Today we’re going to talk about sex. I wanted to let you know upfront. I don’t enjoy this post. I’ve been trying to keep it humorous around here as much as possible, but today I’m getting serious.
I saw an alarming segment on the Today show on November 14, 2008. Tyra Banks did a survey of 10,000 girls nation wide for her daytime talk show. Here are the results:
On average, girls are losing their virginity at 15 years of age.
14 percent of teens who are having sex say they’re doing it at school.
One in three says she fears having a sexually transmitted disease.
24 percent of teens with STDs say they still have unprotected sex.
One in five girls says she wants to be a teen mom.
About 50 percent acknowledge that they’ve hit someone.
One out of three teens has tried drugs.
I feel very inadequate discussing such a controversial topic on my blog but I have no real answers for the problems. I have mixed feelings about sex-ed, birth control and condoms in public schools. I got in a few fights in junior high (with some of my best friends!) I certainly have undecided thoughts about the necessary legalities of drugs. I have many more questions for these kids than I would ever have answers. The one thing that struck me was what Tyra considered to be the common denominator among these young sexually active girls – THEIR PARENTS.
It seems that none of these girls had parents who talked to them about sex.
Let that sink in. Whether you are a Christian or not, this is an extremely important issue. Even my most liberal of friends would not say that is no big deal that children are having sex. We may disagree on “maturity” and “morality” but I doubt we’ll disagree about trouble being around the corner for the kids participating in these behaviors.
For those in the church, myself included, I’d like to say that I think we approach the issue in a manner that does not appropriately portray God’s intended purpose. What I was taught growing up in the church over and over again was that I needed to be a virgin when I get married. If I wanted to really put some thought into it I could probably write an entire book on why this is faulty. We have taught the end result as the goal when the reality is that God wants the means to be the goal. God doesn’t say that we should be virgins on the day that we get married, rather, he says that we should live a pure lifestyle. If someone could attain purity to a good degree they would then be a virgin at the time of their marriage. While being a virgin at marriage is something desirable, I see the beauty in it more now that I’m married, it’s not the goal. It is only one of the many possible benefits of attaining the goal – namely, purity – which is certainly not synonymous with virginity.
The biggest fear I have for myself is that I will once again become the person I was years ago, so self-righteous that I cannot understand another’s logic or have compassion on them as people. It is because of that that I refuse to be dishonest, or even quiet, about my past. I sometimes feel such a shame arise in my soul over the things that I’ve done that I can hardly breathe. There are times when I have to put my head in my hands to hide my face as thoughts cross my mind because of the embarrassment I feel over myself. As much as I’d like to forget – to live as if it had never happened – I plead with God, never let me forget! It is only because of my huge failure and God’s greater mercy that I can see myself as one in need of a Savior. As one saved by grace and not by works. As one who has no need to boast, because trust me when I tell you, I have nothing to boast about!
Having said that I have two main things I want to say. One, God can restore purity. Two, You can be a virgin and still be impure.
I wish I had the time it would take to study this before I post this particular blog. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that in the future. It would probably blow my mind to get a glimpse of the ways God has promised to purify his people. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:2 that he has promised us as a bride to Christ, and that we may be presented to Him as a pure virgin. What does that mean for those of us who are certainly not “pure virgins”? Titus 2:14 says that God will redeem us from ALL wickedness and that He will purify us FOR HIMSELF!
There is much more Scripture (which I believe to be the absolute authority and living word of God – and the biggest blast I’ve ever known, by the way!) to pour over on this subject. It would make this blog impossibly long, but I can’t help but be overcome by a thankful heart when I am reminded that God wants me to be pure, that he is willing to purify me, and that he will do it for himself! He does whatever pleases him, and this is something that pleases him! Thank you Lord! I would certainly attain purity no other way!
I think my God loves do-overs. I’m so grateful for that because the only way I learn is by failing. A LOT. I’ve failed my way everywhere I’ve ever been. I’m sure I’ll fail my way out of bed tomorrow morning. The good news is, God is not confined to our failures. He is omnipresent, which means he is everywhere all the time. If you are anything like me then you will be pleased to know that he is very much present in your past. And he’s just as much God over your worst moment as he is God over your best. In fact, he’s probably more willing to show off in your worst moment, because, well, that’s just his style. He likes to throw the world for a loop every now and then by doing something great through something that seems very un-great. I like that about him. I’m proof of that about him. I’ll gladly admit my failures to see him act in my life.
Now, I would like to say a big fat KUDOS to those of you who were virgins when you got married. I happen to know that a few of you were, and I’d assume the same about many more of you. Like I said, I see the beauty and significance of that as time passes. The thing is, when we teach that being a virgin is the objective, we miss the whole point of purity. Purity is, in it’s essence, having a mind and body that glorify God in thought and action. So, even though a person may be a virgin, she may have been immoral in her mind. Here’s the real kicker, the one that was never emphasized to me as a teenager: Only with God is there purity. Our thoughts are naturally inclined toward disaster. Our hearts are naturally prone to idolatry and adultery. Our souls are naturally self-serving. But with God there is unfailing love. With him there is FULL redemption. Even of thought and action. Even of past. Definitely of present. And no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has imagined the future. FULL REDEMPTION. I can’t quite wrap my mind around it.
If you know him, aren’t you thankful?
If you don’t, wouldn’t you like to know the one who can make the worst thing you’ve ever done work for your benefit?
Let’s make sure that we are parents, teachers, youth leaders, or friends who think BIG about our God. Let’s make sure to let him show off through our failure. Let’s make sure that we don’t allow ourselves to succumb to the pressures of “being good for goodness sake”. Let’s make sure we share what he intended with our children.