The “A” Word
I have a wonderful friend; she is educated, she is involved in her kids’ lives, she is smart, caring… just a great person in general. We had a conversation about talking to kids about the birds and the bees. I told her about two couples in my church that just got married and that had waited to have sex until they were married. I really want my kids to wait, and I have expressed that expectation. With that being said, now adays, our society is so saturated in sex, and sex-before-marriage is such an acceptable practice, that the likelihood of young people staying chaste is slim. When I told my friend of my hope, she disagreed and said she doesn’t have the same hope for her kids. WHAAAT! I know she wants what is best for her kids, just as I do… but it was eye-opening conversation with a someone I respect, exposing different opinions of what’s best. So, I thought I’d write about it!
Here are some good reasons to want your kids to keep their virginity, and to encourage them to do so…
- Antibiotic resistant Gonorrhea… According to the CDC article about this issue, “… the bacteria that cause the STD gonorrhea, has developed resistance to nearly all of the antibiotics used for gonorrhea treatment”. It goes on to say, “We are currently down to one last effective class of antibiotics, cephalosporins, to treat this common infection”. Um… that’s scary. For those of you who’ve forgotten what we were taught in high school health class… Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection and can infect both men and women. It causes burning, discharge, bleeding, and can be transmitted to your baby. The fact that this infection has built up resistance to all of the antibiotics except one, is alarming! How long until it is resistant to this one? So, first reason to want your kids to stay abstinent is Gonorrhea… it’d be embarrassing and horribly uncomfortable to get it, and maybe some day impossible to be cured from it.
- Herpes… and I’m not talking about cold sores. One in six Americans has genital herpes. And it can be spread even when the carrier isn’t showing signs. And if you get it… you keep it. There are suppressions medications, but no cure. Nobody wants crusty, painful cold sores on their special private parts!!
- HPV (Human Papillomavirus)… According to the CDC, About 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. About 14 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that most sexually-active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. They also state that most cervical, penile, vulvar, vaginal, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers and precancers are linked to two strains of HPV. And the worst strains of this virus are asymptomatic/unrecognized. There are other strains that cause genital warts. In 2009, there were an estimated 34,788 new HPV-associated cancers and approximately 355,000 new cases of anogenital warts associated with HPV infection. The CDC has great advice, “Abstaining from sexual activity is the most reliable method for preventing genital HPV infection.”
There are plenty more STDs I could list, including HIV/AIDS. And yes, condoms could help reduce the risk… but it’s just reducing the risk. I want my kids to have ZERO risk of contracting these infections and viruses. It would effect my child’s health now and in the future, possibly put a rift in my child’s future marriage (what if my son got HPV, gave it to his wife and she died of cancer caused by the virus… could happen), and could hurt my future grandchildren. But physical ailments are not the only reason to wait.
- Integrity. Everybody remembers ‘those girls’ from high school. The ones that came to school with hickeys, that were said to be ‘easy’. Regardless of the persona they held, they hurt on the inside. I know girls that wore this classification that got into drugs, had babies young, lacked self-esteem and ended up in abusive relationships. And it’s high school… ONE wrong relationship can earn you this badge of dishonor.
- Honor. Contemplate with me the wonderment of marriage… finding that one special person that you will share the rest of your life with, and being able to present them with something precious and amazing that you’ve given to no one else. You’ve shared your time with others, your laughter, your money, your Facebook page (:)), your love… but not your body. You’ve sacrificed, you’ve stayed strong, and you’ve waited for just the right person. (And you’re coming to them uninfected with any scariness). What an honor for your spouse.
- Fewer Broken Hearts. If you aren’t having sex, then ‘those guys’ that are known heart-breakers, that are just after one thing… won’t have the chance to break your heart. If you choose to not take your relationship to that level, it is easier to break it off when it needs to be broken off because honestly… sex can be distracting!
- Better Marriage and Future Sex Life. Ultimately, and this may be going out on a ledge… maybe waiting makes it easier to find the right spouse because you’ve fallen in love with who HE (or she) is and not fallen for deceitful lust. Maybe this statement isn’t ridiculous! The Globe and Mail posted a great little article about a study on this subject published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Family Psychology. A study, based on 2,035 married individuals aged 19 to 71 showed that those who waited enjoyed significantly more benefits than those who had sex earlier. The benefits included relationship stability rated at 22 percent higher; relationship satisfaction was rated 20 percent higher; sexual quality of the relationship was rated 15 percent better and communication was rated 12 percent better. (These numbers are about double compared to those that didn’t wait)
“There’s more to a relationship than sex, but we did find that those who waited longer were happier with the sexual aspect of their relationship,” lead study author Dean Busby, a professor in Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life, said in a release. “I think it’s because they’ve learned to talk and have the skills to work with issues that come up,” Prof. Busby went on to say.
A study by Sociology Professor Jay Teachman, of Western Washington University was nicely summarized on www.waitingtilmarriage.org. The results were clear…
- Multiple premarital sex partners enhance women’s risk of divorce, regardless of their cohabitation experiences.
- Women whose intimate premarital relationships are limited to their husbands—either premarital sex alone or premarital cohabitation—do not experience an increased risk of divorce
- Having at least one other intimate relationship prior to marriage is linked to an increased risk of divorce
- There is a substantially higher risk of marital dissolution if the woman both had sex with another man and cohabited with him
- 17.8% of women, in the sample size of 6,577, did not have premarital sex and did not cohabit prior to marriage
- Teen Pregnancy. In America, approximately 45% of pregnancies are unintended. According to 2010 statistics, 47 out of 1000 teens became pregnant. Many more recent articles are stating that teen pregnancies are on the decline, which is fantastic, but all you need to do is look at the Hudson Bay High School childcare program to see that teens are still having babies. If you’re having sex… there’s a possibility you could get pregnant. I had my kids young and we’ve talked extensively about how our lives have been negatively affected by my age and relationship status when they were born. I want better for them, and their children.
It may seem weird to think about committing your life to someone that you’ve never been intimate with or lived with (after all… what if they leave the toilet seat up… GASP!!), but is that just society’s views deeply permeated in your opinion? The same society where divorce is running rampant, and spouses are reporting unprecedented unhappiness and unfulfillment? I want more for my kids.
- God’s Will. I purposely left this for last. In my opinion, this is the most important reason, but I wanted to show that even without religious influence, there are many reasons a parent should be thankful (and encouraging) of their children choosing the road of abstinence.
God created us. He created us joyfully and with the intention for us to experience joy in our relationship with Him and our relationship with those around us. He created sex. Sex is His amazing wedding gift. It can be a blessing when we use it according to his purpose. When we don’t, it can often lead to our doom. AIDS and other illnesses contracted and spread through sex that lead to death; addiction to pornography and affairs that lead to marital death.
Hebrews 13:4 warns us that marriage is honorable, and to let the marriage bed be undefiled as fornicators and adulterers will be judged by God. I Thessalonians tells us that the will of God is to abstain from sexual immorality. According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, sexual immorality is equal to fornication.
In conclusion… I will encourage and do my best to equip my children to wait, to keep their purity, to abstain from sexual relationships until marriage. I know that the statistics show this is more unlikely than likely, but that won’t stop me from encouraging my kids to make choices that clearly protect them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We’ve talked about birth control, they’ve gotten the HPV vaccine, and I’m not opposed to balanced and reasonable sex-ed classes. I’m not being unrealistic, or blind. I’m being hopeful. I want more for my kids than broken hearts, genital warts, and disappointment.
PS… Just found this little gem… great read!! http://intentionaltoday.com/my-thoughts-on-sexual-purity-and-3-reasons-its-not-lame/