If I had to guess, I'd say right about now you're probably thinking this title is kind of weird and confusing, because purity and virginity are pretty much the same thing. I thought roughly the same thing about a month ago when I read this post by Auston Jones about how virginity isn't the point of being pure.
It got me thinking about how I can in the technical sense of the word call myself a virgin, but I can't call myself pure. And really I'm not sure anyone can claim that label. We all have either in thought, word, or deed done things that are not pure, but are very much the opposite in reality.
We have no problem dropping the L-bomb ("I love you") to whomever we have a crush on, or telling a significant other that we can't wait to grow old with them. What? No! That's not pure. It's easy to quantify physical impurity, but emotional impurity is what, more often than not, gets us in the jam of being physically impure in the first place.
The Bible constantly gives warning to "guard your heart," claiming its the wellspring of life. The Bible is also super clear about abstaining from physical impurity (e.g. Ephesians 5). While we definitely defy those commands about physical purity, its way easier to ignore the wisdom regarding protecting our hearts.
We justify intimate behaviors like Bible studies and prayer (more on this topic soon) with empty excuses of "just being friends." Christians fall prey to this behavior of false and sinful intimacy exponentially more often than non-Christians.
I've heard that Christians who date should treat their boyfriend/girlfriend as if they are someone else's husband/wife. Okay, let's be real - that's kinda crazy. I tried to heed this warning when I dated other guys and it just flat out flopped. Why? Because we're built for intimacy, both physically and emotionally. When you're dating someone, you're thinking you're the person they're going to marry, not some other woman or man. So, instead of treating your boyfriend/girlfriend like they're someone else's spouse, filter your behavior through the lens of Scripture. Women, are you behaving in such a way that will make the heart of your husband trust you and benefit from you when you're married? Are you, right now regardless of who you're dating, doing your husband good all the days of your life (aka before you've even met "the one")?
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
-Proverbs 31:11-12 (emphasis added)
When you're approaching marriage, it's no fun to have to ask your future spouse forgiveness for your past sins that were against God first and them secondly. This applies to emotional intimacy just as much as it does physical intimacy. Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.