The Purity Movement
Talking about abstinence and purity is something I love. I have personally benefited from remaining pure until I married and, therefore, can share about the benefits of doing so with others. Because I have friends who did not remain pure and who regret it, I can offer encouragement to them and others like them that God forgives them and wants them to move beyond their mistakes and live a victorious life, spreading the good news with others. If I have encouraged just one young woman to stay pure until she is married, then I feel blessed. I consider it an honor to help parents teach their teens to save themselves from the heartbreak of giving themselves away.
The purity/virginity movement is under attack by the secular world. Some claim it is a myth. That teens cannot remain pure. That teaching abstinence only causes them to want sex more and to participate in “non-sex” activities (activities which do not cause pregnancy but still allow for sexual pleasure).
They claim that it is all about taking women back to the past, back to a time when women had no rights. Back to a time when women could not participate in sexual activity whenever and with whomever they wanted to without being shunned by the community.
Opponents have missed the point of the purity movement.
The purity movement is not about taking away women’s rights or about keeping them from experiencing life to the fullest.
Quite the contrary.
It’s about keeping them safe, physically and emotionally. Instead of giving them drugs and tools to prevent them from experiencing the consequences of unprotected sex, we’re hoping to encourage a more proactive approach—abstinence. We are encouraging freedom like many women have never experienced before. The freedom to be who God created them to be.
Feminists claim that taxpayer-funded abstinence-only education in schools, the attacks on Planned Parenthood, and the attempts to take away funding for and putting age restrictions on women’s reproductive health care (abortions, the Plan B pill, etc.) is an attempt to preach a sermon on the worth of a woman—that she’s only as valuable as her sexuality dictates. That everything about a woman revolves around whether or not she is sexually active. Supposedly, encouraging young girls (and all single women, in fact) to remain virgins until marriage causes unreasonable fear about their sexuality. Puts too much pressure on them in an already pressure-filled society. Who needs one more restriction, right? Please!
With the attack on the virginity movement comes an attack on the father-daughter relationship and “daddy-daughter purity balls”, which are popular in the homeschool and Christian school community. Apparently, it’s unnatural for a girl to look up to her father?
In our world today, women are encouraged to be strong, independent, and in no need of a man for anything except their own sexual pleasure—and only then if they just happen to want someone to kiss or cuddle with. So in other words, a woman has the right to say yes when she wants and no when she wants and no one had better tell her that she can’t say no to anything she wants to participate in. Even if it’s for her own good.
Okay, enough of a rant. Back to what I was talking about.
Although we did not personally participate in daddy-daughter purity balls, they do bring a girl closer to her father and reduce her tendency to seek male attention from someone who doesn’t have pure motives. In fact, any time well-spent with dear old dad bonds girls with their fathers, making them less likely to participate in sexual activity with someone before marriage.
From a Christian perspective, a healthy daddy-daughter relationship also points girls to their heavenly Father as the source of their identity and the affection they desire. This, of course, depends on the availability of a girl’s dad. There are always extenuating circumstances in which a birth father may not be available or may not be the best choice of influence. In this situation, mothers should step up to the plate to help encourage healthy relationships with either grandfathers, uncles, or other safe males within the family or community.
To me, the purity movement is not about taking women back to a time chastity belts and betrothals and such. I am not saying that a woman is only worth gold and silver if she stays chaste at home, keeps house, and builds a family like June Cleaver. This is not an attack on women or a way to elevate a man’s importance in society. This has nothing to do with being anti-feminist, which I am. (But that’s a topic for another day.)
Purity is for both males and females, of all ages of unmarried status. It is a command of the Lord and it is beneficial both physically and emotionally. Teens may view unmarried sex as fun for a while but they need to know that it can actually cause great strife later on in their lives. When they abstain from sexual activity until marriage, they are guaranteed freedom from worry of pregnancy, STDs, and abortion. They will not have to worry about how they will feel the morning after a lapse in judgment.
Inspiring your teens to remain pure is not only God-honoring but is also a way to forge a path of trust and open communication with them throughout their entire lives. When you remove the issues that sex outside of marriage causes, you leave room for a lifetime of guilt-free, relaxed family-oriented fun and rejoicing when the day comes to marry your son or daughter to the ones they have chosen.