Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You Don't Have to Settle! Guest Post by Cara Putman

Purity? Why bother?

Growing up, my parents always preached the importance of being pure… of saving myself for my husband and presenting that gift to him. I knew it was important if for no other reason than God commanded it, but it wasn’t always easy.

One of the greatest gifts God gave me was introducing me to my future husband six weeks after I turned sixteen. My dad was adamant I could not date until I turned sixteen, so when my friends would talk about how cute this or that boy was at earlier ages, I didn’t. What was the point? I knew I wouldn’t change my dad’s mind! I had a short list of qualities I thought I wanted in a husband. Good looking, definitely. Funny, certainly. But most of all, I wanted a man who loved God as whole-heartedly as I did.

Then I turned 16 and looked around at the young men around me. Frankly, I didn’t see any who met the last – and most important – criteria.

Before I could grow too discouraged, my parents sent me to a two-week Christian leadership camp. At the conference I met 79 other young people who were there to learn how to defend their faith in a college setting. While I became friends with most of them, one young man stood out to me from that very first night as we introduced ourselves.

Eric and I spent the next two weeks running in the same group of eight. And I watched him. I saw how he responded to others. That he was intelligent, and had a great sense of sarcasm. I also thought he was pretty cute with his blond hair and green eyes.

Eric and Cara at ACFW 2010

At the end of the conference, we returned to our different states and colleges. But over the next five years, I compared every young man I met to Eric. In that glimpse, God has shown me I didn’t have to settle. That there were young men out there that were passionate about their faith. Every time we talked on the phone, Eric would ask, “What’s God showing you now?” Believe me, I always wanted to have something to share.

Four years later, after we graduated, we ended up in the same corner of the country – okay so we were 100 miles apart rather than 800. We took that opportunity to decide whether we were supposed to move past friendship and marry. A year later when we did, I was so glad I’d waited…and that God had shown me more than five years earlier that I didn’t need to settle. Instead, I could trust Him to lead me to the man for me.

Find Cara online at:

**Reminder that every comment this week on the Purity of Heart series, enters you for one of four chances to win a novel by Julie Lessman**


  1. This is a great story. One I know you look back on with a smile. I like the pic of you and your hubby.

  2. This is great, Cara! What a wonderful story!

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  3. What a good story!

  4. OH, CARA -- I LOVE your post, especially the line: "God has shown me I didn’t have to settle. That there were young men out there that were passionate about their faith."

    Your post is SO TIMELY for me as I have a 23-year-old daughter (almost 24) who just broke it off with a guy she was planning to marry after a year and a half, primarily because although he was a "Christian," the depth of his relationship with God was shallow compared to hers. Like you, my daughter has a list of what she's praying for in a guy on which her most important "non-negotiable" was/is a guy who "loved God more than he would love her."

    Although my daughter loved this guy A LOT, she broke it off, and I am STUNNED how the grace of God is carrying her through what I worried would be a very traumatic situation. In the month she has been broken up, God has begun to show her that like you, she does NOT have to settle for anything but God's best and that YES, VIRGINIA, there are "young men out there that were passionate about their faith."

    If you think about it, waiting on God is the truest form of faith because you are placing the desire of your heart into His hands, trusting Him to meet your needs.

    Great post, Cara ... uh, and darling husband!!


  5. Enjoyed the interview. You and your husband make a fine couple. I know you're glad you waited on the Lord to show you what to do about a guy. (Yes, there are still some good one out there). I've been married to one for 35 years.


  6. EXCELLENT post. I'm adamant about waiting til marriage. I would have loved parents who spoke so openly about waiting. They DO exist!

    Please enter me. Thank you.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  7. Wonderful post, Cara and Casey. Purity is so important in both personal life and fiction. BELIEVE ME, it's worth the wait;)

  8. LINDI, I thought the same thing when I read Cara’s post. That picture always makes me smile— and I’ve never met Cara (or her husband) in person. :- )

    CAROLM and LEAH, isn’t it?? Love it!

