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For the past couple of years my father has been “flipping houses” and has become quite successful at it. Flipping houses is when you buy a foreclosed home, fix it up (rehab it) and either rent it or ideally, sell it for a profit.
He is currently rehabbing a foreclosed house, and when I went home for Thanksgiving, I had a chance to see his progress for the first time. I hadn’t seen the house in its original state, but when I pulled into the driveway and saw a lime green toilet, a fluorescent blue toilet and red shag carpeting laying on the curb…I could only imagine what 1970s nightmare was waiting inside.
I went inside, and my dad took me on a tour of this 4 bedroom, 3 and ½ bath home. He showed me the new carpet that had been installed the day before, the fresh coats of paint on all the walls and the new bathroom fixtures. He was in the process of laying down brand new hardwood floors and walked me through his plans for new kitchen countertops and appliances.
The next day, my dad and I went to visit my grandma and somehow ended up on the subject of my dad’s latest house. My dad began to tell us about a friend of his who also flips houses in a neighboring city. This man takes a totally different approach to real estate than my father does. He buys smaller homes at a cheaper price and doesn’t fix them at all. Yup, makes not one modification. He has a target demographic for tenants, so he markets these homes to them, and the houses are sold or rented quicker than you can blink an eye!
As he’s telling us this, my grandma is shaking her head. When my dad finishes she proceeds to tell him, “See, you put too much into your houses! You don’t have to do all that work, just look at your friend!”
I’ve talked to my dad enough about flipping homes to know that he operates by one simple rule: never sell anyone a house that you wouldn’t move your own family into.
Coach Josh [of the organization UNPLUGGED] began his message on sexual purity by talking about lifestyle changes. True purity is just that, a lifestyle. More than just saying you are pure, you are going to have to live pure.
Making the decision to be Pure Again is a lot like flipping a house.
When my father first purchases a house, he walks through it and sees it for what it truly is. Until he sells the home, he is the homeowner. He is ultimately responsible for it. He walks through the house with his notepad and takes measurements, checks to see what works and what needs to be replaced. He brings in professionals for their opinions and gets quotes on costs for jobs he can’t do. What amazes me about this is that my father has the ability to look at a house with red shag carpeting and lime green toilets and instead see beautiful hardwood floors and brand new appliances.
Take a “walk-through” of your own life, of your heart. When you make the decision to be Pure Again, it’s going to require a lot of you. You’re going to have to give up a lot of things that once made you comfortable. But one thing that I’ve learned is that stepping outside of your comfort zone is often exactly what we need to do in order for God to take us to our next level. Make a list of the current things in your life that won’t fit into a pure lifestyle. Is it music? The TV shows and movies you watch? Your friends? Your boyfriend or girlfriend?
Invite a trusted friend, or mentor who is familiar with purity to help you with your walk-through. Just like my father brings in professionals to help with jobs that are outside of his expertise, we can’t make all these lifestyle changes on our own. Accountability in purity is key!
The Rehab Process
Once my father has a list of things to do before he can deem the house livable, he gets to work. He tears up carpets and kitchen tiles. He goes all over town searching for the perfect color paint, the right appliances and the right color carpet. All of the things he tears out of the house go on the curb for the garbage truck to come and haul away.
This is the interesting part of rehabbing houses. When neighbors start to see crazy colored carpet and toilets on the curb, I bet they say to themselves, “Geez, I had no idea the inside of that house looked like that!” If they’re curious enough, they’ll come over and introduce themselves to my father and stop by occasionally to check on his progress.
When you start making lifestyle changes, people are going to take notice. Lifestyle changes are so drastic that people are going to be looking both at what you’re doing now (that’s new) as well as what you used to do. It’s almost going to feel as though your whole past is sitting on the curb for all to see!
This may feel uncomfortable but rest on Revelations 21:5 which says “And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’…(NLT)”
During your rehab process, I encourage you to search the scriptures for verses to help strengthen you in those areas of your life that you know are weak. Just as my dad hunts high and low for the perfect paint or appliance, hunt through the Bible for the perfect verse to help you in your own rehabilitation.
As I mentioned before, my father operates by the saying “never sell a house you wouldn’t move your own family into.” Recognize that your walk-through, your rehab process, your commitment to being Pure Again involves more than you. If you desire to be married, your spouse, your children…your purity affects them. And if you are married, you’re commitment to being Pure Again certainly affects your family. Being Pure Again is a lifestyle change that doesn’t end when we get married or have kids.
If you’re committing to being Pure Again from sex, pornography, masturbation, etc., when you’re married you will have to continue to live a pure lifestyle. This prevents lust, adultery and illicit thoughts from coming in and contaminating your marriage. If you’re committing to being Pure Again from drugs or alcohol, that too is indeed a lifestyle change.
The challenge for this week is this:
- Do a walk-through of your life. See what areas of your current life don’t line up with the Pure Again lifestyle that you desire to live. Find an accountability partner or mentor who can help and encourage you as you begin this process. If you cannot find an accountability partner, I encourage you to link up with Pure Again on Facebook and Twitter for encouragement.
- Begin your rehab process. Start by going through the Bible and finding verses to replace the things you are removing from your life. You are going to be uncomfortable! Your flesh is going to yearn for all that you are giving up. Galatians 5:24 tells us “And those who are in Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passion and desire.” This means we have to shut down our flesh daily!
Making the conscious decision to be Pure Again is not one to take lightly. But I promise you, it is well worth the work.
Danielle Erwin hosts the Charlotte-based ministry, UNPLUGGED. She’s the founder of Pursued, a ministry aimed to encourage women to live lives that are truly reflective of Jesus Christ. Visit her web site at DanielleErwin.com.