I grew up with three older sisters and one younger sister – all very beautiful. Because of this, my dad began balding in his thirties. And because of that, I’m deeply concerned at 26, having two beautiful daughters of my own. With the constant flow of boys interested in his girls, I remember my dad would always state his expectations for the young men who dared ask. With a proverbial pistol in hand, he’d quote a particular verse in Colossians chapter 2. “Touch not. Taste not. Handle not.” Both grammatically and practically, the you was always understood. I’d snarl and nod when he delivered his law trying my best to channel my inner Eastwood. Feeling lucky, punk? It was fully expected in our home, that sex was reserved for marriage.
As a teenager, my parents’ position was bolstered by both school and church. Sex is for marriage. I completely understood the rule as well as the reasoning behind it both socially and spiritually. I even reminded my friends when necessary. Sure, I wanted sex – as much as any other hormone-induced teenager – but I was entirely devoted to the ideology that I’d received and subscribed to. Sex… was for marriage.
The problem is, there are lots of things you can do without having sex. Too many to count actually. And with all honesty, I engaged in most things with a clear conscience, fully believing that I was saving sex for marriage. I continued to preach the code while hacking the system. Though my wedding day ushered the first time I’d ever truly had sex, damage had been done. It was as foolish as believing that unless you put the cigarette to your lips, you’re safe from inhaling smoke.
So why write about this? For the teenagers. And for the parents of teenagers. Take the time to talk about more than just sex. There are many things reserved for marriage. Sex is just one of them.