Disclaimer – This post is outside my normal. It is something that I absolutely believe has to be talked about in our sexually saturated world, especially with our young people. It is something I will talk to my children about as they enter their teen years. I use sexually graphic terms to get my point across. You’ve been warned.
Apparently four of the Duggar daughters have written a book called Growing up Duggar. I have never watched an episode of the Duggar show. I have my assumptions about the family, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable even going there because they aren’t based on anything I’ve seen or heard first hand. That being said, this family does seem to elicit controversy in regards to some of their child rearing techniques, and the daughters attempt to explain these beliefs throughout this new publication. The controversy boils down to their relationship philosophy which states that they will not kiss or date before marriage, a shocking idea in our sex crazed world. Here’s Mom, Michelle Duggar’s take on her daughter's beliefs:
I’m conflicted as a mom who has children entering their pre-teen years. Ryan and I are already fielding questions about boyfriends and girlfriends and who’s going with who and first kisses and when to have a first kiss. It is way too young for my kids to have any knowledge of sexuality (in my opinion), but they do, and I will not be that mom with her head stuck under a rock refusing to acknowledge the reality of what my kids are facing. Looking at the Duggar system of dating, I have to say, I respect this belief system much more than what typically occurs in many young, religious, social circles I’ve been a part of and many others which I’ve heard second hand accounts from.
The premise of the message in many of these faith based circles is well meaning, but the reality is not necessarily truthful. The admonishment begins innocently enough from those in authority, as kids praise the Lord, declaring as one united body, purity rings wrapped around naïve, young fingers:
“SAVE YOUR VIRGINITY! YOU HAVE A PRECIOUS GIFT THAT MUST BE SAVED UNTIL MARRIAGE! IF YOU GIVE IT AWAY YOU CAN NEVER GET IT BACK AND YOU’LL BE RUINED FOR LIFE!”
I took this loud declaration from my youth group leader very seriously until I just didn’t anymore and lost my virginity on a whim. The thing was, all of the youth group mantras of “SAVE YOURSELF FOR MARRIAGE!! IT’S A PRECIOUS GIFT FROM GOD THAT YOU CAN NEVER GET BACK ONCE IT’S GONE!” started to seem a tad bit blasphemous as many of the same young people who were “saving” themselves, (yours truly included) were also playing a popular game, a holier than thou type of game, a game I’ll affectionately refer to as fake virginity, toeing the purity line as far as possible, and this in some profound way saved their virginity for their one, true, God appointed marital love while those who allowed penetration with release had damned themselves to eternally giving up the only precious gift to ever be able to give another person. I didn’t see the difference between sex and almost sex; they both conjured the same empty feelings as if something wasn’t quite right - something was missing. Yes, both were fun in the moments but neither one left a satisfied soul in the wake because neither one was quite the way God intended sex to be.
Fake Virginity – A misconception involving a belief that you have actually saved yourself for marriage by expounding the virtues of virginity to everyone on why you’ll NEVER give “it” up in an attempt to make yourself appear spiritual but behind closed doors allowing for anything sexually oriented (oral, anal, complete feel ups, nakedness and even penetration) EXCEPT for penetration with release within the female cavity.
Yes, for some of you with your mouths open in horrific disbelief, this does occur with many of our Christian youth and it’s not a new concept. The sooner we, the adults, are aware of what’s going on the sooner we can have real conversations about it and not just mindless, feel good rants about “saving your virginity” while slapping a purity ring on our kid’s finger which our teens can then smugly convince themselves and convince us that they are following the rules by keeping the hymen intact.
Webster defines virginity as the state or condition of being a virgin.
The state or condition of being pure, fresh, or unused.
I don’t think putting naked genitals anywhere near another person probably constitutes as an “unused or pure” act outside of marriage. True virginity, in my opinion, involves an absence of nakedness, an absence of putting things in places or on others where they don’t belong – it involves something that looks similar to what the Duggar family is promoting.
The Bible provides limited sexual directions because it has no absolute definition of what virginity is or is not. It does repeatedly speak about fleeing from lustful desires and sexual immortality which can be interpreted as a broad banner covering most sexual activities including oral, anal, penetration, and nakedness with another person who is not a spouse. It never specifies that virginity is an actual breaking of the hymen which is the relevant train of thought in our modern twenty-first century.
