Each of us learns many things from our home environment. Our first sounds and words, how to walk, how to relate to one another, and how to act—all of these are modeled for us day in and day out by our parents.
This is why it is so important for us as parents to live a pure life in front of our children and to model the best in front of them, and teach them how they should act.
Purity—or the desire for purity—is something that families teach their children. It’s a value system they put in place that’s part self-worth, part others-focused, and teaches them not to settle for anything less than the best.
So much has been said about self worth—and so much of it wrong. Humans do not need to learn to love self: we’re already very good at doing it, thank you very much. It was with this understanding that Christ told us not to love ourselves, but to love others as we already love ourselves.
The point, however is that we need to make sure that our boys and girls realize that they do not have to settle. You see, the pressure is on every single young person from very young to find someone—a friend, a girl/boy friend, etc—and that this person will validate them.
The problem with this is that their family is there validating them, and God loves them. But it’s hard for even adults, let alone children, to understand that they do not need the attention of a boy or the cute notes of a girl to prove that they are someone.
It gets even harder as you grow older and see everyone begin to pair off, and it intensifies when your friends begin to marry. The peer pressure becomes immense, and if they don’t have a firm foundation (and support from their family) this is where some of the most committed people will break.
The point of marriage isn’t to find someone to please me, but to find someone that I can build a life with. The problem is that (guys especially) can see a marriage is an end in and of itself, and seek to get a wife specifically for the physical aspects that are involved. What?! It’s the truth!
The problem isn’t hormones, it’s a mind-set. Hormones only serve as something that’s naturally telling you that you want a spouse. They can cloud your thinking, but only if you let them. They’re only an excuse.
Marriage is a bond that is other’s serving. A man enters a marriage to serve his wife—to love her as Christ loved the church and to treat her as the weaker—or more important—vessel. A woman enters a marriage to complete the man (well, I guess that does work both ways!) and to love and submit to him and his leadership.
They both enter to serve each other, and hopefully to raise a family. It’s all about the family, it shouldn’t be about either personality.
Back to the Home
If the parents are modeling this for their children—love and mutual submission—then the children will understand that marriage isn’t about sex or getting, but about giving. If they understand that they are giving their life, their very being, then they should be concerned that they have the most to give their future spouse.
And that is the starting point of the desire for purity. A desire that’s other’s serving and considers the other person first.