Purity Rings & Purity Culture

The tradition of purity rings began in the ‘90s in the height of what is now known as “Purity Culture” within the church. They were given to young, teenage girls as a way to symbolize their commitment to save sex for their husband in marriage. Now, I believe purity culture had good intentions, yet executed many things wrong. I have several issues with purity culture and will have links at the end of this post for further reading. I am in no way saying that if you choose to wear a purity ring that you are a bad person or have bad intentions, so I hope that is not the message that comes across. I want to share the reasons I personally decided to stop wearing my purity ring and why we should take a closer look at the motives behind them and how we approach the topic of purity in the church.

First off, if you look at why girls choose to wear purity rings it is to save their virginity for marriage. Now, there is nothing wrong with making a commitment to do that, however, it promotes the idea that a person’s virginity equals their purity, which is NOT true. There are many people who are not virgins who are “pure”, and many people who are virgins who are not. God’s goal for purity is not virginity. If it was, then victims of rape and sexual assault would not be pure (and they 100% are!) There are people who have chosen by their own free will to have sex and sexual intimacy before marriage and have since repented and been forgiven by God. They are pure.

When do girls wear purity rings? They wear them before they are married. Now I have an issue with this because it implies (often unintentionally) that once you are married, you are no longer considered pure. This feeds into the lie that sex is dirty. I wish more Christians would be proactive in teaching young women that sex is not dirty and their sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of. Of course, sex can be manipulated for evil or used in an ungodly manner, however, within marriage, sex is good and God created it to be enjoyed. Purity is a part of marriage just as much as it is before marriage.

Wearing a purity ring that symbolizes refraining from sex/sexual intimacy before marriage can often make purity more about action instead of the heart and mind. Purity isn’t about the act of having sex.  It is a heart issue. What are your motives? It’s a mind issue. What thoughts are you entertaining?  It involves EVERY aspect of your life. We need to stop thinking of it as “sexual purity” and just as “purity”. I’ve known people who were taught that having a crush was a sin, and that having any sort of sexual desire was lust. Please hear me out, having a sexual desire is completely normal and was created in us by God. There is a big difference between that and lusting. As teenage girl, I plead to all the moms, youth leaders, pastors, and all those it might concern, to change how you present the idea of purity to the young women in your life. The church is known for shaming women and making sex into something that should be feared and that can cause serious issues later on in life including in future marriages.

I would also like to point out that for the most part, purity rings are only given to and worn by girls. Purity culture has put too much of an emphasis on women’s purity and hardly any on men’s. This is not only sexist, it can cause issues as well. When churches teach “purity” they all too often put more pressure on women to “not cause young men to stumble” and this puts the responsibility of the young men and their “purity” all on the girls. (click HERE for a great post to read on this topic) This causes fear and shame on young girls. Calling a girl, a “stumbling block” is dehumanizing and shame-ridden. (click HERE for an excellent video on this topic).

After saying all of this, I am not saying you can’t or shouldn’t wear a purity ring. These are just some personal issues I have with wearing one and why I think everyone who does wear one should examine their motives and reasons behind wearing one. If your motives are God honoring and the message you share with people about it is not one of shame and instead one of the amazing grace of Jesus, then by all means, wear a purity ring. If you are interested in reading more about “Purity Culture” here are some resources and links for you to check out:

https://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2017/05/teaching-purity-wrong/

https://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2016/05/purity-culture-waking/

https://www.cbeinternational.org/blogs/7-lies-purity-culture-teaches-women

http://phyliciadelta.com/why-christian-girls-are-done-with-courtship-culture/

http://thefederalist.com/2017/07/12/purity-culture-isnt-wrong-loving-chastity-using-weapon/

http://phyliciadelta.com/virginity-is-not-gods-goal/

https://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2017/06/purity-culture-lies-about-sex/

https://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2016/01/purity-culture-10-things-that-scare-me/

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How I Came To Know God Was Calling Me to Ministry

Looking back, I can really see how God was influencing me from a very young age to pursue ministry. However, I didn’t know what that meant at the time or what it would look like. I was that eight year old that would set up her American Girl dolls and would preach sermons to them and would hold Bible studies for them and my stuffed animals. I’d like to clarify and say that I think everyone is called to ministry in some way and that your life is in fact a ministry. When I am talking about ministry in this post, I am referring to a pastoral ministry.

