I don’t know about you, but back when I was a teenager (in the late 80s, egads!) there was this mentality that to be a virgin was some kind of curse or something, and the social pressure from peers was that virginity was something to be ditched at the first possible opportunity.
If you don’t believe me, just watch the teen movies of that era. In almost every one, there is a character on a quest to lose their virginity like it is some rite of passage. Characters who are virgins are portrayed as dweebs or squares or horribly uncool.
When I talk to teenagers today, it seems not much has changed. There may be some here and there who are taking virginity pledges and such, but for the most part it seems the attitude that to be a virgin is somehow a bad thing remains. That “experience” is preferable to innocence.
Frequent commenter Artisanal Toad raised an interesting point on his blog recently when he brought up an Old Testament passage that says, to paraphrase, when a girl loses her virginity, in God’s eyes the couple is married for life, unless the father objects to the match. In either case the man is required to pay the father the “bride price” in exchange for the daughter’s virginity.
Think about that for a minute. That would mean every girl reading this who is not a virgin is actually still married to the guy she lost her virginity to! Even if he or she went on to marry someone else! Uh oh, if this is the case, that means there are many awkward conversations to be had! (And yes, this rule seems only to be applied to women losing their virginity, not to men, unless the girl is also a virgin and then they are married.)
I hope he won’t mind my reposting the diagram from his site explaining this rather radical idea under today’s sexual norms, for those who are having trouble following this here:
Wow. I don’t know about you, but I find that absolutely mind blowing!
Now I am not sure if this is the case post New Testament, and since I cannot ask God directly about the in’s and out’s of the fine print, I don’t want to split hairs over if this is or is not the case anymore. However if nothing else it does make me wonder, if women today operated under that assumption that whoever they choose to lose their virginity to would be their husband from that point on till death do they part, how would that change things? Would women still be in a rush to “get it over with” as soon as possible? Or would they be a lot, lot, lot more thoughtful about the matter?
In our culture, the current assumption by and large is that partners WON’T be virgins when they marry. Or even when they meet. Sadly, this is largely the case even among church going folks. I do in fact know several couples who are each other’s first and only, and who are still together and going strong, but it’s exceedingly rare anymore.
How sad. I know I will be encouraging my own girls to wait, to value their virginity and innocence, to resist silly peer pressure, and to wait for a man who is ready and willing to commit to her for life, someone who will love her, honor her, cherish, and keep her all the days of her life.
I hope other girls/teens/young women will also rethink this idea of the “virginity curse” and buck the trend. Wouldn’t it be great if our society got to a point where it was “cool” to be a virgin until one was married? That it was considered a special and sacred moment once more?
Because it truly is a rite of passage, which is very likely why the tradition of weddings became such a big deal. That ceremony is supposed to signify this Old Testament idea — that to lose one’s virginity = marriage. Yep! That’s what the white gown and the standing up and the father giving away and the vows and the big party after are all about. Believe it or not!
Obviously we as a society are so far from that, the idea almost seems nutty. But if you ask me, it actually makes a whole lot of sense! And if one is a believer, it’s something to ponder very carefully indeed. I doubt God’s view of the matter has changed all that much.
In the case a believer has already crossed the line, I am not sure what the solution might be. Except to repent and sin no more. Like the bible also advises, if you can’t be celibate, find someone and get married, and spend the rest of your days happily knocking boot with your chosen life mate! Yep, it’s as simple (and complex) as that!
Let those who have ears hear.