Where Logic Meets Love

A Plea for Sanity: Everyone is Not Just Like You

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pin It Now!
A Plea for Sanity: Everyone is Not Just Like You | Faith Permeating Life
I was recently looking over my keyword analysis for this blog (i.e., what things people Google to end up at my blog), and I was surprised to see that even though I'd gotten no comments on the post Waiting until Marriage: Not as Stupid as It Sounds, a ton of people were discovering my blog via this post.

Why? Because it's the #2 result if you Google "waiting until marriage is stupid."

I'm really curious about what would motivate someone to search that in the first place. Is it because someone told them that and they want to find out why? Or are they looking for arguments to convince someone else that they shouldn't be waiting until marriage to have sex?

If the latter, the people they're trying to convince may be the ones ending up at my blog by searching, "Is it OK if I wait until marriage to have sex?"

You guys, this kind of upsets me that people -- who are probably teenagers -- are turning to the Internet to help them make a decision like this.

I think what upsets me more is that in doing so, they will find people who tell them that no, it's absolutely not OK to wait until marriage. You must have sex before marriage (and should also live together first) for your relationship to stand a chance.

*groan*

In my opinion, the decision to have sex is something so personal that you can't possibly say, "This worked for me, so it has to be the only right thing for everyone."

(I know there are people who would disagree with me and think that because I call myself a Christian I should be advocating that everyone wait until marriage, but I just can't. I know too many people who are in loving, committed, unmarried, healthy, sexual relationships. And if you want to take a Biblical standpoint on the matter, I invite you to go back to this post and then we can have a conversation about where exactly God says, "Thou shalt not have sex before marriage." [Read The Blue Parakeet for a more detailed discussion on this.])

There are two more arguments I've found against waiting for marriage (with my responses):
  • Argument 1: Waiting for marriage causes people to get married just so they can have sex. That may be true for some people, but that doesn't make it inherently true for everyone who waits. Mike and I waited five years to get married and we had a damn solid relationship by the time we were married. I don't think anyone would say we got married for the sex or that we "rushed into" marriage.
  • Argument 2: Waiting until marriage puts sex up on a pedestal and then you're just going to be disappointed. So... the solution is to devalue sex by not saving it for anyone in particular? Some people imbue sex with less value with others, and I'm not going to judge them for that, but I'm glad for myself that I chose to place a high enough value on sex to only give it to one person, making it, in my mind, a more valuable gift than any other I could give him. Did it have to be stellar the first time to be a valuable gift? Of course not. Neither Mike or I thought that we would start out marriage having the best sex of our lives. But we knew that we were both willing to take the time to learn from and about each other.

Regardless of whether you think you did/are doing the right thing, I just want to make these points:
  • Not every person who has sex before marriage is going to have horrible guilt about it, destroy all their future relationships, get pregnant, or contract STDs.
  • Not every person who waits until marriage is stupid, naive, unrealistic, overly religious, or bound to rush into marriage too soon.
I want to bring some realism back to this discussion. By all means, share your own experiences (here in the comments, if you'd like!) and what you're glad about or regret, but please, don't assume everyone else is exactly like you.

P.S. This person does a nice job of deconstructing the opposite arguments: Why everyone *should* wait until marriage.

6 comments:

  1. Agreed! I don't think it's fair to group people into two major groups. There are tons of situations out there.

    There weren't really any days that I regret losing my virginity before marriage but there were days that I regretted

    1. who I lost it to
    2. the age I lost it.

    I was 15 and lost it to an ex who I so riculously thought would go back out with me if I had sex with him. Trust me I definately do not think everyone is like this! Do I think that out of all the people in the world there is atleast one person like me? Sure.

    To shed some light on these teens looking up answers in google...I don't think they are necessarily looking to the internet to make such a big decision but looking for reassurance that there are other teens out there who are just as scared about sex.

    ReplyDelete
  2. GREAT post!

    If I were you though, I'd be happy that people were finding your blog with that search term. That means people who probably don't have the best perspective on sex are coming to THIS blog, where you eloquently make the argument, in several posts, to just make the choice that is healthiest and safest for you, that no particular consequence or result is absolute or inevitable for either choice, and that things aren't as black and white as they seem.

