ABSTINENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER

Twelve year old Billy announces to his parents that he is planning on marrying little Suzy next door.  Amused they ask what they are going to do for money.  “Oh my allowance is $10 a week and she gets $7.  That’s more money than we will ever need.”  Smiling even broader they ask where they are going to live.  Billy explains, “My room is bigger than her’s so we thought we would just live here.”  ”What are you going to do if children come along”, smirked his mother.  “Well… we’ve been lucky so far,” answered Billy.

That would probably be funnier if it weren’t in fact a reality amongst many young people today.  10% of children under the age of 14 are already sexually active and 50% of those under 18.  You can understand it.  We live in one of the most sexually charged cultures in human history.  The movies and television shows that target youth are almost exclusively sexual in nature.  No more Happy Days with Richie Cunningham and Potsey Weber anguishing over whether it is too early to ask a new girlfriend for a first kiss.  Young people today have grown up on a diet of  Sex and the City, That ’70s Show, Friends and the disgusting Two and a Half Men.  In these programs they learn about oral sex, orgasm and group sex.  A recent study just published found that exposure to these very TV shows will increase your child’s chances of teen pregnancy by double.  No big surprises there if you ask me.  Oh and by the way, most parents don’t have a hot clue what their kids know sexually… or what they are doing with it.

Add to this the fact that the only sex education they are likely to get will be about “safe sex”.  Safe sex of course, is just our humanistic attempt to create a consequence-free sexual promiscuity.  The demand to legalize abortion was merely a desire to avoid the responsibilities that come with sexuality…namely children.  Every year 100,000 Canadian women decide they would rather take the life of their own innocent unborn child than face the shame of their sexual irresponsibility.  The frantic search for a cure for AIDS is less about curing those who are now infected and more about getting back to a time when “free love” didn’t mean you were putting your very life at risk.  Safe sex education isn’t working anyway, here’s why;  Risk avoidance is a weak motivator in teenagers since the development of the pre-frontal cortex in the brain, which governs self-control, lags well behind the amygdale which drives emotions and impulses.  In other words young people do not do a good job of measuring risk/reward.  That is why they pursue extreme sports, drive too fast and take up smoking despite the years of warnings that it will kill them.

I think there is however one strategy that can work with young people.  We need to teach them about God’s greater purpose for sex.  And no, I am not actually talking about procreation.  Although I do like to joke that sex was God’s way of tricking us into having children.  Right?  How many would most of us have had if we had to pre-order them from Costco?  As important as procreation may be, that argument is not a big seller for young people.  The greater purpose of sex is covenantal.  Let me explain.  Every time God made a covenant with man there was the shedding of blood.  Bulls, goats and sheep in the Old Testament and the blood of Jesus in the New Testament.  What most people don’t seem to know is that sex is a blood covenant between a man and a woman.  The female hymen serves no biological purpose except to be broken, only once, and to shed blood.  It was called the “tokens of virginity”.  You can find it in Deuteronomy 22.  In God’s design, sex was to be the act that created a blood covenant between a man and woman.  In the Old Testament they did not even have weddings per se.  if you slept with a women, she became your wife.  That is why Jacob ended up with four wives.  Go read it for yourself.  Even the New Testament says, Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her?  For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 1Cor 6:16

Many young people see their virginity as something they want “to lose” as soon as possible.  What we taught our children was that their virginity was not a curse to be discarded, but a precious gift to be shared with one person and one person only.  If they wait until marriage they can enter into that blood covenant with their life partner untainted and unspoiled by sin.  Their sexuality will become a glorious thing that they can spend the rest of their lives exploring without bringing into it a bunch of worthless baggage from the past.  I am convinced that abstinence makes the heart grow fonder.

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20 Responses to ABSTINENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER

  1. Victoria says:

    BRAVO!ENCORE!
    I am so proud of you for broaching the subject matter at hand sooooo well- I learned so much that I didn’t know about God’s intentions for sex. Am I to understand that one of the ten commandments, (Gods rules for virtuous living) mentions:Thou shall not COMMIT adultery, but one may possibly have the 7 year itch, (like I did) and FEEL like he or she might want to experience someone new! I never stopped loving my husband, but he was lost to the devil at the time..and I looked for comfort in another. If Jacob had 4 wives, )and I am not actually married, but am in a committed relationship with my partner, as we decided to start a family together) am I allowed to have 4 husbands?Is is only those who give an oath before God that become judged? Jesus never married Mary Magdalena, but had a relationship with her, and she was no virgin.
    What I do know is this: A mans libido is much stronger that a females, and he needs sexual release, from the teens to adulthood. He will pursue that need because of the basic human instinct. So again, I wonder if it might be important to talk about why it is safer and quicker to fulfill the strong urges with self gratification. Once there gone, they are gone….and if WE CAN prevent teen pregnancy, DISEASE,(our world is soo dirty, and you son can’t tell who his girlfriend has been with… or vice versa) AND possibly even adultery…aren’t we acting Godly,by educating our children and preventing tragedy in their future?
    I never said it would be easy subject matter to approach…this is maybe,where the health practitioners come in…I’ll never forget that my partner, (his mother was catholic/father protestant)told me that his family never talked to him about sex or anything, and he thought …..until age 12……that you just had to pee in a girl ,to get her pregnant! (Need I say more?)
    Victoria
    Thanks Mark

