7 Secrets To Purity For Every Teen Girl

I said goodbye to my virginity when I was fifteen.

How old were you? If you had it to do over again, would you wait? I would. I knew none of the physical consequences of choosing to have sex early, but I was depressed. I felt like I’d given something precious away and could never have it back. That’s why I’ve devoted my life to spreading the idea that sex is worthy of something more than a casual hookup. Is that a message you want to share with your daughter? Little sister? A friend you’re trying to mentor? Read on, because the news today is better…and worse…than when you were a teenager and I have seven secrets that will reduce the risk in the teen girl you love.

7 Secrets

Recent news in the sex culture tells me that a lot of people feel waiting is worthwhile. They are more virgins than ever in college, which means fewer teenagers are having sex. But among college students who aren’t abstaining…well, they’re having a lot of sex. And I do mean a LOT! By the time they leave college men will have an average of 9.7 sexual partners and women will have 7.1. A teen girl needs a decided strategy to reduce the risk. Here are seven secrets to sexual purity that she needs to know.

1.) Purity is a process.

So many of us mess up. If not by acting out, by the thoughts that we think. And my experience tells me that if a girl doesn’t get healing from her sins and victory in her temptations, she’ll give in all the more. She’ll reach out for the help she needs if she knows she’s not alone and that her battle has not ruined her. Tell her that she wasn’t born pure and she’s not alone in this process. Psalm 51:5 says, “Surely I was sinful from birth, sinful from the moment my mother conceived me.” While we may have been born innocent, we were not born pure. Purity is the process of facing down the temptations, healing from the sin, and making right choices. It’s where we’re headed. Not where we’ve begun.

2.) Purity dreams of its future. 

Getting caught on the boy-crazy train in middle school will trap a girl into a life of neediness. And being in a dating relationship in high school that’s six months or longer increases sexual temptation, according to the Medical Institute for Sexual Health. Reduce the risk—not by telling her “no” to boys, but by helping her begin to dream of ONE! Help her dream of her future. Write a list of qualities she’s looking for in a husband. Help her start a Pinterest page full of wedding ideas. After all, abstinence is not about not having sex; it’s about waiting to have it right!

3.) Purity is governed by its value.

A girl who is confident in her value as a daughter of Christ will not have need to find it in a boy or giving herself to one in the backseat of a car. But with eating disorders, body image issues, and Photoshopped beauty lies on the rise, a teen girl needs a lot of reminding that her beauty is found inside her heart and not in the mirror. Take time to celebrate her creation story in Psalm 139 where the Bible records that God knit her together. She is a masterpiece created by God. Understanding that will govern her behavior.

4.) Purity speaks boldly.

Many teen girls lack what social science calls “refusal skills,” that is the ability to say ‘no’ when temptation arises. The book of James says that the tongue is a powerful tool, compared to the rudder of a ship which has the ability to move a great vessel. Teach her to use her tongue to direct her life towards purity by practicing refusal skills. Simply take time to write a list of top ten comeback lines. For example, if he says “Let’s go somewhere to be alone.” Her comeback line could be, “You DO know that my daddy dusts me for fingerprints, right?” Have fun with it and giggle. While she may or may not use these exact statements, writing this list is a powerful internal marking point that gives her permission to say ‘no’ and confidence to do so.

5.) Purity loves its Creator at any cost.

While it’s great to dream about the future, it should never be in expectation that God has to or will provide a husband. A girl’s value does not lie in a guy when she’s fourteen or forty. Marriage is not the ultimate goal of her life. Being in a love relationship with Christ should be. Ephesians 5:31,32 teaches us that marriage is a picture of the love that Christ has for his bride, the Church. No one paints a picture well unless they have seen and studied the original. Help your daughter to understand the beauty of a true love relationship with Jesus and help her to be willing to protect that love at any cost. This will shield her from counterfeit loves that are unable to help her paint a picture of the love of Christ.

6.) Purity embraces wise guidance

Parent-child connectedness is considered the greatest risk reducer of teen sexual activity. Add  a connected mom and dad to the power of God’s Spirit in them and you have a wonderful recipe for discipleship. Of course, this means you have to talk about sex, and temptation, and sin, and pleasure, and the beauty of the marriage bed. You can do it, mom. And she needs you to talk about it.

7.) Purity watches burning flames

In one community where the middle school sexual activity rate was nearly 30%, the school system created a mentoring program pairing middle school students with high school and college students who were both sexually abstinent and sober. In just a few years, the sexual activity rate was reduced to 1%. The power of older and wiser friendships is tremendous. The Bible teaches that he who walks with the wise grows wise. Help your daughter select and connect to a mentor.


