When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments
I’ve been meaning on writing about this topic for some time, but it’s not one I want to spend a lot of time on.
A recent visitor comment at the blog reminded me of it. Here’s the comment, from a previous thread:
Most churches probably are bored with the “average Jane” stories [testimonies]. But I think the real reason we [mature Christian celibates] are silenced is because we would make too many people look . . . bad.
We are an embarrassment to them and would make most church parents uncomfortable if we spoke about virginity or saving sex until marriage.
How many of them waited? Several fathers over the years have asked me “John, what am I going to tell my children?” My answer is always “the truth.”
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Certainly there is a problem in Christian circles among hetero-sexuals and fornication, but I have seen this attitude in comment sections on Christian blogs that it’s cruel, as the Christian faith does, to ask those with same-sex attraction to remain celibate over their lives.
I do not understand this view point at all, since the Bible also tells hetero-sexuals to refrain from sex outside of marriage.
I have arrived at my early 40s and have never had sex because I have never married. And I am hetero with a normal libido. I may never marry.
Why would any Christian want to argue that homosexuals get a special exemption from the “no sex outside of marriage” biblical dictate? (And yes, the Bible teaches this, no matter how much feminists, ex-Christians, or egalitarian, liberal Christian women who hate purity teachings want to admit.)
I have actually seen self professing Christians on blogs say,
“Oh wow, I’m a married man, but I don’t know, if I were homosexual, could I live my whole life celibate? I don’t think so. I’m afraid that’s asking too much of any man. Maybe the church should back off on this.”
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Oh. I see. Homosexual men and homosexual women get a special pass concerning fornication, but hetero-sexual singles such as myself have to continue to buck it up and deal? Sorry but no. No double standards.
Because lifelong celibacy is viewed as an impossiblity (it is not; living proof right here), or as too hard (no, it’s not always easy, that is true, but it can be done), some people think homosexuals should be allowed to go to it (and some think heteros should be allowed to go to it, too).
This also speaks to another problem or two in contemporary Christianity:
Many of the same conservative Christian groups who are anti homosexuality, and against homosexual marriage, continue to mistakenly assume, like their secular counterparts, that lifelong virginity, or virginity past 30, is impossible, and they keep ignoring the existence of Christian virgins past 30.
Christian hetero virgins over the age of 30 and 40 could serve as powerful examples to the homosexual lobbies in America and in other nations that their arguments about controlling ones’s sexual behavior is impossible is untrue; their propaganda to Christians sometimes amounts to “pity the poor homosexual condemned to a lifetime of celibacy, and permit him to engage in fornication unjudged.”
But do churches focus on the older Christian celibate at all, even to use us as examples of sexual self-control to the culture at large? Nope. They’re too busy esteeming motherhood, fatherhood, children, parenting, and marriage, or blaming us older singles for not having married by 25 and having a baby or two.
Other bonuses by the church in valuing or holding Christian celibates up:
We mature celibates can demonstrate that one does not need to buy into American society’s fantasy that one needs to look to anyone or anything, such as dates, boyfriends, husbands, marriage, parenting, money, career, sex, to find value and fulfillment.
You’re supposed to look to God for your identity and worth, not a husband, not sex, career, or possessions.
One reason some young girls sleep around is not for the sex, but they are trying to find love via the sex. They figure they can get love from a boyfriend, if they turn their body over to one.
A female celibate such as me can say, “Not so fast. You are fine single. You don’t need a man’s love for value, worth, or identity. Stop trading sex for what you think is a shot at love.”
But are churches interested in pursuing this? Nope. They’d rather write more books and blogs ranting at the deterioration of society, or writing more flowery prose about how great motherhood or marriage is.
The American church really shoots itself in the foot on all this and wastes a great opportunity.
