Sometimes when I’m teaching class to the high school girls that I mentor, with a lot of them being juniors and seniors, it really throws me how limited some of their vocabulary tends to be. They are naturally smart but because reading doesn’t seem to be nearly the joy (or priority) that it once was, even when I was in school, basically *not one session goes by* in which one of them will hear me say something and ask, “What does that mean?” And it’s not college words. A lot of them are not even ACT test score words. Many, they should’ve been taught about, learned and applied, in elementary school.
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.”—Hebrews 5:12 (NKJV)
In the spiritual sense, I’m starting to wonder if there are some similarities with the whole word-defining thing. Seemingly, words that seemed to once upon a time be a given, suddenly, when asked what they mean to us now, we’re drawing a blank. Take the word “virgin” for instance. I think most of us are aware that it means, “a person who has never had sexual intercourse”. Yet, the more virgins that I encounter, the more I’m wondering if they know that it also means, “pure; unsullied; untapped”; “not previously exploited, cultivated, tapped or used”; “without experience of; not being previously exposed to”.
Without experience of. Not being previously exposed to. Sex.
Now I know, especially when it comes to things of a sexual nature, that this world can make that *pretty darn difficult*. I’m by no means a “first definition virgin” (hats off to y’all who are!) but I’m really happy to say that I’m getting a lot of those other ones down pretty well these days (indeed, if you are *in Christ*, you can be a *new creation*!-2 Corinthians 5:17). That’s why when I read a find featured in the Washington Post recently, apart of me smiled…and apart of me smirked. A bit. The finding was this:
The latest round of the quaintly named National Survey of Family Growth found that among 15-to-24-year-olds, 29 percent of females and 27 percent of males reported no sexual contact with another person ever – up from the 22 percent of both sexes when the survey was last conducted in 2002.
Yes. That is great! I won’t hate. In the least. Yet as I read this, I must admit that I found myself having a similar feeling like my mother used to have when I was telling her a story that *she knew* I was leaving some of the details out of. OK, so the virgin stock is up…they are not literally touching other people. Does that include not touching themselves? Does that include not watching porn? Does that include not using other, um, additives? Yeah…what actually does that mean? That they’re *total virgins* or…*partial virgins*?
I really need to talk to Craig about getting the “Purity is the New Virginity” T-shirts up (they’re ready and designed…yeah!) The reference Scripture on the shirt is I Timothy 5:22: “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.” As we define the purpose of sex *and our sexuality*, our focus should not just be to make sure people “don’t have intercourse” but that they remain “pure” until it is time for the purpose of sex, in their lives, to be fulfilled (Hebrews 13:4).
Another article that I checked out week before last was on Salon.com and it was exploring why many of the “first definition unvirgins” were engaging so much in casual sex. Here are two of the interview questions…and answers:
If you could summarize the importance of your findings in one sentence, what would it be?
Anticipated pleasure motivates both women and men to have casual sex and women would accept more casual sex offers from men if they believed that they would get good sex out of the encounter.
What does your research tell us about women and how they calculate the risk of a particular sexual encounter?
Pleasure is the motivating force for both women and men in sexual encounter. Risk — for example, STI risk or risk of violence — does not appear to affect whether they accept or reject a casual sex offer.
“With the pure You will show Yourself pure; and with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.”—Psalm 18:26 (NKJV)
Is there anything wrong with pleasure? *Absolutely not*. As a matter of fact, Psalm 16:11 says that at the Lord’s right hand are pleasures forevermore. But godly pleasures are not risky. To be at a place where you will want pleasure so much that you would treat your body casually? To have pleasure be the motivating force to the point of putting your health in jeopardy or you’ll place yourself into a violent situation? How interesting that in looking up the word “pleasure” there is what seems to be the *common* definition (“worldly or frivolous entertainment”) and then there’s the kind of pleasure that we all should willing to wait to receive. The one that brings “enjoyment”, yes, but also “satisfaction” and “delight” of the mind, body *and* spirit. One that honors you so much that you won’t have to compromise.
My bottom line? Casual sex is not just about the promiscuous people who have already had sexual intercourse. Time, wisdom and personal sexual renewal is revealing to me that casual sex is *any kind of sexual activity* that puts pleasure before purpose (the first purpose of sex is oneness with your covenant partner-Genesis 2:24-25)…that tempts you not to honor your temple as the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19) but to simply treat yourself as a haven for sexual encounters. With others. Or with yourself.
No sexual contact with someone else? That’s cool. It really is.
Keeping yourself pure? *That’s the real point*. That’s what really pleases God.
That’s when you start taking yourself seriously. Not casually.