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Maintaining sexual purity as a teen and young adult is a challenge.And it doesn't help that the world tells a radically different story about sex — and what's allowable and "normal" — than God does.

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A friend of mine, who experienced a legalistic upbringing, pointed out that an unhealthy "passion for purity" can also have a negative effect on married women.

Something I encountered early in my marriage was the fact that it's impossible to flip a switch in your mind that sex is all of a sudden 'good,' when for so long you thought of it as 'bad.' It was hard to ignore some early feelings of guilt because suddenly it's magically OK that a man is seeing and experiencing all the things you'd saved up.

But we may be tempted to make the leap that the "best" sex (and it's helpful to note we're generally basing our notion of "good" sex on the media's portrayal) is reserved for those who remain virgins until marriage.

A performance-based rewards system in any area of our spiritual lives can become a problem, but it is particularly damaging in this case.

I vividly remember a message on abstinence I heard as a teen.

In it, the speaker said, "Why would you want to have rushed sex in the back of a car? Now sex." While he does make a point on the potential quality of those two encounters, his implication was that if you save sex for marriage, your reward will be amazing sex with your spouse.Paul sought to instruct the Christians in these cities and communities to live in new and counter-cultural ways.Instead of indulging the flesh and making all kinds of illicit unions, Paul advocated for a better way — God's way — sex within marriage only.These feelings come from viewing sex as the enemy rather than Satan, whose goal is to corrupt all of the good things God has created.Yes, purity is beautiful, but engaging with another individual in meaningful and intimate ways within the proper context is equally beautiful. As a teen, I was not a stranger to the purity movement.