I have this motto that I kind go by: "Sin in senseless." It reminds me to remember the fact that the Message Version of Proverbs 3 talks about how *important* common sense is.
I read an article that was published this week that listed eight reasons for why, according to the author anyway, premarital sex is good for people and society as a whole. I'll say this before I even start: If we all (had) waited until marriage and remained married to God's best for us (that kind of works hand-in-hand), would there be so many STDs and unplanned/teenage pregnancies and broken hearts and prostiution and porn...the list goes on and on?
Anyway, back to what the author said. Here are Ms. Ryan's opening paragraphs (heads up: If you go to the link, she has a bit of a potty mouth):
"Culturally, America's attitude toward women and sex is pretty screwed up (no pun intended). Society tells us that it's dirty, filthy, and wrong, and women who have it are sinners who have to pretend that they don't know what a [penis] looks like. Then, on that magical day at some point in their adulthood, those formerly dirty women get married (if any guy will still have them and their tattered hymens) and the sex act, a thing they've been doing in a dirty way for years, suddenly transforms into an amazing and blessed experience. Sex, you see, is a very bad, dirty thing that you should only do with someone you love very, very much.
This is ridiculous. It's untenable. In fact, premarital sex is a morally good thing. It's time we stopped seeing it as something wrong and started seeing it as something that, for most of us, is totally right."
Personally, she sounds a bit angry and "pent up" to me. But again, that's just me. Anyway, here are her reasons:
8. People who have sex are happier. (OK...that's pretty believable. Go on...)
7. Sex is healthy and natural. (100%. I'll even add that it's *perfectly natural* to desire sex.)
6. Premarital sex leads to more stable marriages. (Um...OK, I'll let the married people who had sex before marriage let me know if that is indeed true.)
5. Sex feels great and is fun. (Sigh. Weep. Sigh some more as I shake my head in remembrance.)
4. A wedding isn't a magic spell that transforms sex from something that is "bad" to something that can't ever be bad. (Now this one is interesting. And honestly, I'll say this: I wish the Church, as a whole, would stop presenting sex as bad whether you're married or single. *Sex isn't the problem. *The abuse of sex is the problem*.)
3. Americans are "pleasure starved." Focusing too much on the guilt we're supposed to feel about being dirty for wanting things that we naturally want is giving all of us a complex. It is making our lives worse. (Now, *are we* pleasure-starved? What about the fact that the Word says that at the right hand of God, there are pleasures forevermore? [Psalm 16:11] That one is putting me "on pause" because it's not like I've heard a sermon on pleasure lately. Hmph.)
2. Not everyone is sexually compatible, so figure that [stuff] out before you walk down the aisle. (OK, the whole "test drive the car before you purchase it" argument, honestly, is getting pretty old and from the marital counseling that I do, a lot of people who had sex before marriage "false advertised" anyway. Meaning, the sex that they had to "get the person" is not the sex that they are having to keep them around. Besides, in *what world* does sex make the relationship? Too much icing and not enough cake only makes a person sick. Next.)
1. Discouraging people from having premarital sex has never, not once, not at any point in human history, succeeded in getting people to actually stop having sex. 95% of Americans have sex before they get married. Even in previous generations, the vast majority of Americans got busy before they tied the knot. So pretending that abstinence is a viable option for any meaningful segment of the population is at best obtuse and at worst really, really, really *&^%$#!@ dumb. Filipovic mentions that the federal government has spent a dizzying amount of money on programs designed to discourage people from having sex before they're married, which demonstrably doesn't work. Instead, our resources would be better spent on things that aren't the educational equivalent of digging a big hole in the ground and dumping piles of cash into it. Things like proper use of birth control, self-respect, and respect for others. The Puritans are dead. It's about time we stopped letting them dictate our attitudes toward sex.
100 PERCENT FAIL. I used to have sex. I stopped. I just talked to someone a couple of days ago who I prayed would stop having sex. And she did. Yeah, I'm not getting this argument *at all*. Plus, if indeed 95% of Americans did have sex before marriage and half of all marriages end in divorce, why would we not think that premarital sex plays a part in that? Carts before horses cause accidents, right? And the Bible is not dead. The Puritans didn't come up with Hebrews 13:4 (that the marriage bed is pure and fornicators and adulterers would be judged).
That's why I entitled this blog the way that I did. It's so odd what the world comes up with sometimes. In this case, that it's "bad" for people to honor their minds, souls and bodies enough to want a lifetime commitment before fully sharing it.
But, I wanted to hear some of your thoughts about Ms. Ryan's points.
Do you think that premarital sex is to our benefit or to our detriment?