Welcome to my musings...

After a 3 year hiatus from blogging (too busy parenting teens to have time to write about it!), I have decided to revive my blog. I look forward to sharing my perspective on mothering as I am at the tail end of my child-raising journey. Nothing could be more beautiful, more full of joy and pain and anguish, than the divine calling of motherhood. I pray my musings will bless you on your own journey, and that you will feel encouraged and equipped!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Little Righteous Anger

Note to Readers: In writing this blog, it occurs to me that some of you reading this may have experienced some of the things talked about here. Please understand that my anger is NOT directed at you…only at the culture that leads us to think that premarital sex is okay and not harmful. I know that we are all human, and we all fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). I know that even Christians fall into sexual sin and suffer the heartbreaking consequences of their decisions. I am not judging you, only declaiming the culture that saturates us with immorality and makes it look “normal” and then proceeds to mock anything that is pure and holy. Please know that, whatever you’ve experienced, God offers forgiveness and restoration and can bring good out of any bad situation. If you need someone to talk to about these things, please contact me. I would love to help you find peace and mercy at the cross of Jesus.

I think I’m just going to have to stop reading the news…or else write a whole lot more blogs. Although my usual blogs tend to be feelings-based, and perhaps even warm and fuzzy, this time I’m sitting down to write with the fire of righteous anger burning in my veins. I just read a news story that was on the front page of MSN.com and I have progressed from disbelief to fury in the course of reading this article. To read this article for yourself, click here.

The article is titled “In Defense of Losing Your Virginity” and is written by Martha Brockenbrough. This is an opinion piece regarding an incident which occurred at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday. Apparently, a comedian named Russell Brand decided it would be funny to ridicule the purity rings worn by the band the Jonas Brothers. Another singer, Jordin Sparks, responded by showing off her own ring and by giving a sharp retort to his tasteless comment. Much controversy has been stirred up and now the “experts” are debating the worth of the new “purity ring” movement.

Ms. Brockenbrough, in her editorial, derides the new custom, saying that the only thing purity rings do is make people (especially parents) feel better about “one of the scariest parts of life”. She believes that many celebrities wear them only to make themselves palatable to the parents of the children who are watching their sexy acts. She goes on to claim that the rings are a “sham” and do nothing to actually prevent teens from having sex (would she prefer a chastity belt?). She further claims that they do “more harm than good” by making something public that should be private. (If it should be private, why is our culture so saturated with the subject?) She also contends that abstinence-based education fails and that kids who choose abstinence are more likely to fail later and to not use contraception. Her exact quote regarding sexual activity in teens is this: “Having sex in a committed relationship does not make a person a slut. It makes a person human.”

Ms. Brockenbrough, I have news for you. Abstinence does work. If we teach our children to not have sex until they are in a marriage relationship and they choose to remain abstinent, as God intended, there will be no unplanned pregnancies, sexual diseases, or the emotional damage that comes with multiple sexual relationships. Just because you (and our culture) are teaching our children that they can’t possibly wait, so we must give them contraception, doesn’t make it true. I know many, many couples who have practiced abstinence and now enjoy beautiful married relationships. Are you telling me that what we did was impossible? Was it hard? Yes…but we believed that it was something so beautiful and special it was worth waiting for…and it was.

Now, about the ring. Is it a magical tool to keep our children pure? Of course not. But it is a very visible reminder when they get into tempting situations. Looking down and seeing that ring and remembering the commitment they made (not in the heat of the moment) can definitely have an effect on the choices they make. It’s about more than virginity. It’s about a decision to honor God and their future spouse with their purity. It’s about deciding to do what is best for their body and for their future marriage relationship. It’s about taking a stand and refusing to listen to a morally depraved culture that says “if it feels good, do it.” If you are married, do you wear a wedding ring? Is it a magical tool to keep you faithful to your husband? Of course not. But it is also a reminder of a vow you took on your wedding day to honor your spouse and give him the gift of your faithfulness. Why is it okay to choose to wear a ring to remind you of that fact, and as a message to others that you are taken, and yet you are making a purity ring an object of ridicule, calling it a “tacky public proclamation of something that could not be more private”? Is that how you feel about wedding rings, too?

Now, I am not na├»ve. I know that giving our children a purity ring will not remove them from the possibility of premarital sex. They are human, and humans make mistakes. But we don’t just give our children a piece of jewelry. We also give them the strength of character to make God-pleasing choices with their bodies, the understanding of why this is important and the parental oversight to protect them from situations they are not ready for. I vehemently disagree with your contention that teens are going to have sex, whether we like it or not. Maybe you think they are little more than animals, but I give my children more credit than that. You claim we need to teach our children self-respect and self-control and that those are more important than virginity. In my book, if you have self-respect and self-control, you are capable of choosing abstinence until marriage as well.

You just go ahead and laugh. This modern idea of sexual freedom and self-indulgence has only spawned heartbreak and broken families and millions of aborted babies. We’ll take the old-fashioned approach of purity and honor; and, if a little piece of jewelry is a tool to help our children on that path, then we’ll gladly subject ourselves to your ridicule.