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Teaching by Grace

How was I going to instruct my daughters about the importance of purity when I was so immoral as a teenager?


by Maryann Loveing

 

In the fall of 1990, I held the first of my six precious children for the very first time. I looked at her tiny, pink, soft little body and was overwhelmed with the fact that God had given me a living soul, a child of His, to raise for His glory. I would be required by the Lord to teach this little girl to love God with all her heart, soul, mind and strength, to love her neighbor more than herself, and to live a holy life—a life of purity.

My husband and I knew that God has called us as Christian parents to raise godly children. What an incredible responsibility! But as my girls began to grow, I remember praying, "Oh Lord, how in the world am I going to teach these daughters of mine about the importance of purity and to save their purity for their husbands, when I was so immoral in my own life prior to marriage?"

You see, I was raised in a Christian home where my parents were dedicated churchgoers. We were always busy "doing church." Yet, as a young woman, I never grasped what it truly meant to have an intimate, surrendered, daily walk with God. I was far from holy, and I was emotionally distant from my family. Because of spiritual weakness and peer pressure in my life, I got involved with the wrong group of friends in high school. I was drinking, smoking pot, and involved in immoral relationships, all while doing "the church thing." In the midst of my sin, I supposed that if I at least went to church I would appease God in some way.

At the age of 17, I found myself pregnant, and the pregnancy ended with an abortion. For seven years, I continued drinking and living in immorality. Then in 1987, God brought me to a point of brokenness in my life. I recognized my need for Him, repented of my sins, and surrendered my life to Jesus.

Since that time, God has restored my joy and blessed me with a wonderful, godly husband and six beautiful children. I have adopted Psalm 30:11-12 as my life verse: "Thou has turned my mourning into dancing, Thou has removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever."

Well, when it came time to talk to my daughters about purity, God calmed my fears with His truth—despite my failures, I can pass on a desire in my daughters' hearts even at a very young age to be pure and holy before God. I will not believe the lie from the enemy that if I've failed morally in my own life, I can't expect to have children that will save their "kiss" for their wedding day.

I first read The Princess and the Kiss, a story that encourages young girls to embrace God's gift of purity, when I was asked to participate in a study of the book. I was so excited to have a tool I could use to teach my three girls—then 14, 12, and 8—about being morally pure. I was not prepared for the healing it would bring to my own life as I passed on a blessing of purity into their lives.

God has shown me through The Princess and the Kiss study that His mercy and grace is abundant for me, and as a mother, I can teach my daughters to wisely protect this beautiful gift of purity that God has given to them. Their father and I are to be their umbrella of protection and wisely help them guard their purity until the day God chooses to bring a "Prince Charming" into each of their lives for the consideration of marriage.

Although my husband and I would agree that God's Word is our best tool for teaching our children how to be holy and live pure lives, The Princess and the Kiss was a wonderful story that captured the attention of my girls and added tremendous truth to what we had already begun talking about. The questions in the study guide helped us to open our hearts to one another, and it gave me the opportunity to be honest, open, and transparent with them about the past sins in my life. We talked at great length about how God's redeeming power had restored my purity and how God has returned my joy. We also talked about the consequences that come from sin. As difficult as it was to share my failures with my older daughters, I have now opened my heart to them and they know they can come and share anything with me.

The book encourages parents to conduct a "Princess Ceremony." As we performed the ceremony and I prayed over my daughters, God embraced my heart and showed me that I never truly understood how precious I am to Him. For years after my abortion, I thought, "God, how in the world could I be important to you? How can you delight in me when I've sinned against you in such a terrible way?" But now I fully realized how much God delights in me and considers me to be His treasured possession. What joy consumed my heart as I understood my value to our precious Lord.

Copyright © 2005 by Maryann Loveing. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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