True Love Waits . . . and Waits . . . and Waits – editorial about delayed marriage and related issues
I think this was published about a year ago. I just saw it today. It showed up on my Twitter feed.
The woman who wrote this says she is 27 years old (or was at the time this was written). I am over the age of 40 and am still a virgin due to many of the same reasons this author cites for her situation, though I never joined or took part in “True Love Waits.”
If she thinks lack of support from the Christian community is bad when she is 27, it only GETS WORSE the older you get.
Her generation is not the first to struggle with this lack of support – again, I am Gen X, and the church does not, and has not, supported virgins who are over the age of 30 now.
- We need help navigating singleness in our twenties and thirties.
Anyone and everyone over the age of 30 needs help with this.
I’m in my 40s and would have appreciated help at “navigating singleness” as a 40 something. You don’t suddenly stop needing support as a single once you hit 40 or older.
I have additional remarks BELOW this long editorial:
(Link): True Love Waits . . . and Waits . . . and Waits – editorial about delayed marriage and related issues by Rachel Mueller
In an era of delayed marriage and open sexuality, how does advice to “wait until marriage” still make sense?
I have a confession to make: I am a twenty-seven (and a half) year-old virgin.No, I was not homeschooled. I was raised in a fairly normal household. I attended a public high school and a private liberal arts college. I like to drink red wine and tequila.
… I’m pretty much your typical Evangelical Millennial.
Except, according to a December 2009 study by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, I’m in a minority of people: those who have kept their virginity, even among those who claim to be religious.
I’m a product of the True Love Waits movement. And maybe one of its most successful stories.
True Love Waits was founded in 1993 by the by Southern Baptist Convention as a campaign to promote abstinence before marriage by having teenagers sign a pledge:
“Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate and my future children to be sexually abstinent from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship.”
But in the experience of my Christian friends and I, True Love Waits was more than an abstinence pledge — it was a whole culture against sexuality.
It was a movement, an obsession, a cult of sexual purity — and one that didn’t know how to handle sexuality.
…But then we began to grow up.We became hormonally charged sixteen year olds going to prom for the first time. We had a car and freedom to make out with our boyfriends without the watchful eyes of our parents nearby. We started to push physical boundaries, but for the most part kept our vow of No Sex Before Marriage.But then we went away to college.Our Christian culture bubble was popped. No longer was remaining a virgin expected and normal. Some people we met thought we were crazy upon hearing we were virgins. Bets were placed at parties on who would crack first. Many of us either gave it up or went underground.
For those who gave it up, we had nowhere to turn. Our churches didn’t feel like a safe place because “True Love Waits” was the whole conversation about sex. We were afraid to tell our youth leaders or mentors because of the shame and guilt surrounding our failure.
We didn’t think they would know how to answer us when we asked questions about our sexuality in our early twenties, which was so different from sexuality in our teenage years. We were afraid of hearing the same refrain: “True Love Waits! You gave away your precious gift, but you can recommit! True Love can start waiting again!”
And then there was the other side of the group.We made it through high school and college and into our twenties with our virginity intact, though we quickly learned to stop advertising that we were virgins — even among our Christian friends.
We felt ashamed and like maybe there was something wrong with us that we weren’t able to seal the deal.
My first kiss wasn’t until I was twenty-five years old. When I told him I had never been kissed, he was completely freaked out. In fact, before he kissed me, we had to talk about it for almost thirty minutes. Then we kept waiting even though we weren’t sure why we were waiting.
Perpetual virginity became one of the most infuriating things about being a Millennial in the church. Here I was, well into my twenties, and still the only message available for me was: “True Love Waits!”
And the main reason was: “Because God said so!”
The message worked when I was sixteen, mostly because the idea of being a teen mother was so terrifying to me that it wasn’t even an option.
But in the years since college graduation, I’ve fallen into this category of people the church is not equipped to deal with: young, never married, functional adults who have good careers, great community, and a deep hunger for chasing hard after Jesus.
We struggle with things the church has never had to address before this generation, at least not on a mass scale.
We need help navigating singleness in our twenties and thirties. We need help understanding the reasons for saving sex for marriage, reasons beyond “True Love Waits!” Because at twenty-seven (and a half), being a single mother is a lot less terrifying than it was at seventeen. (Don’t worry Dad, it’s still terrifying.)
