And the Bride Wore White

Deciding to Live a Lifestyle of Purity


by DANNAH GRESH


Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world . . .
Titus 2:12

     The day I met the man who would be my husband, he had just returned from Florida where he and the rest of the varsity tennis team had spent spring break, practicing endlessly. His white teeth contrasted sharply with the deep tan and his dark hair. His nose was peeling just a bit as he began to flirt with me. That profile of his cheery countenance is etched in my mind forever.

Wedding Day

On my wedding day and at my request, his tan was there to contrast with the clean white shirt and bow tie we had chosen for him to wear under his long, black tails. He was the man of my dreams, and this day was a fairy tale come true. And me? I wore a white hand-beaded dress with a nine-foot train and a sequined tiara veil. I marched across fresh rose petals as violinists, stretched along both sides of the sanctuary, played the wedding march. Together, we faced our guests so that they could see the joy on our faces as we exchanged vows. The kiss was sweet and simple ending with a knowing glance. There would be more time for tenderness that night.

At the reception, guests munched on hors d’oeuvres as an orchestra played in the background, pausing only for the announcement, “Ladies and Gentlemen, our bride and groom have arrived. I present for the first time in public Mr. and Mrs...” I was a Mrs! Applause filled the room as the strains from the orchestra ushered us to our head table. I waltzed beautifully with my father who returned a bow to my groom a few minutes into the waltz. We succeeded in royally ruining the graceful presence my father had established, but it didn’t matter. We were the prince and princess of the ball, and anything we did would charm the guests.

Wedding Night

Hours later, the princess found herself tightly locked in the bathroom of a honeymoon suite trying to decide how to make her grand entrance. (If I had it to do over again, I would claim the room for myself and lock him in the bathroom to decide when and how to enter!) Was it too soon for the lacy negligee? Were the full length satin pj’s too modest for tonight? Should I put my hair up? Will it seem too vain to freshen my make-up? We had not discussed lights...would they be on or off when I came out? In the end, I opted for the modesty and the vanity. (And hoped the lights would be low!)

Forever Blessed

     But when my eyes met my husband’s deep blue ones...full of compassion and true love...the nervousness was replaced with a knowing. We had waited. We had made it through the maze of temptation and now a warm and comforting Presence was with us assuring us that this covenant into which we were about to enter would be blessed.

       And the blessing was more than we had hoped for.

The Decision to Wait

      How did we make it? God knows that I was not perfect. How did I wait for the wonderful gift of being one with a man I so tenderly loved? Well, it’s a wonderful, romantic story that includes moments of critical decisions…some I am proud of and some I wish I had made differently. I am going to share it all with you. It includes seven special secrets that gave me the strength to make it through a lot of temptation.

Saying no to worldly lusts

It all started with the truth of Titus 2:12-13. Those verses say that God’s grace does not automatically keep us from worldly passions. In all of your love for God, you could be blind-sided by worldly passions. When I realized how difficult the path of purity can be, I stood before God and I said, “OK, teach me to say no. I know these worldly passions exist, but I know the only way I will be able to say NO is if you teach me!” And from that moment on, God worked in me and gave me a resolve that I did not even know that I had within me and the path…and the waiting… was much easier. The difference was that now I had placed myself in God’s presence to be taught how to say no. God’s grace taught me to say no to worldly passions.

If you didn't go to class, your teacher could not fill you with all of the knowledge that he or she had to share. The God of the universe can't teach you either, unless you place yourself in His presence. I have been praying for you. I want so desperately for you to stand before God and to request for Him to teach you to say no to worldly passions so that you can live a self-controlled, godly, upright life.

You cannot attain purity all on your own.

I cannot unveil to you some formula of protection.

Your parents cannot share with you something that will keep you innocent.

Only God can do that!

Won’t you stop right now and ask Him to teach you as you read this book to say no to worldly passions?

Write a journal to God

Now, here is the most important part of this book. You need a journal or notebook to really make this book change your life. You see, it’s not what I write that is important and can protect your purity. It is what you write that will knock Satan between the eyes.

     Get out your journal and write a letter to God. Explain to Him where you are in your struggle to stand pure before Him. It could be any area of your life—sexuality, substance abuse, language, anger—anything that is causing heartache in your life. Give each part of your history over to Him. Tell Him you are sorry if you have failed. Pray that He will keep you shielded from worldly passions. And specifically request Him to be your teacher while you are reading this book.

      Go ahead. Write!

-- Bob and Dannah have been married for ten years. This excerpt is chapter one of her book. Dannah's website is www.purefreedom.org

Copyright 1999 Dannah Gresh. All rights reserved.