That’s right... I used the “V” word. I think that word might actually be more taboo than actual curse words these days. It’s definitely more rare. And we are about to get all kinds of new levels of real over here.
But first a disclaimer:
First, I'll explain this a little more at the end, but please note this is a my perspective based on God's Word, and so I might be coming at it from a different perspective than some of you reading this. Secondly, I know that there are some who are going to struggle with me throwing this topic out there. I grew up in a pretty conservative world where we didn’t talk about things like this. I’m done, you guys. We live in a world where we can find information on anything and everything we ever wanted. Anything I have ever wanted to know is at my fingertips. Literally. The good, the bad and the ugly. I’m done not talking about things like this. Because the reality is, the world is talking about it, and right now there’s a lot of hurting people in a lot of hopeless situations. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time we boldly added to the narrative based on the faith, hope and love found in Christ. Please note I did not say condemnation... but faith, hope and love in Christ. Because in the end, Friends, that’s what it’s all about.
Ok…. Here we go...
Let’s start with a story...
It all began on a cold, dark, windy night….
Well, in all seriousness, I have no idea what the weather was like, but that seems like an appropriate description given the group of teenage girls that were about to invade my life. And on this cold, dark, windy night I stood there watching them approach. I had a good 20 years on this group of girls walking toward me, and yet, immediately found myself feeling like I was back in high school. What is it about being among teenagers that makes one immediately feel like you are back in high school being judged with every breath? Those feelings of wanting to fit in and fear of not so quickly rose to the surface on this day. It all had a little bit of a Mean Girl feel to it. My fight or flight response kicked in and I found myself scanning the room for the quickest exit. Apparently, I prefer flight over fight… but, no such luck for me on this day. They had me trapped.
As they approached me, I had no doubt that my fate was now in their hands. As this group of girls circled around me, I very much felt like their new toy... I was the new girl who they spotted from across the room. Gathered in a circle, I could almost hear their every thought. I watched as they used their teenage girl superpowers to silently communicate with one another. Who is she? Do we like her? Do we want her here? Is she a threat? And then the questions began….
“What’s your name?”
"Do you have kids?"
"Are you married?"
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
With each ‘no’ I could feel their interest peaking. I knew I was moments away from being accepted or shunned. I smiled somewhat enjoying their banter. Mostly though… mostly... I knew I couldn't let them smell my uncertainty or fear.
"Are you a virgin?"
Seriously? Did they really just ask me that? Four questions in and that’s where we land? How the heck did that spiral that quickly? Do I have to answer that? Am I allowed to answer that? Should I answer that? A million thoughts instantly went through my head.
I definitely did not see that one coming.
"Yeeeesssss," I slowly said.
In hindsight, it may have sounded more like a question than an answer. Who knew what they were about to do with that answer? And why was it so hard to own that fact? Why did I immediately assume that their response was going to be negative?
“Yes.” I said with a little more confidence this time.
If I could capture a moment in time this would be one of them. Mouths wide open. Eyes staring. Minds working. I had officially rendered this group of teenage girls speechless. I mean... I feel like there should be some kind of award for this. Maybe this was my superpower. Ok… so… temporarily speechless.... but speechless nonetheless. It, unfortunately, did not take them long to recover.
"How old are you?"
"You’re 35 and a virgin?"
I was trying pretty hard to own this moment, but in all honesty, all I wanted was one of those little rewind buttons. You know, the kind on Netflix's that lets you go back 30 seconds. How great would one of those be for life? I just needed 30 seconds back. 30 seconds and I would most definitely find a way for this conversation not to go here. Annoyed at myself for many reasons, I had no choice but to keep going.
"Yes..." I said once again, this time with all the confidence I had left in me.
"What?... Nooooo way… You're lying....” A few of them chimed in.
And then the phrase that has haunted me ever since. Not because it has anything to do with me, though I was definitely flattered, but because of what it says about where a good number of our teenagers are at in life right now...
“You’re too pretty to be a virgin."
YOU GUYS!?! WHAT THE?!?
And this is where we are at apparently. If I can get a guy to sleep with me, I’m pretty. If I’m pretty, guys will want to sleep with me.
And that makes me so sad.
And yet, here I am terrified to sit here and write this.
Because virginity isn’t something we talk about now. The most this word is probably ever used these days is at Christmas time when we are forced to sing songs that talk about the virgin Mary and we stand there crossing our fingers, shifting uncomfortably, hoping our kids don’t tap us on the shoulder asking what a virgin is.
It’s not something we talk about... In fact, it seems to be something we try pretty hard to avoid talking about. But you know who is talking about everything except virginity? The world, your child’s school, their friends, the neighbor kids, movies, television, Netflix's, YouTube, social media, instagram, snapchat, tik tok, books, advertisements... THE WHOLE FREAKING INTERNET IN GENERAL.
And so we have a generation of teens who now, apparently, think that virginity is simply linked to their level of attractiveness.
You guys! I could be wrong... obviously, my perspective is based on God and on Scripture, but regardless of what you believe, I think we can agree that... WE HAVE TO DO BETTER THAN THIS FOR OUR KIDS.
I recognize that choosing to wait is odd and strange and almost unheard of. And being in one’s 30’s and still choosing to wait… well, I’m basically living the unicorn life over here. My choice to wait and how the Lord has protected me in that is another blog post for another day. But for today… I just want to know... how do we set the bar higher for our girls? How do we help them see their value is not in their looks or even in their virginity, or lack thereof, but in who God made them to be and the plan he has for them?
I think the answer to this question is as simple as we start talking about it. We stop letting the world talk about it while we remain quiet and we start having awkward conversations until they aren’t awkward anymore. And I’m not talking about a one and done talk or conversations about it that simply teach... "No, no, no." That’s part of the problem, Friends. We’ve done such a good job of only talking about it in regard to telling teens 'no' that we haven’t given them a reason to be excited about waiting. We haven’t given them a reason to understand that it’s more than just validation of their attractiveness. We haven’t given them a reason to understand that it’s worth the wait… that their value can be found in something else entirely. We’ve failed at teaching the value of delayed gratification for really anything in life. (I blame Amazon Prime, obviously. Haha)
Delayed gratification. Oh my word, I have so many thoughts. Haha. Another day.
Obviously the moral of this story is...
I'm never having kids. Well… not girls anyway.
I, so, hope I get to have a daughter someday. And oh, how desperately, I want her to know that the reality is she’s too pretty, on the inside and out, to give herself to just anyone. She's too valued by God to find her value in a boy. It is worth waiting and she is worth the wait. Oh, how I want this to be a continual conversation, not an awkward talk.
I've got lots more I'd like to say on this topic, but I'll just let this one sit for now. As I mentioned before, my perspective is based on God's Word... Whether you agree with me or not, I hope you see my heart in this. I'm not out to prove you wrong or hurt you in any way. (And, Friends, I'm ok if we don't agree on everything.) But this is my experience and I hope that maybe, just maybe, for someone out there it can be helpful... and maybe, just maybe, we can get some more conversations going based on God's Word.
And please, please, please also know this part of my heart right now. None of this means that if that line has been crossed, if mistakes have been made, if decisions have already taken place that there is no hope. Or that you are any less worthy. There might be a little more baggage. But there is always hope. Because our God is a God of hope and He doesn’t ask us to live in the past or in regrets. Ultimately, our worth is not in anything we have or haven’t done, but in Him and what He did for us.
Ephesians 1:7 We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Because he bled and died, our sins have been forgiven. We have been set free because of God’s grace.