I grew up in the Correct Enjoy Waits era. Exactly where books like, I kissed dating goodbye by Joshua Harris, had been all the rage and fancy purity rings had been what fantastic Christian girls hung their hopes on. And, prior to you believe I was against any of this, let me set the record straight: I was all for it.
I was so all in, that I committed myself to a year of dating Jesus (it was at a Christian youth conference – all the spiritually elite had been undertaking it, and even though I had a tinge of hesitation, I signed my name on the dotted line and promised to only date Jesus for a year).
Now, not every single girl stuck to that commitment, but this girl did.
Even when the cutest guy in my class wanted to date me and almost everything in me screamed YEEESS, I held speedy, buckled down and honored my commitment.
Mainly because I WAS ALL IN.
I was going to stay pure till I was married.
I was going to show all of the guys what a hardcore Jesus chick I was.
I was going to make certain everybody knew JUST HOW A great deal OF A FLIPPIN PRIZE TO BE WON I WAS.
I actually believed that by “saving” (eh, repressing) any and all of my sexuality was not only what it would take to impress God, but was what would eventually deem me worthy of locating an honorable, faithful, guy.
Even though that message may well not have been explicitly mentioned, it was absolutely implied. And it became the driving force behind all of my sexual (or lack thereof) choices following that.
Skip forward to now: I followed the guidelines, did as I was told and but, right here I sit, two painful divorces later.
Now, this is not a weblog post screaming to damn all the guidelines and do what ever you want. It could be. But, it is not. 😉
I think that persons are in charge of themselves.
Some persons will pick to do the pretty point that will hurt you the most – no matter if you “waited” for them, saved oneself for them or if they claim to appreciate Jesus. In life, difficult points will take place outdoors of your handle and irrespective of whether or not you are sexually pure actually does not have something to do with it.
My expertise with the purity movement left me with a load of complaints. But alternatively of focusing on the harm it made for me, I want to concentrate on the a lot bigger concern with the purity culture.
Mainstream Christian culture has turn into obsessed with sex.
If you believe I’m crazy, just appear at exactly where most Christians hold picket indicators, push their religious “rights” and guilt (eh, “conviction”) on their congregations. It has turn into so typical that we do not even flinch when we see these behaviors on show.
Now, I do not take concern with private convictions, nor do I have a challenge with persons selecting to save themselves for marriage. But, sadly, this has moved way beyond private conviction – this has turn into an obsession.
Men and women normally obsess more than what they worry. In the culture I was raised in, there was a powerful worry of sexual promiscuity.
Hence, virginity rings had been promoted, accurate appreciate waits campaigns had been made and a entire movement of anti-sexuality was born. These movements not only scared these of us influenced by them, but it supplied these top us with a sense of handle which I picture presented short-term relief from their fears.
And for a although, it worked.
The concern that it made even though, was a culture afraid of sexuality.
And when you develop worry about anything, you eventually develop shame.
Shame and worry quietly became the headliners in every single purity message, modesty speech, religious rights campaign and sexually “convicting” sermon. Worry and shame became what persons felt in just about every single sexual encounter they knowledgeable: worry of God becoming disappointed in them and shame more than their body’s all-natural responses and tendencies.
When you have a culture who fears sex and is ashamed of sexuality, you have a recipe for disaster. Mainly because, persons obsessed with sex and covered in shame, will do awful points.
I have sat with various victims of sexual assault, voyeurism and molestation all who had been victimized by the hands of Christian males (even pastors and counselors) who had been in authority more than them.
And, but, several of these victims, if they are brave sufficient to come forward, normally are not believed, they are told to be quiet or they are told it was their fault.
Very good GOD. WHY?!
Ladies are normally shamed for not becoming pure, shamed for inviting sexual advances and shamed for becoming also promiscuous. Males, even so, are normally offered a pat on the back and told to attempt to function on controlling themselves – but not to be concerned, due to the fact their behaviors and errors are absolutely “normal”.
This method is not okay. And it has bred a disaster of hurt and discomfort in the lives of numerous persons.
I do not have to inform you about stories of priests, pastors, counselors and leaders who have sexually abused kids or ladies serving underneath them. None of us are strangers to these stories.
Having said that, that is only the behavior we know about. It is not even addressing hidden behavior that normally presents itself on the net.
In an write-up on expastors.com, they revealed that 50% of Christian males admit to becoming addicted to pornography. And if you believe pastors are any far better, the write-up revealed that, “Nearly 20% of the calls received on Concentrate on the Family’s Pastoral Care Line are for support with troubles such as pornography and compulsive sexual behavior”
The write-up also stated that 1,351 of the pastors surveyed on Pastors.com, 54% mentioned they had viewed net pornography inside the final year and 30% of these had visited inside the final 30 days.
Our Christian purity culture has made a monster of an concern.
I’ve heard several of the mainstream Christian leaders plead for purity in their congregations saying, “we are losing the (sexual) battle to a depraved generation!” This is echoed in posts on social media, hyperlinks to sermons, and so forth, all saying the similar point.
And, but, out of the other side of their mouth they are guarding “Christian” males accused of sexual assault, rape or abuse.
In their efforts to continually attempt to fight the monster, they are basically feeding it.
At some point, we need to take duty for the various troubles that our culture of worry and shame has made and admit that transform is necessary. Mainly because, it is evident that our method to sex and sexuality just is not functioning.
I absolutely do not have all the answers.
Having said that, I can not support but believe it could be time for the Jesus follower to think about the Jesus method to the sexuality conversation:
Jesus didn’t preach about sex
Jesus didn’t shame persons about sexual behaviors or partners
Jesus didn’t make “correcting” people’s sexual options his concentrate
Jesus wasn’t obsessed with sex
Jesus wasn’t concerned with who was possessing sex, who wasn’t possessing sex, who was sleeping with who or what secular music (that may well speak about sex) persons had been listening to – which can not be mentioned of the religious leaders in his day nor for the existing religious leaders in our day.
General, Jesus didn’t have a lot to say about sex or sexuality.
He seemed a lot more focused on teaching his followers to: care for the abused, speak out for justice, appreciate your neighbor as your equal, be humble, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, not believe you are above other folks, involve the outsiders and the foreigners.
The fantastic news, is that no matter how obsessed your pastors, leaders or even family members was/is with your sexuality becoming “pure” or “right”, you can take comfort in recognizing that Jesus was by no means interested in shaming any person on this subject.
And if you had been victimized, you can also take comfort in recognizing that Jesus spoke up for the forgotten and abused more than and more than once again. He had no concern speaking out against these in energy.
Most importantly, when it comes to our personal bodies, it appeared that Jesus preferred to leave our sexuality as a sacred location amongst us and God.
Grace and peace,