There was a midnight feeding just days after I became a mother when I held my tiny, innocent firstborn daughter and wept. Caroline was perfect. Dim shafts of streetlight snuck through curtains, haloing her tiny form as we rocked. A terrifying thought entered my mind: Someday, this angelic infant would become a teenager, and then a college student… and she would face temptations of every kind. Including the sexual kind.
It was probably post-labor hormone imbalance, but the thought made me cry.
And in that moment, my heart became burdened by the hollow platitudes we teach daughters about sexuality.
We don’t teach our daughters about the grace that enables them to live in meaningful, beautiful sexual purity; we teach an empty, moralistic code. We preach “thou shalt nots” and “be respectable.” We fail to mention that, thank God, there is more in it for us than simply giving the “virginity gift” to our husbands and not “causing our brothers to stumble by dressing immodestly.”
As a high school student in the conservative Southeast, my friends and I were inundated with both secular and Christian pleas for abstinence. Several friends wore True Love Waits rings where future wedding bands would sit. We made purity pacts at slumber parties. We knew that two construction paper hearts sensually glued together could not later be separated without each heart losing bits of itself.
Yet in time, rings were quietly removed. Pacts were no longer mentioned. Our paper hearts broke.
How do hearts still break, even in the midst of warnings about teen pregnancy, STD’s, loss of reputation, loss of virgin status, loss of a clean track record to offer your future spouse? With so much to lose, why to warned, educated, Christian youth still fall prey to sexual temptation at a rate EQUAL to non-Christian youth?
The heart of this problem may be that we don’t understand the purpose of sex.
The Bible says all things were created BY and FOR Christ. (John 1:3, Col. 1:16) So how do we live according to the truth that SEX is BY and FOR Jesus?
Yeah, yeah. You’ve heard sermons explaining four God-ordained reasons for sex: procreation, intimacy, companionship, and pleasure. Got it. All true. But there is a greater picture… a beautiful metaphor… the scandalous reality that God made sex to depict our relationship to him.
In today’s anything-goes society, hardly any word is labeled as a bad one. Except for jealousy. (and a few others , such as intolerance.)
We think it’s bad to be jealous.
Break up with your boyfriend because he was too jealous. Complain about your jealous wife. We want our gods and our significant-others to be permissive.
Culture says there are as many paths to heaven as there are sexual experiences to be had. We want to keep our options open.
But the Bible calls God our Husband, and He is a jealous God. God teaches that it is right for One relationship to take precedence over the others.
Marriage on earth should take precedence over other human relationships. The Church’s marriage to God should take precedence over all else.
It is right for a young girl to save herself for her earthly husband. It is right for all Christians to be passionately and lovingly devoted to their heavenly Husband.
My husband Brad is allowed righteous rage if I cheat.
Our Heavenly Husband also has this right… although the entire book of Hosea is about how God instead woos His prostituting Bride back to Him.
Rather than (rightfully) annihilating us, God romances us back into His arms.
When young girls are told to remain pure, more is at stake than their body and earthly relationships.
They are living a metaphor. As our daughters finish school in purity, waiting to meet their husbands – should they decide to marry – they ARE the virgin brides from Scripture awaiting THE Husband.
Spiritually speaking, young virgins are urged to remain ready for their Groom. To not distract and forget their Love is coming.
When our girls plan their weddings in excitement, they need to be reminded that a far greater Wedding feast is held in Revelation 20, and that Jesus our Groom held his first earthly miracle at a wedding reception. As they walk down the aisle towards a spouse, they are to remember that each step on this earth is a bit of the aisle closer to their Husband Jesus.
It’s heady stuff, I know. The marriage metaphor is extensive in Scripture. There is no way to cover it all in a blog post. But I beg you… if you plan to have your daughter educated in Chemistry, Algebra, and fine literature… please, take the time to educate her on the beautiful and complex truths in Scripture that relate to the true reasons she should remain sexually pure.
Learn the truths for yourself, too.
After all, you have a wedding to get ready for. Don’t worry about what you’ll wear… Jesus promised to make the gown for you. (see Revelation 20.) Don’t be caught off guard. Your Husband could be here any day.