The backbone of these seven secrets are God’s word, but I have given them muscle by depending on social science’s agreement with God’s word as I developed the list. They have helped nearly 300,000 young women walk in purity as they learned them and applied them while reading my first book, And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity. An 8 session video curriculum and leader’s guide is available to use the book as an 8 week Bible study or a weekend retreat.



Sources not linked to in this article:

Donna Freitas published in a book entitled Sex & The Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America’s College Campuses (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008)

Sharon Jayson, “More college ‘hookups.’ But more virgins, too.”, USA Today, 3/30/2011. http://yourlife.usatoday.com/sex-relationships/dating/story/2011/03/More-hookups-on-campuses-but-more-virgins-too/45556388/1?csp=hf


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  • This is a great article and I have shared it on Facebook and with my daughter. The only fault is that it needed to be proof read carefully before it was released. It’s full of errors, which takes away from the content unfortunately.

    • My apologies! I’m a little short staffed right now and my social media girl is missing! It’s just me working on the blog and I’m not a great editor. Thanks for pointing out the errors. I’ve taken a stab at fixing them.

  • I am a 29-year-old virgin, so I completely understand and respect the attempt to help young ladies abstain from sexual immorality. But I do take issue with one misleading concept in the above article. Nowhere in the Word is sex before marriage listed as a sin. Actually, Paul specifically states that it is not a sin (I Co 7:36). Sin is the transgression of the law (I Jn 3:4). No law expressly forbids sex out of wedlock. Please don’t misunderstand, I am not condoning the behavior, but labeling this behavior as a sin brings unnecessary condemnation on young men and women alike, making it even more difficult for them to receive healing for past mistakes. If we are going to teach our youth about purity, we must first teach them about the purity of God and His word. Misrepresenting what God has written in his word is a perversion in itself. What young men and women need most is the freedom God’s truth brings, not legalism from religious and cultural constraints.

    • Hello Concerned. Let’s start from the beginning because your efforts are valiant but you seem to have been given some bad interpretations of words like sin. We’ll begin with that.

      The Hebrew word for sin in the Old Testament is “to miss the mark.” It was a Hebrew marksmans term. So picture a person with a bow and arrow and a target. What do they want to hit? The bullseye. Sin is missing that dead center. In other words, God created a best plan for all things and missing that dead center mark of his best thing is sin. This is the definition of sin in the scripture. While Paul and others state that the law is good and helpful, it’s not the ultimate guide to sin or not sinning.

      With that determined, look back at Genesis and you find a clear definition of God’s plan for sex and it is within marriage between one man and one woman. Anything else is “missing the mark” of his intended purpose and best.

      You seem to be misreading I Corinthians 7:36 as well. What Paul is saying is that having sexual desire is not a sin. And if your desire is so great that you risk sin, get married!

      The overall message of the Bible points to a plan that sex is a gift to be treasured within the confines of marriage.

    • The Bible does talk about fornication being a sin. Which is sex outside of marriage.
      From Dictionary.com
      1. voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other.

      • Quite the contrary, Anonymous. The Bible speaks over and over and over again about fornication—sexual intercourse outside of the covenant of life-time commitment—being a sin. First let’s look at the fact that the Bible defines the purpose of sex beginning in Genesis. It is to be enjoyed in a faithful life-time monogamous relationship between one man and one woman. We see this pattern and instruction all through the Scriptures. This would be the acceptable standard for sex. Second, the bible defines “sexual immorality” or not conforming to the standard as sin. Here are a few verses for you to consider. I Corinthians 6:18,19; John 8:41,42; Hebrews 13:4; I Corinthians 7:2; Galatians 5:19,20. I could go on. I find about fifty verses that concem sex outside of marriage as sin. Beyond this, let me share where you touch on something interesting and that is the fact that our modern day marriage pattern is very different from that of the Old Testament and New Testament. Check this out: http://purefreedom.org/hello-world/

    • Dear Concerned.

      I’m concerned about YOU.

      I think you REALLY need to read the ENTIRE Bible. Old and New Testament.

      The wedding bed is PURE.

      SEX is a gift only for a married couple – One man and One women.

  • I wish I had a verginity to give, mine was taken earily, but if I did I would have liked to have stayed Pure for my husband. Young Teens have no Idea what true Purity; staying White to Wear White! For the real reason, not “Just Because I am The Bride”. Hooking up will mess you up, mentally if not by getting pregnet before your body/mind are ready for it! Abortions are against GOD AND EVRYTHING-HE-GOD tells us it is Murder!!

