Pure Summer Days

Welcome to my column…

Wow, relationships!!! They sure can be pretty crazy sometimes! I hope to use this column to talk about a lot of different topics that deal with relationships, such as being content alone, true love, and the pain of breaking up. We will also discuss happiness, safety, what God commands of us, and what He wants for us. I hope that by writing this column, I will help readers to realize what they deserve and how to obtain it. I hope you will learn to put God before everyone else and that we will all develop a better relationship with Him.

Now let’s begin!

The definition of relationship according to Webster’s Medical Dictionary is “an emotional attachment between individuals.” All of us are a part of many relationships—friendships, siblings, student-teacher, and child-parent. All of these associations may not exactly be tension free, but they are still relationships. Connections with others are a major part of our lives; as a matter of fact, they shape our lives and make us who we are. This makes them incredibly important, and becoming a part of any relationship should be considered carefully. Just as you have been told all your life to be watchful of who you choose to be friends with, you should also be very cautious about who you date.

Dating during the summer can be a tough situation, because there is always ample opportunity to “cross the line.” Usually if the relationship is relatively new it will not be as difficult to resist temptation, but if the two of you have been together for some time there may be more pressure. So in this issue I will explain why we should stay pure and suggest different tips to remain pure.

There are many earthly and biblical reasons why you should wait to have sex until you are married. Some earthly reasons to wait are diseases and pregnancy. Those are simple and obvious, but there are reasons that travel deeper, such as the effect it can have on your future marriage. When you are newly married, sex is a special gift for the two of you; it is a way to connect and should be shared with no one else other than your spouse. If you have had sex with someone before your marriage it can make things less significant and beautiful. But with all of that aside, the main reason to not have premarital sex is because it is a commandment of God. In I Thessalonians Paul writes, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified, that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God…” (4:3-5) There are many other Biblical examples of this command and many more earthly results of this particular sin, so to help you remain pure I have listed five useful tips below.

1) Whenever a dating relationship becomes truly steady, purity and the value of purity should be discussed. Whether or not the boy is a member of the church, it should be talked about and standards should be agreed upon. Once this has been determined, and both have vowed to remain pure, there are always extra tips that should be considered to keep from falling short.

2) Never be in a place where the two of you can be alone for a long period time, such as a house without others there. Do not go to his house if you know already that no parents or siblings are home, and don’t invite him over if it is the same at your house. If you have plenty of time without fear of interruption you might become carried away with kissing and/or touching. And there is nothing comparable to the shame and guilt of disappointing yourself and God. Always keep yourself in check, and your boyfriend also.

3) Have plans for any time you will be spending together. For this tip, I will use my own relationship as an example. Whenever I go out to my boyfriend’s farm, we always have a basic outline for the day. Nothing ridiculous—just something simple to go by. One day’s plan may go something like this: we can ride the dirt bike, play football/baseball in the front yard, go on a walk down the driveway, and watch a movie with his family. Now this does not mean we can’t stray from the plan by playing basketball or swinging in the hammock, but it does mean that we won’t come to a point with spare time. It is kind of like saying that idle hands can lead to mistakes. Just be aware of what you are doing so that no slips occur.

4) Simply limit physical contact. This means that you don’t have to be touchy-feely all the time to show how you feel about each other. I know that when I started dating my boyfriend two years ago, I felt like I had to hold his hand or be close to him at all times, but now I realize that I don’t have to be. Yes, we still hold hands and stay close to each other, but it’s not a constant thing anymore. I don’t have to hold his hand all the time for him to know how I feel about him. It will be easiest if you start your relationship with some boundaries. If you start being overly touchy at 14 and 15, chances are you will want something more by the time you are 17 and 18. Even though that may seem far away, long-term effects should be on your mind with every decision.

5) Remind yourself often why you choose not to do impure things. What I mean by this is to repeatedly renew your vows to yourself, God, and your boyfriend. Talk with each other about why it is important for both of you to remain in God’s favor. Explain why you want to save yourself for marriage and why that’s important to you. Renewing these vows will keep them fresh in your mind and, therefore, impossible to forget. If you and your boyfriend have already done things that you regret, but are now striving to become pure, talk with him often about how proud you are that the two of you made the decision to please God and how good that makes you feel.

Never forget that God is a forgiving God. As it is written in Acts 3:19, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…” One thing I have grown to understand is that God only wants His creation to be with Him in Heaven, and all that takes is your willingness to accept His son, repentance, baptism, and living steadfastly. This summer, make your main goal to grow pure in heart, pure in mind, and pure in body.

by Shelby Garrett


  1. Very well written and tastefully done! For such a young writer, you show a remarkable level of spiritual maturity. I pray that your work with this new magazine will continue to teach and encourage your readers and bring glory to God and His Dear Son!

  2. Well thank you so much! It was very kind of you to leave such a sweet remark!

    I would also like you to know that this is very special because it is my first comment! It means a great deal to me!

  3. Great writing and spiritual maturity. What at girl!!

  4. Tracy Garrett says

    As your mom, I couldn’t be more proud of you!! You are an inspiration to all that know you and you will reach so many other teen girls thru this site and give them the courage and strength they need to remain pure. I love you!

  5. Hey, Shelby… That is very good! I don’t think I have to worry about that type of thing yet (even though I know about it) I will keep it in mind…You are very inspiring and a great Christian woman!!!!!

    I love you sooo much!

  6. i thought it was a great column and it really makes me think i hope u continue to write. if you do you can count on me to continue reading your awsome columns.

  7. i loved the article it inspired me so much. Thank you!

  8. Jessica Chandler says

    Shelby I love you with all my heart, and so does God. You are a very PURE women. I look up to you very much and I know that your kindhearted words will help some younger girls…like Mariella for instints. She is very Beautiful and I know she looks up to you. I know she is gonna be a pure women too. Shelby Jean I love you so much.. <3

  9. Shelby, I have tremendous respect for you and take great comfort in your values. It is wonderful that you have the concern and motivation to inspire your peers in His will. Good job! I am proud of you and I’m sure the Lord is pleased!

  10. Great job Shelby, your love for God is very evident in this article, Im very proud of you, keep up the good work

  11. Bethany Hall says

    Shelby, this is awesome. It’s so cool that you get to write for this site! I love this site, I finaaaalllly checked it out. It’s very strengthening to know there are other christian girls out there with the same beliefs. Good job in your writing 🙂

  12. Shelby, you did such a great job with this article! I so enjoyed getting to know you last week and I know the Christian example you set for the girls will be something they remember for a long time.

  13. I loved what you said. I’m not old anough to date so I wont have to worry,but i’ll keep it in my mind!!!

  14. Tracy Garrett says

    As Shelby’s mother I can honestly say Shelby is one of the strongest christians I know! She is amazing in her faith and commitment to live faithfully to God’s commands. I know there are so many pressures for young people today that are so ‘accepted’ by the world and I pray for her and other teens. It takes great strength to be able to know how you live now will greatly affect your future. Shelby is a great incouragement to me and others that know her. I know God is working thru her life and is proud of her as I am.
    I love you baby doll,

  15. Shelby,

    I am so proud of you. You are such a strong person and you are constantly reminding me how important and rewarding it is to stay on the straight and narrow. This is a really cool site. Keep up the good work!


  16. great site!!! love how you really put your soul into the words that you say! EMMMeRs

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