Lately there are a lot of articles and blog posts being written by woman my age and their thoughts on sex before marriage. Both sides have legitimate points and I want to honor each for giving their thoughts a point. I’ve had the idea of writing on the topic of purity for a while. Purity is the topic that started me writing a blog. It used to be the main thing I wrote about. My life revolved around purity.
See, I grew up in the Christian church and was told all the stories of why a girl should wait for marriage, the dangers of having sex before marriage, and the consequences that come from God. I dove into this topic and I was fully into believing what the church said. Let me preference by saying I am not in disagreement with the church. Making sure you wait to have sex until marriage can be a great path for some people to choose. I believe sex should be had with someone you care deeply for, love, and want a future with. But growing up has also showed me the hardships of living a life of purity.
For years I wore a purity ring on my wedding ring finger. I was waiting for my Mr. Right (another topic we discuss in church) and to give him the ring with my whole self. I was an advocate for purity, a speaker for many church events, and encouraged all to stay pure until marriage.
College came and I was still on that track until honest conversations with people closest to me began to be discussed. Those people I loved hadn’t waited till marriage. Some of them had been hurt by it while others felt as if they decision they made was for the best. Hearing these stories come from those closest to me began to change my mind about purity. Purity means something different to everyone. For some it means waiting till marriage and for others it means waiting for the guy they decide is worth giving themselves to.
I took off my purity ring this past year after constantly being asked if I was engaged or feeling judged when I explained what it meant. And to be honest, I felt a lot of relief when I took it off. That ring began to represent shame for me. It was the constant reminder of what I was risking when I allowed the wrong guy in my life. It reminded me to advocate for purity and in the process hurt others because I was calling them a sinner for not living a life like mine. Purity can be a good thing but I think it’s being taught to us wrong.
I feel like the church scared me of sex. If you have it before marriage, then you’re broken goods and not worth as much. Having it before marriage means you don’t get the best guy and you’re allowing yourself to go for the “ok” guys. Sex was the determinant for being a truly whole Christian.
And I believed those for so long until I realized sex is not the problem. Judgment is the problem. To say a woman is no longer worthy for losing her virginity before marriage is degrading and not something I want to teach my daughter anymore. Sex was never meant to be scary or to define your whole life. Yes, it’s a big commitment and deserves a lot of thought before encountering, but it does not determine your worth as a human being.
I want my daughter to grow up knowing that it’s a big decision to consider and the choices she makes can have good or bad consequences. I want her to decide what sex means for her and not be told she is unworthy if she commits in it before marriage. Of course as parents, you want the best for your child because we believe they deserve the world. But I don’t want my daughter or son to be ashamed for the decisions they make in life because it doesn’t line up with a biblical text or others opinions. That book we grew up reading in church is filled with compassion and forgiveness. Shouldn’t that be the actions we are engaging with as followers of God? Instead, we are sending messages of judgment and disgust because someone didn’t live out their life the way I think is best.
I am not saying I am perfect or by any means close to being a non-judgmental person, but I am changing the way I view others decisions. My life is mine, their life is theirs. We will choose our own paths and take twists and turns along the way. Sometimes we may be disappointed with ourselves for what we consider mistakes and other times we will be proud of the choice we made and not regret it. Either way I think it’s time to stop the judgment and allow the conversation to be more open. I think if we allow honest conversations free of judging glances and statements we may be able to trust the human race again to make good choices for themselves and others. Who knows I could be wrong, but I think it’s an important part as a Christian and as a human that I was missing for years.
What are your thoughts?