I love sex. Sex is great and one of my favorite things to do that I haven’t done since I was 25. Send him soon, Lord.
Not too long ago I went out with a guy who is on the Swat team. Like, the Detroit Swat team. Like the SWAT team that kicks in people’s doors and arrests criminals with their bear hands kind of swat team. Might as well check my ovulation schedule because I definitely plan on having this man’s children, AM I RIGHT?
He had to cut our first date short because he got called in to execute a search warrant. **Fans herself with nearest chipotle receipt. So here I am, walking with this guy to our cars as he inadvertently flexes his muscles and clenches his perfectly sculpted jawline, and I thought to myself, “Leah, you need to be careful with this guy. He is too sexy.”
I’ve had lots of discussions about sex and the christian, mainly revolving around the idea of “slipping up”. So I decided to do a little bit of research into the topic and get some views about sex in a Christian realm from the great and reliable internet. And you won’t believe what I found!
I found nothing.
I googled 27 different versions of Christians and sex and the only articles that popped up were tons of focus-on-the-family inspired narratives about sex with your spouse, or what christian married couples can and can’t do inside of the bedroom, or how to keep it spicy while still keeping it spiritual. I didn’t find anything that helped me, the single woman, traverse through the never-ending waves of gorgeous SWAT team members.
It’s no wonder why we have so many Christian men and women trying to figure out how to maintain godly, single relationships. NOBODY TALKS ABOUT IT. So here we are, trying to figure it all out on our own, and feeling incredibly alone when we make a mistake.
I went to a Christian high school, and we didn’t have a sex ex class. Why would they need it, was the thinking. We were christian kids. We didn’t need to know about condoms or STD’s or birth control, because SURELY none of us were having sex.
And when I was 14-year-old youth group attendee, we had a True Love Waits seminar where I put on a purity ring and promised to stay a virgin until I was married. That was the one and only time that anyone ever attempted to talk to me about sex within a Christian context.
And then, like a sad Christian movie about the poor, backslidden girl with musical accompaniment by Point of Grace, when I was 21, I lost my virginity.
There was no soft music playing. I did not feel cherished. He did not have hair like Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I remember it being over with (much quicker than the movies) and me not knowing what to do next. So, for the next 4 years I tried to figure out sex on my own. And for the next 4 years, I became more and more confused.
But here’s the problem that was so strongly reiterated to me when I searched the internet today for helpful tools in writing this: We don’t talk about these things, because we assume that Christians will not have sex for the simple reason that it is sin. Some of you don’t see a problem with that mindset. I am literally laughing while I type it.
I have full intentions to wait until I am married to have sex with my insanely hot future husband. But what if we slip up? Do I have to once again remove the proverbial purity ring from my finger and put it away with all of the other jewels that I am no longer fit to wear?
Or…what if the purity ring wasn’t a token of who I could be, but just of who I am?
I mean, who told me to take that ring off? Because it wasn’t my parents. And it wasn’t my pastor. And it wasn’t my friends. Who told me that I was no longer pure and deserving of such a title?
Who told me to be ashamed?
It was the years of being subtly told that sex was a bad, bad thing by the very fact that it was noticeably absent from the christian narrative. It was the fact that I had done this bad, bad thing that was so bad that we weren’t even allowed to talk about it at church or school or even at my evangelical christian college.
I was told not to have sex, but not told why I shouldn’t have it. I was told that sex was wrong, but not told why other than, “It’s a sin.” I was told to wait, but not told why it was worth it to wait. And so now I was this non-virgin college student who was at a christian university surrounded by other christians who were definitely not having sex because it’s a sin, duh, and I felt alone, empty and SO ashamed that I had allowed myself to dip to such christians lows.
There are some of you today who are reading this and are carrying around an enormous amount of guilt and shame because you had sex or have sex. (Or are currently reading this while having sex, in which case please wait to comment.)
I guess my question for you is who told you that you should be ashamed?
Some of you are mad right now, because we should carry the shame of our sins, right? We should be deeply and madly shamed into repentance. Lol, NO.
The Bible never told us to be ashamed.
The Bible never told us to feel guilty or to feel frustrated or to feel like we were disgusting. The bible just told us to repent. It tells us, “Hey, try harder. Be better. Not for me. For you.” It isn’t a license to be a moron, but more a license to not have to constantly feel like one.
In fact, the Bible gives us ways to get over being ashamed. It gives us pointed scriptures that talk about casting aside your shame and moving forward with your life.
Sex isn’t unforgivable. You, human being, are not less of a Christian because you have had sex. Don’t buy into that lie.
Don’t believe the lie that some churches or catty Christians or complementarians will tell you that you need to be perfectly sinless in order to please God. Don’t strive for perfection. With perfection, we would have no need for God.
So what should we strive to be?
Better than yesterday.
Leah Barterian works as the Youth Program Director at Grace Christian Church in Metro Detroit, Michigan. She is extremely passionate about singleness, Red Wings hockey, social equality, and late-night snacking. She loves baked cheetos, puppies, and laughing at videos where people slip on the ice. She inexplicably hates black beans and humidity. Follow Leah on Twitter and Instagram @Leahbarterian. Explore Leah’s blog HERE.
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