That’s probably not the first thing you were expecting to read when you [clicked on this blog], but it’s true.
Why then would I write an article with a headline that implies otherwise?
Because I’m waiting till I’m married, but I’m not staying pure till I’m married.
Samantha has caused me to see things this way.
You see, Samantha is the author of a blog that went viral several months ago titled: “Why I Waited Till My Wedding Night to Lose My Virginity and Wish I Hadn’t.” In the article, Samantha shares the gut-wrenching story of how she grew up in the 90’s Christian purity movement, making a commitment to stay chaste till marriage, and the emotional disaster that followed on her wedding night.
A lot of progressive thinkers stood up and applauded Samantha’s stance, agreeing that the church’s ideas are both legalistic and old fashioned, but what most of them failed to look at, was the prerogative from which she was coming from.
Samantha had been raised to believe sex was something vile and dirty, that it was a shameful act to be kept in secrecy and never openly discussed. It’s no wonder she struggled so much when she finally got married. How can you expect a girl to be told something is bad her entire life, then magically expect her to think it’s good the moment she says “I do”?
We as the church tend to have a weak theology when it comes to sexuality, but more on that later…
Samantha went on to say that her struggle to enjoy being with her husband caused her to seek professional counseling. It was during one of her sessions that she was faced with a crucial option: she could either be spiritual, or she could be sexual. As if the two could somehow ever be separated), she ended up choosing the latter.
To me, and so many other young ladies who are waiting (or those of you who have waited), this whole ordeal broke my heart. Hearing this woman, who has so clearly been burned the aforementioned weak theology, try to convince other young ladies that their choice to wait is a mistake, made me unspeakably angry.
We have a problem here. A problem that causes me great deal of frustration when it comes to the more legalistic arguments involved in the modern day purity movement.
The phrase “staying pure until marriage” echo’s like nails on a chalkboard to me.
If your goal is staying pure UNTIL marriage, you’re going to walk into a marriage highly dissatisfied. That’s because you were never meant to lose your purity. In fact, it’s not something that CAN be lost. It’s a lifestyle, not a state of being. Something either you walk in or you don’t. In accepting the exchange of Jesus, you can’t separate yourself from it. It goes with you to both the grocery store AND to the sanctuary, to the doctor’s office AND to the kitchen to make a sandwich.
It also goes with you to your bedroom.
It goes with you, because you go with Christ.
Purity isn’t lost in the moment, it’s an essential key to a happy (and lasting) marriage. It’s what keeps you connected to both God and each other, it’s what helps you stay strong and faithful to one another, it’s what helps you to build trust and affection.
And yes, blushing elders. It’s one of the most important ingredients in having GREAT sex.
See, we often confuse purity for virginity. One is lost, while the other is lived.
And honestly–side rant–what’s with the whole “losing your virginity” thing anyway? To lose something is to imply that said thing is of no more worth than a forgotten stick of gum in the pocket of your pants.
Sex is precious. It’s one of the most beautiful and mysterious gifts God gave mankind (next to coffee and dark chocolate and peanut butter–completely different blogs.) It’s the emotional connection, the physical glue, and the spiritual hemming of two bodies becoming one soul in complete selflessness till a call from eternity separates them indefinitely.
Marriage is the vow such intimacy lends itself to, the covenant it was created for. How terrible to understand the context of its power and think of it as something simply to be lost.
Call me crazy, but I don’t want to lose it. I want to give it away. I want to place it in the hands of the one whom I know will carry it with him. Because something freely given away isn’t something that’s recklessly abandoned. It’s held close, it’s treasured, it’s preserved with every smile, remembered in every kiss, and honored with every touch. It’s what makes every moment afterwards new again. It’s scary. It’s never safe. And it’s incredibly worth the risk.
Maybe if this was the message we as the church taught more often, we’d have far less broken and bitter Samantha’s telling girls to experiment if only to have the freedom to give themselves away to whomever they please.
Look, this isn’t me thrashing the entire movement. Been there, done that, and have the purity ring to prove it. As the millennial generation arises, there are A LOT of awesome people calling for a revolution in how we as Christians approach sex, those who agree that it’s far time we got messy and real with the one thing we find it so hard to talk about from the pulpit. I’m beyond glad to see such issues coming into the light (I’m all for good sex, remember?)
But for the love of God, PLEASE stop talking about ‘staying pure until marriage.’
I plan to strive for purity now as much I will when I’m on my honeymoon. The only thing different will be my last name and my address. I’ll still seek to honor my God with every ounce of determination I have in me, only then, I’ll be seeking Him with a man by my side who is striving ardently to do the same thing–failures and all.
Because even after sex, I’ll still belong to Jesus… and so will you.
(UPDATE! Check out this follow up post I wrote about this blog: “How I Sold My Soul In 1,200 Word Or Less.”)