….In an era of delayed marriage, church leaders need to speak bluntly about all forms of intimacy and how they intersect. In a sex-obsessed culture, church leaders need to invite us into more — and more complex — conversations about sex.
Engage with us in the conversation. Ask us questions. Share your stories of failure or success. Allow us a safe place to process. Some of us have been waiting a long time and we continue to wait… and wait… and wait. We need to know what’s worth waiting for, and why.
— end —
Thus concludes her editorial.
Several people left comments under it, including my stalker, John Morgan (you can read more about that situation (Link): here)! He left a comment on there about a year ago, the time stamp says.
Before I comment on his comments. There was a comment left by someone calling herself
I suppose she meant well, but I don’t like it when a twice-married person lectures an adult, never married, celibate person. It’s so smug.
Here is part of her comment:
Thanks for sharing your heart about this Rachel. Being an “old-timer” I can assure you with loud shouts from the roof top that true love does wait because of the kind of minds we have that become the tool that the enemy uses against us.
…After being married and then going through a terrible divorce, when I met my now husband, Dave, we had to sort out a lot of baggage that interrupted the first years of our marriage. I always wondered why God didn’t introduce us to each other in our teen years so that we could now boast of a 30 year plus marriage. We are very happy
— end —
So. This woman who is on husband #2, and who has presumably at least had sex with two different men, thinks it’s her right to tell a never married, virgin adult about sex and purity?
Sorry, lady, but that is hypocritical. I am over 40 and resent it when married people lecture me about sex or marriage. It’s not your place.
How dare a twice-married woman presume to give advice or lecture a never married virgin? You have no clue, lady, none. It’s not your place.
You’ve had sex with at least two men so far in your life, and you think it’s okay to lecture an adult virgin? Nope, it’s not. It’s condescending.
Here is the long comment (Link): my stalker John Morgan left on their blog (I will comment on it below):
by John Morgan
Well, yes and no.
It’s not explicitly stated, but the Scriptures say God withholds no good thing from those who love him, he will grant you the desires of your heart, and if you ask in faith anything in the name of Jesus, it will be yours.
So, yeah, in a way, the Bible kind of does promise you a spouse.
Evangelicals sure as hell do promise young ladies who go to church or listen to sermons on TV that it they stay sexually pure, wait, and have faith, that God will send them a spouse.
- For example, True Love Waits . . . for what? For those called to marriage, it waits for a spouse. For those called to celibacy, it waits for the ultimate marriage in heaven
*slams head against wall* Oh lord Jesus no.
There is no such thing as “being called to” marriage or to celibacy.
God does not choose who will marry, who will stay single: God allows you to choose which of those routes to go. Using terminology such as “called to” suggests there is no human free will involved, that your marital status was pre-determined in eternity past. I’m not a Calvinist. So no.
Secondly, Morgan knows damn well there is a 3rd group: women like me who are, to use his bogus term, “called to marry”, yet God has not sent me a husband.
I did not deliberately set out to be single into my 40s. I do not want to remain single.
Not everyone who is single and/or celibate WANTS TO BE.
I do not want to be single. I do not want to be celibate. I simply find myself in a position of such.
- Third, most churches are still singing the Old Testament chorus of “be fruitful and multiply” and have not been upgraded with the New Testament (esp 1 Cor 7)
And this is another point I’ve hammered on here on my blog off and on the last few years. I don’t think he was bringing this up as a point until he saw me discussing it on my blog.
- Unfortunately, the predominant testimony today is the one of sexual mistakes and forgiveness. You don’t hear too much from single adults who have lived lives of purity (other than celebrities)
And those are more points Morgan got from reading my blog. He really should stop parroting my arguments all over other people’s blogs and on his own, since he deemed me too untrustworthy to read, all because I use a pen name.
I even devoted an entire blog page about how churches would rather hear testimonies from whores than from women over 30 who are still virgins, read it here:
God help Rachel Mueller now that John Morgan knows (because she says so in her blog) that she is over 25 and a virgin, because he probably tried e-mailing her 24 times a month every month begging for her phone number, snail mail address, and to friend him on Facebook. The man has no sense of BOUNDARIES.
(Link): Sex is Not the Primary or Only Basis of Marriage – Rape Victims / Asexuals / Bestiality ~ Zoophilia / Sexless Marriages / Park Bans Single Men -AND- Single Women – Rebuttal to Blogger John Morgan