bigger hurdles

I don’t own a TV, which means I haven’t watched the Olympics, which means I know next to nothing about hurdler Lolo Jones. But I do know this: (1) My dad was a championship hurdler; (2) He clearly didn’t pass any of those genes on to me because I couldn’t make it past a hurdle if a shot-putter chucked me over it; and (c3) The whole world seems to be freaking out over the fact that Lolo’s a pretty, accomplished, hard-working . . . virgin.

*cue standard response: “Awkward . . . ” *

It’s curious to watch. The culture doesn’t know what to do with the Lolo Joneses of the world. It used to . . . back when chastity was considered a virtue, when holding out for marriage was noble, when it was the norm, when people worked at doing the right thing. Now it’s the reverse.

When Lolo Jones came in fourth at the Olympics, Twitter blew up. “Lolo lost? Good. Go have sex now girl, STFU and then you’ll win.” “Poor Lolo. Just have sex and done.” “Only thing that would ease the pain of Olympic loss is some good sex . . . poor Lolo.”

You’d think the feminists would condemn this kind of crude, public behavior. You’d think the women’s lib movement would cry out in defense of her right to choose what she does or doesn’t do with her body. You’d think somebody somewhere out there would demand that she receive an apology.

Ummm, yeah.

Or not so much.

Saving sex for marriage is a difficult thing. It isn’t easy. You may not know this (you totally know this) but that way of life isn’t like Victorian artwork, where single women sit around sipping tea under parasols, playing badminton and eating crumpets while waiting for Mr. Darcy to come striding across the meadow to profess his ardent love.

I think I might have just mixed some metaphors.

And centuries.

And maybe a couple of ideas.

Whatever.

But holding on to your virginity isn’t easy simply for the reason that God created men and women for one another. It’s also not easy because society looks at those of us who are waiting like we’re the weird ones, the old-fashioned ones, the ones who can’t possibly be getting nearly as much out of each day as they are, the ones who have no life and no fun, the ones who are missing out, the ones who haven’t progressed beyond our archaic and dusty set of beliefs, the ones who are downright crazy.

Here’s what the culture forgets (Hold on to your keyboard. This is a radical thought.): There are still girls out there who are waiting; girls who don’t go out every weekend to get drunk and ridiculous; girls who actually think Snooki is a train wreck instead of a role model; girls who don’t sleep around; girls who don’t want no drama, no, no, no, no drama; girls who live big and full and joyful lives; girls who are willing to do the difficult work of holding out because they believe it’s one of the ways our Lord protects us from ourselves; girls who think that if the Lord blesses us with husbands, the waiting won’t have been in vain.

Lolo Jones may have lost an Olympic medal. She may not get to hurdle again, try for another Olympics, fulfill her dream. But she’s doing something just as challenging, difficult and noble each day by running another kind of race—one run with patience and prayer and grace—and those of us waiting with her are better for it.

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4 thoughts on “bigger hurdles

  1. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Cor 9:24-27

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