Don't Eat It. It's Mine.
The door swings shuts as you step into Marie’s Ice Cream Shop. Several customers are seated in booths, chatting blithely, licking ice cream cones and soaking in the cool air conditioning.
Outside the shop, the sun beats down cruelly upon the sidewalk. That summer, the ice cream shop had become a local refuge from the merciless weather. You, too, join the multitude of customers enjoying a piece of ice cream heaven.
Staring at the bins of ice cream, you struggle with making your decision. “Should I get a scoop of Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Total Mocha Bliss, or Joe’s Extra-Extra-Uber Chocolate Fudge ice cream?” you ask yourself. Ultimately, chocolate wins out. "A scoop of each flavor, please."
An employee behind the counter—a surfer who spent too much time with a bottle of tanning lotion—begins to pile your order of ice cream into a glass bowl. One scoop…then two…then three. Finally, he adds Marie’s Ice Cream Shop’s trademark touch—the brilliant red cherry on top. Your mouth waters as you wait expectantly for your order.
The tanned employee begins to pass you the ice cream, but instead, grabs a spoon and digs into your ice cream. Placing the spoon in his mouth, his eyes roll back as he savors the bite.
You stare in horror and disgust.
The boy swallows. “Duuuude, that was awesome.”
“What? That’s….that’s mine!” you sputter.
“Yeah. Thanks for like, sharing.” He smiles crookedly, and with a slight shrug, turns away.
Yet purity is treated in a similar fashion. Sex is often ignored as a gift from God--that is, a part of the marriage union, and instead utilized for a moment's pleasure. While it is most shocking to hear of someone assuming the rights to someone else's ice cream, we merely shrug at the idea of sexual purity being flippantly surrendered. Why? Impurity has become commonplace. In the year 2005, it was estimated that 47% of high school aged students had sex.
These statistics can be depressing to the high school students who have committed to abstinence, but this only the beginning: According to a survey by Dr. Peter S. Bearman and Dr. Hannah Bruckner, 88% of young people who commit to maintain their virginity until marriage, break the pledge. On average, the pledges are broken only eighteen months after they were first made.
“Now what?” you may say. “Are we fated to join that 88%?” Yes, we are. Even if we too make a commitment to be pure, the promise of a moment cannot transform a heart. The facts remain unaffected: We are naturally sinful human beings.
Unless hearts are transformed and handed over wholly to Christ’s authority, we are in very real danger of becoming a part of that statistic. Proverbs 4:23 states: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Guarding the heart is more than a split-second decision. It is a constant choice made daily. Is it hard? You bet! But in the words of Christina Rossetti,
Purity isn't simple to maintain. But in the seeking, we shall find so much more: the pleasure of our Father in Heaven. After all, purity is more valuable than ice cream.
"True, all our lives long we shall be bound to restrain our soul and keep it low; and what then? For the books we read shall one day be endowed with wisdom and knowledge. For the music we will not listen to, we shall join in the song of the redeemed. For the pictures from which we turn, we shall gaze unabashed on the beatific vision. For the companionship we shun, we shall be welcomed with angelic society and the communion of the triumphant saints. For the amusements we avoid, we shall keep the supreme jubilee. For the pleasures we miss, we shall abide in the rapture of heaven. It cannot be much of a hardship to dress modestly at a small cost, rather than richly and fashionably if with conviction we are awaiting the white robes of the redeemed."
- CDC. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2005 [PDF]. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report2006;55(SS-5):1–108.
- Journal of Adolescent Health, 2005 and American Journal of Sociology, 2001