Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Idolizing Virginity

The Christian/Women/Mommy part of the blogosphere seems to be trending with the discussion of idolizing virginity.

The current discussion centers around the shared stories of women who were sexually active before marriage and experienced feelings of guilt and shame when told that they were "damaged goods" by whoever the purveyor of their Christian experience was.  These women are sharing the resulting fallout and/or redemption that they have experienced in their lives.  It also seems to have sparked a lot of feelings of affirmation for women with similar experiences as well as reactions to the Christian sub-culture of purity rings, pledges, and other potentially manichaeist-ish movements.

Is it too overly simplistic or dismissive to opine that the approach to this issue (and probably any other) requires both Grace and Truth?  I guess the hard part is finding the right balance?  Or perhaps it is one of those hypostatic union thingies.

Ram Sridharan at Urbana 12 gave one of the most rousing expressions of God's grace I have heard in recent memory using the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  He says, "There is nothing you can do or will do that the lavish grace of God cannot outweigh, surpass, outmatch, and outrun you on."

It is a message that cannot be over-marinated in, but it doesn't mean that there aren't consequences for our actions right?  There is the grace Jesus shows to the woman caught in adultery, but there is also St. Paul's exhortation that we reap what we sow (and plenty of other examples).  Even if they are not always completely conscious or visible, there are actual physical and emotional consequences to sex that God (probably) isn't micro-managing as we understand it.  Experienced prior to marriage, they aren't necessarily instant marriage wreckers, but they sure don't make what is already a tough commitment any easier.

Sexy time(TM) is such a weird(ly intimate) thing with all kinds of layers that anyone who has had at least one awkward or disappointing experience for whatever reason can attest to the potential mental rabbit hole it can create.  Sometimes I go down them.  Sometimes I don't.

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