Virginity. Much has been written about it lately. One blogger even deemed the week of February 3rd “impromptu sex week” and listed a dozen blogs that discuss the issue (http://deeperstory.com/impromptu-sex-week-a-link-list/). Christian author Julia Duin recently wrote that “. . . virginity is under such withering attack, you would think it was child abuse” (http://www.ebireflections.com/2/9/6). I tend to agree with her. Ironically, it seems that most of what is being written is by . . . nonvirgins, especially those who have already plunged into the world of fornication or adultery. For Christian singles who are still waiting, that should be a red flag that reads “proceed with caution.” The perspective and opinions of someone who is not a virgin is going to be very different. Everything they write is going to be colored with a past. If not for the purpose of encouraging a child, why would a married person want to write about . . . virginity? Could it be guilt? Acceptance? Something worse? So the first thing I usually do when I come across one of these articles is look at the author’s background. If you were planning a deep sea expedition, would you start internet searching with “space-time travel”? The world will tell you virginity is an empty bucket, a blank slate, a state of ignorance. While the truth will tell you just the opposite – that chastity and its surrounding spiritual and emotional intelligence is just as real and significant as the academics of nanotechnology, asteroid tracking, and quantum physics. And that whatever is written about it, the laws of nature and God’s creation do not change over time.
Unfortunately, most of what is being written today is indeed a direct attack on virginity. Instead of swords and arrows, words are being thrown to denigrate those who are waiting on marriage and to make those who have engaged in premarital sex feel comfortable and free of guilt. In her article, Julia Duin mentioned a few of those words that are being used in the battle: Frigid, prideful, judgemental, and holier-than-thou. I have noticed a few more in virginity-related blogs during the past two weeks: Unrealistic, flat, one-dimensional, obsession, purity culture, idealism, suffocates, heresy, moral superiority, shame, fear, misinformation, impure, scare tactics, grace, love, inherent worth, understanding, heal, rebuild, set free from our past, saved myself, regret, ruined God’s plan, confused, insecure, forbidden, pure enough, intact hymen, mistakes, dirty, whole person, fundamentalist, failure, naive. I could go on. Another phenomenon I’ve noticed is people attacking virginity by supposedly taking a neutral, it doesn’t matter, point of view. Many of them proclaim “it’s really pure thoughts that matter.” In other words, if you can’t kill virginity with swords and arrows, just take it out of the picture. Make it disappear. That will make everybody feel better. One of the natural laws of God’s creation is that the darker it gets, the brighter the light becomes that does exist. What does it matter anyway if the whole world goes dark? Should we just let boys be boys? Girls – It does matter. God did not put the warning against fornication in the Ten commandments and elsewhere in the New Testament to take up space on pages. When I accepted Christ at 14, there were a lot of things in the Bible I didn’t understand. But I put my faith in those words and put my rational brain in the back seat. This is not a perfect analogy, but I will use it: In a way, the Bible is like the instruction manual for our bodies. We first have to believe that the builder has a superior knowledge, that he knows every part inside and out, knows every function down to the smallest detail, and knows what is best for us. I look at my body in somewhat the same way. There are a lot of things I don’t understand, but I have faith in the creator. For me personally, I know sex before marriage would be devastating for me emotionally. Is there anything wrong with a human being emotional? No. God made emotions. So I don’t look at the Bible as a collection of random rules I must follow to get to heaven. I know that it charts the course for what is best for me. I am content in living with a mystery, in not seeing beyond the horizon, in not knowing the intricate details of female anatomy, in not knowing all the “right positions.”
Another angle of attack on virginity is the “everybody else is doing it” arguement. There is even a blog titled: “News Flash: You Probably Won’t Marry A Virgin” that proceeds to quote all the statistics about how few people wait for marriage ( http://deeperstory.com/news-flash-you-probably-wont-marry-a-virgin/). I have a news flash for the author: The Bible is not based on popular opinion or what “feels right.” I think this arguement is particularly dangerous because it appeals to a younger person’s “democratic” view of American society, where everybody’s opinion is of the same value and the majority rule the day. If the majority of the supreme court said its right, then it’s got to be okay. Right? Wrong. They recently ruled that all corporations, under President Obama’s healthcare mandate, must pay for contraception for their employees. So, what does that say about the supreme court’s value system? How do you think someone waiting on marriage would fit into that system? At 51 and still a virgin, I may be one in several million guys my age. I don’t know. It doesn’t bother me. I live a rebellious life. Uncomfortable yet?
