Friday, January 19, 2007


What is Emotional Purity?

Have you ever given your heart to someone who didn’t love you back?

Do you feel like you’ve experienced heartache over and over again?

If you are emotionally attached to someone, it’s easy to cross the line and become emotionally intimate. Then if the relationship doesn’t work out, you’re left with scars on your heart.

Emotional Purity will show you how to define and set boundaries in your relationships to avoid making the same mistakes. Learn how to guard your heart and keep it emotionally pure.

Do you do speaking engagements?

Yes, I do speaking engagements!

I've spoken at:
* College Bible Studies
* Youth Camps
* Women's Retreat
* Camp leadership conference
* Mother/Daughter Teas
* Homeschool conference
* College chapels
* Youth groups
* Homeschool support groups

How did you meet your husband?

I did a 6 part story: Click HERE to start reading! (Make sure you start with part 1)

Did you take your husband's name?
My legal name is Heather Patenaude. When we met with Crossway Publishers about my book contract, the discussion came up about my name, should we keep Paulsen or change it to Patenaude.

Since the book was first published with Paulsen my publisher, my husband and I agreed to keep Paulsen. I clearly asked my husband in that meeting if he was okay with me using Paulsen. He was fine with that. Since my blog is assoicated with my book I use the name Heather Paulsen, but my name is Heather Patenaude!

What is emotional integrity?

The heart of emotional purity is having emotional integrity with those we come in contact with. It's understanding that if you are single, emotional integrity would be keeping your emotions for the mate God has for you. It would including not asking for time, energy, feelings, conversations, or emotions that don't belong to you.

I had plumb line questions I would ask myself when I was single:

1) Would I treat him this way if he was married?
2) Would I talk about this with him if his wife was sitting here with us?
3) Would I think about him this way if he were married?

As I interacted with single guys, I'd filtered my actions and thoughts through these questions. It helped me maintain emotional integrity with my guy friends. Even as I got to know my husband, before we were dating, I treated him this way.

After we committed to each other, he told me there were times when we were "just friends", that he felt me pull away from him. I told him that I was just protecting my heart!

Maintaining emotional integrity in my relationships allowed for the greatest amount of freedom in friendships and in my walk with the Lord!

Do you have a good way to present this to my pre-teen or young teen?

Here's a good craft project to help your young teen understand, I did it with a 7th grade Sunday School girls class:

I gave them each a heart with the words: emotions, feelings, dreams, goals, respect, trust, hopes, passions, and devotion written all over the heart.

Then I gave them a black piece of construction paper with boyfriends written on the top of it. I explained that emotional purity is about guarding your heart, saving it for your mate.

Then I glued their heart to their "high school sweet heart". I explained that our hearts have the ability to stick to boys, I call it heart glue. About five minutes laters we tore the heart off of the boyfriend.

They didn't like how much black they took on their heart and how much red was left on the black paper. I told them that their hearts are left with who ever they date and don't marry.

Then we glued their hearts to their "college boyfriend". He stayed put for about 10 minutes, which allowed it to really dry. When the girls "broke-up" with him, a lot of their hearts tore or ripped.

Then I glued a third boyfriend to their black paper. By this time, most of their hearts were thin, ripped and far from well put together.

As I was sharing more of the concept of emotional purity the girls started picking at the red paper that was left behind on the other two boyfriends. As they were picking I said, "See you're trying to get your heart back, but it's stuck with that boyfriend."

Finally, they ripped their heart off one last time.

At that time I pulled out a white piece of paper with husband written on the top of it. I went around and glued their ripped, thinned hearts on to their husbands.

I finally gave them a piece of paper with a perfect heart glued on to a paper that said husband. I wrote these two verses: Prov. 31:12: She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. And Prov. 4:23: Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.

I heald up the ripped up heart on one husband and the perfect heart of the second paper. Iexplained that these are their choices, to save their heart or not.


Cloughamily said...

Wonderful illustration! I have four young boys (7, 5, 3, 11 months) and plan to use this impactive project with them soon, as well as at a later date. I agree, it's never too early to discuss purity with our children. They already ask me how they will know what women God has picked for them. We, too, remind them that they will need to pray and seek wisdom from God's word and come to us...when the time comes! We pray for our children's spouses and their families. I hope those families are praying for us!

My husband and I do not come from pure pasts. But by God's grace, we have been cleansed by Jesus' blood on the cross. And He spoke to both our hearts prior to meeting each other and gave us the strength to remain pure until we said "I do." We didn't even kiss until after we were married...God's grace!!!! We knew each other 13 months before we were married and were engaged only 3 of those months...emotionally, it was all we could stand. Also, he courted me, but only after much prayer and a looong discussion with our pastor who warned him about the dangers of emotional adultry (I hadn't been promised to him yet)!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed your talk at HOTM online conference. Thank you for sharing God's wisdom with all us. May God continue to bless you in your ministry, and may He bless the harvest you are preparing in your home, abundantly.

By His grace,
Erinn Clough

Cyndi Beard said...

Have you (Heather) considered writing a book in the same format and all but to teens? The information is so biblical and useful for them. My daughter has been bombarded with peer pressure to have a boyfriend from the time she was 12..and we home school. I cannot imagine the pressure teens face in schools!

higginsbee said...

Yes, I would like to see more on this topic, too! I have 13 and 16 yr old girls. My son is 18 and has attached himself to a girl who just turned 15 and it is devastating. He will not listen to reason and everything he stood for and was taught about God's word (he was walking with a whole heart!) has been thrown away after 5 years of making a sincere choice to be a Christian. I still have contact with him even though he has moved out but I am always looking for wisdom to impart to him when I get the chance! Plus, my girls have a tremendous amount of pressure from school mainly to like boys and have relationships. Right now they are active within our congregation and trying to learn about God and walk with Him but I want them to be prepared for the future when they are older and more "out on their own"

Jackie said...

I love the illustration, Heather! How wonderful that it's just in time I can use this as an illustration next weekend as I will speak to all single girls who are attending the Encounter God about Emotions.

Final Anonymous said...

Do a google search on Mormon Standards Nights or any combination of Mormon and chaste, purity, etc. These types of illustrations have been used with teen girls for years, and have caused irreperable harm to many, who went on to believe a minor, youthful relationship or infatuation that did not progress made them "damaged goods," and forever doomed their chances of a happy marriage or a husband "found by God." I'm sure that's not your intent, but I ask you to PLEASE research what these young women who are now adults have to say, and reconsider the message you are sending to young women.

Not everyone who has a close, emotional relationship with the opposite sex brings loads of negative baggage into a marriage relationship. People have an amazing capacity for resilience, and can learn TO LEARN from mistakes, or from things that do not go their way. God made us this way, knows we will fall and fail, and gave us a way to pick ourselves up and move on, better and stronger and closer to Him as a result of it. I would far rather have my daughter learn how to analyze and learn from non-life-or-salvation-threatening mistakes and failures, than teach her to fear for her future if she makes any kind of mistake at all. That's not God's message. It shouldn't be ours.