People grow up wondering what their spouse will look like. For me, I know what she looks like. She is 5’10, has blue eyes, brunette hair, and has the most beautiful heart I have ever encountered. Her name is Piper. In the past, if I knew I was going to marry Piper, I would have lived a lot differently.
As a teenager I had limited perspective. I didn’t realize that present actions affect future realities. One part of maturation is you are able to gain a broader perspective. Rather than having a 4,000 ft. perspective, you are able to fly at a higher altitude and have a 40,000 ft. perspective.
If my younger self had a 40,000 ft. perspective, he would have lived much differently. Knowing he would one day marry Piper would drastically change how he lived. He would have been more honest about his struggles, invited more accountability into his life, got more involved in his local church community, and fought much harder to remain pure.
When I was 13 years of age, I didn’t realize how the next 8 years of decisions would ultimately affect my relationship with Piper. Every time I decided to engage in sexually immoral activity, I was not loving Piper. Even though I didn’t know her at the time, I was living in a way that didn’t love, steward, or respect her as my future wife. Because my younger self didn’t think how his actions would affect his future realities, he lived foolishly at times.
When I was a little boy, I went on a road trip with my family. In order for my brother and me to keep silent, my parents offered us gifts if we were quiet for a certain amount of time. Because I knew I would receive a gift if I behaved, I did all I could to be on my best behavior. I knew that how I acted would affect my future reality. In the same way, if I had known that at 22 years old I would marry Piper, I would have done all I could to remain pure. I would’ve fought harder to strive for purity.
I love Piper so much, but I didn’t growing up. My younger self had a 4,000 ft. perspective. He lived in a way that didn’t love his future wife. If he had known who his future wife was, he would have fought a lot harder to strive for purity. He would have realized that decisions made were decisions that ultimately reflected whether or not he loved his future wife.
If I could go back 8 years and start over, I would operate from the perspective that each decision I make either reflects the selfishness I have or the love I have for my future wife. Delayed gratification is a beautiful thing. Saying “no” to myself was difficult because I didn’t realize the future gift I would have in Piper. But temporary pain is more easily accepted when a future gift is involved.
Do I regret certain things from my past? Yes. Is God’s grace evident in my life? Yes. Am I forgiven? Yes. God’s love has healed me from the past. When healing takes place, scars remain. The scars that my past have left are scars that affect Piper and I. Because of God’s grace we are able to work through those things.
Strive for purity, but realize that when you mess up you are forgiven. Grace is not permission to continue sinning. But it gives us comfort knowing that when we do mess up, our sin isn’t our identity; Christ is.
What I want you to realize is that what you do now will affect your future. Men and woman don’t need to fight for purity just because impurity is bad. We need to fight for purity because we are fighting for the goodness that is marriage.
You are not just fighting against something bad; you are fighting for something good. You fight against impurity so that you can fight for your future marriage. Don’t allow temporary pleasure taint your future realities.
Operate from a 40,000 ft. perspective. Realize you don’t have to wait to love your future spouse, you can start now!