The day I turned thirteen years old I went to my mom sobbing. My reason? I didn’t want to be a teenager. I laugh about it now, but I was so scared of being a teenager because growing up, the only way I heard adults talk about teenagers was negative. “Teens are disrespectful.” “They are selfish and don’t care about anyone else.” “Teenagers don’t take God seriously.” “They are rebellious and lazy.” This is what I had heard about teenagers and it was NOT what I wanted to become. A few months later, I attended a talk about being strong for the Lord in your youth and teen years. I realized it is possible for me to have a strong relationship with God and to pursue holiness as a teenager. I wanted to share that message to teenagers and to help them understand God and grow in Him. However, I had never even seen a female youth pastor at that time so the thought that I could be one never even crossed my mind.

Not too long after that I began dealing with chronic pain and depression. You can find a more detailed story HERE. It was during that time I had several youth pastors on our church district come up and say encouraging things to me and pray with me. Keep in mind, they had no idea what I was going through, yet they helped me get through one of the hardest times of my life. I had also begun to see female youth pastors and even female senior pastors and the thought that I could be a pastor started to become a reality. After I had surgeries and began to reflect more on what God had done in my life, all these things seemed to connect and make sense. I heard God saying what He had been saying for a long time, that I was to be a pastor. My specific calling is to be a youth pastor and be in youth ministry. I believe youth ministry is vitally important and will probably make a separate post on why soon.

Since I accepted my call, I have been preparing in several different ways for my future. I have been studying and learning. I have been talking to my pastors at church and have even led youth group and will be leading Bible studies for the adult group soon. I will be attending SNU this next fall and will be majoring in Theology/Pastoral Ministry.. I know it won’t be an easy road, but I am super excited about the future and all that God is going to do. If you think God might be calling you into some form of ministry, my advice is: to pray a lot, talk to your pastor or a trusted mentor, and listen for God and what He is trying to tell you.

“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” {Acts 20:24}

The Lie Christians Should Stop Saying

Unfortunately there are many things we, as Christians, say that aren’t true. “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Is one of the biggest lies I’ve ever heard told in church and Christian communities. It is not a statement ever found in the Bible or backed up by biblical truth. I think we say this as a way of lying to ourselves because we are afraid of trials and tribulation. Which WILL happen. That is in fact biblical and told to us many times. In fact, I personally believe that God will and does give us more than we can handle. Not because He hates us or is punishing us, but because it forces us to depend on and trust in God during these situations. It refocuses our mind back onto our Almighty God and makes us realize we CAN’T do things alone. We need God. When we go through these trials that are more than we can handle, God is going to be there with us the entire way if we seek Him and ask for help.

“My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.” {Psalm 62:7}

Letter to Christians about Prayer

Dear Christians,

We so easily say one thing and do another. This is hypocritical and wrong. One of the main ways we do this to each other is by saying the phrase, “I’ll pray for you.” Now, I understand many people do follow through with that, but a drastic amount of people don’t. If someone is going through a hard time or they ask you to pray for them, PRAY FOR THEM! Don’t just use empty words, use the power of Jesus Christ in prayer. One of the best ways to implement this in your life is when someone asks you to pray for them, stop and pray for them right then and there. Yes, it might be uncomfortable if you aren’t used to that situation but it will be worth it & they will feel loved. Christians, the power of prayer is beyond our comprehension, DON’T take it for granted. If you aren’t going to actually pray for someone, then don’t bother wasting your breath to tell them that you are. Be sincere and actually pray if you tell them you will. This is something that’s been bothering me so much recently and something I used to do a lot. I think it’s important that we, as followers of Christ, actually follow Christ’s example and pray for people. 

