Posts tagged ‘abstinence’
One of my biggest mistakes as young uber-Christian, although clearly not my only one, was in misunderstanding the role of sex in a happy romantic relationship. I don’t think it’s that unusual for this crowd: frankly the irony is that abstinence-based sex-ed seems to translate into “we never talk about sex except to say ‘don’t do it!’ Well, don’t do it until you’re married.”
My only parental guidance on this subject was Josh McDowell’s book from the “Why Wait” series. My youth pastor at church referred to losing one’s virginity as analogous to a baseball crashing through a plate-glass window: you were left to pick up the pieces and you could never reclaim what you once had.
The problem is, and I’m far from the first person to notice this, that it is then hard to turn overnight from an angel to a vixen. The whole thing is tainted–and I don’t buy the Born Agains who claim that they can get the guidance they need to make this transition through prayer and study of the gospels. Yes, you need to study. No, I don’t think the information you need is in the words of Paul. Nor is it in pornography, another Christian favorite (for reasons that boggle the mind).
I know this one far too well and from painful personal experience. I was the good girl who got married too young as a dressed-in-white virgin, in a wedding doomed for failure involving another (technical) virgin…
When I was 15, I fell in love with J— and with Jesus. One stole my heart, the other my soul. Neither love would last, but both haunt me to this day.
In the ‘60s, while I was jumping rope and playing hop scotch, Jesus got down off of the heavy cross at the altar of the Catholic church and turned into a cool, hippie dude who loved everyone. It was quite a change of image for a guy who’d been King of Kings and Lord of Lords for almost 2,000 years to start chumming around with the regular folks as good ole boy, JC. The Jesus Movement, started in California by hippies who got high on Jesus instead of LSD, knew Jesus not as the stern, Father-God sorting out the sinners and the saints on Judgment Day, but as an earthy, loving brother accepting all humanity with open arms.
By the time the Jesus Movement reached Long Island at the end of the decade, it had lost most of its hippie accoutrements and had become quite suburban. Its evangelists looked more like Ozzie and Harriet than like Peter, Paul, and Mary. My parents were too old to be hippies and I was too young, but both of our generations succumbed to the hippie mantras of the Jesus Movement: Peace, Love, and Joy.
The further Jesus moved from the cross, the closer he moved to my heart. From Almighty Son-of-God to Personal Savior to friend. When his sandal-shod feet finally hit the dusty ground, I was ready to fall in love with him forever…
There is a new phenomenon often associated with evangelical Christian churches that is very disturbing. I am talking about the latest trend called Purity Balls.
A Purity Ball has all the ingredients of any nicely prepared formal ball. There are flowing gowns and black tuxes, practiced dancing to lively music and white candles sparkling throughout the ballroom. This is all very lovely.
Those attending a Purity Ball are young women with their fathers as their dates, and as they swirl about on the dance floor, it is no doubt a sight that would warm even the coldest of hearts. At first glance, it would appear that this event is simply an opportunity for dads to have some quality time with their little girls and perhaps get to know them a little better.
However, it is what happens toward the end of the event that causes me to lose that warm fuzzy feeling.