There is a myth in Christianity that if you live a sexually pure life God will bless you with a phenomenal spouse, a lasting, happy marriage, the worlds most incredible sex life, and a smiley face sticker. Yes, you can all have this, not based on all the good you do, but on what you do not do!!!!! So kill every sexual thought, feel guilty about having basic human drives and passions, veil your eyes to the opposite sex, and eventually the hottest Christian person on earth will fall in love with you and offer you their untainted virginity on your sacred wedding night. And just before your first time, Mickey Mouse, Santa Claus and three golden unicorns will come to you to award you a badge of honor. And let's not forget your wedding night will be the best sexual experience of your entire life ever, even though you are ridiculously inexperienced!
Perhaps it's because I'm and old person. Perhaps cynicism has choked out all of my idealism and what remains is a jaded realist whose perspectives collide, not with the Bible, but unbiblical Christian ideas that sound holy at first until they are unpacked. I grew up on this garbage. I heard countless testimonies of people who said they were tainted because they had sex. I heard tear-filled stories of men and women who were overwhelmed with guilt, bemoaning the fact that they weren't entirely pure on their blessed wedding night. They were washed up. Used. Worth less. If you are fed a steady diet of this how do you function as a complex human being with a healthy sexual libido? What's worse, how can you ever feel comfortable and secure having sex at all, even within the confines of holy matrimony?
To quote a previous blog,
"let me state vehemently that I am NOT “saving myself for marriage.” I have always thought that was, Um, stupid. It implies that if one does have sex that they are somehow tarnished and unworthy. There's a tacit snobbery in that arrogant line of thinking that, quite frankly, pisses me off. You're not holier or superior because you "saved yourself." In fact, the experienced person has more to offer in the way of, let's see, EXPERIENCE when it comes to sexually satisfying their spouse. Let's just keep it real people! Nor do I care at all what my (nonexistent) future husband thinks about my sexual choices. I’m not naïve enough to think that, should he exist, he is saving himself for me. I made my choice because I believe the Bible. Shoot me. I believe that God invented sex (not Trey Songz) and so He should know a thing or two about how it should be had. The context that He gave for sex, and the safest most emotionally intimate context, is marriage. And so my decision is to please God, and I could care less about my future husband, my church, my clergyman blah blah blah."
Well my thoughts and opinions have not changed. First "saving yourself for marriage" implies that the best you have to offer a future spouse is in between your legs. If you take time to really think about that it sounds absurd. Being a worthwhile partner involves having a huge capacity to love, an ability to manage conflict in an emotionally mature way, loyalty, honesty, and a healthy attitude towards sex that is based on satisfying another person. If you are emotionally immature, self centered, mean, vindictive etc. than having an unused vagina (penis) is meaningless.
Secondly, let's disabuse ourselves of the idea that someone out their is saving themselves just for us. This person is wearing a purity ring, attending abstinence class, and whispering prayers for their future spouse. The real of it is that no one in today's world cares! Sorry to burst your bubble, but this a very sexual world, and people are hardwired to have sex and never stop! I'm not giving this oversexed culture a free pass, I'm just stating the facts upfront. If you are over the age of 17, everyone really is doing it so suck it up. That doesn't make it right. That doesn't justify sin, but that's just the way it is. And the older you get the less chance there is that you will meet someone who even knows what sexual purity is, no less than believe in it! And if you are my age, jettison any ideas that you are ever going to meet anyone who values sex the same way you do or who shares your sexual ethic. What you will end up with is someone who has over a decade of sexual experience and you'll have to 'splain to him/her why you have no idea what they heck you are doing in the bedroom. Good luck with that! So if saving yourself for your future spouse is your motivation prepare to feel inadequate, compared, insecure, and exposed. And please know that your first time, however memorable it is to you, won't be that impressive to someone with years of sexual experience under their belt.
As Christians we have to stop romanticizing virginity. Virginity = inexperience. Can you name one situation on earth where inexperience is a good thing?
Which leads me to my conclusion. There are two reasons a person should wait to have sex. 1) Because God said so! To unpack that a little more, God invented sex and he understands that the most beneficial setting for sex is between two mature, loving people in the context of a healthy marriage. Because there is nothing casual about sex. Because people are not car parts, toys, or playthings, but souls created in the image of God and using people as objects to fulfill your own sexual desires is abominably wrong. Because almost everyone you see is someone else's future spouse and you DO NOT have the right to have sex with some else's husband or wife. In English we have a word for sleeping with other people's spouses: ADULTERY.
2) Secondly we are the direct result of every choice that we make. Everything we do has an effect on our minds, bodies, and souls. Contrary to popular culture, sex is spiritual and has a profound spiritual impact on the human psyche. This impact is permanent and irrevocable because God intended sex to PERMANENTLY bond men and women together.
To recap, this isn't virgin shaming. I'm writing this post for two reasons. 1) To make abstinence only people really examine their attitudes towards sex and step down from their high horses 2) To show that we don't get stickers for doing what is right! We do what is right simply because it is right. We church-folk need to acknowedge that doing the right thing comes with a cost. I'm 31 and I've never had intercourse. The costs are sexual frustration. insecurity, the chilling realization that I will never find a person who shares my sexual values or who has a similar sexual experience level, lost relationships, and feeling like an alien. The advantages are I can sleep at night knowing that I'm not violating God's moral code or my own personal ethics. The security of knowing that I don't have any STDs and that I never have to worry about a missed period. The freedom of not being forever spiritual linked to some cad who could never love me.
My choices are NOT about my future spouse. They are not about me saving myself, frankly I have more to offer than just sex. They are about doing the right thing even when it comes at a high cost.
So commit to a sexually pure life because it is the spiritually, physically, and emotionally healthiest decision, and because it's God's plan for all of us and He only wants the best for us. But please stop saving yourself for marriage--you're future (perhaps nonexistent) spouse doesn't care.