Agree or Disagree: Christians idolize virginity. Culture disrespects it

If you have been around the church for any length of time, you have heard the discussion about “saving yourself for marriage”

There have been some very impassioned and some might say, insistent pleas for this. There have been abstinence pledges signed,purity rings worn. A very strong and clear stance on saving yourself for marriage.

While many feel this is good, and biblical, there was an interesting question brought forth mainly through this blog

Let’s picture the scenario. Perhaps you have been here.

Group of people surrounding each other after a church message. Sharing with joy and gratitude that they have accepted God’s plan for marriage. They have waited and felt blessed. 

Except there is one, maybe two that as the conversation goes on feels less and less like the rest of the group. They haven’t waited. They made a decision for whatever personal reason that is to have it. They are concerned that if they open up, they would feel condemned and judged. They hear the messages. They hear the lingo. They know where they stand.

I think when you read the blog from Rachel and the links that follow, you will get a great perspective. However, I would like to paint another scenario.

Another group of people. They are gathering around after a party weekend. They are bragging about their sexual escapades of the weekend. Who they were with and how they felt. 

In the same group, there is a couple that for personal reasons that do not have to be connected with a religion, simply do not live that way. Maybe they do or do not practice a faith, but they have decided that they will wait for a deep commitment before they go there. But as this conversation goes on, they get more and more uncomfortable. They decide not to open up. Why? They know the lingo. They know the message. They see and feel that they will get judged for waiting.

So, I also ask, does our culture actually disrespect the idea of virginity? You will note that in Rachel’s blog those that have not waited feel disqualified from the conversation of “purity”. But there may be some that feel that their choice of abstaining  has as well.

What do you think


3 responses to “Agree or Disagree: Christians idolize virginity. Culture disrespects it

  1. to have relations outside of marriage is fornication, it shows a disregard for the purpose of relations, the bond that is supposed to be formed between husband and wife, is a bond of mutual trust and admiration for each other, to have relations before marriage or even commiting adultery cheapens the relationship you basically saying I do not love you that much, I don’t need you and your inadequate for me. very cold blooded. to have relations simply to satisfys ones lust (and inability to exercise respect and self control) is disgusting, it shows lack of character, lack of concern for how your actions affect yourself, your partner and your family society. so I would say society cheapens this by showing such stuff on tv, news, etc as acceptable, what they are saying is we want you not to feel guilty for being selfiish in looking out for your own wants and needs without regard to the harm it causes because we want society to break down, remember rome.

  2. Speaking as a non-religious Virgin, I personally would not judge anyone for their choice to have sex. But most sexually experienced people would judge me and make all kinds of assumptions about what kind of person I am. Sexually active people seem to think that if you are a Virgin you must be a Bible-thumper ready to condemn them to hell. I am not here to condemn anyone. I do my own thing and leave others to do theirs. Why can’t we all just live and let live?

  3. As someone who did grow up in a rather intense “purity culture” (not even having a crush on a boy was permissible), I would tend to agree that Christians idolize virginity. It’s not that virginity/purity/abstinence are “bad” ideals, but that the rhetoric surrounding them should be more honest, and more complex.

    Currently, and most of the time, when virginity/purity is being discussed, it is in a very black-and-white environment. Sex before marriage is fornication. Sex before marriage is wrong. Sex before marriage is sin. While I would still tend to “agree” with statements like those, I am compelled to disagree with their presentation.

    The virginity/purity rhetoric reflects a highly gnostic and dualistic worldview regarding our bodies. In the rhetoric, our flesh cannot be trusted. Our heart is “deceitfully wicked, and who can know it.” Our bodies are *bad.* There is no place to talk about what healthy sexual appetites look like, since the rhetoric is almost entirely consumed with simply deadening, ignoring, repressing, or shaming our bodies into submission.

    There is also *no place* to talk about sexual agency or consent. That, in my mind, is the single biggest problem with the virginity/purity culture. A woman has no rights to her body– she is the property of her father, and then her husband, and when a young man “taints” a young woman’s body, he hasn’t done anything *to the woman,* but to the woman’s *future husband.* He’s stolen her “purity,” not from *her,* but from her *future husband.* This is a problem.

    There’s also no way to talk about sexual abuse and rape– even inside of marriage. In virginity/purity cultures, the biggest piece of advice women get is “have as much sex with your husband as he wants. If you don’t, he’ll just go somewhere else. It’s your duty as a wife to meet his sexual needs.” There’s not a whole lot of room in the rhetoric, ideologically, for a woman to say “I have a headache,” — even when she *does*, in fact, have a headache.

    Sexuality is a multi-layered complex problem– the church, by treating it as simple, with a simple solution, can cause a lot of damage.

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