  • I clicked, expecting a bunch of “don’t do this”… and then I read it, and…. Thank you. From a teen girl’s perspective, we are frankly sick of being told that our generation is a bunch of filthy, irresponsible nitwits. We want to know what we are supposed to DO. Thank you for giving a practical, honest, useful, hopeful look at what purity is and can be.

    One of those crazy girls who waits

  • I just found your blog and have really enjoyed several of the articles already. This may be a silly question, but how do I subscribe? I can’t find a subscribe button anywhere. 🙁

  • I wish i had waited. Bc now i have gone thru so much emotional stuff and feeling like regret that i gave something to someone who cannot love me the way Christ does. Nor do they want to. So im feeling a great loss. I waited til older but i wasnt walking in knowledge so i thought it was the right thing but clearly it wasnt. So now single i may never marry, i feel like i want to warn others what NOT to do.

    • Hello Anonymous. We’d sure love to send you a book that could help you move along in your healing process. There’s so much hope and healing for you. I have known it myself. Could you call our office or email us at eileen@purefreedom.org and request a complementary copy of The Secret of the Lord. We would love to gift it to you.

  • Hi, am a 24 years lady who is much interested in drawing young ladies to keeping themselves altogether till marriage. Like your group and would like to be part. How do i join?

  • Unfortunately, I don’t believe you will accomplish your goals by using the word “purity.” Teens hate those saccharine-y kind of words. I read the cover to my 14 year old daughter and she rolled her eyes. I asked her why she did that and she said “the word ‘purity’ is so old fashioned and kind of prim and sanctimonious.” Who knew she even knew sanctimonious! She says she plans not to have sex but she wouldn’t read the book since the title makes her feel like it would be just another religious book written by someone who doesn’t understand the teen girl in the year 2014. She felt it would suit homeschoolers who were sheltered from the world, instead of the kids who are actually out in the world. Just her opinion but I’m pretty sure it would be an opinion shared by her friends.

    • Hello Anonymous! She might be a better fit for “What Are You Waiting For: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex.” It’s a bit more hard-hitting for the girls who are concerned that the word is “sanctimonious.”

  • As a dad, I also am teaching my daughter that there is nothing wrong with group outings to get to know boys and what you like/ dislike. Most importantly for dating teen girls, set a rule that you are the last one picked up, and the first one dropped off for group outings.

  • And then there are those who do have sex at 16, with no regrets and being safe. Trust me I’m not a unicorn here. We should be teaching girls to have safe sex. Using birth control is one of the biggest problems right now and let’s all be honest here, sex is great. It should be a fun, safe experience not backed by the thoughts that her mother gave her about how god will be disappointed. I’m sorry but this is insane. Girls should be safe while having sex, and that’s pretty much the only aspect of it outsiders should care about. It’s up to both the girl and the guy to make the right choice- as long as it’s safe.

    • Hello Lauren. Sex is great! And I teach teenagers and college students that there is only one way to ensure that they’ll have the most mind-blowing sex possible. WAIT! Sadly, most education on sexuality in the high school and college level does not look at all the data on the impact of sex outside of life time commitment. Those who do not wait to have sex are short-changing themselves. Not only does a condom (arguably faulty and of not protection whatsoever for some STIs) not completely protect the body, it does nothing to protect the heart. My desire is to be a faith-based sex educator that uses all the data to encourage self-control because the evidence suggests that it pays off.

      One Penn State study of students who experienced their first sexual encounter in college found that men felt better about themselves after having sex for the first time, while women tended to report a decline in body image after sex. This alarmed me. It is counterintuitive to the purpose of the nuerochemicals. These should increase a woman’s sense of peace about who she as well as bonding her to her partner. However, ground breaking research at the University of California found that woman who aren’t in the context of long-term relationship commitment didn’t produce oxytocin in the same magnificent way that those in life-time mutually monogamous relationships do. Maybe the ancient Hebrew culture was on to something when it used the word “Yada” to describe the act of sex. The word means “to know, to be known, to be deeply respected.” Not one inkling of the physical act taking place, it transcended the physical and spoke of the emotional knowing that truly great sex provides. A Psychology Today study found that most people enjoy the act of sex more when it was prefaced by love. I believe that truly great sex requires great love.
      As for sex being fun—A University of Illinois study found that those having both the hottest and most frequent sex were not college co-eds with a variety of sexual partners but middle-aged people in mutually life-time monogamous partnerships. What do I mean by hot? The women were more orgasmic. And…the men benefitted from monogamy and age, too! An Indiana University study found that having more partners in their lifetime was a predictor for men of less sexual satisfaction. You’ve really got to look at all the data when you’re deciding how to educate young minds.

