Sexual Principles

Here’s part of a letter to an advice columnist from a mother concerning her daughter:

Boy, did I get an eyeful! It appears my 16-year-old daughter and her 17-year-old boyfriend have been contemplating sex and have already gone to the heavy petting/foreplay stage. There must have been more than 1,000 e-mails of detailed touching and adult sexual language.

Both kids have had “the talk” with their parents, and we all thought abstinence was not an issue. I have had numerous talks with my daughter about sex, relationships and consequences.

Both kids want to go to college and have goals in life. They do feel they are “soul mates” — but what teenage couple don’t think that? The boyfriend is the nicest, most respectful boy you would want your daughter to date. Teenage hormones got the best of both of them. If any of the other parents find out, their relationship is over.

To make a long story short, I told them I read every single e-mail. When my daughter saw tears come to my eyes, she knew they had crossed the line, as I am a very open and understanding parent. They have been warned, talked to about consequences again, and strict rules have been put in place such as no “alone time” together.

Am I silly to think I can keep them in check, and should I keep their secret?

Here’s part of Amy’s, the advice columnist, response:

If you seriously believe this couple will abstain from sex because you say so, then you might want to get started decorating the baby’s nursery.

Keeping these two apart is completely unrealistic. In addition to your wise counsel about consequences, they should also be told that if they have sex, they must use contraception. You should urge your daughter to explore her options with her doctor, and/or the couple should visit a Planned Parenthood clinic together for realistic counseling and birth control

This letter here is the perfect macrocosm of what is screwed up in our sexual/marital marketplace.

It’s likely that the daughter, boyfriend, and their parents are probably all religious given their emphasis on abstinence, but their first principles are borderline satanic.

First, we’ll get “soul mates” out of the way. There are no soul mates, there is no ‘the one’, there is only “my one and only“. The concept of soul mates is a destroyer of marriage. Given the scare quotes its likely the mother has some reservations about reality of soul mates, but hasn’t imparted this wisdom properly to her daughter.

Next, Amy is correct in her first assertion, encouraging these teenagers to abstain from sex is stupid, but her advice beyond this is non-Christian and will lead to heartache for all. Her advice is the typical hedonism that infects society as a whole and is leading to our decline.

Now, all of this was just a preface, to examine the real point. Burdened, the letter writer, who’s one line shows how deep the rot has gone.

If any of the other parents find out, their relationship is over.”

There are two biological adults strongly attracted to each other. They have been blessed with strong mutual attraction at a young age, and their families’ response would be to destroy their relationship because of some desire for them to be “abstinent”?

That’s insanity. That’s cruel. That’s borderline satanic.

Here is Paul on the issue:

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:8-9 ESV)

The proper response, the Christian response, is to get these two young adults married and starting a family.

The modern drive for ‘abstinence’ uber alles is unholy. Some precious few are given the gift of singleness, they should abstain, but most are not given this gift and calling.

God blessed most with a sexual drive and a holy desire to become one flesh with another. To demand abstinence until some point in their 20’s or 30’s from those not given to singleness is cruel, destructive, unrealistic, unbiblical, and satanic. The focus on abstinence hands the devil a strong hold over young adults in which to subvert their holy desires into unholy ones.

One of the major problems with the modern church is the unbiblical emphasis on abstinence. Abstinence should never be an issue in the church. If two Christian young adults want sex with each other, their parents should rejoice and bring them before the altar post-haste.

Is it any wonder the unchurched are repulsed by such a hideous doctrine as abstinence?

I actually wrote into Amy, hopefully she’ll publish my letter. I would not wish to see these parent’s inflict this hideous cruelty on their offspring.

****

You might, in your modernity-addled mind, object that 16-17 year-olds aren’t adults, but you’d be wrong in any sense but the technially legal. These are adults, and would have been considered so by almost any society prior to the mid-19th century. A person that has hit puberty is an adult; our infantilization of them through non-existent ‘adolescence’ is destructive. Don’t let this kind of modern insanity poison your mind.

28 comments

  1. Glad to see you calling out the abstinence-until-30-or-later crowd for the agents of the devil that they are.

    Hope it works. The real culprit driving this is the consumerist mindset for married couples, careerist mindset for women and their parents, and a highly sexualized society.

    This is of course why so many women in their 30s and late 20s are already completely ruined as marriageable.

