The Bachelor alumna Madison Prewett is glad she waited for marriage to have sex — and the internet has lots of opinions.

The author and influencer reflected on the pursuit of purity and God’s design in an Instagram post Friday to promote her new book, The Love Everybody Wants.

While Prewett discusses her experience practicing abstinence until her marriage to minister and speaker Grant Troutt, she notes purity is about more than forgoing sex.

It’s what your eyes see, and what your ears hear. It’s how your fill your time… It’s the music you don’t listen to and the words you don’t say.

Her pursuit of purity has resulted in “peace, confidence, joy and even freedom from things that have tried to cause me shame,” says Prewett, who reminds readers that God’s commandments aren’t “a list of reprimands and rules that take away from [a person’s] individuality,” but a way to protect our hearts.

God is not trying to withhold any good thing from you, it is exactly the opposite. Contrary to popular belief, pursuing purity gives more than it takes. God asks these things of you to protect you and your heart.

Prewett’s post resonated with many, but rankled others. Here are some of the most common complaints:

Purity is a Personal Choice

Many commenters equated Pruett’s post with judgement of those who haven’t practiced abstinence. They feel purity is a personal choice — and that God — in His infinite love and grace, will forgive our sins:

Prewett’s post encourages and affirms those pursuing purity in a world that largely devalues it. The reflection contained no judgmental language or mention of those who did not remain abstinent until marriage. In fact, most of her post was dedicated to a holistic understanding of purity as a virtue surpassing abstinence.

There’s no reason to automatically equate sincere testimony and belief with judgement of others — humans need exposure to diverse ideas and experiences to learn and grow.

Some commenters pointed to God’s grace as a reason to eschew abstinence, but Jesus’ sacrifice does not give us license to sin indiscriminately. Though Jesus’ death on the cross covers our sin and reconciles us to God the Father, the New Testament emphasizes believers dedicate their lives to Jesus and His redemptive Gospel.

When we accept Jesus into our hearts as our Savior, our desire to serve Him and obey His commandments is natural. His divine grace and forgiveness doesn’t lessen sin’s seriousness or give us a free pass to knowingly and willingly engage in it.

Purity Culture is Bad

Some commenters felt Prewett’s post celebrated purity culture, which they denounce.

Christians shouldn’t be accused of harming or curtailing the freedom of young women by advocating for the healthy, biblical pursuit of purity and abstinence.

Prewett expounds on the biblical value of purity — she does not mention “purity culture,” which typically refers to negative or harmful social pressures on women to remain abstinent. The two should not be conflated.

The healthy teaching of purity within family should also be separated from “purity culture.” As it relates to sexual purity, it’s important for parents to teach their children that sex is more meaningful than a pleasurable activity or a coming-of-age ritual, and that their bodies, minds and souls were made for more than casual sex. To label this instruction as “creepy” or destructive is misleading and erroneous.

Personal Attacks on Prewett

Many commenters who didn’t like Prewett’s message insulted her character, personality or life choices. Much of the ridicule focuses on her appearance on The Bachelor.

There’s a difference between debating ideas and attacking people that seems largely lost among social media users. It’s never okay to attack a person you disagree with instead of the ideas and principles being discussed.

Vitriol notwithstanding, Prewett freely admits her pursuit of purity has involved “ups and downs, lessons learned and relationships hurt.” She never portrays herself as perfect, so comments seeking to expose her mistakes fall flat.

Prewett’s courage in promoting biblical purity is admirable, particularly considering the scrutiny she faces for doing so. Pray for Prewett, and for others like her, to continue to use their platforms for the glory of God.

And pray that social media users…

Just pray for social media users.


Photo from Shutterstock.