Rosetta Stone Between Councilors and Unmarried
It took me a very long time to come to this conclusion but it is clear to me now that when I say sex, and a married person says sex we are not talking about the same thing. Its understandable I am a virgin and they are not. The problem comes when the married person councils the virgins, and often times teens and singles who have made mistakes here but are now practicing abstinence until marriage, on matters pertaining to sex, purity and pornography.
Its apparent from many of the Christian websites and radio programs that discussions about body parts, puberty and pregnancy are discussions on sex in the mind of the marrieds. To the virgins the only thing that is sex is sexual intercourse.
I was listening to one of the Christian family programs and one of the guest described a sex game that school age kids played where the girls putting ribbons on guys private parts, and the man said that was sex. My exact thought was “no its not. That’s inappropriate touch”. He even pointed out that the kids did not see it as sex. I am in my late 20’s and because I am a virgin I do not see it as sex.
This led to something of a realization to me. To the married person sex is much broader than just sexual intercourse. I was floored. Because I have not crossed that line I cannot personally see it that way (and I am in my late 20’s) but I can understand that other people can see it that way.
Perhaps this is why so many marrieds are so open about the subject of sex with teens and singles. They assume that we see sex the same way they do, not realizing that we can’t, and shouldn’t. God intentionally made this a mystery reserved for our marriage.
The other night I had a realization how far this went. One of the ladies was talking about how she is teaching her young daughter to save her first kiss for marriage because she doesn’t want her girl to make the same mistakes she did. And one of the singles said something about how kissing leads to making out and that leads to sex. And the lady stopped the single and said “when you make out you are already having sex”.
I never thought of making out as part of sex. I grew up in the nineties with shows like family matters and step by step where they constantly showed teens making out but pointedly said they were not having sex. Again married people seem to have a much broader view on sex than most teens singles and especially virgins.
The understanding that marrieds and unmarried see sex differently made a verse in the Bible finally make sense to me. Gen 24:16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her:
I always wondered why this verse was calling this girl a virgin twice. The thing is, its not calling her a virgin twice. Its recognizing that virgins have a much more narrow view on sex than marrieds.
If this verse was written today it would say she was a virgin, and she never played any sex games. She was a virgin and she never made out with a guy. She was a virgin and never sexted. She was a virgin and never looked at porn. She was a virgin and never did a lot of other things you consider part of sex.
If it was me it would say he was a virgin but he looked at porn. If it was someone else it may say they were a virgin but they sexted but they made out but they played sex games. The thing is for virgins the other areas of sex are not yet part of sex.
I don’t know if you have to have sex 1 time 5 times or 50 times for all that stuff to become part of sex. It probably depends on the individual. What I am saying is that many young people, teens, singles view sex very differently than their married counterpart and God made it that way.
I am saying this to say be very sensitive to your unmarried struggling with this sin. They may view sex very differently than you.
I would encourage you to keep sex as mysterious to them as possible. As I was counseled by my pastor there were several times he said something to me that revealed stuff about sex that I did not know before. Perhaps you think that after viewing porn as long as I did there wouldn’t be much left to know but I hope there is a significant amount I don’t know. In all honesty I don’t want to know any more until my wedding night. I want as much ignorance as possible at this point.
How much of a mystery should sex be? In my opinion I think it is fine to know about your body parts, puberty, and pregnancy but as soon as you reveal anything about sex that involves two people you revealed too much of the mystery of sex. I pointed out in my story that dr james dobsons 2 sentences discussing sexual intercourse is directly what led me to pornography. I don’t see how that subject doesn’t lead pre-teens and teens to pornography as the message of sexual intercourse is laden with now wait ten or fifteen years until you are married.
When you tell kids about sexual intercourse what goes through their head is “This is how people have sex, and this is how I should do it.” So when sex comes up and it does a lot in our society, every time they go back to your conversation and think “this is how people have sex, and this is how I should do it”. Again that is very unfair to put into someone’s head years before they get married.
Lot of articles in the Christian community written about how newly married virgins struggle with sex, and it goes back to telling 12,13, 14 year olds as discreetly as possible about sexual intercourse, then until they get married they think “this is how people have sex, and this is how I should do it” then they get married get to their wedding night and honey moon and first few months of marriage and they have to overcome your discreet version of sexual intercourse.
For me the discreet telling of sexual intercourse led me to look for very specific porn with the thought “This is how people have sex, and this is how I should do it”.
The reality is that the people who teach young people about sexual purity are often married and should not be practicing abstinence. So they do not feel the weight of what they teach. As one who bears the weight of this teaching on purity I give my judgement.
I recommend that young people be told that sex certainly leads to pregnancy but that the mechanics of sex should remain a mystery to them until their wedding night. Let them know about how sex will make them feel closer to a person than anything in the world (no porn can show this, realizing this has helped guard my heart from porn, furthermore in a very real way this adds to the mystery of sex at least to me). If you are worried that they will not be able to figure out how to have sex without your discreet as possible description, worry not dogs can figure out how to have sex, so your young people should be able to too if they follow this advice.
Until a young persons wedding night as much about sex should remain a mystery as possible. As young people come to you with porn addiction be very careful not to reveal more about the mystery of sex than they already know. Unmarried people should not have the same understanding of sex as married people.
It is my hope that this article opened your eyes to how we share the same vocabulary but have very different dictionaries on this subject. It is my prayer that you be far more sensitive to your young people to help get them out of porn or better yet allow many of your young people to never get involved in the first place.