I’ve discussed the issue of purity and abstinence recently, but I’m doing it again as I’ve just come across this piece that perfectly illustrates modern evangelical sickness, read it. I’m beginning to think ‘purity’ is one of, if not the most, destructive teaching in the modern church.
In this article, a 30-something women discusses how great purity is and how hard her struggles with sexual desire are.
As a single girl in my thirties who was committed, by God’s grace, to saving sex for marriage,
Notice, ‘committed to saving sex for marriage.’ This is entirely the wrong commitment. The commitment should be to marriage.
Paul was very clear on this: “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)
For those women (and men) burning with passion, counseling abstinence is simply wrong; in fact, it might be borderline sinful. Instead, the church should council marriage.
“Purity culture” is destroying the church.
Or maybe the greater question is, Why do we even want to fight for sexual purity when our desires seem so natural and good—and often feel too powerful to control?
She shouldn’t. These desires feel good, natural, and powerful because they are good, natural, and powerful because God made them that way.
The problem is not the desire, the problem is looking for it in the wrong spot. People should not be waiting until their late-20s, or 30’s to get married and suffer under some perverse form of purity. They should be getting married young and having good, natural, enjoyable sex with their spouses while young.
God created sex, then told us to enjoy it only within the context of marriage between a man and a woman; so if He has us wait an excruciatingly long time for it, He is (mercifully) teaching us to meet our very deepest desires in Him alone.
Waiting is the problem, a Christian should not be waiting. They should be actively preparing and looking for marriage, men and women alike, each in their own way.
She gives some advice on combating lust, of which this is the most interesting:
9. Set hard-and-fast boundaries with men—for your sake and theirs. Hanging out alone with a man never helped me; it usually stirred up desires unnecessarily.
If a man and a woman are hanging out and want each other so much they are considering sin, they should be getting to the altar post-haste. ‘Boundaries’ are a broken product of a broken church culture. If a Christian man and woman are worrying about violating their ‘boundaries’ they should be be getting married.
You seem like a decent woman, but you have been mislead by a sick church culture, so please don’t take offense to my criticisms, instead help me to fix church culture. Council your other women readers avoid sticking to some misguided quest for a perverse form of ‘purity’, instead council them to commit to marriage, to try their hardest to find a decent Christian man and start a life.
Stop waiting and ‘being pure’, and embrace the holy desires God has given you. Find a decent Christian man, marry him, and have as much sex as you possibly can; council your readers to do the same.
The false teachings you have received on this issue have obviously hurt you according to your own words, so please help prevent other young women from falling into the same trap.