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And yet at its core, purity culture presumes that giving and receiving love breaks you instead of builds you.
She showed me a handout from her pastor on making a happy home. Nearly 20 years after publication, Harris has recently begun distancing himself from the book.
[Christians and Donald Trump: It’s okay to be angry.
What matters is what you do with that anger.] I remember being promised at a youth rally that I would find freedom through the confining structures of purity, which were for my protection. Instead, I’ve only uncovered message after message that encourages me to police my body at the expense of what is truly in my heart and mind.
Now, almost 20 years later, even Harris appears to be questioning whether his advice did more harm than good.
Harris probably could not foresee how strongly his book would take root in evangelical culture.
a book that was in part a warning about the harm that relationships before marriage could cause.
Harris evoked images of men at the altar bringing all their past partners with them into the marriage to reinforce the point that love and sex before marriage took pieces of your heart and made you less.
Purity culture also taught me that more than my mind and my talents, my body was my greatest gift.
The insidious message of purity culture still clings fast in my marriage, and I often put it at the root of some of my deepest anxieties and fears.
He was what we, as young evangelicals, wanted to be.
And so we strove passionately to attain the ideal of premarital purity he laid out for us.
[TV’s ‘Jane the Virgin': Not all leading ladies are sexually adventurous] Many of my friends at the time refused to even kiss before their wedding day, citing Harris’s books.