    JULIE, oh I’m sorry to hear about your daughter, but also will say that I am pleased she has taken this stand. She has a strength of character that will serve her WELL. It means she won’t be pulled by any mere wind of change or attraction. Maybe this will be the shocker this guy needs. Or maybe God has someone else for Amy. I recently read this lovely love letter by a young man to his future wife- who he doesn’t know yet. So encouraging to know there are young men out there who are JUST as passionate about this as I (and so many others who have visited this week).

    PATSY, that is so wonderful! I am so thankful for those such as yourself who have visited these last few days. Your testimony within your comments have been so encouraging! In a society surrounded by marriage and divorce, your stand encourages me to maintain mine!

    LINDA, yes, they do! And that is the promise I cling to more than anything else!

    LAURA, thank you for stopping by!! I completely agree and to be surrounded by such a strong support group is incredibly moving. :- )

  9. What an encouraging story. I'm starting to think the good guys are few and far between, but it's nice to know they are out there!


  10. This is all so encouraging! I wish this had been around when I was a teenager! But God has a reason for everything. I love reading about people with the strength of their faith and convictions!
    Absolutely wonderful!


  11. HOLLY, I know what you are saying, but take heart! They are out there and the more I look around, the more I see them.

    DIANA, thank you for visiting today!! I am SO glad it was encouraging for you! And it doesn't just end when marriage begins. It should last your entire life long! Purity isn't something that ever ends. Stay strong and thanks for coming by! :)

  12. Thank you for sharing your inspiring testimony, Cara!

    Michelle : )
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

  13. What a wonderful post, Cara....loved it. And love the picture of you and your husband....very handsome couple! I have read one of your books and really enjoyed it. I want to be entered to win Julie's this week! Thanks!

  14. Casey~

    This is a great, and even daring topic in the "carpe diem" culture we live in today. Kudos on the theme for the week and on your own efforts to live according to God's standards.


    Your story reminds me a little of mine. I started "going out" with my husband 3 weeks BEFORE I turned 16. Which meant we weren't "going" anywhere because, like you I wasn't allowed to date until I turned 16.

    I did have a couple of boyfriends before then and my mother went to great lengths to keep all of my outings well outside the category of date...including sending my little brother along once.

    Purity was important to me for the opposite reason of some who've posted. My parents, wonderful as they were--and still are, were a great example of what NOT to do to remain pure. They were married when my mother was 15 and father 18. My older sister was born 6 months later. They divorced 10 years later, and my mother was engaged to her third husband by the time I was 15 years old.

    All my life, I saw the results youthful indiscretion can bring, and "saving myself" as they say, was very important to me as my relationship with my now-husband began to grow serious. Even so, HIS resolve, not mine, kept us where we needed to be most of the time. I was and am extremely blessed to find a man who holds purity as such a high ideal.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  15. Casey thanks for bringing us Cara and Eric's story. I love hearing stories like this!

    I am a fan of Eric and Leslie Ludy, maybe you've heard of them, they have written many books on purity.

    I can't wait for the next installment in this series.
    Keep it coming Casey! Maybe you could make this an annual thing, that would be awesome.

    I love hearing these stories so much, especially since I'm still waiting for that special one that God has for me.


  16. MICHELLE, thanks for coming by today. :)

    JACKIE S., Cara's books are great and she is a lovely woman, inside and out. :)

    ANDREA, wow, thank you so much for sharing that story! I am so thankful for you that you found true love and a commited mate in that! It is always wonderful to connect with other people, such as yourself, who hold to those high standards. Thank you again for sharing that today!

  17. FAYE, I just heard about them recently when another online friend, Amanda pointed me their way. I loved what I saw of Leslie's online magazine. I am so glad it has been uplifting for you, that is an answer to my prayer this week that God would use this series for Him. WOW, look out when God answers yes. :) I try to do these series every once in a while, my last one was on modesty. You can find that in the archives, I had some very interesting interviews with two young men I found in the blog-o-spere. A great encouragement that loops in with these posts. :)

  18. Casey and Cara,

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story! I just love hearing about people's true life love stories.

