Saturday, June 9, 2007

Emotional Puirty

I see emotional purity as the root of physical purity. The more emotionally connected you are with someone, the more you are (or desire) physical connected!

A few years ago I weeded a garden as a work project with some friends. Well, we didn't weed the garden, we just basically trimmed the weeds. I remember when we were all done thinking that: yes, the garden did look a lot better, but I knew we didn't get all the roots so it would be just as weedy in just a matter of months.

We all have heard that God's Words directs us to remain physically pure for the marriage relationship, yet at the very core of staying physically pure is a deep conviction to remain emotionally pure.

Once a couple begins to attach emotionally; physical affection is naturally going to follow. This is even true of friends. Once you get to know someone better (even someone of the same gender) you may be more willing to give a hug, pat on the back, touch them when you talk...ect. These are all non-sexual ways of touching, but most of us are not this way with people we don't know.

So in opposite sex friendships a guy and girl can become emotionally close and start having long extended hugs, hand/food/back massages, kiss on the forehead or cheek, or cuddle together. This may be just "friendly" physically contact, but this should be saved for a committed relationship.

What would you think if you saw a married woman cuddling with her best friend's husband or giving a back massage to a co-worker? If you would not do these things as a married person, why do them while you are single?

In my book I give the plumbline questions I asked myself when I was single in order to maintain emotional purity. One of those is: Would I treat him this way if he was a married man? So if you are questioning your own "physical" contact with a friend ask: would I do this if he were married?

In Christian single circles I have seen how these "innocent" physically interactions are very common and accepted. Our bodies belong to our mates, not our friends.

I found that remaining physically pure for my husband a whole lot easier once I committed my life and my heart to emotional purity!

10 comments:

Judy said...

Heather, this was very well said. May I repost this on my blog?

EmotionalPurity said...

Judy,
You are welcome to repost this, just direct people my way when you do!
Thanks!
heather

kingskid said...

wow wow wow - i am so thankful to GOD for your book. I live in South Africa and I want you to know that I am so blessed to have read your book especially since GOD has been warnign me about getting too close to this really good guy friend who is seriously not interested in marrying anyone but wants to be my best friend. My daddy GOD is really taking care of me by training me to be sound in my mind! Thanks so much for being obedient in writing this book - it is answering so many of my questions and makes me feel like i am not abnormal afterall!!! i really feel like GOD is training me for something becos it seems like I am always being lead to a book or some or other resource to help me grow nad be sterred in the direction He wants me in. The other encouraging thing is that you actaully got married :-) I read a lot of michelle Mackiney hammonds books and well at the back of my mind she is still waiting and you know the devil loves planting junk into our minds so ya when i picked up your book it poke to me and felt like i was being ounched in the tummy cos everythign you say int eh book is sooooo relevant to me now. Thank YOU! GOD bless

nEverHeared12 said...

hi'.

your book was great and just in time :) "God's perfect time
i have some questions in mind.

i hope this blog is still open for questions :)laust

Heather Patenaude said...

Ask away!

Anonymous said...

so I'm confused, how is the following considered emotional intimacy: (it seems more like physical intimacy).

"So in opposite sex friendships a guy and girl can become emotionally close and start having long extended hugs, hand/food/back massages, kiss on the forehead or cheek, or cuddle together. This may be just "friendly" physically contact, but this should be saved for a committed relationship.

What would you think if you saw a married woman cuddling with her best friend's husband or giving a back massage to a co-worker? If you would not do these things as a married person, why do them while you are single?"

secondly, I'm not sure if this is true, but from what I've read of outside sources (I haven't read your book) many of them claim you wrote that girls should end these relationships altogether, no longer remaining friends, but from your testimony it seems like that isn't at all what you did with this man. But, as it turned out, it was your book that encouraged a girl's faith to end our friendship that in turn caused much depression in mine, so I'm not sure if it was because that statement was true or if it was taken out of context or if it was misread.

On another note:
"Once a couple begins to attach emotionally; physical affection is naturally going to follow. This is even true of friends. Once you get to know someone better (even someone of the same gender) you may be more willing to give a hug, pat on the back, touch them when you talk...ect. These are all non-sexual ways of touching, but most of us are not this way with people we don't know."

In biblical times most people greeted each other with a kiss...it's just our culture that deemed kissing outside of committed relationship inappropriate, and I'd have to imagine Mary Magdalene greeted opposite gender men with kisses or at least some physical affection, although it may not have been sexual physical affection. And weren't there stories of kissing each other's feet or something? I think this idea was a result of TV or theater over 2000 years, but I'm not sure it's biblically accurate.

On another note, I don't believe avoiding emotional intimacy in terms of sharing close bonds and thoughts of our lives is at all bad, so long as we avoid the sexual physical aspect (or at least attempt to). Why? well, both Romans and 1 Peter tell us to love one another deeply, sincerely, from the heart. Who do you love sincerely, most, from the heart? Those people you avoided making mistakes with, or the ones you worked through the mistakes with? (I would point to family aspect here). We are all hurt by our families, but we work through it, and by this we begin to love, even if at times it feels like we hate or are bothered. Does your family still make you angry and sometimes hurt you? Mine does. But I still love them , both sincerely and in action. And what's God's church? A family. The family of God. I don't give bits and pieces of my heart to my siblings individually, I give all of them all of me and my heart, which is the art of laying down your life for the brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe God wanted us to give our heart, and His heart, wholely to everyone, and not just one "soul mate." To me in the Bible, guarding your heart always referred to corruption and pollution from the world, (i.e. sin in general). it really had nothing to do with emotional closeness. In another way, I struggle with lust. It's usually triggered by seeing an attractive woman. So should I stop looking at attractive woman to stop lusting? Even if I tried, it just wouldn't be possible. There certainly needs to be boundaries, but sharing our thoughts with an opposite gender isn't a bad thing, in my opinion.

Heather Patenaude said...

"Secondly, I'm not sure if this is true, but from what I've read of outside sources (I haven't read your book) many of them claim you wrote that girls should end these relationships altogether, no longer remaining friends, but from your testimony it seems like that isn't at all what you did with this man. But, as it turned out, it was your book that encouraged a girl's faith to end our friendship that in turn caused much depression in mine, so I'm not sure if it was because that statement was true or if it was taken out of context or if it was misread."

I am sorry for your friend's situation.

Here's my stance on emotional purity: http://emotionalpurity.blogspot.com/2011/05/052611-world-magazine.html

Heather Patenaude said...

"Secondly, I'm not sure if this is true, but from what I've read of outside sources (I haven't read your book) many of them claim you wrote that girls should end these relationships altogether, no longer remaining friends, but from your testimony it seems like that isn't at all what you did with this man. But, as it turned out, it was your book that encouraged a girl's faith to end our friendship that in turn caused much depression in mine, so I'm not sure if it was because that statement was true or if it was taken out of context or if it was misread."

I am sorry for your friend's situation.

Here's my stance on emotional purity: http://emotionalpurity.blogspot.com/2011/05/052611-world-magazine.html

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I am in one accord with you on the importance of emotional purity and keeping your heart "with all diligence." However, what would you say to an unmarried couple who has just entered dating who believe close conversation, hugs, etc.., is OK because they have the intention of marrying?

I would very much appreciate your thoughts! -Lydie

Heather Pate said...

Lydie,

I believe that if there is a commitment then it's only natural to have deeper levels of emotional conversations and appropriate physical contact. ;-)

Heather