it's not even equal to begin with.

Wow that is a recipe for disaster and there's the Bible.

Such a blueprint for perfection because were in a fallen world, but for righteousness, for trying to become holier and got in and helping your your closest most intimate person in that journey together in life doing the same and having that responsibility. You're not married to that person, you still have responsibility for being in relationship thinking about the effect of your actions are your hard on them as well and I'm a big believer and in Proverbs 423 guarding our hearts protecting our hearts because everything else we do flows from it and think. I think especially looking outside on the inside of Christians they think. Oh, you know, purity and innocence is not ridiculous and keeping your heart pure.

That's just so not relevant and even there is nothing nave about cultivating a pure heart. It takes a lot of work and is the Garden of Eden teaches us. Sometimes it means you don't act as well as acting and I think we give our kids so much information and no wisdom.

So when I been talking with students before and it had numerous conversations along those lines. How can you be faithful and really thinking about what the Lord is trying to teach you through his word and through his example as you're bringing your own deal into the relationship because there's something to be a lot of trouble, and struggles and everything else and were told that and were also told that he is with us and that but when you're purposely choosing to not equally yoked in your purposely choosing to defy and not be obedient, which is seen in the dark is another form of faith and sometimes obedience is harder than sacrifice. It's a form of sacrifice, but it's always blessed that faithfulness is always blessed out in two ways that we can't always see thing for moms and dads for all of us raising the next generation. We gotta recognize that our kids are just like us being inundated with cultural messages that are antithetical to what the Bible teaches and they're coming aloud and often and our mutual friend Dr. Michael Easley often says don't let the culture categorize you and so to fight against the culture we have to make sure we are telling ourselves and telling our children. Here's what God's word says and it's going to be different than what you're seeing in the movies what you're hearing from your friends from all of the cultural messages but there is a way that leads to destruction, and there's a way that leads to life and God's way is the way that leads to life, and I think it's Carolyn said here. It's a hard path. Sometimes it requires much more of you than to go with the flow.

But when we can stake out our position and so you know I'm a do it God's way. There is thriving that comes with that yet.

I think you know as I listen to Carolyn. I know that when I was in college again at the Oxford of the Midwest.

I remember it was my first real encounter with the word of God I'd never really listened when I was in Sunday school and never read it on my own and so I started to read and it's what you do so well in your book. Carolyn is you you lay out what the word of God, ends up, the implications are about sex, about love relationship so beautifully done. I was just starting to encounter that and I'd never heard these thought who thinks like this and at first I thought this ridiculous, this is not thriving, and yet now you know, just as you say in your book. It's like this is God's wisdom and if you will obey it. It will literally lead you to life this this is a memoir that I would be jealous to give to a college student and say your good delight in this story written by somebody who is brilliant, somebody who's passionate for the things of God.

Somebody who understands that the gospel makes claims on our lives and we have to we have to not just believe, but to obey Carolyn's book is called sex and the city of God, and we got copies of the book in our family like today resource Center. You can find information about the book online that family life to ordered from us online as well. Or call one 800 FL today to get a copy.

Again, our website is family life to phone number to call to get a copy of Carolyn Weber's book, sex and the city of God is 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today.

Now a week from today will be preparing for our celebration of Christmas will be Christmas Eve two weeks from today. It will be New Year's Eve and in just over two weeks will be 20, 21, and I think all of us are thinking.

I can't wait for the new year here at family life roping the next two weeks will be busy and active were asking family like today listeners to consider making as generous a year-end donation. As you can possibly make up for a couple reasons. First of all because there are a lot of friends of family life, who this year can't make a donation because of the circumstances they find themselves in, so those who can were asking you to be a little extra generous if you can do makeup for those who can't. The second reason were asking is because we had friends of the ministry who have agreed they will match every donation we receive in December, up to a total of $2 million. So any donation you make $50 $100. Whatever it is it's gonna be matched with another 50 or hundred dollars that matching gift means your donation goes even further and will send you as a thank you gift when you make a donation to resources for copy of my book. Love, like you mean it, which is all about what the Bible says about love and how that applies in a marriage relationship and will send you a flash drive that's got more than 100 family life to the radio programs from the last 28 years programs with David and Wilson with Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Many of the guests we've had on through the years. Programs about marriage and parenting relationships some great stories that are included really the best of the best the flash drive in the book are our way of saying thank you for helping us take advantage of this matching gift opportunity with a generous year-end donation you can donate or you can call one 800 FL today to donate and I were grateful that you would consider it and we do hope to hear from you and we hope you can join us again tomorrow when working to continue our conversation with Carolyn Weber about the impact that believing the gospel has on relationships, our marriage, but to hear a great story tomorrow about Carolyn's first kiss from her husband to be kept feel sure that story with us tomorrow. Hope you can tune in for that I want to thank our engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson bopping see you back next time for another edition of family life, family life, to a is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. A crew ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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