    To your statements there I would want to add that "waiting until marriage" doesn't have to mean what you think either. You can wait for marriage to have intercourse, but engage in other intimate behaviors beforehand. There are a myriad of options, and nobody should feel like it's just all or nothing.

    I also think that, while the results/reasons of arguments 1 and 2 are not entirely fictional, they really only are true if people already have an unhealthy understanding of sexuality and relationships. So the solution isn't "just have sex before marriage;" the solution is, "GET EDUCATED and work on the relationship FIRST."

    ReplyDelete
  3. @melissa
    Thanks for commenting! You've hit on an important point that I didn't mention in the post. Even though I believe in giving my (future) children a comprehensive education around sex I will still encourage them to save sex for marriage. That's because I think that once you've decided not to wait until marriage, you've greatly increased the possibility of having sex at a time or with a person you will regret. My hope is that this combination of education and encouragement will mean that if they decide to have sex before marriage, they will still see it as something very special and will be more cautious about the whole thing.

    I don't think they are necessarily looking to the internet to make such a big decision but looking for reassurance that there are other teens out there who are just as scared about sex.
    I think you're probably right. I just hope that if they're already having doubts about whether they should wait, that they find enough voices like mine telling them that it's OK.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Macha
    If I were you though, I'd be happy that people were finding your blog with that search term.
    I am, and that's why I wanted to write another post about it. I can only hope that in some tiny way my blog can make a difference :)

    I would want to add that "waiting until marriage" doesn't have to mean what you think either.
    That's true, and I would add something on the opposite end of what you mentioned: that it's OK to save more than sex as well. Mike and I saved kissing for marriage, and again, we did that very intentionally for specific reasons that were important to us, and it didn't cause us to rush into marriage or be disappointed when we finally got to kiss.

    So the solution isn't "just have sex before marriage;" the solution is, "GET EDUCATED and work on the relationship FIRST."
    EXACTLY. It seems like most of the arguments on either side assume people have weak relationships or are uneducated about sex. It shouldn't be about saving sex or not saving sex, but about the importance of a healthy relationship and a healthy understanding of sex.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awesome blog.

    I'm a teenage christian - and sadly.. all i see around me is 'friends with benefits'. My peers think that it's a normal thing as well :/. Sometimes i don't know what is the norm, or what isn't the norm anymore when it comes to sexual-activities because of these type of things happening around me. It scares me to see all those 'friends with benefits' on the internet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. I wrote a bit here about the idea of "normal" when it comes to sexuality, and also here about why I don't think everyone has to be married to have sex but I do think "friends with benefits" is not a great idea.

      Regardless of what may or may not be normal/typical, I strongly believe each person has the right to choose for themselves when and with whom they will be sexually involved. Your decisions should be based on what you're comfortable with and what you believe is best for the long term of your relationship. (This is why Mike and I waited; we felt we could develop a better, stronger, healthier relationship before marriage without sex.)

      If you are concerned about people you know being in relationships that are not healthy for them, then one approach that works a lot better than lecturing/expressing concerns is something called motivational interviewing, which we used when I worked with substance abuse counseling. You start by asking about their goals: "Why do you have these 'friends with benefit' relationships?" If they say, "I just want to have sex without the obligations of a romantic relationship," you can ask, "So is that how it's worked out? You don't have any worries at all? You don't have any feelings for your sexual partner(s)?" because more than likely they will say, "Well..." Or if they say, "Everyone does it; I just want to fit in," you can ask, "And is it making you happy? Is fitting in worth it? Is this the only way you can fit in?"

      I'm not a counselor and I'm not saying this approach always works, but I find that no matter what, approaching other people from a position of curiosity and sincere interest in their happiness is always better than assuming anything about their situation.

      Best of luck to you :) You can feel free to e-mail me at jessica -at- faithpermeatinglife dot com.

      Delete

Your thoughts matter, so join in the conversation! Disagreements are welcome, but please stay respectful and open-minded with your comments.

I reply to almost all comments, so check back here soon!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...