I’m out to dinner with four other 20 somethings who are close friends and all doctors. Two are single, one is a couple. We are discussing my living situation and how I will need a new roommate for next year. The boy is at a meeting for school.
Everyone says: well of course you will move in with the boy
Me: Oh no, we wouldn’t do that till we get married
20 something couple 1: Really?
20 something single 1: What about after you get engaged to a guy?
20 something couple 1: You really are one of those crazy, conservative, christians…gentle elbow prodding and laughing….triple Cs (common street drug found in our adolescent population…we all laugh)
20 something couple 2: In that case, who wants to join a pool to bet on when they are getting engaged?
20 something single 2: Yeah it has to be soon.
Me: Um…I don’t think it will be soon, we aren’t in a hurry.
20 something couple 1: Sure….My bet is on the summer…
And I leave the conversation blushing and slightly bewildered of how I just acquired the label crazy, conservative Christian and became some sort of vestal virgin for True Love Waits.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that CRAZY describes me well, as for the other two: conservative…hardly especially by evangelical standards and while I follow Jesus, I sometimes don’t fit in well with the Christian label culturally. So 1.5/3 maybe.
So why in all my liberation, disability rights, biblical scholarship, social justice and angst do I stand by the sexual purity stuff from youth group…. ?
Is it because I can’t undue the brain washing?
Na. Its simple really. I seen enough life to realize that while the cultural trappings of this mandate are not useful (sexual purity cards/rings/bracelets/etc do not prevent kids from having sex in any study ever created by science or Christian focus groups), the biblical commandment protects one from much physical, emotional harm…. (dare I relieve the horrors of inner city adolescent medicine) and it gives one a gift.
SO why marriage vs. just a committed relationship…well I would say largely because the later is hard to define and because I think there is something quite biblical about rites of passage and covenants in community.
Let’s be a feminist for a second, YES, Conservative Christianity at times has made me think of my sexuality as evil, carnal, something to be ignored because it will over power me. But I would say society has told me that A. since I don’t have just the perfect body (less perfect than average in fact) I will never quite really have what it takes and thus taught some self-hatred and B. that sexuality is so common and unsacred that we can display it on every channel in prime time and every movie. If a woman’s sexuality is something common and freely on display than what’s the point of waiting? And frankly, it cheapens us a bit.
I don’t like either worldview much. One makes me into celibate seductress and the other makes me into inferior being worthy of a lifetime movie but with no sex scenes.
What if being a woman is a beautiful thing? Crown of creation…a sacred, awesome.
Waiting is isn’t just about following the rules and avoiding condemnation (which BTW I don’t judge others who make different choices), its about celebrating beauty, love, commitment and the sacred.