-Madison Mullins 

Children & Prayer

Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.””
‭‭{Mark‬ ‭10:15‬}

This past week I attended my church district kids/preteen camp. I worked in recreation and also with a group of young boys whenever I didn’t have a job to do. One night they opened the altars to pray and wow did these kids pray! Never underestimate children’s ability to pray and seek God. Seeing them flood the altars -some in tears and some with joy- with a desire to talk to God made me so emotional. My boyfriend and his nephew were also at camp and during this altar call his nephew went down to pray. We went and prayed with him and after a while I asked him if he wanted us to pray over anything specific. He gave me a prayer request and then I prayed with him some more. After that I asked him if there was anything else he wanted us to pray for. He responded, “I just wanna stay here and keep praying for as long as I can.” and that’s exactly what he did. He actually prayed until church ended! It was such a sweet and powerful moment seeing a 7 year old fall at the feet of Jesus not only for himself but to pray for the needs of others in his life. It was a great reminder that children and youth are not the church of tomorrow, but they are the church of today.

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Contentment in Christ

“To love God is to love His will. It is to be content with His timing and wise appointment.” -Elisabeth Elliot

Contentment in Christ begins with one thing: LOVE. When we have a love for God, it makes it so much easier to be content in Him. 

Contentment in Timing/Waiting:

This is the kind of contentment that can be the hardest (especially for teenagers and young adults). When we are waiting for something in life, it’s hard! Patience isn’t something we always have, however, in times of waiting it’s key, and is commanded:

“But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)”‭‭ Romans‬ ‭8:25‬ ‭
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”‭‭  Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭
There’s nothing wrong be looking forward to something or the next phase of your life, but don’t let it consume you and make you discontent. Some things to remember in times of waiting or waiting on God’s (perfect) timing:

 1. God is in control!

 2. He has a plan!

 3. Rushing God’s plan/timing doesn’t help anything.

 4. There’s a purpose in waiting.
Check out this quote from C.S. Lewis:


Being content with God’s timing isn’t always easy, but be encouraged by this verse: 

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ 

Contentment When God Says, “No”

God always answers our prayers…however He doesn’t always answer the way we want Him to. There are times in life when God will say no to us. But we shouldn’t be discouraged or discontent because God’s “no” is not a rejection, it’s a redirection! We don’t usually understand why God says no to us however, “When God gives you a ‘No’, give Him a ‘thank you’. He was protecting you from less than His best.” That is a hard, but true statement. We have to realize that we are human, we don’t have the knowledge and wisdom God has. We must accept and be content with the fact that God knows more than us. 

Contentment During Trials:

This is the most difficult kind of contentment for me personally. When I’m going through stuff, I want to be content with God, but it’s hard. I get mad, but in the end I still want to please and honor God with my life. According to Bethany Baird, “A desire to please God says, ‘God, I will choose to serve you and praise you whether or not my circumstances ever change.'” That is a really really difficult thing to say and mean. What if your tough situation never changes? Could you truly be content with that? This is where prayer and a desire for the Lord is important. Philippians 4:11 says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

‭Paul is not saying that you have to LIKE the situation you are in. What he is saying is that we should be content with where God has put us and serve Him to the best of our ability in that situation.
Contentment is a daily struggle, one which can’t be done without a relationship with God. I encourage you to get into the word of God and find stories and verses that help you during times of discontentment. 
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6:6‬ ‭

WORSHIP🙏💛

“For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”‭‭John‬ ‭4:24

We hear the word “worship” a lot. And as Christians, we are expected to do it. But what is it? What is worship? Most people tend to think of music and singing when the word worship is mentioned. Music and singing are great, but that’s not all there is to worship.
I love the way Mike Bickle says that worship is a lifestyle. If I had to put worship in a quote I would say,

“Worship is the way you live your life with the intent to honor God.”

Check out this song about worship. It truly hits home and has an amazing message: “Clear the Stage” by Jimmy Needham

Worship takes sacrifice! In 2 Samuel 24:10-25, David was building an altar to God. David was the KING! He didn’t have to go and buy the threshing boards for the altar, but he chose to because David REFUSED to sacrifice unless it COST him something! We should have the mindset of David.

Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’” {Luke‬ ‭4:8‬}  Notice this verse links WORSHIP and SERVICE together. A big part of worship is to be serving others to serve Christ.

Finally, I would like to share some practical tips and advice for worship:

-Don’t absentmindedly worship. Have intent and do it WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

-When worshiping through music and singing, pay attention to the words you sing. Listen to understand.

LOOK for ways to be apart of worship. Be active in seeking God.

