On the road to answer my own questions about how to live in this body of mine as a hopeful abstainer, I’ve been reading. It’s how I solve all of my most personal dilemmas. It turns out that more folks than just my Sunday school teacher are trying to woo the singles of America with their particular brands of sexual ethics. Based on my limited research to date, it seems that leaders of the Christian blogosphere find us single hopefuls to fall into a few different categories.
The Promiscuous and Self-Centered Mother-F$&?er: This sort of hopeful abstainer is a breed to be disdained. They often congregate in cities and vote on issues of women’s reproductive health, climate change, marriage equality, and other liberal political agendas. They have forgotten the centrality of Jesus and the oh-so-clear and absolute biblical definitions of marriage and abstinence. They are the true devil in the culture wars.
The Venerated Virgin: While the higher and more virtuous ground of this hopeful abstainer is solidly blessed by the Holy Mother, she* is conflicted and watered by her own sense of self-sacrifice. She is noble and majestic, often contrite and self-deprecating. She is the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman–admired by the elders of the faith and loathed by those singles who find themselves condemned by her presence. In her youth, she is proud, but age is not a friend to this hopeful. As she passes the expected marital expiration date, she is shamed by her culture and left lonely by her community of faith. She fears being found out as she grapples with the age old question. How far is too far?
*While the Promiscuous and Self-Centered hopeful abstainer carries gender neutral pronouns, the Venerated Virgin is typified by her flowering femininity. Rarely would a male be forced to dangle his…well. Anyway…
The Randy Realist: The most evasive of the breeds. This jaded hipster Christian defends itself against the plague of the online dating sexual craze by compartmentalizing faith and sex. Cynicism, apathy and intellectual distance scar this hopeful abstainer. Having long ago given or taken the so-called petals of virginity, they are hopeful that their lack of abstinence will truly do no long-term harm. In more liberal environments, this single Christian tends to be the least stigmatized for they live in this world, but are not of this world. In more conservative circles, these breeds defend themselves with silence hoping only to be absolved of their guilt by the purity of their betrothed.
The Fearful Few: Horrifying tales of pregnant teens, chlamydia, and crushed flower petals keep these players out of the game. When they enter the arena, it is often due to cajoling from their grandmothers who have lovingly “been praying for their marital bliss.” The Female Randy Realist is pleased to eliminate some competition, and so the Fearful Few are left to wait for God’s true gift to come knocking on their bed springs.
All hyperbole and sarcasm aside, lots of folks have thoughts about sex and faith. Like a lot. And many of them seem crazy to me, while others make sense. I try not to answer this question of mine without consulting those who disagree with me and those who make me wanna shout an Amen! I’ll do my best to include the funny, the sacred, the secular, the sexy and the flat out wrong. And, I vow to at least attempt to let you decide for yourself and with your particular community which link fits which category.
Thanks for your patience while I decide which of my favorites and least favorites to post!