“Planting” Purity

  I had a 4 little Ferguson’s reader ask me a really great question yesterday, after the Drama post went live.

Today’s post made me start thinking about how to instill standards of purity in my daughter.
Obviously, based on Destiny’s ability to identify inappropriate content in a book, you have been able to address some of the issues of purity.
Would you be open to writing a post of what teaching purity looks like in your home, how you address it, etc?

Great question!

  I felt prompted to share our stance on teaching Physical Purity earlier this month, in the Train Up A Child post. 

The Bible says, If we train up our children in the way they should go, they will not depart from it when they are older.{Proverbs 22:6}……it means I am Intentional in my parenting.  That I am always on the look out for those teachable moments. That I do my part to teach my children the value of hard work, daily duties and prayerful hearts.  That I am to speak and pray those blessings over my children just as the Fathers in the Bible spoke blessings over theirs, blessings that came to fruition.”

  I don’t think Purity is taught like a school lesson.  Although it sure wouldn’t hurt to sit down as a family and discuss what Purity is going to look like at your house.

  I think it is LIVED. 

  I think purity is in our actions, learned by our children watching us as we face the World, situation by situation. 

  It means we pepper our conversations with it, DAILY, moment by moment.

~When you shut off a movie, because it used bad language, you are teaching purity of the mind.

~When you see kissing on an otherwise clean movie and you say, “UH OH! Nooooo kissing until you are married.”  You are teaching purity of the heart and body in a few short sentences.

~ When you see a scantily clad Barbie doll in the toy aisle, you can choose the one in a full ball gown instead, “Honey, this one is dressed more appropriately.  We need to save our bodies for our husbands eyes only.”  Teaching purity in the moment.

~ When your child wants to talk about “someday” with you, use it as a teachable moment.  Tylan said, “Mom, someday I am going to get to go to a friend’s house and stay overnight?”  I replied, “Yes, Ty. But first, I want to make sure you are ready for what you might face. Your friends might want you to watch a bad movie, or look at a magazine that is not appropriate, or even try to show you naked girls on his phone.  If that happens, I want you to be ready to look away quickly, leave the room and call me for a ride home.”  “Oh ok, mom. I don’t ever want to look at that bad stuff. King David did that once……” 

Purity planting in a 6-year-old.

  On another note, ever since we had that talk with Ty at bedtime, Avery has added to her “Future Husband” prayers, that he would NOT look at his friend’s phone or bad naked pictures of girls. 

  I was Purity Seed Planting in Ty, and guess what?  4-year-old Avery’s seed took root, too.

You all, THEY ARE LISTENING TO EVERYTHING!  Make every single moment count! 

Whether we are teaching purity of the mind, “We don’t read books like that….”

Or by listening to only Christian radio or Adventures in Odyssey in the car.  We don’t want them to fill their minds with the sexual words of pop music and think its acceptable.

During Family Movie Night:

 “We are shutting this movie off now! We never use the Lord’s name in vain. It breaks His heart…..”

Or if it’s a movie you can keep watching together, then use those teachable moments: 

“Did you hear that child sass her mom?  We NEVER talk to our parents that way, do we!”

Or purity of the heart:

 “Dating that many girls only makes your heart full of holes, like Swiss Cheese.  It’s best to just be friends until the Lord shows you otherwise.”

Or purity of the body:

 “That lady IS so pretty in her dress, but see how low it scoops? When you have a dress like that, we will make sure you wear a pretty lace tank top underneath it to cover up more.”

  Once you make it a point to use any and every chance for teachable moments, you will be surprised how often they come!

  Limiting your child’s exposure to media and commercials will also help their “Radar” to be strong.  The more we expose our kids to the worlds idea of behavior and dress, the more “acceptable” it becomes in their young minds.

  Even adults are affected!  Case in point:

  I watched Grey’s Anatomy Season 1 and 2, and like a frog placed in water slowly heated, won’t jump out, I didn’t even realize how bad things were getting.  I loved the show so much, I was willing to overlook some of the inappropriate scenes I was beginning to see on a more regular basis.

  Season 3 started and I couldn’t watch it due to a conflict on Thursday nights.  When I did tune in, late in the season, I was MORTIFIED at how trashy it had gotten. I haven’t watched since.

  How did I miss it?  Did the show change, or did I?

  Somewhere along the way, the show became less medical drama, and more character drama. My radar was dulled.  The clanging bells were muffled, as I slowly became acclimated to the filth being presented there.  It took me not watching to “reset” my radar, and I was mortified when I returned to the show.