Another angle of attack is: “You people who are waiting should keep your mouths shut because you are shaming those who didn’t wait.” So on one hand we have leaders and educators bemoaning the fact that sexuality is not being discussed from a Christian perspective. There are even pastors asking “where are the role models.” On the other hand, if we say anything, we are guilty of making someone . . . uncomfortable. Damed if we do – and damned if we don’t. I have not bought into the “comfort mentality.” If any word about purity before marriage makes a person uncomfortable, they are either not a Christian or have not been forgiven for past mistakes. My advice for them is: Be quiet and listen. Your past choices disqualify you from speaking about virginity to anybody but your children. Period. There is so much that needs to be written about grace and forgiveness. Consider those alternatives.
Another attack frequently used: “But what about girls who have been raped or molested?” “What about those who have been abused?” The “rare exception” mentality could be used to refute every virtue in the Bible. I can take any heavy duty transport chain, put a weak link in it, and it will break when a load is applied. When it comes to chastity, the Christian community depends on solid consistent links. So this arguement is a mute point because those of us who have lived lives of chastity know that forced sex does not undo virginity. Some links (victims of rape, etc) may need a little more support to maintain their strength, but the entire chain does not fail. It’s difficult for world-centered nonchristians to comprehend this. They can’t get beyond thinking of our bodies as objects, as just the fittest of a species that survived random variations. Their spirituality goes no deeper than the angle of a chimps nose. They view our human bodies as no more valuable than the BMW in their garage. They’ve got to take the car out for a test drive first. Got to see if its compatible. How do you know if your comaptible if you don’t have sex first? A never ending comical chorus. Some astute writers have written about objectification and have explained in great detail how our bodies are so much more than objects of desire; that outside of God’s love and grace, we are nothing. Arleen Spenceley comes to mind ( http://deeperstory.com/news-flash-you-probably-wont-marry-a-virgin/). An authentic salvation experience changes everything about you – your reasoning, your perspective, your values, your sensitivity, your discernment, even your intelligence. It rocks your whole world.
And lastly, I’ve noticed that most of what has been written on internet blogs has been from women. While not inherently wrong, it does guarantee a one-way perspective. I have actually lost single female friends by mentioning the word “celibacy” in a message. One wrote “I’m not comfortable with that.” Their ability to reason has deterioriated to a state of: “Oh no, he must be gay. What do I do?” I would actually need a calculator to count the number of times I’ve seen the word “comfortable” come up in the last 2-3 years. Not only do straight Christian men not write much on the subject, they’ve been taken out of the definition of virginity. This has opened the door for men, especially Christian men, to be targeted today. Many have been knocked down so hard they can’t get up. Their faces are so deep in the sand they may never see the light of day. I could start listing all the negative stereotypes I’ve read on the recent blogs associated with men. But I will let you read them for yourself. Christian guys still waiting – I urge you to be bold on this issue. Let the eyes of darkness recoil when presented with the light of truth and wisdom. We must let virtuous Christian girls know what we sound like, what our values are, what our personalities are, what our hearts are, what our motives are, and that there is something worth waiting for. We need to take the statistical calculators out of their hands and show them that miracles still happen everyday. They should not be made to feel that they have to settle for less. Most importantly, we must put ourselves back into the definition of virginity. Our voice should be the loudest on this issue. Yes, even when there is laughter and heckling in the room, we should stand up. We should come together on the front line of this battle with sword in hand, putting aside our pride or embarrassment, protecting our Christian sisters who are on this road. Doing the right thing is often uncomfortable – but it must be done if we are to reclaim our lives, reclaim our valor, reclaim our dignity.