  • I think your article is interesting and you make several good points…however, I do take issue with one of your assertions.

    “abstinence is not about not having sex; it’s about waiting to have it right!”

    Yes, in theory, but the fallacy of this statement is the idea that everyone gets married. Paul even says that it’s good to stay unmarried! I know you mean well, but I think it’s dangerous to tell our young girls they will all find their knight in shining armor. As a 24 year old female who graduated from a small Christian “marriage factory” college, I saw the absolute panic in some girls’ eyes as they were headed to graduation without a husband in the works. These women made it their goal in life to be virgins until they were married to the perfect man in the perfect wedding so they could have perfect sex.

    We should be teaching our girls to find worth in themselves and hope and stability in God – not in the possibility of a flawless sex life.

    • Yes, ma’am, Lydia. I’d add that even those who do end up finding a man, don’t necessarily find a ”knight in shining armour”. No man is perfect, no marriage is perfect. Women who choose to live purely should not do it, primarily to find a husband or to have a ”perfect” marriage, but to honour God. That is what will last.

  • I lost my virginity at 17, I wished I would have lost it younger! I thing sex is an enjoyable activity that is natural. I’m 25 and I’ve had 33 sexual partners, and have regretted one. I’m only 25, and I hope to have a lot more sex with others. Every sexual experience is a learning experience. I like the variety that people bring in the bed. I feel confident and beautiful and enjoy my sexuality.

  • Regardless of my opinion on premarital sex… I think it’s important that we STOP using the word “pure” to describe a virgin and this is why.. For one, some (NOT ALL) women who have been raised on this mentality feel impure/dirty after having sex on their wedding night simply because they feel that they have some how sinned, causing their “purity” to be stripped (and yes this does happen). Secondly, not all who wait are pure and in all honesty, none of us are pure (virgin or not) because of impure thoughts. Also, you’d be surprised as to how many “pure Christian teens” have found what they believe to be loopholes when it comes to God’s laws that they then use to justify sexual activity. Just because you aren’t a virgin it doesn’t mean that you are a bad person, that you’re going to hell, or anything else you may have been lead to believe. God sees all sins as equal and last time I checked we were ALL sinners, which means that any punishment you deem fit to give to an individual who has decided to have sex.. You have to give yourself. VIRGINITY DOES NOT EQUAL PURITY!!! There… my rant is over

  • Hello Dannah,
    I have a question…
    It is kinda personal but I think you can help if I was molested but not quit raped am I still pure or did it take that away from me?

    Someone is is scared!

    • Hello sweet friend. I’m so sorry you have endured this. First of all (and I do have answers for your question but) have you told someone? Have you blown the whistle on this selfish jerk? That’s step number one when someone disrespects you like this. Tell someone to get yourself the help you need and to keep this person from harming you or another person again. So, please report it. Start with someone you know and trust who is a butt kicker. You need someone like that right now.

      Let me answer your question: Purity does not equal virginity. So, let’s get our definition correct. Purity is a constant state and direction of pursuing right choices in all areas of your life, including sexuality. If someone else is impure in such a violent, selfish way…it does not change the precious way in which God (or I) view you. It does not change the state of your direction. No person outside of you can do that. You are precious and valuable.

      But the fact that you ask the question is probably evidence that your heart is not ok. What I think you really want to know is this: was it my fault? Let me tell you that it was not your fault if someone assualted, molested, raped, or attacked you. It’s not your fault.

      No, go find someone you can talk to. Don’t waste anytime. There is tremendous healing.

      I recommend you also read these two books by Nicole Braddock Bromley: http://www.moodypublishers.com/pub_authorDetail.aspx?id=41798&aid=170

  • Yeah I have told someone but they dont believe me…. And no I have not… Every person i have told either dont believe me or cant help me as they say….I have tried to report it but no one is listening to me. I thought i had someone but i guess i don’t..
    So you still me as a valuable person..and so does God? Cause I don’t feel like it! And i defiantly feel very precious or valuable and feel worth less than dirt….
    Yeah i have not felt ok for awhile. I feel like it was my fault cause through it all that is all i ever heard was that it was and this is what i deserved it… I don’t know who to go to…

    I will defiantly check out those books though they sound great.


  • Dannah, The only thing is that I am scared! How do i talk to her? Do I talk to her like I talked you or what? Is she good with situations like this?

    Thank you very much for your help!

    Love, Megan

  • Ok!!!:) I guess I will give her a chance!! Ok thank you!! I will keep you updated on everything! Thank you for caring!! Is this how to contact you? Thank you very much for caring!!

    Thanks, Megan

    • Yep, let me know right here if you need anything. I don’t check comments every day but I do regularly. You can also follow me on facebook and twitter.