(Link): Secular, Left Wing Feminist Writer Marcotte on Anyone Choosing To Be a Virgin Until Marriage: “It’s a Silly Idea” – What Progressive Christians, Conservative Christians, Non Christians, and Salon’s Amanda Marcotte Gets Wrong About Christian Views on Virginity
(Link): What is the Opposite of Conservative Christian Purity Culture? Why, It’s Leftists Insisting that Children Should be Exposed to ‘Kink’ Culture
(Link): Ending Priestly Celibacy Would Not Stop Abuse by E. Condon – Celibates Are Not Pedophiles
(Link): Supreme Court Overturns Roe Vs. Wade, Returns Abortion to the States
(Link): I’m a Virgin, So Why Am I Being Slut-Shamed? by Ashley Iaconetti
(Link): ‘I’m SO Glad I Waited To Have Sex Until Marriage. Here’s Why.’ by Classically Abby
(Link): What’s Wrong With PreMarital Sex, Cohabitation and Watching Porn? Apologist Sean McDowell Answers – Critique: Some Christians Marketing Sexual Abstinence as “Purity in Jesus”
(Link): A Renowned German Sexologist Created Foster Homes Run by Pedophiles and the Government Approved by John Sexton (and other authors)
(Link): Stacie Tchividjian Attempting to Turn Repeated Sexual Sin Into a Virtue of Sorts
(Link): Annie Murphy’s Sex and Relationship Column Gives Some Fantastic Advice About “Losing Your Virginity” by Princess Weekes
(Link): ABC Won’t Let Us Forget That the New Bachelor Is A Virgin. Is That A Problem?
(Link): An Example of Mocking Adult Virginity Via Twitter (Virginity Used As Insult)
(Link): Why Sexual Desire is Objectifying and Hence Morally Wrong by R. Halwani
(Link): CDC Report: Virgin Teens Much Healthier Than Their Sexually Active Peers (2016 Report)
(Link): I Shouldn’t Need An Excuse To Be A Virgin – (Secular Editorial Defends Virginity – More Rare Than a Unicorn Sighting)
2 thoughts on “When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments”
Eccellente. One of the best writings on this subject I’ve seen. “We mature celibates . . . ” That paragraph is almost a direct quote of what I said in a church group about a month ago. Some of them turned pale and almost fainted. And they had no response. I’m working with a couple of other mature lifetime celibates to try to change things and educate church leaders. We are making some progress. And articles like this definitely go a long way in that regard as well. You have a unique ability to put difficult subject into words. Thank you. John
You said, “…I said in a church group about a month ago. Some of them turned pale and almost fainted.”
I wonder if that’s because -and I find this a little strange- a lot of Christians seem more comfortable with hearing Christian testimonies of adultery, fornication, addiction to pr0n, etc., than they do hearing that a Christian past the age of 25 has never had sex.
I don’t know if that’s me projecting on to them or what, but at the tremendous rate sexual sin is discussed in Christian television programming (which I watch a lot of), and see online that some preachers are obsessed with the topics of sex and sexual sin and preach on said topics often (such as Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill church in Seattle), I think church people are more comfortable with sexual sin -with doing it, with the idea of it, or with discussing it- than they are with the concept, actual practice of, or discussion of sexual purity / celibacy/ virginity. Maybe it weirds them out to realize some Christian adults are 30+ and still have not had sex yet because they cannot comprehend this.
For all their yakking about how much they value sexual purity, I think a lot of Christians fail at it, and are uncomfortable with it.
Sex is so pervasive in our nation, that even secular views of it have permeated Christian culture, to the point you are expected, by preachers and other Christians, to fornicate before you turn age 30 – 35.
And then, the thinking is WHEN you commit sexual sin (not IF but WHEN), that it’s all a-o’tay and dandy because God forgives sexual sin, you can call yourself a “born again or spiritual virgin,” and shame, shame on ‘Christian purity culture’ for making people (especially women) feel guilty or bad about (consensual) sexual sin.
I don’t care that churches harp on sexual purity for people under the age of 25, which they do. They are obsessed with lecturing teens to college aged students to abstain.
That means nothing, because they are not helping people over 25 years of age who are still sexually pure. Those under 25 kids who are abstaining will not stay under 25 years of age forever. Where is the church for them when they turn 26? 35? 45? and are still abstaining? Why should I bother at my age when I get no support?
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