Lately, I have been surrounded by people I know, who are strong, fundamentalist Christians.
And, one thing I am learning, for as much as purity doctrine is preached as a way to avoid heart ache and pain, it doesn’t seem to be doing any better than hook-up culture.
A guy sat at our table one day, and told us how many guys a girl could sleep with before she was a worthless whore. My husband tried to shut him up, and it isn’t working. Finally, the man said “what’s the matter with you?” and I interjected “Well, it could be the fact you keep calling his wife a worthless whore.” The man tried to back pedal, but it was too late.
Or how about the woman I know who was raped and then decided since she was worthless now anyway, she was ruined and dirty, why not just sleep with everybody?
Or maybe my brother-in-law, who sat here, night after night, crying about the fact that he gave his cheating wife the one gift he could never give anyone else. He can never have a first time again, and odds are against him finding someone who is a virgin, so, he will never again have a good or special sex life.
Or maybe the neighbor who talked about how women who wore white for their second weddings were just hoochies, and they weren’t fooling anyone, everyone knows they aren’t pure.
What about all those people who were taught that any sexual thought or idea or act was strictly prohibited, and then, is supposed to be magically bestowed with a perfect sex life on their wedding night?
Can we just stop? Seriously. I’m so sick of it.
If you want to teach your children to save sex for marriage, how about we teach them there are risks that you may not be prepared for at 16? That it’s a lot easier to raise a baby in a committed relationship at 28 than as a single college student. That it can stir up complicated emotions and can make a relationship more difficult Maybe we can stop telling dozens of kids in youth group to spit into a glass of water, then try to get somebody to drink it and explain “that is how disgusting sleeping around is” or another good one, the chewed up, flavorless piece of gum. Stop comparing people to objects. Stop acting like people, women especially, are nothing more than a body, that can apparently be used up and thrown away.
Guess what? According to my brother, apparently, I’m a whore. That doesn’t make me worthless. It doesn’t make me trash. It doesn’t make me used up, and incapable of having a good relationship. It doesn’t change the fact I am smart, and I am funny and I’m a good parent. It doesn’t change my ability to see something in my head and create it. It doesn’t stop my love of learning, or my talent at cooking. It doesn’t mean I love my husband less, or am less committed to him. It doesn’t mean my sex life is meaningless.
I’m just aggravated, I’ve recently been called a whore, I’ve always been called a slut, and have listened to Mike, repeatedly, explain that he truly loved my sister, and that is why they waited until they were married to have sex.
you know what? Brad and I didn’t wait 24 hours to have sex. I’ve never doubted, for a minute, that man loves me like crazy. A person’s love isn’t more special just because you didn’t have sex before marriage. It isn’t more true love.
I’m not saying we’ve never had to deal with the consequences of those choices. We have had to deal with some issues that came up because of that. But, it doesn’t seem like there are fewer issues or happier marriages if you wait.
Nobody is worthless, or used up, or dirty. Everyone can change if they want to, but this purity preaching makes it real hard to want to, when you hear from every direction that you can’t. I mean, let’s think back to the glass of water. That is what you were compared to, you can’t go and take out every molecule of spit. You can’t take the germs out of the gum and put the flavor back in.
How about we compare to people to a notebook, if we want to use objects to describe people.
And, everyone you come into contact with gets to write a few lines. They are helping shape your story.
Sometimes the words are encouraging, and sometimes they are hurtful. Sometimes they words are deserved. Sometimes they aren’t.
But, you get to write to, draw over it, make it beautiful, change it, erase it. Maybe, if you look real hard, you can see how the old words, how the old story shaped that particular page…but you get tot change it. And, with time, the page will smooth out. And, sometimes you’ll make new friends, who come in with markers and paint and make those pages beautiful too. Or make the future pages so beautiful you don’t look at the old ones anymore.
It doesn’t matter how the book ends up shaping up, it isn’t worthless. There is something valuable inside.
And, the people who won’t want to open the pages and see it probably aren’t really people you want to be friends with anyway.
Edited to add: I didn’t touch on the religious aspect of the teachings. I know many will argue that the Bible and God want them to teach this.
Really? And how do you come to this conclusion? Because I’ve missed it.
Yes, it does talk about adultery and fornication. It also talks about many other things.
We don’t tell a shop lifting teenager we will disown them if they get caught shoplifting. Which is what we tell teenage girls about pregnancy.
We look at being unable to “control” ones self when alone with a boyfriend/girlfriend as a huge moral failing, but we don’t consider being unable to control ourselves at the dinner table as a shameful thing. Gluttony is mentioned in the Bible too.
We don’t tell a defiant middle-schooler that now they are dirty. Even though the Bible says you should respect your parents.
We don’t tell our kids not to be friends with Billy, across the street, because you heard he puts away his laundry AND mows the lawn on the Sabbath.
We don’t put our arms around the crying 10 yr old, who is jealous Jessie got the brand new bike, IN HIS FAVORITE COLORS, and he has to make due with a too big one from a garage sale, and tell the child “You are used up and dirty now, because you are envious, and the Bible says that is bad.”
Let’s stop defining people by their mistakes, and judging their worth that.
We only use “worthless” and “dirty” to describe sexual sins. God can forgive, and people can change, but when you put this on such a high level, it seems like it is a lot harder to fix.