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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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 

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🌻

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

There is No Greater Call

There is no greater call than giving you my all” 

This was a line in a song I recently sang at Extravaganza at Southern Nazarene University. During worship one evening, “Have It All” by Bethel Music (Brian Johnson) played and I had never heard it before. I was singing along, enjoying the song then that line was sung. Man it hit me hard. 
Think about it, what calling could be greater than serving the everlasting God?! What could be more fulfilling than giving Jesus Christ your life? We often don’t think about how amazing God is and the privilege it is to glorify Him.

 “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better.”‭‭ {Philippians‬ ‭1:21-22‬}

In this verse, Paul is saying that if he lives it will be worth it only to serve and work for Christ. 

But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being.” {Galatians‬ ‭1:15-16‬}

Paul is saying that God called him and it PLEASED him. We should be pleased when God calls us to serve him. I’m not saying it will be easy, but we should be pleased and willing. 

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}

Luke says that his life is worth NOTHING if it’s not used for serving Christ. 

Guys! Surrendering it all the Christ is the greatest call ever imaginable! Don’t take that lightly! Look at this quote from Brian Houston: 

I encourage you to think about what it means to serve Jesus and what it means to you. Do you believe the statement, “There is no greater call than giving You my all.”? 

I have one desire now: to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy & strength into it.” -Elisabeth Elliot

*I hope you enjoyed! Check in on Saturday for a new post😄*-Madison

Don’t Just be a Believer, be a FOLLOWER 

Hey Guys! This is a topic I am super passionate about and I hope you enjoy😄 

James 2:14-26 says, “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.

I know that’s a long passage but I really felt the need to have it all there. Now don’t get me wrong, your actions are NOT what get you into Heaven or help you “earn” your salvation. That’s not what this passage is saying. Your salvation comes from Christ and Christ only. We can do nothing to earn our own salvation. However, what this passage is saying is that what’s the point of believing in something and not acting upon it? Notice in verse 19 it says even demons knew who God is and believe in Him. There are so many people in this world who believe in God and Jesus, but not many of them follow Him. I present you this: 

Don’t just be a believer, be a FOLLOWER! 

To follow someone’s advice doesn’t just mean to listen to them, it means to actually do what they say. Following = ACTION  John 13:15 says, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” Notice it says “DO” not just simply “listen”. 

Being a follower means ‭‭striving  to do the will of God and actively pursuing a relationship with Jesus Christ. ‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭16:11 says, “Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him.” 

Finally, being a follower means living in a way Jesus would. It means striving to portray His character and be an example for God in all we do. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and I challenge you to not just be a believer of Jesus but to be a follower  -💜Maddie

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Choosing a God Lead Lifestyle 

Mark‬ ‭7:13Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”‭‭‬ ‭

So often we as humans nullify the Word of God & His commandments in order to fit Christ into OUR lifestyles. We put traditions or ceremonies above prayer or real worship. We focus more on being right and having more knowledge than being kind and loving. Sometimes we even choose to say that something is acceptable when it’s not because we want to justify ourselves and our sin. Not only is this wrong & twisting the truth of scripture, it is saying that our lifestyle, our choices, & our mindsets are higher than Jesus’. If we are true followers of Christ, we should strive to follow God’s will. 

The theme verse for my church a few years ago was Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”                                  When we delight in the Lord, our hearts’ desires will be what God desires. Instead of trying to put God into OUR lifestyles, in a way to be comfortable, try living your life devoted to Christ & let HIM choose OUR lifestyle, one that’s wholeheartedly serving Him. Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

‭‭Stop getting caught up in traditions, and legalistic religion. Instead, spend time with God and reading the Bible and begin falling in love with Jesus Christ. One of the last things I want to be accused of is nulifying and misusing God and His word. 