  2. Sally says:

    Right on target Pastor Mark, I couldn’t agree more. Now if we could only get the drug companys, the medical field and politicians to stop aiding with the promotion of the “night after pills, ‘ abortion injections etc that promote conscience free sex we would be getting somewhere.

  3. Victoria says:

    Let’s not turn into terrorists, I watched enough Law and order to know that pro-choicers often get shot or bullied because of their beliefs- I think if we can focus on what pastor Mark says,we can save our children, one child at a time, by explaining that there is a special reward from God, for those that wait until they are married, to enter into a blood covenant. Maybe a pamphlet about his promise…Wow wow wow. I wish someone could write in, that did wait, until marriage, to have sex and give me their testimony of the rewards God bestowed upon them. I know that if you pray and obey,(act in the most christian way possible, that god will guide you….)God has shown me personally the beauty of his ways many times, I just wish I didn’t have my virginity taken from me.
    Victoria

  4. todd says:

    Now that we have a 5 and 4 yr old watching television beside us – only now do we realize how inappropriate ALMOST EVEYTHING on TV is. We either have to mute or switch the channel so often that we now only watch the news together after they’re in bed. It’s shocking how far the subject matter has slid over the years. There used to be standards that included morality. Those are now “the good ole days” I’m afraid. But this problem extends beyond television and we’re at a loss how to guard against it. They see and hear everything. I can honestly say that I fear for the future generations. Coming to the church for a 90 minutes a week is likely having a bath for us – we feel good and clean for a few days at least. We could use a service mid-week actually.

  5. Tim says:

    Pastor Mark- excellent blog! Very thorough and informative. Love the story at the top about Billy.

    Todd- good comments. I am hard pressed to watch movies on Spike TV, with all the commercials about upcoming shows and all the explicit sexual talk.

    Your comment about spending 90 minutes a week in church being likened to a bath- sometimes I think people use church as spiritual air freshener, to cover up the smell of the garbage in their lives. Better to just take out the garbage!

    Tim

  6. Christie Braun says:

    Now, having said all this, when the child comes ‘home’, or in many cases ‘homeless’, can we pull up our socks and put in the work required to love and feed the coming child? I most ‘expletively’ doubt it!

    No worries. Jesus is coming one day to do what we can’t, and won’t. For the better and for the worst. Ha! Ha!

    Have a great and wonderful day!

    Christie Lee Braun

  7. Tara says:

    I waited til marriage and never regret a second of it! I strongly encourage that as a belief and value to hold on to!!! It’s something that I cherish and am proud of. And yes, it was hard, I’m not 100 years old right now and I didn’t grow up when it was “easier”, I’m 28! Nothing that is worthwhile is easy!
    Victoria – My heart goes out to you. You’d like a testimony of someone who waited so here goes. I can’t speak (yet) of obvious earthly rewards of waiting til marriage, as I’m still waiting for God to restore my marriage and bring my husband back. But I am confident of my heavenly rewards of it! By “obvious earthly rewards”, I mean that I am extremely blessed and rewarded, but it may not appear that way to others because my husband left. Yet I do feel sooooo rewarded in my marriage, it’s hard to explain. Maybe it’s like “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” only with rewards. Like Pastor Mark said last time, we only hear what we want to hear, and I realize that people will hear what they want to hear right now and say “AH HA! See? She waited to have sex and her marriage fell apart!”. God doesn’t work like that, period. Anyone who reads this and thinks that is looking for some sort of excuse to not wait til marriage (and I hope no one is loooking for an excuse). It would be like saying “That person prays every day and he just got into a major car accident, so I guess I better not pray.” – “She waited til marriage and her marriage is in trouble, so I guess I better not wait til marriage.” That would be ridiculous. Even being in a major storm in my marriage right now I would NEVER change my choice to wait! I didn’t do it for rewards on earth, I did it because sex outside of marriage is wrong. And although I can’t possibly understand why things are happening the way they are here on earth in my marriage, I can be confident that His plans and purpose are for good (Rom. 8:28) and His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:9)! He’s got a plan! I’ll give my full testimony when God restores my marriage ;)
    I hope that made sense to anyone but me. I’m not the best with explaining things.
    As for the topic at hand (I tend to stray :) I completely agree with how disgusting the media is! I thought it would be pretty safe to see “Up in the Air” last night and, of course, saw a naked woman in it. No movies or tv shows are safe, it seems. I teach grade 3 and have had to talk to them about this stuff! It’s so gross to hear what they know about! It seriously turns my stomach! We have grade 5 students (10 year olds!!!) in my school who know what “rainbow parties” are because they have been to them (too gross to explain here)! I hope it goes full circle back to the good old days, and someone in the business realizes the effect this is having on our whole society and does something about it. Or, is there anything we can do? Complain? Petition?

