Glad you found us! This site has one objective: to help you win the spiritual battle for purity, in every sense of the word. Society encourages us to throw away our virtue; the message sent out by the media is: "everyone's doing it!" We are here to prove that statement wrong! Come in, read some encouraging testimonies, chat with others who strive to remain pure, and reaffirm your belief that purity, sexual and otherwise, is not only possible, but totally worth it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The College 411- part 3

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First of all, I'm sorry that you haven't heard another college student's interview by now.  I fully intend to post an interview next Wednesday, so please accept my apology and bear with me.

Hopefully a few more words of my own will suffice for today :-)  The topic we're discussing today is one of the experiences just about everyone encounters during their college years:  the opportunity to determine who you truly are and what you truly believe. 

Up till now, you have likely been raised with a certain set of values, and your identity has been defined largely by your family, church and school.  Your parents believe certain things about God, life, politics, right and wrong, money, work ethic, etc.  As your parents, they did their best to raise you, and part of that process involved imparting their beliefs to you.  Some of you might not have been raised in a God-fearing home, but your parents, nonetheless, raised you according to their value system.  Your church also instilled values in you, if you attend church.  Your school taught you a few things, both formally and informally as well, and your fellow classmates likely taught you a thing or two about where you fit in the social "pecking order." 

When you go to college, much of these pillars of your identity and existence fade away.  The opinions of your peers definitely do, and this is usually a blessing!  As you begin attending school at a different location, on a higher level and among different people you will discover opinions of your new peers and professors to be vastly different from the safe, black-and-white beliefs you've always held.  This will lead you to the stage of life we all reach where you separate what you truly believe from what you've always been told.

Don't be afraid, this is a natural part of life, and can be a very good thing!  God doesn't want us to believe "because that's how Mom and Dad believe,"  He wants us to believe because we have studied and found something to be true.

In my own life, I was raised with a particular church background, and upon arriving on the college scene, I thought I had most aspects of doctrine figured out and nicely put in their place.  When I got to college, my faith was tested in many areas. 

I was quickly made aware that no one was checking up on me, and I alone determined whether or not I would live according to my principles.  That was a shock, but it made me stronger because it caused me to impose limitations on myself.  No longer could I get out of something by saying "My parents won't let me," instead I had to say "I don't do that," and stand on my own faith.  It also encouraged me to be cautious in choosing friends.  People might be accepting of me, but if their activities went against my values, I had to limit our acquaintance, or not associate with them at all. 

Then there was the area of my faith, itself.  I had very strong opinions in one particular area, based on my background, and I always assumed that the man I'd marry would either hold those opinions as well, or "change to my beliefs."  (Don't know if I actually said those things out loud, but they were in the back of my mind).  God, Himself, challenged my faith by bringing my future hubby into my life during my college years.  He was a man of God and had an intimate walk with Him, but Jason's convictions in one particular area differed greatly from mine!  This caused me great distress, because I believed God was leading us to marriage eventually, but we had what I perceived to be a major roadblock in the way.

Ironically, what I saw as a problem, God saw as a tremendous solution.  Because neither Jason nor I would "conform" to the other person's beliefs on this subject, we were forced to study God's word for ourselves.  We had to set aside what people always told us, read the Bible, and allow God to teach us the truth directly.  Eventually, we began determining our own, personal convictions, ones that might not line up exactly with the way our parents believed.  It brought us through the roadblock, strengthened our faith, and drew us closer to God.  When we married, our differences no longer were the massive impasse they were when we first met.  We also discovered the strength of each other's faith.  Neither of us, as much as we cared for each other, were willing to change our spiritual convictions simply to be received by the other; we loved God most, and that has been the backbone of our relationship ever since.

The challenges that come to your faith and value system will be different than mine.  They could come from a doubting professor who questions your belief.  It could come from one of the many groups you get involved in, or a goal you wish to meet that has unexpected consequences.  Regardless, the challenge will come.  Expect it, but don't be afraid.  God will never give you more than you can bear.  He will use the challenge to strengthen your faith, if you allow Him.  He will also give you an escape from any potentially harmful situation, and I mean harmful to you physically, emotionally or spiritually.  On the other side of the experience, if your faith has stood the test, you will be proud of who you have become! 

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