  I now choose not to watch TV in the evenings.  My time can be better spent editing, blogging or working around the house.  I enjoy the occasional Undercover Boss episode, or the other night, Dale was watching America’s Got Talent after the kiddos were down, and the singer caught my attention from the other room.  But, between my disgust in the commercials {which we don’t allow our kids to watch on the rare occasion they watch something other than PBS!} and the lack of anything good on, it’s easier for me to not watch at all.  And to teach them the same.

  They aren’t even allowed to watch “The Funny Show” {America’s Funniest Home Videos} anymore, due to the sexual jokes and harsh language from the host.

  “Planting Purity” starts with us as parents, setting the example; i/e tilling fertile soil.  This is followed by seed planting during daily, Teachable Moments.  Careful weeding will keep filth out of the garden of your child’s life and mind, and watering with the Word of God daily, will keep harvest plentiful.

In Matthew 7:16, it says you will be known by your fruits.  “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”

    The “fruit” of Destiny’s harvest showed yesterday.  I didn’t know if I was doing my job helping to plant the right kinds of seeds, or if I had watered enough with God’s Word. 


  But in these moments, in these situations that make us infuriated at the World we live in, we see our hard work pay off and a bountiful harvest to be thankful for.





19 thoughts on ““Planting” Purity

  1. This post is so encouraging and I am right there with you. BE with your kiddos and TALK to them all day with TRUTH from the WORD and WISDOM from the SPIRIT. That is letting God parent through us!

  2. You are such an encouragement for Godly parenting in today’s world. I wanted to bring up the post you did about the delicious brownies that had poop in them. The day you posted it was what our family needed to make a decision about some video games our boys wanted to play. When I showed them your post, we all agreed that the Lord was leading us away from those video games. BTW, I agree with the other comment about you writing a book. 🙂

  3. Yes! Thank you! I would love to see more posts like this! My husband and I were raised Christian, but basically, we went to church sometimes and prayed Christmas meals…I was exposed to a worldly lifestyle and am recovering from consumerism (only slightly joking about consumerism 😉 Hubby and I are trying to raise our little girls in a way that would be pleasing to God. We are changing our lifestyle little by little, trying to minimalize, set responsible boundaries, study Gods Word. However, it has been difficult for us to know what to say to our 2 and 3 year old girls ( without being raised that way and not having made it all the way through the Bible yet) We’ve just started to become comfortable praying out loud! Baby steps on our end, but your examples of how to use each moment is so beneficial!

  4. I’m sorry but I have to respectfully ask this since it has bothered me. You keep repeating about talking to the children about low-cut blouses/clothing. SOOO how do you justify the pictures of your oldest daughter in a bikini on June 6th’s post?

    • Great question! We were given that bikini from her Grammy Drea who lives in Florida. Since it was a gift that couldn’t be returned cross country, we told Destiny, that she could wear it at home only. {We live out in the country….} When she wears it to the public pool, she uses a blue swim shirt over the top. We also asked Drea to not buy any more bikinis, only 1 pieces or tankinis from now on. Thanks for asking 🙂

      • As always, blogging our day to day life, opens up the doors for fine tooth comb judgments.
        The idea behind her not wearing her bikini in public, or now, our rule of not owning one at all….is not because she as anything to hide at this time. Both girls had on their bikini’s that day I happened to photograph our soapy slip’n slide idea. To me, it was not something to worry about or over think as their bodies are not developing in any way.
        The idea behind teaching this modesty now, and this post, is to prepare for the mandatory covering up that will come into play when they are growing into a young woman physically. We will start now in all areas, skirts, tops and swim wear, so its a smooth transition later.

  5. I LOVE that you’ve shared these things…how inspirational for young moms. I’ll always remember when I was visiting you, your kids were watching a cartoon movie….the princesses were wearing low neck dresses, you simply stressed to your girls that those dresses were inappropriate. I love how you don’t miss those teachable moments. Keep up the good work Mama T. God is blessing you as you seek to keep HIM first in the lives of your impressionable (& precious!) children.

  6. Tonya, this is great. I have a question for you. I have heard that as Christians and the way we talk about purity we can often cause our children to have shame about sexuality and their bodies so much so that even when they do the right thing and wait for marriage they still feel shame. Do you have any thoughts on how we can share things like you do without sowing fear or shame into them?

