Note: This series is not intended to be an exhaustive examination of every possible scenario and individual perspective on emotional purity. I write from my experience, study, and perspective–nothing more.
Emotional Purity: An Affair of the Heart by Heather Paulsen is the primary source I will be interacting with. The double entendre in the subtitle hints at all the underpinnings of this teaching.
Personally, I found my teenage and early-twenties pursuit of emotional purity to be despair-provoking. Was I truly committing “emotional fornication” (to use the exact phrase told to me, and to a group of my friends) by being emotionally and, yes, physically attracted to a man outside of marriage?
Remember Joshua Harris’s opening in the bestselling I Kissed Dating Goodbye? It involved a scene in which a bride saw all the former girlfriends of her groom parade before her during the wedding ceremony. In my opinion this is both over-the-top and deliberately emotive. What impressionable teenage girl will be capable of withstanding the impact of this imagery?
How terrifying to think that not only was I wronging my hypothetical future husband (who, according to this teaching, would be heartbroken and grieved to learn of I’d cared for another man), but I was displeasing an angry God.
“Saving yourself for your husband” sounds good. Heaping guilt and condemnation on yourself or others for feeling a natural attraction or being disappointed when the guy you like doesn’t return your affection? Not so good.
I welcome comments and dialogue, particularly as I begin this series. What do you see as the pressing issues related to emotional purity?