    And when I see their 463-point bullet lists of demands for their boyfriend/husband, I find it very, very difficult to quell the rush of schadenfreude I feel.

    Schadenfreude is, of course, some of the emptiest of all spiritual calories, yet there is some microscopic amount of sustenance in it. Perhaps someday I will no longer feel this way, but at present, I find grim satisfaction in seeing the stubbornness, selfishness, and sexual incontinence women exhibit lead to the results we are seeing.

    And I will not hesitate to point it out.

    No Rings for Sluts ™!!

  2. There is no ONE

    This is the soul-mate myth

    There are some good Ones and some bad Ones, but there is no ONE

    Anyone telling you anything else is selling you something~Rollo Tomassi, The Rational Male (book)

  3. Good one, FN. Now, please note that the following should be read with tones of sarcasm dripping from it:

    C’mon, now, if they get married right now, just so they can have sex, you’re advocating completely ruining, ruining both of their lives and futures! They want to go to college, for heaven’s sake, and have careers, they have Set Goals themselves and marriage would only get in the way of that. And children, at 16? Good Lord, FN, what sort of misogynist dystopia spawns such ideas?

    jack, above, has the right of it. Hedonism rules and marriage is something you do “after” you have life figured out, no? My hairdresser has one daughter and two sons. She doesn’t care if the sons go to college, they have options and inclinations for jobs that don’t require college degrees, and she’s confident that, because they’re boys, they’ll be OK. Her eldest is the girl, who is in her fifth year of college (whoops, $34K on the first year swirled down the drain in a wash of beer and bad grades). She said she felt the girl needed to go to college to have options and get ahead in life so she wouldn’t need to depend on anyone. *Sigh*

    So, $170,000 later, her daughter has been at West Virginia U for five years getting a degree in communications so she can become a social media consultant. I wonder what her marriage prospects will be in a few years. Hairdresser doesn’t seem to see the potential damage done to her daughter’s happiness by trying to ensure Daughter never has to depend on anyone.

    Funny thing is, the best way to get “kids” to grow up is to give them adult responsibilities. I never saw women get serious about life, etc. so quickly as they do when they have a few children to look after. The sooner, the better, is my new outlook. It used to be sexist to say it, but a husband and children really do settle a woman down.

    If this young couple has a strong family around them, who are marriage-minded and committed to making it work for both of them, they’ll be better off for it than being spendthrift with their youth and energy in college.

  4. The missing piece is that a prospective husband should have a decent income to form a household. What do you envisage, that that the married couple will continue being supported by their parents through college without their own place and avoiding pregnancy? Or are the teens going to find work immediately, in the new economy of high cost of living and poor job opportunities?

  5. My parents are an example how NOT to live. They married late, had only two kids, but thought they could uphold sexual conservatism. Even having the strength of will for abstinence, the bulk of Christianity lives in the Global South and believes in large families. So, nuclear families with few kids will naturally have different earthly interests, primarily economic, than the Church at large.

    Note: abstinence is related to the worship of NFP

  6. It’s especially fun when someone burns with passion and wants to marry, like Paul says, but is told by Christians that they have to be totally satisfied with being single first. Which gets that person caught in a grand old Catch 22. That’s like saying you have to be satisfied with starving before you can eat. By their logic it is only the people who are called to singleness who should be getting married.

    I can understand coming to terms with the idea that you may not marry, but that tends to not be what anyone is actually telling you to do. They’re telling you to establish a life without marriage and then try to cram marriage into it later.

  7. “Funny thing is, the best way to get “kids” to grow up is to give them adult responsibilities.”

    Funny? More like hilarious. If you sat down Jack and Jill and laid out Free Northerner’s options in front of them – yes, you can have sex, but it involves life-long marriage first – the two would start looking at eachother with a more discerning eye, they’d start asking themselves “Is this the person I want to be the parent of my children?” If they’re a couple of idiot teenagers who are just getting off on hormones, this would snap them out of it. If they’re actually compatible,this would cause them to start having serious discussions about where they’re going after High School (hopefully removing a bit of the rose-tint from perspective on reality).

    Abstinence is the flip-side of casual sex. I’d go even further and say that abstinence causes emotionless casual sex. After all, it’s a lot easier to stay emotionally abstinent, than sexually abstinent… “I’m just sowing my wild oats,” the woman says to herself, as she dates one bad-boy after another… not realizing that with every choice she makes, she’s re-wiring her brain to make that choice again.