PRAY!!! Pray for understanding, thank God, and Pray and ask for the right mindset to worship.
-Madison🌻

Prayer☀️

So what’s the big deal about prayer? If you have grown up in church or know Christians, you hear about prayer a LOT. People do it in church, before they eat, when they are hurting, with other people…and if you don’t understand it, it can seem quite weird. Why is prayer so important?  

1) It builds and strengthens your relationship with God. It’s impossible to have a successful relationship without communication. The same is with God. Prayer connects you to God.

 2) You are speaking to the CREATOR OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE! You have that ability!!! It’s an amazing privilege to be able to talk to God. Don’t lose your awe and reverence to God. 

 3) God wants you to! God desires a relationship with you and wants that connection. 

 4) It gives us the opportunity to express ourselves, needs, and concerns to God.

 5) It gives us the opportunity to praise, honor, and worship God.

6) Prayer changes the world!

7) Even JESUS prayed!

Prayer is more than saying a few words before meals. I challenge you to pray, and to truly pray! You don’t have to use complex vocabulary or have hour long prayers. It’s about a connection with God 


Prayer isn’t just words. It is a lifestyle. I challenge you to live a life of prayer💛 -Madison

Be Still

Hey Everyone! Sorry it’s been a while since my last post. I have been finishing up school and things have been crazy. Since things have been so hectic in my life recently I had to really be intentional with my time and being intentional about spending time reading the Bible and with God. The Bible uses the phrase “Be Still” many times throughout scripture. Here are a few verses:

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” -Psalms‬ ‭46:10‬ ‭

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”‭‭ -Psalms‬ ‭37:7‬ ‭

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” -Exodus‬ ‭14:14‬ 

Many people think the phrase “Be Still” means to just sit back and not do anything and let God do it all. That’s not necessarily true. The phrase “Be Still” is a reminder to take time to just be in God’s presence and worship Him. In Psalm 46:10 mentioned above, it says “Be still, and know that I am God.” So often (especially if you’ve grown up in church) we lose our wonder and awe of God. It’s a normal thing that we have accepted since infants. But we shouldn’t just be going through the motions of Christianity. I challenge you to really take time and BE STILL. Think about how marvelous, amazing, and awe inspiring the Lord is. He created the universe! He created you! He saved the world through Jesus! Don’t let the craziness of your life distract you from residing in Christ and being in awe of His wonder. Be still, and KNOW that He is God

Baptism 101

Baptism can be a very controversial topic among Christians. What is it? What is it not? What method to use? All these questions are valid and important questions. I remember being younger and the sacrament of baptism was confusing to me. My [amazing] children’s pastor at my church did a whole lesson on baptism when I was about seven years old and that was when I began to get a better understanding of the topic. I was baptized on my eighth birthday and it is one of my favorite memories. This is a brief, “to the point” post that can hopefully help you better understand baptism.

First, we need to discuss what baptism isn’t. Many people think that baptism is necessary to be saved and to get into heaven. IT IS NOT! Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith–and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” This verse clearly states that FAITH ALONE saves you. There is NOTHING we can do to earn the grace of God.

So we know that baptism is not necessary for salvation, but what is it?

Baptism is an outward testimony of of an inward change.

When you are baptized, you are proclaiming to the world and to the church that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a testimony. Baptism is an expression of your faith in Jesus. Baptism isn’t just something you do for fun. Only be baptized if you have truly confessed your sins to God and desire a relationship with Him. Because although baptism doesn’t save you or get you into heaven, it is a covenant you are making with God. Its a testimony that you are choosing to follow and serve God, and that is not something to take lightly.

What method to use? This probably causes the most controversy in the evangelical church than any of these other points I have mentioned in this post. There are three main methods of baptism:

  • Immersion
  • Sprinkling
  • Pouring

Some people believe that there is one way to be baptized and that its the only way to do it. However, I challenge you to think of it this way, “If baptism doesn’t save you, why does it matter what method you use?” Seriously. Think about it! My opinion on it is, use whatever method you want or you feel the most comfortable with. I’m not trying to offend anyone who has different opinions on this matter. That is totally okay if you have different views than me, however I want everyone to pray about it and think about if it truly matters and is worth arguing and having conflicts with people over.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. I hope you stop by again to read future blog posts! -Maddie