  8. Steve says:

    Tara, now you’ve got faith. I was hoping someone would show us why we listen to God. Is it so we have good things happen to us or is it because we love God? You nailed it. God rewards us for standing firm in our faith when it looks like there’s no reason to stand firm. That’s what faith is all about. God’s going to reward you for having amazing faith.

  9. Gord says:

    How do we change it? Read the Bible. Share the Gospel. Never miss an opportunity to bring someone to Jesus.

  10. todd says:

    We have a 5 and 4yr old. Private school is one way that we hope to avoid 80% of the social dysfunction. Frankly it makes me sick to pass these public schools to see them wearing pants 6 inches below their waists and boxer shorts now being a common fashion accesory – for all to see. And I also hear that they let them wear their sideways ballcaps all day (in class). In my day those were left in the car or at the very least in the locker. We didn’t necessarily have “regulations” back then – just common sense and decency meted out by respectable teachers – who’s authority you didn’t challenge. Now it appears the actual rules are anything goes or else it becomes a human rights complaint. We need a complete political overhaul. It’s fine to say just live by the bible and ignore the surroundings but it just isn’t possible – not for kids anyway. We must, as a group, advocate for change.

  11. S says:

    So what about those who never want to get married? Or for career reasons or personal reasons want to wait until they’re 40 years old to settle down? Why should we wait until marriage, if we plan on NEVER GETTING MARRIED?!? Or wait until we’re 40 with no/low sex drive/ past our peak/ saggy aging bodies etc. etc. etc.?

    It’s a nice thought to “wait until marriage”, so that you can share that one special thing with that one special someone, and not bring other memories into the relationship etc., but if you’re never getting married, and yet, don’t have the gift of celibacy, or willpower, or desire for celibacy, etc… I would appreciate any thoughts on this…?

  12. Mark Hughes says:

    If they don’t have the gift of celebacy, then they need to get married. 1Cor 7:9 “But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”

  13. HEY! says:

    Today I was driving around Winnipeg with my wife while pumping some Need to Breath tunes out. We were listening to this song that said,”let us live like we’re still children.Let us love like we’re still living in a world that’s burning to the ground.”We were really rockin out and all of a sudden I felt this love overpowering me. You know when the Holy Spirit hits you and it’s like you’re breath is almost taken out of you. I looked out at the people on the street and I felt a love for them that was soo strong and soo huge I was astonished. The people did not look lovable but the love I felt was not my own. I felt the Lord say to me,”Do you see all these people in Winnipeg? I love them. This world is burning to the ground and these people are lost because they can’t see my love, but alot of them would be astonished if they knew how much I love them.” I believe the Lord is going to do a work in Winnipeg that is going to show Winnipeg the Creator of the universe has not forgotten about them. He’s not just speaking words but He is going to show Winnipeg that the God of heaven loves and cares for them with an intense love they have never seen or felt in their entire existence. He wants everybody. Rich, poor,sick,healthy,popular,unpopular.No one is exempt. He wants to look the people of Winnipeg straight in the eye, see all of the sin, all the garbage, all the violence and say,”I love you, I love you, I love you. Come to me and have life.”He wants to unleash His love upon this city. PRAISE GOD!!!PRAISE GOD!!!PRAISE GOD!!!

  14. Isaac says:

    Hey Pastor Mark thanks for this blog! Good to get some of this out in the open. It seemed there was very few mature conversations going on about sex anywhere. I was actually just reading in a book about the blood covenant. God is so amazing!

    Right from the start God wanted our relationships to be about oneness. He wanted us to have an intimacy with another person that mirrored our intimacy with Him. He wanted us to have one other person who we’d know in a way that no one else knows them. And He wanted this in a convenant relationship only.