    Soon enough, emotional abstinence becomes a way of life, and casual sex is all that she has left; late twenties she marries somebody “reasonable”, but can’t love him, and we all know where that goes.

  8. First I will dispense with a minor nitpick : the letter is a microcosm, not a macrocosm.

    Second, Wilson has a point: these young people probably don’t have the strength of will to be responsible married people. They might marry, and become financially burdensome on their parents.

    Theoretically, these young people could get married and embrace a lifestyle of extreme frugality. That might be something of a strain. Also, they might end up on welfare. That would not be conducive to traditional Christianity.

  9. There’s also another possible outcome – they marry, the girl’s hypergamy kicks in some years down the line and she frivorces the boy for cash and prizes because she feels she missed out on all the fun of being single in her 20s and needs to catch up with the girls who were on the carousel.

  10. c:

    Bingo!!!!!

    Seen it firsthand, more than once.

    Unless and until men collectively re-engineer society so that our collective dicks are no longer in the can crusher, there is NO WORKABLE MODEL.

    Sure, individual outliers will succeed, but they will be exceptions.

  11. Free Northerner
    It might be that they are legally adults. I don’t know anything about age of consent laws in Canada, but here in the States they vary state by state.

    For instance, where I live in Oklahoma, age of sexual consent is 16 and those between the ages of 16-18 can marry with the consent of their parents.

    Personally, it’s probably the sanest law I’ve seen in that it actually allows courtship principles to propagate for young couples. I doubt anyone outside of the traditional communities I participate in should do so, but I’ve seen a couple young couples that could benefit very much from such young marriages, and show every inclination towards doing so.

  12. Great post. Like much of what is wrong with the pair-bond falsely called marriage, much isn’t going to change unless people start repenting and following after God’s will.

  13. Great post FN. The obvious solution, or at least, the obvious path to follow, is of course one that never enters the mother’s mind. Since she is Canadian, I think that the phrase “quelle surprise” seems appropriate.

    Also, Chad, age of consent is not the same thing as “legally adults.” That is pretty much universally 18 now. Although there is a process called emancipation that allows you to get that recognition sooner, but if I recall correctly requires some kind of judicial action.

    As for those who worry about this couple being a burden financially…

    Ask yourselves this: which should a Christian care more about: finances, or their children’s souls?

  14. I can certainly see your point about delaying marriage and family formation into the late 30s but I think you have overstated your case. Could you name a healthy, traditional society where a family is obligated to marry their daughter off to a 17 year old boy with no prospects just because the couple has gotten hot in the pant for each other? Sixteen year old girls have never been allowed to make such decisions with no regard to the will or the good of their families.

  15. FN,

    My experience in raising daughters and watching as both they and their friends become overwhelmed by the sheer power of their emerging sexuality says you have hit on something important here. It is appropriate and normal for many teenage girls to become wives and mothers. However, I also agree with some of the comments that have pointed out how critical it would be for the young man in question to have a job prospect of some kind before marriage.

    Much of the problem stated here in this post comes from the western world shift from agrarian economies that began in the mid-1800s. A 17 year old male would have likely been a fine prospective husband because his growing youth and strength would make him a reliable provider in a farming economy. Sadly, this is not so in our post-agrarian age.

    The answer to this question could be reconsidering some of modern society’s “norms”:

    1. Coeducation during middle and high school – young women mature faster than men, many of whom are still physically maturing up to age 20. (Any fan of professional and college sports can see how much males change between 17 and 28, an age that usually represents their peak. At the same time female athletes peak between the ages of 14 and 21 which roughly coincides with their peak fertility – probably not a coincidence.) However, our current society fetishizes young boys throughout marketing campaigns, TV and movies (I believe there is a gay component to this considering their strong presence in entertainment and marketing fields). This “media conditioning” infantilizes a young woman’s natural desire towards these boy-men (see Justin Beiber). This infantilization is furthered by these young women being surrounded by young physically immature men in high school. Society is purposefully or unwittingly promoting young men, often not even fully grown adults, to be the “mates” of young women who may be near their age but are fully mature. If young women received their education away from males their age, I believe their natural inclination would be towards older men who can actually be provider husbands and fathers.

