THOUGHTS ON ELISABETH ELLIOT’S “PASSION PURITY: Learning to bring your love life under Christ’s control”.

THOUGHTS ON ELISABETH ELLIOT’S “PASSION PURITY: Learning to bring your love life under Christ’s control”.
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I want to have sex with him. I do. I like to believe I’m not a carnal Christian. I am spirit- and water-baptized, Bible-believing and tongue-blasting, but the reality of my present situation is just as I have stated. I want to have sex with him, and for all the right reasons (or so I think).

We have a great connection going. Our highs and lows, joys and blows, have over the years, served to deepen this bond that exists between us. We are friends – best friends – and we know we love each other. We both love the Lord. I know he’ll make a great husband and dad, and all of this somehow has a way of making a girl desire a guy in more ways than one.

Another perfectly reasonable explanation, however, is the fact that after two decades of life, I have enough of those troublesome chemicals running around on my insides. You know perfectly well what I’m referring to. The chemicals that make me notice those biceps and fantasise having them wrap around me in a not-so-platonic embrace. The ones that give me thoughts on certain nights that I can’t help but realise how extremely cold and lonely a single bed can be. Yhup, those ones that make me feel funny at certain times of the month – the kind of funny that not even prayer and fasting can bring deliverance from!

My quest to not give in to these little nuisances – (nuisances now, blessings when I have that band on; *wink*) – has led me to read several books that cover love, dating and everything in between. I’ve read books by Joshua Harris, Michelle Mckinney Hammond, and a few other authors, known and unknown. I’ve read a lot of articles as well. Quite a number of these modern-day writers referred to one book in their work, and I set out to find and devour it. Devour it I did! It was so relatable, I could barely put the book down. As my good friend, Enaam, puts it, ‘After reading Passion and Purity, no other book on love, dating or sex quite does it.’

A little short of 200 pages, ‘Passion and Purity’ tells the story of two young Christians whose commitment to, and love for God, overrode their love and desire for each other. They had to wait on God for a go-ahead for five long years. Within these pages lies not only an account of the uncertainties, sacrifices, struggles, temptations, longings and falls along their journey, but also themes of discipline, forgiveness and above all, trusting God’s love and perfect will.

Throughout this book, Elisabeth Elliot combines excerpts from a journal she kept, and letters she and her husband, Jim Elliot, wrote to each other during the five long years of waiting, as well as memories of their courtship and marriage, to teach profound biblical truths.

The book is replete with stories, prayers and thoughts that revealed her confusion, doubts, pangs of desire, and her experiences of “God’s peace guarding her heart and mind”.

What I liked most about Passion and Purity was her candor. She was honest about her struggles and her desires. Jim was even more plain about his yearnings (Check out my favourite chapter: Four Bare Legs). Yet beyond this, God’s desires stood supreme for both. That’s precisely what I want my love life to look like. It’s okay to have all these natural feelings and desires, but as Elisabeth and Jim demonstrate, God’s grace is available. We do not have to give in. Even so, when we do give in, love forgives, just like Elisabeth forgave Jim for his escapades. “Let not our longings slay the appetite of

our living”. This quote by Jim Elliot reminds me that I’m not a slave to my passions. What is required of me is to lay it all at my Father’s feet and simply live one day at a time, ready to obey. At my disposal lies enough grace to maintain the purity of today’s friendship as I let tomorrow’s passion think about itself.

Akoma Essuman
Akoma Essuman

“Akoma” means “heart”, or leaning more figuratively, passion, or courage. You are definitely bound to catch an element these vibes in her pieces. When she’s not writing, she’s probably reading, or saving the world.