Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Purity Pact

At 13 years of age, I made the decision to keep myself pure for my future husband and I chose not to date. Throughout the years, I have made boundaries for myself and have verbally told people my standards, but I recently realized I have never written precisely what they were. I did this exercise in my journal to set in stone my purity pact, and to make sure I have my commitments written down. I'm sharing them with you as inspiration if you have never set boundaries for yourself, or have never made a commitment to purity.

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September 21st, 2011

TAYLOR'S PURITY PACT
  • I am committed to courtship, and refuse to date.
  • I will not have solitary phone conversations with young men.
  • I will not be in a room alone with another man.
  • I will keep physical contact with young men (and guys in general) to a minimum: handshakes and "quick" hugs are acceptable, "long hugs", holding hands, patting back/arm, etc. are not allowable.
  • If I feel intimidated or am made uncomfortable by any guy (young or old), I will seek help, protection, and safety from my older brother, father, or another safe person.
  • Emails to young men are done through the family's email account for accountability purposes and generally will have an editor - unless it is a quick correspondence. My parents have access to all my email accounts, and business emails with men are focused on business.
  • I will not have in-depth personal conversations with young men.
  • No snail mail correspondence with any guy.
  • I will not ride alone in a vehicle with a young man, and generally not with any guy, unless out of great necessity.
  • As for me, I will avoid and shun flirtatious behavior. This behavior is appalling to me and definitely "unattractive".
Is it okay to be friends with young men? Yes, I believe it is all right to have brother/sister-in-the-Lord relationships. But there must be boundaries to keep the friendship pure and safe. It is so easy to go a step further than originally intended, so it is very important to have accountability (preferably through parents and siblings).

May I always treat young men as brothers - unless they are of such character so as to be avoided. From the times I have overstepped my boundaries, I move on with a freshly determined outlook, resolving not to compromise.

SIGNED:
Taylor K. Garms
September 21st, 2011
"Keep yourself pure..." 1st Timothy 5:22b

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What boundaries have you established for yourself? I urge you to deeply consider and pray about your own "purity pact"!

Lacheln!
Taylor

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
By your code, you don't drive alone with young men or have in depth conversations with them. Does this also include your brothers? Thanks in advance.

Miss Taylor said...

Anonymous: No, this obviously does not include my brothers or my father. Thanks for asking!

Jennifer said...

Hi Taylor! Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but are these items on your pact until you enter a courtship? From my understanding of how a courtship works, I thought you got to know the person you were courting through phone calls and in depth conversations about your convictions to get to know each others hearts. Or are there certain topics you are referring to? Some of the items certainly do make sense and having convictions are never a bad thing :-)

Miss Taylor said...

Jennifer: Yes, these guidelines specifically pertain to interactions with unmarried young men (and also with men in general).

Granted, in a courtship relationship, I fully intend to get to know my future husband and have many discussions with him about - everything! :) But even in the courtship relationship, there will be boundaries and standards to be held to keep the relationship on the "up and up".

I said all this to say, I do have friends who are young men, but I want to keep the connections safe - as I have witnessed too many scenarios where boundaries have been crossed and much hurt results.

Have I and will I perfectly follow these standards? Unfortunately no, being a fallible young lady whose heart is apt to wander, but these standards are what I strive for, and I rely on God's grace daily.

Jennifer said...

thanks Taylor! I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.

Miss Taylor said...

You're welcome, Jennifer! :)

Anonymous said...

Taylor,

Have you ever wished you could tweak your resolutions - just a little bit? Especially when everyone else is doing it?

Miss Taylor said...

Anonymous: Nope! I have seen too much heartbreak and ruined lives to desire to compromise!

yankeegospelgirl said...

Well, I just hugged Michael Booth tonight, but it was a sideways hug. :)

Miss Taylor said...

YGG: We've all hugged Michael Booth too - but quick hugs, mind you! ;) Looking forward to the concert review! :)

Anonymous said...

Who is Michael Booth? Some musician someone?

yankeegospelgirl said...

Thanks Taylor! School, I mean duty calls at the moment, but I will get to it when I feel I can spare the time. :)

Michael Booth is a popular southern gospel tenor singer and a great guy.

Anonymous said...

Cool

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I noticed that when hugging guys, you usually have all "those feelings" rise up to the surface. Even quick hugs can sometimes surface those thoughts so I just try to handshake, smile, wave, etc. instead of hugging, but I'm not about to BACK out of a sideways hug or anything! I mean I'll hug my brothers, cousins, etc. and if I'm courting, engaged, etc. - then I might hug! But I generally try to avoid hugs as much as possible.

yankeegospelgirl said...

I think a lot of it might depend on the age of the guy. I mean when I hug someone like Michael---an older, married man who I love and respect---I feel like I'm hugging my dad. I would feel much more nervous about hugging an unmarried guy who's my age, though even then there can be perfectly innocent ways to hug.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I suppose if it's an older guy, then it's not so bad.

Miss Taylor said...

Our family has always been a "hugging" family. When it was time to say goodbye after visiting with friends or family, we kids would always go around and give hugs to everyone. Naturally, as I grew older and entered the "shy" age, I did not feel comfortable hugging, shaking hands, talking, or even making eye contact with young men - just because I was shy. I eventually did not like giving hugs to anyone, period!

But, as I have grown older and have entered into the world of "singing", I have found I can't avoid hugs! :) People - especially older men and women - like to come up and "hug your neck".

Now, if a strange young man were to come up after a concert and attempt to give me a hug, I would definitely (and have) pull away, as I would be unsure of his motives and would not be very comfortable at all. But I'm not afraid of giving a quick hug of greeting or departure to young men whom I consider brothers in Lord and safe friends. Generally, though, it is not my practice to give hugs very freely to young men.

Kathryn Grace said...

These are great boundaries! I've never actually written my standards out, but I think our lists would be very similar. :-) Thanks for sharing!

Miss Taylor said...

Thanks, Kathryn Grace, for your encouragement! It is a blessing to have boundaries and preventive measurements to keep ourselves pure for our future spouses, not drudgery as some might assume.

Keep going on your purity path! You won't regret it! :)

Jerry (Susan) Sinclair, Marriage Missionary said...

Great boundaries! I am a soon to be 60 yr old married man with very high, lofty boundaries. My dear wife, Susan, and I set these many years ago when I had a moral failure.

I will not give them now, but maybe some other time.

I did want to comment on this recent response of yours: Now, if a strange young man were to come up after a concert and attempt to give me a hug, I would definitely (and have) pull away, as I would be unsure of his motives and would not be very comfortable at all. But I'm not afraid of giving a quick hug of greeting or departure to young men whom I consider brothers in Lord and safe friends. Generally, though, it is not my practice to give hugs very freely to young men.

In our public ministry when we visit churches, we are finding more and more men & women are aggressively going for the hug and completely ignoring our offer to shake hands. The icky and comfort level drops significantly.

One gentleman insisted on hugging my wife who barely escaped. He tried to justify how he ministered to one woman that got a blessing from him. I tried every nice way to put it not to hug strangers or church visitors until I finally said Don't you ever hug my wife again!

Great blog Taylor, I will be praying for your dad's employment needs.

God bless...

Miss Taylor said...

Mr. Sinclair: Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Yes, it seems more and more people go for the hugs rather than handshakes. While sometimes a hug can be safe, other times it may not a good situation. I also believe one should even "escape" a hug if the situation is uncomfortable. I have done so before. It is best to have safety precautions, discernment, and high standards in interactions with the opposite gender to keep oneself pure in accordance with God's Word.

Thanks for the encouragement and prayers; we appreciate it! :)