So I’d like to prefaces by saying something you probably will never hear me say again….this blog was inspired by watching an episode of Oprah lol. Yes it’s true.
To be honest I’m not the biggest fan of “O”, and you will not find me watching her show (well except for when she has her “favorite things” shows, I’m a sucker for those. Does she still do them? Haven’t seen ’em in a while) too often at all. But I happened to turn to her show a few weeks ago as she was doing an interview with Sarah Palin and her daughter, Bristol. The talk was mostly what you would expect, talk of Sarah’s new ventures and plans for this year. But attentions quickly turned to Bristol Palin, who has made quite a few headlines for her teenage pregnancy, as well as her now rocky relationship with her baby’s father.
Oprah said that she had read something that Bristol mentioned in a recent interview that had taken her aback. Bristol had said that she could guarantee that she would never have sex again until she was married. After Oprah read Bristol’s comment she asked “Do you really think that’s a realistic goal? Statistics show that teens are sexually active by the age of 18. Don’t you think that’s a pretty unrealistic goal?” Bristol said “I think it’s an important goal to have, a goal that others should make as well.” That of course didn’t satisfy Oprah. She then went on to ask “But why make that statement? Why not just keep it to yourself? It’s no one’s business if you have sex or not.” Even after Bristol responded to that comment it still didn’t satisfy Oprah. She again told her that, for most people, this just isn’t a realistic goal, that it could be 10 years before you get married. Bristol, at this point, just looked a little more than annoyed with Oprah. Who can blame her, this had already become a 10 minute conversation… or debate should I say. Sarah chimed in and said that Bristol was a strong girl who can keep this commitment. That it is a realistic goal for her. So finally the discussion or debate, was coming to a close. Oprah in a quite condescending voice asked “So this is going to hold up?” Bristol said yes. Oprah skeptically shook her head and said “Okay…I was going to give you a chance to publicly retract that statement but good luck to you.” she laughed.
I was actually somewhat surprised how it seemed Oprah was desperately trying to get her to change her mind on air and admit that saving sex for marriage simply cannot be done. I’m not an advocate for Bristol Palin but I must say, I applaud her for taking such a stance and making that goal. Oprah was doing her darnedest to break her, and though I wish she would have explained it a little more, I think she held her own. If anyone has the right to come out and say “this is the stance I’m taking”, it’s her. She’s already made the mistake of having sex before marriage and knows the ramifications of that choice. Having lived through the ramifications of that choice, being a single teenage mother, why wouldn’t she want to tell her peers not to make the same mistake she made? It’s a funny thing though, the media tears these girls down for sleeping around and getting pregnant, but they also tear them down for going the opposite direction. The poor things can’t win.
I think Oprah probably would have praised her if she had been advocating “safe sex” instead of no sex. If she’d been on Oprah’s show talking about condoms and birth control, you probably would have seen a much different reaction from Oprah. Our culture is comfortable with a conversation about passing out condoms in schools, and giving young girls birth control, but for some reason say the word “abstinence” and you have yourself a debate. For a couple reasons I think.
The first reason being that we are desensitized and we are okay with that. We have become so used to this sex saturated culture, and its anything goes attitude, that we think saving sex for marriage in this day and age is not only impossible, but also unimportant. Second reason is, we live in a culture that knows no self control. We want everything NOW! And see no reason why we shouldn’t have it NOW. We are a microwave culture. Nothing comes fast enough for us. But God put an emphasize on self control. It’s listed in the Bible as one of the fruits of the spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance (or self control)” – Galatians 5:22-23. But we are not willing to wait. Even if it means saving us a world of hurt.
Don’t believe the lie of “safe sex”, that is an illusion. Birth control and condoms may, and I stress may, keep you from getting preggers or getting an std, but I assure you it will not prevent you from the emotional and mental consequences of that choice. If Bristol Palin is serious about her choice to not have sex again till marriage, it’s probably more so because she knows that to be true. I’m sure the night she chose to have premarital sex she did not think that she soon would be thrust into a life of motherhood. That this guy she loved enough to give her self away to would soon abandon her. Now she’s having to deal with issues she shouldn’t have deal with, especially at such a young age. Where is the safety concern for not only your body but your emotional and mental health? Having protected sex can’t take away the pain that goes along with giving yourself to someone who is going to be long gone the next morning. I’ve seen the shame and guilt that goes along with this decision destroy people. It’s not worth it.