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” Matt 5:28.
This verse condenses what is allowed in a Godly sexual relationship and what is not, and it is a stringent order. According to this verse, any kind of lustful relationship, physically, emotionally, or spiritually with a person who is not a spouse, is adulterous in nature, so unfortunately for the fake virgins this covers any kind of naked activity as well, not just limited to hymen breaking. This verse also seems to point to virginity beginning in the mind rather than below the waist, an interesting concept to mull.
Many of these well intentioned mantras proclaimed by those in authority have also become something they were never intended to be. What was intended to spur youth toward Godly living has the potential to become a guilt induced, shame driven type of philosophy, and this in turn breeds an insane loophole permitting for everything but penetration with release within, (I keep making this distinction because it is a game young people allow for, release outside, no virginity lost, release within, virginity’s gone) pretending to themselves, pretending to God, pretending to their parents, pretending to those in authority over them in church, and even pretending to their future spouses that they have “saved themselves for marriage.” The thought process is infinitely flawed - Biblically, worldly, physically, and emotionally flawed; there is no difference in the spiritual realm between the two categories. The “V” word becomes the end goal, but instead it’s only a trick played on ourselves, on our future spouses, and one we try to play on God.
This highly touted “virgin” premise also has a tendency to make Godly men and women feel like scum if they gave away the gift, “the most precious gift in the whole entire world” and the thing is, God doesn’t make anyone feel like scum. People, often Christian people, make others feel like scum. The truth is, the most precious thing in the whole entire world is not my virginity or your virginity, or lack thereof for that matter, but it is instead Jesus Christ and what he did at Calvary. That is the most precious gift, a gift that completely covers every single stupid mistake anyone ever makes if they ask for mercy. I’ve known many women who should be blessed for their incredible sacrifice of saving themselves for marriage, their sex lives with that special someone, their forever someone, but they’re not blessed at all. In fact, these women hate sex and avoid it at all costs. On the flip side, I’ve seen women who had been around the block a time or two or three before marriage, express true repentance over those decisions, and have amazing, loving, fulfilling, Christ centered sex lives full of passion. Why? Because Jesus is good like that. He can take the ugly, the mistakes, the nasty, the scum, and the fake virgins, and he can redeem it all in an instant and make it white as snow. These mantras we chant to our youth often lead to lies and mistruths that our youth tell to give an appearance of something they believe we want from them – perfection. We need to instead point our youth to Jesus and trust that he will help them sort out how their purity is going to look according to the convictions and standards God sets in place for them, and we need to trust that Jesus will be able to handle all of their questions, struggles, and mistakes.
I wholeheartedly agree that virginity and fake virginity are incredibly sacred. I believe in the sanctity of marriage and in the sanctity of sex. I believe that you should save yourself sexually for marriage. I believe that fake virginity is just as sinful and just as damning as actually losing your virginity – no difference, in my opinion. I believe that a husband and wife share a beautiful, special bond together through a sexual experience that can be recreated through the redeeming blood of Christ if a husband and/or a wife was not a virgin on their wedding night, and they can experience that bond with one another that supposedly only true virgins get to experience. This is true for anyone who desires to have wholeness and oneness in their marriage. Christ is in the business of restoring beauty from ashes; my life is a living testimony of this fact. Christ is also in the business of making things even better than they ever were before, thank goodness.
If you choose to be a virgin until marriage, do it, be a real virgin, man or woman or Duggar up and physically, emotionally, and spiritually be what your convictions say to you. Don’t hide behind fake virginity, hold your head high and truly live what you believe to be your truth. If you’ve already lost your virginity, it’s not the end of the world. Godly people make mistakes and lose friends, respect, positions, and trust. You lost an intact hymen; the things on the list above seem like a much bigger deal to me than a piece of skin, and God can restore it all. He can restore friendships, respect, positions, and trust, and he can spiritually restore virginity. I believe this wholeheartedly. What the locusts have eaten, he can restore.
Just keep livin!!