    We cheapen it when we use sex for selfish self-gratification only, two people trying take what they want from each other. Christ’s plan was for us to use our sexuality as a gift to offer our spouse.

    Another big factor in all this (perhaps another blog altogether) is how many of us tried to find our fulfillment, peace, joy, value, worth, acceptance, etc. in sexual relationships instead of in Christ alone. We essentially make the opposite sex our false idols.

    Hey S:

    I obviously don’t know you, but I hope you don’t mind a straight forward observation… (I am a sponsor for 2 guys so I do this a lot)

    you haven’t submitted your life fully over to Christ, at least not all your sexuality. You would like to choose to be a lone ranger, but yet you don’t want to give up sex. And I’m sorry but you simply can’t have both if you are committed to loving God. He said that if you love Him you’ll obey His commands. He plan has always been for sex with one other person of the opposite sex in a marriage covenant, and nothing else. He doesn’t want to hurt you with this, but He wants wants the absolute best for you. Sex done God’s way is pure. Free of guilt, shame, hurt, pain, rejection, disease, etc. And trust me, I know how hard this committment is, but God rewards it.
    We were told to walk the narrow path, the difficult way, cuz it leads to life.

    I want life and I want it abundantly!

    God Bless ya’ll

  15. Victoria says:

    hey s,
    getting married or finding ONE PARTNER to have a relationship with has more rewards than just sex-
    it is a soft place to fall when you come home from a hard day at work…
    it is a person to share your hopes dreams and fears with, knowing they won’t use them against you.
    it is a person that will give you affection and assurance of their love daily.
    it is someone to share your love for God with.
    it is someone to cook dinner with,and share the chores, and plan vacations with.
    for some of us,it is someone to plan a family with…I personally planned each and every child I have with my partner, and even though I failed in my fidelity, my committment to my children and my best friend(my partner) pulled me me back,with Gods grace and my husbands forgiveness.
    You are missing out. Ever heard of self-gratification?Or you could save that potent energy for something that requires a great amount of strength to be successful in-(your job?)
    Professional sports players (this is common knowledge) are not permitted to have sex before a big game because it takes some of their “mojo” away. This gives them maximum power over their weaknesses. My personal testimony? When I was 25 years old…I began my own business in Winnipeg.(I am not allowed to say where,my husband says I already told too much.) I decided after breaking it off with my grumpy boyfriend of 4 years,I would become abstinent. I did not relieve myself in any other way,and saved all my energy to build…(literally) my studio. To make a long story short I started with 5000 in July, and in 5 months later, I turned that into 28 000!
    Exercise your spiritual will-power and see what God can do for you.
    Victoria

  16. selene says:

    Hi pastor mark I never thought that the blood covenant and the rupture of the hymen could have the same meaning as you explained but it makes perfect sense. I have a 19 year old son and an 11 year old girl that I’m trying to educate in God’s way and this is going to be very helpful. just like the verse back in Genesis 3:16 when God told eve “your desire shall be for your husband” I never understood completely what it meant, until a pastor once explained that one a guy touches a girl,(hand ,kiss or hug) automatically ‘something’ in the brain of the girl goes click and the brain thinks that she is linked to this guy , she then, feels protected when she is around him obviously the brain does not know the couple are not married and that is how girls get messed up because they trust the guy… (or should I say the brain trusts the guy) when in reality all the guy was looking for; was fun and to explore this “new feeling” guys go through during puberty. so, for all the guys out there try to respect the girl ‘s feelings if you are not serious don’t mess up with her brain, and girls if you are not sure about the guy that has been following you don’t allow any contact until you are completely sure you want to depend on him
    pastor mark I would really love to know what you think of that. thank you and God bless

  17. Evelyn says:

    Abstinence should apply to everyone young and old.

    Some who have been married before, should set the standard.

    Self control is the tool we all need in our tool kit.

  18. Carmen says:

    Well–you’re a day late. Wish I’d heard this a little sooner! Good post Pastor…and I am kidding…well, not really…it is too late..but then, I’m no spring chicken either. Hopefully others can benefit. ;)

  19. Kim 18 says:

    Hey,

    being a teenager i know exactly what you mean about the media being such a huge influence. doesnt help i was brought up in a non christain house hold. But i’m more than pleased to say my boyfriend was brought up in a strong christian household. because of his self control and obediance to God i have learned to treasure virginity. Reading that blog just made my heart melt. We need more people in the world who are going to tell it how it is. people who are going to say that sex before marriage is wrong and not tip toe around it. Thank you for your inspiring words :D

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