    Julie, sorry about your daughter. That must be so painful for everyone. Praying for healing for all of you!

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  19. What an incredible story! I loved reading this! It gives me hope. :)

    leanniegehrke at hotmail dot com

  20. This is such an important message, that Christian women don't have to "settle" for less than God's best for them. I pray my daughter will realize this. Thanks for sharing.


  21. Beautiful post ladies! Wow, Cara’s story really blessed me. She found a man that not only loves God the way she does but encouraged her to grow deeper in Him. How special to grow spiritually with the one you love! And how true that we shouldn’t settle for less than what God has for us. I forgot where I heard this but it meant a great deal to me: If the Lord has placed a list of 100 things on your heart for what He wants for you in a future spouse and you find someone with 99 of those qualities, don’t settle! Hold out for the full 100 for that is His best He intended for you.

    Thanks for sharing :)


  22. Awww. The only thing better than romantic fiction is romantic real life! Awww. Thanks for sharing your story, Cara.


  23. That is a really cute story! As a 16 (almost 17!) year old girl, this means so much when one of the biggest things I want in a boyfriend (and eventually husband) is for them to love me more than anything -- except God. Y'alls story is really comforting to me when most of the guys in my high school are not my marriage material. Thanks for sharing it!

  24. wow, thanks for all the comments, gals. Julie, will be praying for your daughter -- but how cool on the why she broke up! God will honor priorities that put Him first!

    God is good and He will honor your heart's desire when it lines up with His will for your life. Those are the kind of prayers you can know He will answer. Hang in there. Some of my friends had to wait until they were 30, some are still waiting. But I've seen too much heartache when people didn't wait for the right man who would challenge and encourage their faith while loving them completely.

  25. Amazing and beautiful story, Cara!!

  26. purity is very important in ones life good message.

    Love to win Julie's newest book.
    I have 4 of her books already. Yep, I'm a fan. hooked on book one passion most pure.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  27. Just stopping by today since I wasn't able to yesterday. Thanks for your encouraging post Cara! I really needed that and to know that I don't have to take just whatever comes along.

    Julie, Thanks so much for your daughter's story. I decided long ago I didn't want just a Christian, but someone who was dedicated. I have been tempted many times to just give up but the Lord has helped me stay strong. Your daughter is impacting people she doesn't even know:) Thanks!


  28. What a wonderful post! Thank you for your testimony....and I would love to win any of the books. I love reading christian fiction!!

  29. SUSAN ANNE, I know what you are saying! Hearing what is REAL makes it real for the person waiting. At least for me. :- )

    LEANNE, I am so glad it did! We’re on this road together and I know this has been a huge support for me as well. :- )

    PAM K., I completely agree! And Cara hit on such a great message, you DON’T have to settle, continue to hold to those high standards. I couldn’t have been said a better way.

    AMANDA, it did me as well! You gave a wonderful analogy, because what if that one thing is THE MOST important thing in your relationship? It could crumble because of it. Thanks for coming by today and sharing your thoughts. :- )

    ANN LEE, I completely agree! :- )

    ALEX, that should be the most important quality in a godly relationship: that your husband love the Lord and be the spiritual leader of your home. Other qualities are important, but that is the most so.

    CARA, thanks for coming by today and sharing your heart! It has ministered to many!

    NICOLE, thanks for coming by! It is a lovely story and one that continues to play out. :- )

    APPLE BLOSSOM, on yes it is!

    CHARITY, keep clinging to the Lord and HE will sustain you! HE will give you the strength you need and when you find the “one” and fall in love and live your lives in Christ for many years, you will look back on this time as a time of great growing and trust.

    SPLASHESOFJOY, I am so glad you enjoyed the post. :- )

  30. Cara,

    What a beautiful story that our GOD writes for us.


    I'm looking forward to reading more of your postings this week.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  31. KARENK, yes those stories are the most beautiful, aren't they?? When God is in the center of our lives, amazing things happen! :)


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According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

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