“I’m hungry for you, Bett,” he had said. He was not one to beat about the bush. “We’re alike in our desire for God. I’m glad for that. But we’re different, too. I’ve got the body of a man, and you’ve got the body of a woman, and frankly, I want you. But you’re not mine.”
Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity (Revell, 2002), p. 56.
You can feel the passion in the words above, and yet Jim and Elisabeth chose purity above the satisfaction of their fleshly desires. These desires, this yearning that they felt for one another before marriage, it was good and right. God puts these desires within us, and He Himself said that everything He created was good. Passion only becomes wrong when taken out of the context for which it was intended—to be shared between a husband and his wife. Jim loved Elisabeth passionately, but he did not once take liberties with her until after the wedding. That is God’s plan.
Did you wait for the wedding? If not, you can start fresh by living a life of purity today. Virginity, once given away, can never be regained; but purity is different. Purity can be restored. You truly can love with both passion and purity. The best thing you have to gain from it is respect: self-respect and the respect of your partner. You are valuable. You are a treasure, and if your partner is not treating you like the treasure you are, then it’s time to rethink the value of that relationship.
℘ ℘ ℘ ℘ ℘ ℘ ℘ ℘ ℘
Elisabeth Elliot’s writing has greatly influenced my life, even as a grown married woman. I truly wish someone had introduced me to her works when I was a teenager, but I am learning that it is never too late to incorporate the principles she teaches: namely, that passion is not sinful and purity is not prudish. Nor are they mutually exclusive. You can have both.