(Part 1B of 4)
Whether we like to admit it or not, there is an unspoken double standard when it comes to virginity among guys and girls in today’s popular Western culture. Those illegitimate beliefs have somehow crept into the Christian community.
The girl is expected to remain virgins until her wedding night. For the guy, it is hoped that he is, but not surprised if he isn’t. Maybe it is because of the physical proof people think the girl’s body holds when she is a virgin (and science has proven that the hymen is not a reliable indicator of virginity), or the nine-month growing belly she has to carry if it results in a pregnancy. The standard has been unfairly skewed and tipped in the favor of the guy. So if you can agree that this lenient standard is absolutely ridiculous, you’ll be able to read this post with an open mind. Let’s throw any incorrect preconceived notions you have on this topic out the window, and let’s start over.
St. Paul advises, “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6: 18-20)
I know, or at least I’ve heard, how hard it is to go through the physical changes that take you from being a boy to being a man. I know that it is insanely hard to control your physical desires that are driven by your heightened senses. I know that you might want to fit in and talk or act like the popular guys in school who unashamedly brag about how far they’ve gotten with a girl. I know your emotions are evolving as quick as your body is, and it can be extremely difficult to navigate. With all of these temptations bombarding you, the choice of chastity may feel too hard to make.
But guess what? With God’s grace, you have full control over your mind and body. That is the real difference between a boy and a man. A God-fearing man turns to the Lord and willingly struggles to control his impure thoughts. He is aware of what triggers those thoughts and feelings and steers away from it. He avoids the temptation of looking at pornography or anything inappropriate. He knows that the devil is always looking for an opportunity to make him fall, and he is always on guard and vigilant.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Don't lose hope. God never allows you to be tempted without providing a way out. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
It breaks my heart to see many good Christian guys give into their desires, sleep with a girl or two, and later grow to regret it. I have witnessed men sharing their regret when the right time comes and the girl of their dreams turns them down because she saved herself for marriage and expected the same of her future husband. These are the kind of guys that swore they would only marry a girl who is a virgin, but now might have to kiss that dream goodbye.
Don’t get me wrong, there is always hope for a guy who has sinned and acknowledges it. He truly and sincerely repents and confesses, and vows never to make this mistake again. There is such a thing as a secondary virgin. For these guys I pray that God covers them with grace in front of the girl they wish to marry and she can accept them as our Lord has forgiven them. But please, don’t start having sex with the intention of repenting later. It doesn’t work that way.
Hold yourself and your friends to a higher standard of chastity and holiness. Surround yourself by men who build each other up in a godly way. Find a sport or an activity you can participate in together to fill your time wisely. Have you ever heard the saying, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.” Well it’s true, look at what happened to David and Bathsheba.
You know you have the right crew when you can trust them to hold you accountable when you go astray. Aim to become real men who would be proud to be role models around the children of the church.
In a world that is moving even more perverse, we really need good guys. Don’t be the guy who puts girls in uncomfortable situations, or pressures them into doing something that would defy their purity. Be the guy who stands up for his sisters in Christ and has their best interest at heart.
I know navigating the teenage or young adult years can be challenging. I also know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Whether you choose to pursue marriage, the monastery, or living in the world as a single man, you have to choose purity. You have to prioritize your sanctification for your salvation, and that starts with (but does not end with) committing to remain a virgin until marriage.
If you’ve already crossed that line, and are struggling to repent or understand how God can forgive you. Look no further than King David, the man after God’s own heart. A man who let his desires get the best of him when he saw a beautiful woman on the rooftop, but sincerely repented of his sins and was forgiven. Pray Psalm 50 over and over again until you are made new. Redemption is always within reach. Believe in the power of repentance and confession. It is a mystery that can pick anyone up no matter how far they have fallen.
I don't usually write for boys, but this post was written by request after many read this post tailored to girls, and wanted one that spoke specifically to boys in this series.
Part 1A - Let's Talk About Sex
Part 2 - Purity Isn't Just Virginity
Part 3 - Embracing Singleness
Part 4 - God's Timing is The Perfect Timing