Virginity: Christianity’s Main Idol?
Last October my daughter turned 13, and my wife and I took her out for her “promise ring” event. The evening was a blast, the food was terrific, and the conversation was over-the-top. We presented her with a ring to commemorate the event. It was beautiful; she was beautiful; my wife was beautiful; the whole evening was just… beautiful. During the conversation we focused in on the fact that she was becoming a woman and boys were probably going to start to notice. The promises that were made that night concerned keeping lines of communication open about whatever may be going on in her life over the next few years. We want to rejoice with her as things go well, and help her through any times when things might not go so well. We promised to talk about whichever boy that may show an interest, or that she might take an interest in when he comes calling. The issue of virginity may have come up at certain points in the conversation, but that ideal is not one that is new to her. Scripture is replete with references to God’s desire for sexual purity, so we did not wait until she was 13 to introduce them. True love does not wait until your children are 13 to tell them that “true love waits”.
Attached to this post is a link to an article concerning the “downside” of the “True Love Waits” movement. Perhaps that is the downside–that it is a movement of a Christian bookstore instead of the modus operandi of Christian families in the church. The downsides referred to in the article concern “damaged goods” and “virginity as a commodity”. The “damaged goods” issue comes into play since virginity can only be “lost” once. After it’s gone, by definition, it’s gone. The article raises some valid questions about how the emphasis on mass-marketed virginity can ostracize the young ladies who are no longer virgins and cannot possibly retrieve it. They can be forgiven, but not be really “pure” like a girl who is still a virgin. Is this loving to our neighbors? Is this how we would want to be treated? These are questions the article addresses.
I wouldn’t trade the evening with my wife and daughter last October for anything. I do not plan on changing the general direction of how I am approaching my own daughter, but I appreciate the issues raised in this article. I love my daughter enough to instruct her in righteousness and be there with her as she matures. Do I love my neighbor’s daughter enough to be careful with my words? Are we wise and loving enough to preach “as far as the east is from the west” right alongside “you reap what you sow”?