Earlier this week my students and I were talking about whether sexual experience is a necessary prerequisite for marriage. While they all agreed that sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin, some said they wouldn't want to marry someone who had never kissed anyone before. The general consensus among those students was that to experience your first kiss with your spouse (not your boyfriend or girlfriend) would just be plain awkward. In their minds, you need a little experience first.
As a marriage and family teacher, I am always looking for helpful resources on a biblical understanding of marriage, purity, and sex. That's why I was really excited when I learned about this new book by Gerald Hiestand and Jay Thomas, Sex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach.
We all know a guy like this. He’s outgoing, suave, sensitive, and flirtatious. Women flock to him, and because of this he always has a different one on his arm. Some are quick to write him off as a player. Others simply attribute his antics to a deep love for women. And with so many to choose from, there are a lot out there for him to love.
It’s the stuff little girls dream of. What begins as a childhood fascination with princesses, dress-up clothes, and mock weddings, grows into a teenage obsession with wedding magazines, boys, and dreams of matrimonial bliss. Most girls, pre-pubescent and teenage, think about getting married. They flock to romantic movies, swoon over the male lead pursuing the woman perfectly, and then hope and wish that the same thing might happen to them someday. Regardless of what the feminists say about girl power and all, most teenage girls (especially Christian ones) still want marriage and family. But then again, there is also a disconnect somewhere.
A few years ago a girl I knew remarked that she felt strange visiting her particular hairdresser because she was a lesbian. Knowing that this woman was attracted to women, not men, made her uncomfortable, and eventually she moved on to someone else. She meant no ill-will towards the hairstylist. She was a solid believer, valued God's word, and prayed fervently for lost people to come to Christ. But when it came to the homosexual hair stylist something just didn't sit right with her. I think her response is quite common for many of us within the conservative Christian community.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” –Matthew 5:8
I have read this verse for years and it was only recently that the full weight of it hit me. Lack of purity, in heart and ultimately in deed, can keep us from seeing God. So often when we talk about purity with young people we focus primarily on behavior modification. It is not wrong to tell kids not to have sex and that “true love waits”. In fact, telling them what not to do is a form of instruction and necessary in shepherding and guiding. But it must be more than that. And I think the Bible tells the same story.
“Treat older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.”—1 Timothy 5:2
This verse has been sort of a theme in my class this semester. Whatever it might pertain to, whether it’s impurity, disrespect, flirtation, or leading them on, the question always is there: would you do that to your sister? So because this is a verse written to a man, and a pastor at that, you might be wondering how this has any bearing on your own life, as a woman (I’m assuming the bulk of my readership is female). But I assure you, it does.
Yesterday, the Christianity blog for women (Her.meneutics) published a blog post I wrote on the troubling trend of young women seeking older, wealthy men to pay their college debt. In the last week I have seen at least three news venues (two from The Today Show) talk about the "sugar daddy/sugar baby" arrangement. There are all sorts of opinions on whether this is an acceptable way to pay of debt. Some call it prostitution. Some say that it's just women using their sexual power for their advantage. And in a hyper-sexualized world, why wouldn't they be allowed to do something like this?
There are some who hear and read things on purity and feel overwhelming shame and remorse. This post is for you. There are some who hear and read things on purity and think it doesn't apply to them. This post is for you, too. There are some who read and hear things on purity and think that it is pointless. This post is for you, as well.
Proverbs repeatedly talks about Lady Wisdom and encourages the believer in Jesus to follow her example. The Bible tells us that a woman of wisdom.