As the title indicates, things are about to get real. If open talk about sex, sexual sin, and sexuality make you uncomfortable, then you should not read further. You also shouldn’t read the Bible, since it talks about sex a lot more than I will (despite what your pastor may have told you)…
Anyway, I was directed to this website and poll yesterday:
“Would You Only Marry A Virgin?” was the poll question. I’m not totally sure what to make of the overall message of the blog post (since they have left us hanging, waiting for part 2). That said, would you only marry a virgin?
I should preface with these two things. First of all, I certainly believe that God commands that we do not engage in pre-marrital sex. Someone who loses their virginity (intentionally) to someone other than their spouse has certainly sinned. Secondly, I am a virgin. Although I cannot say I never engaged in behavior with members of the opposite sex that I would now consider inappropriate, God was gracious to me in that, even before I was a believer, he kept me from even getting close to giving myself away. So I don’t really have an ax to grind.
Now then, would I be willing to marry someone who was no longer a virgin? Yes. It wouldn’t be my first choice; I’m not looking to join a dating service for Christians who, in a past life, made a huge mistake (widows, rape victims, and the like excepted). I’d rather the girl be a virgin. I’d rather I be her first. But it is not a dealbreaker. I will not even consider a romantic relationship with someone who has any intention of engaging in sexual activity prior to marriage. It’s a non-negotiable for me, just like how I will not consider marrying an unbeliever. However, no person has ever lived sinlessly (except for the Lord Jesus of course). Even a believer may get caught up in wrongdoing. And not everyone was raised in a nice, middle class, Christian home where they accepted Jesus in their heart during Sunday School at age 4. The world is full of people like me, coming to Christ later in life (some much later than my 18). If she has repented of past sins, then I am in no position to condemn her for what God has forgiven.
Some may share my view. Some may not. Normally, I am very big on liberty of conscience, and would let differences here slide. But I will not in this case. If you cannot forgive their past sin that they have genuinely repented of (as if they have anything to seek YOUR forgiveness of in the first place), then why should they not hold against you your past sins? If you would only marry those who never sinned in this way, if you cannot look past their past sin (if they have genuinely repented), then may no one be willing to marry you if you have ever sinned against God in the past! Honestly, if that is you, then who do you think you are? I’ve heard all the business about imagining all of their past partners with them on your wedding night and all that crap, but seriously, get off your high horse.
Maybe they are not “pure,” but last I checked, no one is, save the power of Christ (which makes even the “impure” pure before God). And if we are going to go on with all of this self-righteous “purity” talk, who among us is even fully pure in this regard? Have any of you lived your entire life with no sinful lusts? Can any one say that they have never taken that second glance that went beyond simply admiring booty (I mean beauty)? After all, even looking with lust in your heart is an act, so much so that to do so amounts to adultery against your spouse (Matthew 5.28). Can any of you say that you are completely pure as Christ is? We can be pure, but only by His blood, and that same blood cleanses even those who sinned against God in fornication.
If God absolutely commands that you forgive your brother (or sister) from your heart when they sin against YOU (Matthew 18:21-35; Luke 17.3), how dare you hold against them their sins against God which He has forgiven (sins that, in many cases, occurred before they even met you)?
(Never mind that some who didn’t sin, like widows, would have had past partners of the deepest intimacy. Should we shun them too?).
This may be a hard thing to hear, since we like to say things like “God forgives sins, but sins still have consequences” because, I don’t know, it makes people feel better or something. Maybe it makes God seem more just, since people still get what they have coming on earth. But though it is true that sometimes God lets us experience some suffering on earth for our sin instead of sparing us from all negative repercussions, that is for our sake, as a Father disciplines a child (Proverbs 3.12; Hebrews 12.4-11). The metaphorical debt, God’s wrath, was satisfied with the death and resurrection of Jesus. Nothing on earth is justice for sin. This is because a sin, any sin, is so terrible that the just consequence of sin is eternal destruction! But God forgives us when we turn to Christ, and He forgives us fully. God does not look at the repentant fornicator as impure, so how dare you do so, you sinner and hypocrite?
I knew one couple. Both were raised in Christian homes, but the young man had abandoned his parents religion for a number of years. Thankfully, he came to accept the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ for himself. It was after this that I met him, and some time after that that they began dating. It was some months into their relationship that he confessed to her that, as an unbeliever, he had sacrificed his virginity. She took it quite hard. When he told me and a number of trustworthy men about it, seeking our prayer, the very first thought in my head was “I can see why she’s upset, especially given her upbringing. But if she can’t get over it in time, then she’s not worthy of you.”
I stand by that. Fortunately, they quickly patched things up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I can one day report that they are happily married. But I do say this: if you turn away a potential wife or husband who you otherwise would have taken for yourself because they sinned against God with their bodies in the past (and have genuinely repented), then YOU are the one who is not worthy. Likewise, as I am no hypocrite, let no one fail to remind me of my words if I should ever find myself in a relationship with someone who would leave me were I not a virgin.
Now, all of this only speaks of those who fornicated in the past and have fully repented of their past fornication and are walking right with God. It also speaks only of those who you would otherwise consider marrying if not for their past transgression. Other situations may vary. But you get my point.
I admit, I didn’t pull any punches in this post, but I think I am right to be so straight with you all. There are a lot of things involved here. This goes far beyond just what someone does with their body. The love and grace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
(Originally published 03/29/2012: http://3-ringbinder.blogspot.com/2012/03/things-are-about-to-get-real-would-you.html. Immaterial changes have been made).