“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
For some reason, even though we have cancelled our subscription and no longer pay for it, every few months a Seventeen Magazine lands in our mailbox. The pop of color and twinge of teen no longer interest me the way it used to, but yesterday in a moment of boredom I decided to flip through its contents.
My own personal reasons could ramble on forever but I will summarize them in four short points:
- I should reflect God’s image and holiness in everything I do, especially how I conduct myself sexually.
- I better understand the commitment of marriage to last forever when I know that sex is what unites two people into one representation of God’s love and commitment to us.
- I can’t trust my hormones (aka the “natural feelings of attraction”) to tell me what love is because things can change.
- By not having sex I am better able to understand what love really looks like with God and with each other – love that is selfless, love that can stretch across thousands of miles, love that can truly last forever.
Happy fourth everyone! This holiday is always funny to me, I like the irony of celebrating the treason committed by 56 men signing a remarkably well-written document in the heat of summer. Plus the fireworks are good too.
What does that freedom really include though? And what does it cost us?
Ha sorry I just need to laugh for a moment at that title…. that should certainly grab some attention.
Anyways, thanks to those of you that shared your thoughts on yesterday’s post “Let’s Talk About Sex.” The length of some of the comments proved this is a very complicated topic inside many larger discussions. Also, it is completely dependent on your personal religious values and beliefs.
Personally I am a Christian – so I believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God, who came in the flesh to proclaim the good news of God’s love and mission to restore all of humanity back to a relationship with Him, and who then died on the cross to be resurrected three days later to save the world from sin in a triumphant victory over death.
That is the text book definition though, and we all know that a mere definition doesn’t include all the rippled effects of what being a Christian means in my life. Please remember that your connotation of Christian might be completely different than who I actually am (remember my post on “Define Christian”) – we must all erase our pre-existing understandings if we are truly to meet in the middle on anything.
On that topic, I have no problem with you believing something different than me. I am always happy to hear your thoughts so keep them coming, even if it doesn’t necessaily match my point of view.
Back on the topic of sex, it is becoming clear to me that in order to truly spread a message about the importance of purity or waiting till marriage to have sex, we need to move past the answer that we don’t have sex simply because the Bible tells us not to. Making it a rule isn’t going to enforce the reasoning needed to supplement our reasons for what decisions we make.
I am currently a college student, so my peers and I are experiencing one of the times in life where we leave our parents rules and reasons to create our own – and it is both a dangerous and a wonderful thing. It is dangerous because it feels more natural to rebel and do what we want, or what our hormones tell us we want. Then we take those things and create our reasoning for why it is right, turning it into our own reality and truth. In the Relevant Magazine article titled “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing It” Dr. Jenell Williams Paris explains it this way:
“A young child may follow [the rule to look both ways before crossing the street] solely because of the power of her parents’ authority, which is appropriate.” However, “As she grows, the child [continues to look both ways] but for a deeper reason that she owns herself. She sees the broader context of traffic, understands the benefits and dangers and makes choices accordingly. Rules are external and authority bound: Maturity requires knowledge of why to do the right thing, not just what the right thing is.”
Once something is rooted in as our own personal reality of good or bad it is much harder to change that opinion or go back. These roots form the branches of our life, they ground us in to our beliefs, to our values and even connect us to our culture so that we may grow as individuals intertwined. It is good for us to form personal reasonings of why we do things, then we are more likely to commit to them and make them our own.
I feel that this is where our answer to the sex issue starts: we must decide for ourselves the reasons why or why not to have sex, believe in them fully and then commit to living them out. No abstinence program or sex education will be fully effective if we simply tell kids what to do and don’t allow them to think for themselves. No sermon or small group message will make an impact unless we allow it to grow on its on terms. We can plant seeds, but we must also disturb the soil to challenge pre-exisiting definitions and cultivate discussion. That is my hope here.
Stay tuned and next week I will give you my personal reasons why I abstain from sex, and hopefully we can all grow together a little more in the process :)
What are your personal reasons why or why not to have sex?
How did you come to that decision – was it on your own
or because someone else told you to?
Less than a year ago I started diving into some burning questions I had about what purity really means, especially as a college student. I have spent hours pouring over blogs, books, and articles looking for a perspective that addressed all the frustration I was feeling. When I couldn’t find that perspective, I realized that the frustration came from a sense of being left behind. Why wasn’t anyone speaking to the college students, those of us who are facing one of the most challenging sexual periods of our lives? There were things covering purity in high school, in marriage, or being celibate and single. Some articles tried to address the issue of college relationships, but they were all written by older campus pastors or professors who have since been married. Their point of view was, of course older and wiser in most ways, yet it also left out the genuine struggle of being stuck in this period of waiting. After all they were past waiting, but I am looking at several more years of virginity and patient frustrations.
The victimization of women in the media has become a very popular topic in the last ten years. It has become almost common knowledge that the photos of women in magazines are photo-shoped and Hollywood has turned women into mere sex objects. It’s a harsh reality that subconsciously hurts thousands of girls, and thankfully there are a good number of groups promoting awareness about it all.