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What youth group never taught me about sex before marriage

Topic / Culture

Youth group and premarital sexThe following is a guest post from Ally Spotts, author of the e-book, Asking All The Wrong Questions: Why Christians Are Waiting for Marriage for Sex.
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It used to drive me crazy that people would talk about sex like it was the worst sin in the universe.

I grew up in the church. I was part of the “True Love Waits” generation. I read I, “Kissed Dating Goodbye,” and, “When God Writes Your Love Story.” I even went on a youth group retreat where I was encouraged to write letters to my future husband. I did and kept them in a box under my bed.

But as I got older and started dating I discovered that there were all kinds of tricky loopholes to the whole virginity thing. You could mess around with a dozen guys, do everything except sex, and you were still allowed to call yourself a virgin.

What was the point of waiting for marriage for sex if we were just going to fool around with our boyfriends?

Was there a point?

When we talked about sex at youth group I would always get the same explanations:

“Your body is a precious treasure and you need to treat it accordingly.”

“Sex is a gift that you only get to give away once.”

These explanations didn’t satisfy me. If sex was such a bad thing, I wondered, than how come it felt like such a good thing? What was it that happened after the wedding day that made sex suddenly okay?

So I went along with my friends. Kissed guys. Pushed the boundaries. And eventually jumped right over the line when I didn’t see the point in skirting around it anymore.

But I couldn’t kick the feeling that something was really, really wrong.

I felt lonely and depressed all the time.

I felt like I had to hide.

I was so ashamed of my actions.

I felt isolated and alone.

It seemed like the whole world was out to get me for decisions it had told me were okay.

One day I heard a pastor ranting and raving about a woman living in sin with her boyfriend and I was so angry at him. I was living in sin with my boyfriend and it sounded kind of like he was yelling at me.

Whatever, I thought to myself. He probably has worse sin in his life.

But when I got home I looked up the pastor’s message on YouTube and listened to it again. I read the passage he was talking about from 1 Corinthians.

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

Suddenly it made sense to me. Sex was not a worse sin than any other sin that I could commit. But because my sexuality was connected to my body and my soul, sinning sexually had consequences that no other sin could.

I knew he was right. I was experiencing them.

I didn’t have any STDs or unwanted pregnancies or restraining orders against boyfriends. What I had was worse. I had to wake up everyday feeling and knowing that my spirit was dying.

I didn’t feel loved. I didn’t feel valuable. I felt numb.

Deciding to wait for marriage for sex wasn’t easy, especially after I had already messed up. But the thing that helped me more than anything else was being able to ask honest questions, and knowing there were people who would try to answer them.

I’m convinced my generation is asking the wrong questions about sex and sexuality. We’re asking, “How far is too far,” instead of, “Why are we committed to waiting in the first place?” Learn from me and teach that to your youth group kids.

We also need people who are willing to talk to us like adults, who let us ask our questions and who attempt to answer with something more than, “because I said so.”

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Asking All The Wrong Questions: Why Christians Are Waiting for Marriage for SexWant to hear more about why she made this commitment and how she kept it? Purchase Ally’s e-book called, Asking All The Wrong Questions: Why Christians Are Waiting for Marriage for Sex, or visit her website, allyspotts.com.


Posted on November 8, 2011

  • http://www.theologyofthebody.net/ Rizpha

    http://www.theologyofthebody.net/

    This is a wonderful theology behind waiting for marriage! Read it…you'll be surprised at the wisdom contained.

    • AllySpotts

      Thank you Rizpha!

  • Cat

    This spoke to me so deeply. I felt the same way. I was raised in the church environment of "sex is bad" and "I kissed dating goodbye" and "And the bride wore white." Because I had been molested for years, I thought I was already damaged goods because this was never addressed. I didn't have my first kiss until 2 weeks before I turned 17, but lost my virginity shortly after turning 18 (I was thankfully never raped during the years of molestation). In between I was pushing boundaries, though that obviously didn't last long. Because I already felt like the church hated me, and therefore that God despised me, I didn't see a point in holding back. In the period of 3 years, I had at least 15 sexual partners, though I cannot remember if that is it entirely, because it is honestly such a blur. I did get pregnant (miscarriage) and did contract HPV, which didn't show itself until almost 3 years of abstinence, which was 3 months before I got married. I ran from God because I thought He would condemn me for my actions, when what He actually wanted to do was take me out of that lifestyle and into His arms to heal me. If the Church had been more like Christ and less like the pharisees with the adulterous woman, I may have come back to God a lot quicker than I did. Not that I am blaming the church for my actions, I fully accept the responsibility for my actions. I have since experienced the mercy, love and forgiveness of Christ, and of my earthly husband, and hope to use my testimony in the future to help girls from committing the same mistakes I did, and to show that forgiveness is still available for those who have.

    P.S. I understand the difficulty of making the decision to wait after living in sin, but it's totally worth it! It was over 3 years of abstinence before my wedding night, which made it so awesome and special!

    • AllySpotts

      Cat – that's so cool. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • http://melindatodd.com Mel

    this could be my story too. I lived in sin and pushed the boundaries because I didn't totally understand the WHY and I rebelled in this manner. There are so many reasons TO wait but they are not all fully addressed. It's more than stds and pregnancy, more than just because it's a sin. It needs to be talked about.

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

    • AllySpotts

      Thanks Mel! I agree it needs to be talked about. I talk about some of the reasons to wait in a series I wrote on my blog, and also in my latest e-book. Glad you liked the article.

  • Jamie

    Gotta Love JPII and the Theology of the Body!! Thanks for the post Rizpha.

  • AshleyJ

    I wish the title would have also addressed parents because it's not the youth group/pastor's only responsibility. While they can help disciple you, your discipleship will likely not mature quickly if you're not being discipled in your home or by a mentor (if you're parents aren't christian). The beauty then is that as I parent, I know my child intimately and can speak to them intimately and in a way that will pierce their heart.

    • http://www.studentministry.org Tim Schmoyer

      Very true, Ashley. The parental involvement in not only abstinence, but spiritual growth, is key and often overlooked. I see it more as a partnership between parents and youth leaders where we're here to hopefully support what the parents are already doing at home.

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