    2. The stigma against older, established men marrying younger women – although the practice of established men (by that, I mean men who have the ability to provide for a wife and children) marrying young women as they come of age was common less than 100 years ago, the western world now shuns this. I believe this change has a great deal to do with the feminist conceit that women should be able to pursue their dreams of careers and non-marital sexual relationships during their 20s and then marrying in their 30s. These women realize that most men prefer younger women and thus they have sought to make it socially unacceptable for established men to marry women more than 5 years their junior. These 30 year old women want to have their cake (careers and carousel riding) and eat it too (become the only acceptable marriage candidates for established 30 year old men).

    The reality of husbands is this – they must be able to provide. I point to Genesis:

    “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

    How can a 17 year old male in today’s western world “leave his father and his mother” and “cleave unto his wife” if he is still financially beholden to his parents? Obviously, he cannot which is why it is essential that any suitable husband prospect must be financially independent before marriage.

    The reality of this modern age is that male youth and strength was important in the agrarian age and possibly so during our blue collar manufacturing period, but worthless in our current era outside of professional athletics. The qualities that it takes for a man to gain an ability to provide take longer to develop today. Most men need a college degree and at least a decade of hard work before they are ready to become a solid provider.

    Yes, this means many young Christian men will have to restrain from sex for a long time. However, they will likely channel this desire into bettering themselves as a future husband and father as soon as they can. Knowing that society will still “allow” them to marry a young woman should take the sting out of this wait. (I also believe that easy and early sex for teenage boys that is common in modern society is what makes them less ambitious. Our failing society needs to make it harder for men to get sex from young women, not easier. This helps marriage, men, women, and society at large.)

    I realize there are always exceptions. Many young married couples can become teams would build financial and family lives together. Also, I have hope that more careers that allow men to work with their hands again (construction, manufacturing, etc) will increase in the western world again. Both of these make it more palatable for older teens to get married to one another.

    However, I also think that marriageable men in our modern age should be able to marry younger women without scorn. So too should young women not be forced to only consider males their own age when desiring marriage. Many young women who are ready to be wives and mothers would prefer to marry an established men 10 to 25 years their senior. There should not be anything wrong with that.

    Although I understand your intent and agree that we should not hold back young women from marrying in their teens, advocating for a 17 year old male to marry a 16 female in our modern age may also be unwittingly supporting two of the most corrosive societal trends: (a) one-itis (any young woman wanting to marry a 17 year old with no job prospect isn’t “thinking” she’s “feeling”) and (b) pervasive cultural feminism like the backhanded dictate that men and women should only marry people near their age.

  16. @ Wilson: Ideally, the family and the church will support young newly weds. So what if after marrying they live with their parents for a couple years while getting established, they would be living with their parents unmarried otherwise.

    @ C: A possibility, but less than if he married a decade later after she’d schtupped a dozen other guys.

    @ Barnabas: If we was a ne’er-do-well then the parent’s should definitely stomp it out, but her mother did say “the boyfriend is the nicest, most respectful boy you would want your daughter to date.” If he’s a solid young man, marry them.

    @ ML: One-itis is a good thing, if it is for your wife.
    http://canecaldo.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/on-axe-biting/

    Financial independence is not necessary. Young families should be supported by their families, their community, and the church. That is the way it has always been. In the time of Jesus, it was clan-based; leaving your parents did not mean ‘you’re on your own, good luck’ like in out age of anomie. You were still supported by your clan.

    Although, I do agree that the stigma on age-differentiated marriage and coeducation/infantilization are problems.

  17. This post made me realize that, if I ever have enough money and son’s or daughters, I’ll look into getting a place with enough land that I’d be able to build small homes on it for my children when they marry, if necessary. I totally get that a man should prospects before marrying; but that is increasingly difficult in today’s modern realities. If my future daughters should find someone that shows promise with diligence in their work, career prospects, and a strong faith; I’ll offer them a chance to build a place together. It wouldn’t be much, but it would be theirs. Deeding the land over with specific terms would give them property, raise the son/son-in-law’s status, and give them both something to work on together to build and improve. If they do it right, the property itself could be sold later for increased value for a larger place for when they have more kids, or could be passed on to the next needy couple.

    Modern dowries, they need to happen. We forget that these were an essential part of two people coming together and having a real chance at a life when so young – by sacrifices being made on part of their families.

  18. Obviously, given that abstinence is, as Saint Paul observed, unrealistic for the vast majority of people, an girl who has recently become fertile should marry a young man who has recently demonstrated the capacity to follow a career and accumulate capital. The parents of the bride should chip in a dowry to help make it happen.

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