One of the most interesting things people discover about me is that I’m still a virgin. The responses range from admiration to shock, and some responses are hilarious! Depending on the kind of people I’m around, the conversation can get very interesting and center around sex pretty quickly. I’ve even found myself on the receiving end of unsolicited advice sometimes from those already having it.
Any virgin will tell you that they hear the “test drive” comment from others often. “You gotta test drive the car before you buy it,” is the wisdom of the day that settles the discussion for some. Then their concern turns towards the issue of sexual compatibility, hoping I don’t mess up and marry the wrong person, and be stuck with bad sex.
I’ve always found those reasons to be funny, since God created sex and desires for you to have a beautiful and fulfilling sex life in marriage. Yes, God really wants you to experience a fully satisfying and pleasure-filled sex life. It also should be apparent that God knows about the “cars” we drive, and since He’s all-knowing, we all can trust His commandments about it. My trust grows in knowing that none of His commandments are meant to be a burden.
However, I understand why many think this way when they don’t know how God brings people together, or trusts that He will. Also, they don’t hear open discussions about sexuality from the church too often. It’s unfortunate that the church doesn’t highlight the many things God has said about sex in the Bible too often, instead of “wait till marriage.” A full biblical perspective on sexuality is hardly spoken of.
To make this point hit home, I’m confident that most of you reading this have never heard a sermon on the Song of Solomon and the sexual language in that book. So we end up taking the commandment against fornication, the encouragement and wisdom regarding temptation, and commandments of marriage as all that God has to say about sex, instead of having a godly understanding of sex as a whole. We then hear everything else about sex and how good it is in media, entertainment, and society as a whole.
That lack of understanding in a culture saturated with sexual content leaves us vulnerable to its negative influence. We can be desensitized, and walk around unaware of what makes our commitment to sexual purity even harder. Whether or not you’re still a virgin, as believers, we are all open to the influence of sexual content. Combined with a low view of biblical sexuality, it truly affects us in many ways, especially the way we think about sexuality and virginity.
Notice the kind of responses I hear when telling people I’m a virgin. It’s all focused on sex. Whether or not I learn how to do it right, or do it with the right person, and it doesn’t respect the covenant of marriage and the beauty of sexuality that God designed from the beginning. This focus on sex isn’t merely from a world not subject to the will of God, but from the hyper-sexualized culture we are raised in. So the world has their standards and views, and the church struggles to communicate God’s thoughts about it completely, and we have a bunch of believers struggling with their sexuality.
Know and be encouraged by the fact that God knows about the sexual urges that we have. They were given by God intentionally, but because we are inclined to lust, we have the struggle against selfish gratification. Take the time to read the Song of Solomon, take in the godly wisdom present within this book, especially the wisdom on how to pursue someone lovingly. Read the parts discussing sexual activity, renew your mind on what it means to be intimate so that when you are married, you can desire the satisfaction of your wife more than your personal gratification. Don’t think of marriage as guilt-free sex, because marriage will break you and show you who you really are, and sex alone cannot hold a marriage together.
Be intentional about the media you consume, it influences how we as men and women see each other. You simply can’t watch a lot of TV with sexual scenes and listen to music with sexual themes, and then be surprised at how intense the struggle is. We struggle with our own flesh that wants gratification, yet we make it so much harder when we don’t filter what we are entertained by. Finally, always remember that God’s commandments aren’t meant to be a burden you force your way through, but they declare God’s will that leads you to freedom, and true love. There’s more to God than “thou shalt not”, and that includes matters of sexuality.