Pray that your faith may be no sham faith, but a giving up of your soul entirely to Christ. That your love to Christ may be no rhapsody, but a matter of real heart affection. Your walk may not be for others to see, but a walk before God.” -Charles Spurgeon

-Maddie 💜

Dating, Courting, and Marriage


Dating, Courting, and marriage are all intimidating topics everyone has to face at some point in their life. There is much controversy (especially in the homeschooling community) about whether dating or courting is the “correct” method for pursuing a relationship. There are also many questions on how to go about relationships and marriage.
    When it comes to pursuing a relationship, I think a person should first think about their motives. If a person is wanting a relationship to fill an absence in their life, to get temporary pleasure, or just to “see if it works”, then that person has the wrong motives. Some motives and goals to strive for are to be committed, grow closer to God, and to give/serve. You see, whether you call it “Dating” or “Courting” doesn’t honestly matter. The label doesn’t define the outcome. The motives and intentions behind the relationship, the commitment to each other and to God, and the effort put into the relationship is what defines the outcome.
      I believe it is very important to have values and convictions, and not just to have them, but to stand by them as well. “If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values: they’re hobbies.” Because of this, who you choose to have a relationship with is extremely important. If you are in a relationship you will either marry that person or breakup with them. Therefore, to spare heartbreak. It is good to have standards before you ever begin entering relationships. One way to “test” whether or not a person is a good candidate for a relationship or marriage is by inserting his or her name in place of the word “love” in 1 Corinthians 3:4-6. For example: “Alex is patient and kind; Alex does not envy or boast; Alex is not arrogant or rude. Alex does not insist on his own way; Alex is not irritable or resentful; Alex does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in the truth.” If “Alex” and his or her life doesn’t coincide with those statements, then “Alex” isn’t someone to enter a relationship with. (Also, try replacing the word “love” with YOUR name and see how true it is.)  Some other qualities to look for are: Good with children, loves God more more than you, a leader, genuine, hard working, respectful, shows love, kindness, and purity. Although these are important, making sure you have the qualities you want in a spouse is equally, if not more important. “Attract what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you respect, mirror what you admire.
    So what do you do from there? If a person seems like a good potential partner and both people express a mutual attraction, what happens next? Personally, I believe that the man should ask the parent’s permission to pursue and relationship with their daughter. This not only shows respect for their opinions and their daughter, but in turn they will respect the guy as well.
When it comes to the actual relationship, both them man and the woman should sit down and discuss their values, standards, and goals in life. Just to make sure they are both on the same page. “You can’t walk together if you are going different directions.”
Not everyone is going to get married, some are going to stay single. However, although Christians need to stop idolizing marriage, as Christians we also need to stop idolizing “Singleness”. Serve God the best you can while single; and when you are in a relationship that causes you both to serve God better together, then that’s how you know they are the right person for you.
     It seems like in our culture there are more people divorced or living together before marriage than people actually married. However, this is not what God intended. People have the mindset of “We’ll see and if it doesn’t work out, then we will break up.” Having this mindset is practicing for divorce. Working together to figure things out and putting effort into a relationship is what will help it grow. Marriage is a covenant between a husband, a wife, and God. God says in the Bible that women are to be submissive to their husbands. However, people have twisted and confused this statement. Being submissive doesn’t mean allowing abuse or the wife doing whatever the husband says. It means trusting and listening to each other. Right after the scripture which says for the wife to be submissive, it tells husbands to love their wives. If you love someone, you don’t use them or try to be more powerful. Submission goes both ways. Both husband and wife are equal. No one is higher than each other. One of my favorite phrases is “Men and women are equally valuable, and purposefully different.” Not only does this apply to women and men in general, it also applies to marriage. Both husband and wife are equal in value and worth; no one is above or below the other. However, they were created for different purposes and “jobs”. Ezra Benson said, “Marriage itself must be regarded as a sacred covenant before God. A married couple have an obligation not only to each other, but to God.”
    Although relationships, dating/courting, and marriage are all very important, pursuing God, striving to do His will, and serving Him should be our ultimate goal in life. Elisabeth Elliot once declared, “I have one desire now: to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength in to it.