    • GREAT question! I think the key is to spend as much time talking about how GREAT it is, as you do about saving sex for marriage. “When you get older and can kiss and touch your wife, you are going to just love it!” “When you are on your honeymoon, you can kiss WHENEVER you want!” They may not get what I mean in it’s entirety, but they see the smile on my face, and know it must be a good thing. 🙂 Avery always giggles when I talk about her honeymoon someday with her husband.
      I touch on this in a previous blog post called The Birds & The Bees: https://4littlefergusons.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/the-birds-the-bees-2/ Go check it out and let me know if this helped to answer your question…….
      Hugs, T

  7. I guess this confuses me a bit since I saw the pictures of the dress you renewed your vows in? The strapless, short dress? You looked AMAZING but it was not modest in any way. Purity and modesty were the farthest things from my mind and it was a disconnect from what I was reading about your story. Recovering your marriage from infidelity and bolstering your covenant seemed to be the intention of your actions and all I could think of was the strong, sexual statement you were making. Also, vowing to keep ‘no record of wrongs’ …isn’t this what a large portion of your blog is about? I am confused. I wish you every blessing, Tonya. There is such a light that shines from your pictures, but yet, there are shadows as well.

    • Oh man, I am sorry my dress was a stumbling block. Looking back, I DO wish I could’ve found a longer, more suitable dress for the occasion! Especially as the girls get older and ask questions about what they are allowed to wear. I apologize!
      As far as keeping no record of wrongs, I will counter with this:
      The light we shine on this thing called Infidelity, is NOT to keep a record of wrong, but to point at a God who is big enough to make all things new! I don’t shame Dale, or make him wear his rags of sin. Instead, we walk together in freedom from the past. And, as Paul points out in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, we are comforted by a Savior who knows our suffering, and we honor Him when we pass His comfort to those going through similar circumstances. Our Heavenly Father promises to bring something good out of even our darkest moments (James 1:2-4). This takes place when we share the comfort He offered us, with those who are now going through trials!
      It is my prayer that every shadow be flooded with light! God bless you, thanks for taking time to comment!

      • I love how you are responding to the people that keep asking you about these things. I mean, heres the deal. You capture your family moments right? You do photography and like me, take lots of photos at home I’m sure. You share on your blog, and you are human, you are a Christian so you know that you are not perfect and I’m sure you are always striving each day as we all do to be more and more Holy in his sight.
        So, here’s the deal. Why are people digging through your old posts it seems almost to FIND things that they can say are ‘not modest’ and then throw it in your face. Why do people do that? It happens to me as well, and I was just saved a few short 5 years ago this August. Yes I have photos that are not modest, but they are not AWFUL either, they are a part of my history and my families history, and show now how far we have came and what we have learned out of it, just like the bikini comment.
        It just saddens me to see the trolls that bother you so much and try so hard to dig up ‘stuff’ on you to call you out on. It bothers me but then I read your response and think ‘wow she has so much grace and patience’.
        This is my absolutely most favorite blog to read, and I think you are doing so good with your family, your writings are a blessing, I enjoy the images you share, and I don’t think anyone can imagine what thoughts other people will have to say negatively about an image they are going to post. Heck, you could post anything and if someone can find one ‘issue’ to take up with you about it, seems like they will lol. I just wish they would read more of the important values and what you are actually WRITING and trying to convey that the Lord gives you to write, than be worried about what personal images you share and why. Just my thoughts 🙂 Be blessed! Oh I have a new blog too!!! well same blog, new design, check it out if you have time! http://www.livingeveland.com!
        And please, keep sharing your family memories, nope not everyone is going to love every photo, and Im sure the trolls will always be here, but keep going because your blog is a ministry to so many

  8. Hello all, as I read the above posts, I am so curious…why are we constantly focusing on what girls/women are wearing or what they choose to wear? Why are we not focusing on teaching boys/young men not to see women as objects, but as people who are free to behave and live as they like? Why are we shaming young women into being ashamed of their bodies and calling it “modesty?” Why are we restricting young women and not young men? Why are young men free of restriction and shame? Can we ask ourselves THAT question???? Women are autonomous human beings who should not be judged or condemned for their wardrobe or appearance…Ladies, teach your boys some manners and respect. Why are we policing women? Let your boys be their own moral compass instead of allowing the idea that they are incapable of decision making capacity or moral actions.

I adore hearing from you, comment away! :)

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