Do not believe the lie that it is impossible to save sex for marriage, that purity in this day and age isn’t possible or important. Because it is. There are people waiting, you may not see or hear of them very often, but they are out there. No one’s perfect and some people who have messed up in this area are still moving on, and trusting God to help them keep this commitment from now on. I encourage you to make the commitment to save sex for marriage today. Make a commitment to live a pure life. People who have made this commitment are just like everyone else. They are tempted just like everyone else, but they just make a different choice. But you can’t just say “oh yeah, I’ll do that”, no, you have ask God to give you the strength to live this commitment out everyday. You have to make wise choices, and prayerfully and thoughtfully consider how you will keep this commitment. For instance, think about your physical boundaries ahead of time. Don’t spend too much time alone with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Especially at night. Be accountable to someone – that right there is a whole other blog on its own, but you will be way less likely to fall if you know someone is going to ask you about it tomorrow. Most of this stuff is just common sense. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you will be tempted. Spend alot of time alone at night with someone you love or are attracted to and you might as well throw yourself to the wolves. That’s just reality. To think you are above falling when you are in those situations is just naive.
The only way you can keep this commitment is by the grace of God. I’ve made this commitment to myself, my future husband (whoever he may be), and my future children. By the grace of God, I will keep it. I know temptation will come but my God is stronger than that temptation, He will get me through it. These are His boundaries so you can experience the full joy of intimacy when you are married. Because if you haven’t heard, statistics also show that couples who have had sex before marriage, or even experienced too much physically before marriage, have a higher divorce rate. So if you really love your boyfriend or girlfriend,you will choose purity. If you really love God, if you really love yourself, you will choose purity, and make this very realistic goal.
*…Okay, so I know this blog is really long enough…I am sorry about that. But I just want to take a second and talk about the flip side to all of this. If you’re reading this blog and thinking “It’s too late for me, I’ve already made the mistake of sex before marriage.” Can I just take a minute and talk to you?
Jesus doesn’t care if you’ve messed up, or how many times you’ve messed up, He cares that you run to Him and ask for forgiveness so He can make you new again. He is ready and willing to forgive you and restore your purity, all you have to do is ask. Ask Him to forgive you for making that mistake, ask Him to give you the strength to start over, and live a pure life from this day on. You can’t walk, you have to run from that sin. 1 Cor. 6:18 says “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” You can still make that commitment today and start living out that purity. There is restoration from sexual sins. When you ask God for forgiveness, the Bible says that the old passes away, and all things become new. All things, all things – including your purity. You can still have God’s best for your life. You can still enter into marriage with that spiritual purity, and experience all intimacy is really supposed to be.
God wants to restore you and heal you from all the damage that it’s done to you emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. He doesn’t want you to have to deal with the guilt and shame anymore. Let’s just get one thing clear, condemnation does not come from God. The Bible says there is no condemnation for all who are in Christ. Yes, when we sin we feel convicted, that I believe is a good thing. It’s how we know to go to God and make things right again. But conviction and condemnation are two very different things. I think one of the biggest problems we have is forgiving ourselves. With a show of virtual hands, how many people have asked God for forgiveness for the same sin multiple times? (My hand raised) I know I have. You sin, you then ask for forgiveness, you also ask the next day….the next week…maybe even the next month. When God is just saying “You know I heard you the first time. I forgave you then. Now will you please just accept my forgiveness, forgive yourself, and move on.” We do this because we can’t forgive ourselves. We’re still living in that condemnation. Most of us could probably tell someone about God’s love and mercy, tell them that if they ask God to forgive them, He will. And we can so easily believe it for them. But if it’s true for them isn’t it also true for you? God wants to free you from a life of sin, that also includes the condemnation you feel because of it.
I think one of the biggest lies Satan uses to keep us in bondage is the “damaged goods” mentality. So many people think because they have messed up that it’s too late for them, so what’s the point, why even try anymore? That is a lie straight from Hell, don’t buy it. If the enemy can get you to believe that, which is to also question your worth, then he can keep you living in your life of sin and shame. We know that Satan has come to steal, kill, and destroy – the easiest way he does that is to get you to believe that you are “damaged goods”. In God’s eyes you’re anything but damaged. He longs to make you new and restore your purity so He can give you His very best for your life.