Purity rings, pledges, and even dances and balls have been designed to exalt the virtue in the minds of youth. Which physical boundary is the one we should avoid?

There have been a plethora of books, seminars, and conferences devoted to teaching physical purity (saving sex for marriage) and emotional purity (guarding your heart). There is no answer to these questions because purity is an issue of the heart, not conduct.

This concept is taught by Jesus in Mark 7:1-23 when the Pharisees saw the disciples of Jesus eating without washing their hands.

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A CDC Report found among victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, nearly 23% of females and 14% of males first experienced some form of violence by that partner before age 18. Unhealthy, abusive, or violent relationships can have short- and long-term negative effects on a developing teen.

Youth who experience dating violence are more likely to: Additionally, youth who are victims of dating violence in high school are at higher risk for victimization during college.

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Note: This document is based on an audio tape script developed by the University of Texas, Austin.

The issue lies in our paradigm of purity and how to obtain it.

The Pharisees were trying to take an outside in approach to fixing problems.

If you think about the story of Cain and Abel, you see that they lived in a perfect world.

They never watched murder on TV, they had parents who loved them, and nobody was around to create peer pressure, and yet it came naturally to Cain to kill Abel. We are born with a propensity to please self, protect self, and promote self.

Going through the motions of something because you faintly remember learning it was the right thing to do, will eventually leave you feeling frustrated and tired of not being “authentic” (doing what you’d really rather do).

Success in this area especially must have the right motivation to bring the essential conviction for following through.

But we can’t measure a person’s spirituality on the basis of a set of rules designed to govern behavior. The problem is we are more concerned on whether our behavior conforms to a certain code of conduct than we are the issues of our heart.