  • Ok!! Thank you so very much!! I just feel so lost right now!! I am trying to make it through and I am glad I found someone like you to help me!! Thank you oh so very much for caring and listening!


    • Other than being on her facebook page or emailing her, I don’t know of another way to contact her sweet one. Ha e you tried those and they aren’t working?

  • I keep reading posts like this about purity and there is so much emphasis on making sure we don’t “do it” before marriage and there is almost nothing addressing “lesser” pitfalls that can happen. I am 19, in a dating relationship. My boyfriend and I grew up in conservative churches and we both know that we will never have sex before marriage. We started out calm. Just hand holding and the occasional hug, but touching got a lot more serious very quickly; leaving me feeling regretful each time but at the same time wishing for more. I would get caught up in the moment, love it for a few minutes, and then when I sat by myself and reflected upon what happened, I would feel remorseful. Clothes were always kept on, but a lot can happen regardless. I guess I just wish I had been cautioned and instructed on handling those situations. I don’t think I need the countless sermons on making sure I stay a virgin because that was something I had committed to and nothing could change that. What I wish is that I was taught on how to stay innocent and keep my passions under control so that I wouldn’t let the petting and such get too far. I definitely never thought I would get that far physically with him but I guess it’s all a downward slope. I hope that makes sense

    • I guess what i’m “wondering” about is: could you talk more about this? I know it’s really important to talk about preserving virginity but people don’t just say “I think I’ll have sex today and lose my virginity.” Plus soooo much can happen – even with clothes on – between two people who are committed to staying virgins till marriage. Rationalization is a dreadful tool that can justify all sorts of things.

    • Makes perfect sense. How far is too far? What’s ok before marriage? How does your heart purity play in to things? What about purity of the mind? I’ve written an entire book on it called “What Are You Waiting For: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex.” It answers all those questions. Committing to virginity is not the same as committing to purity. They are not the same thing. I know virgins who are not pure. I know non virgins who are very pure. Purity is not the same a virginity. It is a process and a pursuit. The direction of righteousness.

  • Thank you so much for this article. I have really fell into this sin. I went to treatment for my eating disorder, but I wanted to find my purpose in other places than God. I am with my boyfriend, and sex has become an everyday event, and I feel disgusted with myself. I am addicted to it, but I am so resentful of it. He is also a Christian, and I have no idea what to do. But as I cry my eyes out at 3 am, this article sincerely spoke into the depths of my soul.

    • I’m glad I could be there for you at 3am, Emily. God loves you so much. He doesn’t feel nearly as bad about all of this as you do. And that’s kind of the point. He doesn’t want you to hurt. He created you to be treasured and protected and monogamous. His desire is for you to be whole and for sex to be wholesome. I pray you’ll tell someone about your struggle. Tell a flesh and blood woman in your church or community what’s happening and how you need some advice. I pray you find great truth and hope and healing.

      • Hi, thank you so much for this
        Ive decided to answer to what God has called me you for after a long time and sexual purity has played a major role on my decision. It was hard cause I was also involved with a Christian guy who doesn’t seem to understand and he keeps giving me scriptures to justify what we were doing. Therefore I m by dating at the moment and have made the holy spirit my friend. God has given me a new strength for each day. It also helps to know you’re not alone and help us available. God bless you.

  • I am looking for the source on the statistic of the middle school mentoring causing a change in the number of students abstaining. Thanks for all you do!

  • I am soooo glad I stumbled on this article, I was preparing my Sunday teaching for my teenagers in church and thought to do a little online reading and found this, I am elated I found this, it gave me a lift and inspired me.
    I’m glad I went further to read the comments,I found some hard truths there.
    Thanks for allowing yourself be a voice in this generation.
    GOD Bless you

  • Hey Dannah.. I have been inspired tremendously by your article. I’ve had this leading to do a campaign tagged “purity is possible” educating the teenagers around me on how to hold on to sexual purity and integrity. I decided to do little research on net, then I stumbled on your article. I believe you know more and can help me achieve this dream.I will really love to have a close in chat with you to enable the campaign pull through. Purity is indeed possible. We won’t stop until purity becomes a way of life.

    • Hello Nuella. My schedule is rather frantic right now, but I do hold periodic training times where I teach women like you about sexual theology and sexual healing. Keep an eye out for one of them. My next one is in Dominican Republic in November.

  • Hi, i appreciate the information, i was checking out information for a mentorship program for young girls in our church and i believe this article will go a long way in helping the young girls. Keep wring and God bless you.

    Anne Mwende David
    Nairobi, Kenya

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