For a culture that’s all about doing whatever’s right for you, it’s sure not a fan of waiting until you get married to have sex. In fact, it’s completely tolerant of doing whatever you want with whomever you want as often as you want wherever you want, just as long as you’re actually doing it.
Christians aren’t without fault on this one either. A recent study indicates that “80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex – slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried adults.” True love, apparently, doesn’t really wait.
Waiting is difficult. There’s no getting around that.
Very, very difficult.
But just because something’s difficult doesn’t mean we give up or give in. We struggle, we pray, we plow through this life in faith that our Lord has a good plan and a good purpose for our lives.
At the same time, it’s easy to fall off the other side of the horse, to judge those who know what’s right and don’t to care, or to look down on those who may have slipped up just once.
C. S. Lewis speaks to this pride, noting that sexual sins are often seen as the most grotesque, the most awful, when, in fact, sins against the Spirit are to be feared more. There’s more hope for the Christian who sleeps with his girlfriend one night and immediately feels awful and repents, he says, than an atheist who sleeps around and could care less.
So, how do we as a church reclaim holding out for marriage? How do we teach our ladies that just because a guy takes you out to dinner doesn’t mean he has the right to take what belongs to her future husband? How do we teach our young men that “making each other wait may mean going against the post-sexual-revolution norm” while simultaneously reminding them that “people, unlike animals, have the capacity to rise above herd mentality”?
We pray. We repent. We spend lots of time in God’s Word. We receive the Sacrament regularly. We talk about it. We talk about it with our kids when they’re young. We don’t fall prey to the “Well, they’re going to have sex anyway, so I may at least tell them how to be protected.”
We tell our young women about their worth and their value. We tell our young men what it means to be a man. We lift up the values of waiting. And we wait with them.
Meanwhile, the church keeps churning out good pastors. Parents keeps being faithful parents. Friends keep correcting friends in love. And so we soldier on.