by Jessica Haag
I was 13 when my mother informed me that just the two of us would be going away for a week to have a discussion about purity. My first thought was, "Oh great, I'm going to have to endure an entire weekend alone with my mom talking about a topic I definitely don't want to discuss with her."
We jumped in the car and headed off to an unknown location where we would stay for the weekend. On the way my mom popped a tape into the tape player, which was a recorded session of Passport to Purity, a resource from FamilyLife. I thought the tape was a bit strange at first, but as the weekend progressed I started looking forward to listening to them and doing the next activity that each tape mentioned.
To this day, I can still recall every activity we did and the symbolism behind it. One activity that stands out in my memory was when I glued two pieces of construction paper together and then attempted to pull them apart without having torn fragments on either sheet of paper. Of course, it was impossible to do. My mom explained to me that in a relationship when you allow yourself to be emotionally or physically attached to someone, you leave pieces of yourself with that person, and you end up with pieces of them as well. This is where I began to grasp the whole concept behind being pure. I started to recognize that the purpose was to save all of myself—physically, mentally, and emotionally—for my future spouse.
Up to that point, I could comprehend the mental and emotional part to a relationship, but the physical side was still a gray area to me. Though I didn't want to admit it, I was curious about sex but didn't fully understand it. I had heard bits and pieces from my friends, but I never got the entire picture and the godly purpose behind it. The tapes did a wonderful job of explaining what happens during sex and why. For me it was easier hearing it on a tape than directly from my mom's mouth.
In fact, a few years previous to the trip my mother tried to explain the process, but I didn't comprehend the information at all. So when the tapes were explaining the nitty gritty details my mom was puzzled as to why I was so shocked because in her mind she had already told me. I was quick to inform her that I remembered no such thing and was doubtful I could ever get married in light of this newfound knowledge!
The thing that meant the most to me, however, was at the end of the weekend when my mom took me out to dinner. My father was there at the restaurant waiting for me. He sat me at our table, got down on one knee, and presented me with a box. I opened it to find a beautiful ring inside waiting for me. As he placed the ring on my finger he encouraged me to save myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually for my future husband. I felt so special and loved that my parents would do this for me.
Passport to Purity explained so clearly to me what purity is, and the blessings that come with saving yourself entirely for your future mate. Now that I'm older, I recognize the principles and see that sex is something beautiful and wonderfully created by God. I will never forget that weekend, and every time I look down at the ring on my finger I'm reminded of it.