Here’s a subject guaranteed to get everyone angry or excited-sexual abstinence. It’s a little “raunchy” perhaps for some people, so be warned. Having had personal experience of both sides of the debate I think I can offer a few thoughts, and as it’s my blog site, I guess it’s just too bad if you’re unhappy that I’m “un-qualified” to write on the subject. I do have some strong views on both sides, so if you don’t like the first part-hang on- you might agree with the rest.
I was sexually active in my teens, at a time when I had no interest in being a Christian. Even if I had some interest in being a Christian, it may not have made any difference to what happened to me, because my hormones were running at warp speed, and very little would have held them back. But that was a large part of my downfall in life. By getting sexually active, I became very emotionally entwined with a girl, and then another, who had no intention of being committed to anyone for long, and no idea what commitment meant anyway. By the time I was nineteen, when I should have been full of life and joy, my heart was broken, and I was binge drinking and getting as high as I could to forget how lonely and rejected I was.
So there’s point one: all this talk of not marrying because we don’t want to be committed until we’re sure it’s going to work is just empty deception and self-deception for many of us. Once you get physical, and particularly when you move in together, you may as well be married anyway-emotionally and physically speaking. We are designed and made for commitment and love, and once we get physically involved with someone, and see them every day and every night, sharing every possible intimacy, they become a part of us. Once in that predicament, such a relationship cannot be shaken off easily-or perhaps never in some cases. Why is it that more second marriages (and casual relationships) fail than first marriages? Isn’t this evidence that the grass is not really greener on the other side of the fence? Alright, that man turned out to be a bum: why didn’t you get to know him well before you gave yourself to him? Alright-that woman turned out to be a domineering dragon: why didn’t you get to know her well before you got her into bed?
I see so many very young people, particularly girls, who are already jaded, hardened, miserable, soiled and cynical by the time they are twenty or so, because they fell for that lie that if they just fall in love with a boy and give him everything he wants, life will be wonderful and he’ll love her forever. It doesn’t (or rarely) happen that way. If boys don’t have to be committed, many of them won’t be. They’ll hang around while the going is good, and then they’ll walk off and find another girl to get their no-strings-attached thrills from, fooling her (and perhaps himself) into thinking that he “loves” her. Physical attraction is only one aspect of love, so if the relationship is all about that, it’s not long before the initial thrill diminishes, and there’s nothing left to keep the relationship going.
Imagine taking a brand new car out for a test drive, then spilling chocolate milk-shake all over the seat and the carpet, putting a dent in the hood, and burning up the tires before you take it back to the dealer. It’s spoiled-it’s already lost a lot of value. Well, people are taking each other out for a test-drive physically and emotionally, and by the time you get involved with someone, they’re already used, damaged and messed up –they’re nothing like they were designed to be for you.
Once used and dumped, the girl is often now a mother, (I won’t even mention the horrors of abortion), and she has to take care of the child-or sometimes two or three children,-alone, because there was no true commitment in the relationship, and no pressure from society to encourage that commitment. And what about the children? They don’t want their dads to live somewhere else or to suffer the feeling of rejection that causes. They don’t want some strange man coming to live with them to tell them what to do, and they don’t want a new Mom- they want and need a stable, loving, committed home.
In the past men were berated for being unloving and insensitive towards their wives. Nobody thought of trying to teach them how to be sensitive in order to promote a loving, successful marriage. Now we have a world where men do not have to be loving-they can play the field and trample on feelings and lives without fear of criticism. Of course many females have the same attitude. Now we don’t have to treat the opposite sex with respect or honor: the gloves are off and it’s every man for himself.
This has a consequence not only for individuals but for all of society. Family is the glue that holds us all together and which teaches such traits as accountability, patience and self-sacrificing. Marx’s socialism/communism sought to destroy family ties as a hated bastion of Christian tradition, and the Bolsheviks literally battered the family by physical force and every means necessary. Now, in our “civilized” age, the same mentality is battering family in more subtle but equally destructive ways- using different labels and terms- but the end result is the same: misery, rejection, cynicism, loneliness, fatherless and motherless children, a financial drain on the nation, and a godless, unaccountable population which has forgotten what real love and commitment is.
In our day, there’s an added consequence: gay life is gaining popularity, partly, I believe, because women understand what women want, and men understand what men want, and the societal barriers to their self-seeking abandonment of any kind of moral standards are being dismantled to give them free reign. They’re disillusioned with traditional married life, and don’t see any need or point in attempting to build a home to be a haven and a model for human offspring. In this can be seen Paul’s warning that people in the “last days” would be:
“Without natural affection” (2 Timothy 3:3 KJV).
We’re being driven by a philosophy-a lie- which says that we are “just animals” which do not need to mate for life but just for as long as it feels good, and that there are no absolute standards to live by anyway. The consequence (or one of the many consequences) of abandoning commitment, duty and self-sacrificing love is that many people become hard, cynical, detached, selfish and angry, even at a young age.
AGAINST: MODERN-DAY CHRISTIANITY ALSO ASSAULTS COMMITMENT!
In my sub-heading assertion I’m not criticizing true Christianity, because true Christianity (besides being about Jesus Christ) is all about love and commitment and self-sacrificing. I’m talking about the materialistic, worldly way of thinking which most Christians have bought into. Professing Christians either see no value in Biblical morality and no need for any attempt to live by it, or alternatively they put an almost impossibly idealistic burden onto the backs of young people. This philosophy says that before ever getting sexually involved with anyone, kids should go through school, then college, then get a good job, then find a nice guy or girl, then get to know them for a few years before finally getting married and settling down. This is almost as unrealistic as waiting for a fairy godmother to appear so she can wave her magic wand and make us wealthy, beautiful and happy.
There are some young people who have no or little interest in sex or relationships, and that’s fine. But there are many who are very interested, and it’s not sinful to have that urge-it’s a natural, God-given desire to want love and intimacy with someone of the opposite sex. God made Eve for Adam very quickly after making him, and blessed their intimacy, even before they sinned by eating the fruit against His commandment: the intimacy and the sex was not sin. Neither did they have a stressful and expensive wedding ceremony to endure before they could get together.
More than that, hormones in young people-sometimes as young as thirteen or fourteen-are going berserk, having been designed and fuelled by God to propagate the human race and to build new family units to populate and manage God’s world. Youth is beautiful, and most of us are more attractive when we are young than when we are older. How can we expect young people to not notice that beauty they see in each other? That’s ridiculous! I’m not saying that we should just let young people have their way as soon as they want to, but I am saying that expecting them to go without love and intimacy and sex until they’re twenty, twenty-five or thirty years old is unfair, unreal, ungodly and unnecessary. Can we not find a way of helping them get together (in marriage) before they are already losing their youth?
“Life is short”, people say when they get older, and it is. Our desire to hold back natural youthful urges is expecting young people to wait perhaps, in some cases, much longer than we should expect them to. Sex, romance and intimacy are, for the majority of us, most thrilling and exciting when we are young. Is it really right to deny that kind of excitement, just because we want to impose upon the young our own materialistic notion of life, insisting that they first and most importantly “do well” financially and vocationally?