Growing up, our church environment made its attitude towards virginity very clear.
Virginity was a fragile gem that could only be lost, tarnished, or destroyed. For females, that is. If males had virginity, it wasn’t as important or as clearly defined.
Sex was bad. It was a monster that wanted to devour morality and leave a person broken and dirty.
I’d imagine this makes the switch from NO to YES after marriage a little rocky for many people.
At first, I thought that it was because I had a ring on my finger that the sexual experiences I shared with my husband were so… innocent.
It was like regaining that purity of childhood. Suprising. Healing.
But it wasn’t because we have metal bands on our fingers that the potential destruction had turned into a paradise. It is because we love and respect each other.
I heard a woman talking about a sexual encounter she had (with another woman). Again, it wasn’t a dirty loss or shameful devaluation. She reclaimed childhood freedom.
Refreshing. Strengthening. Restoring.
I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was.
As she finished speaking, I felt unexpectedly cleansed.
Now, I won’t deny that sexual activity can and has been used to destroy. But my church was wrong- sex outside marriage isn’t always hellish. It can be innocent. It can save.
It isn’t what you do, but how you are that makes the difference.