One of the columns that I often read in the local paper is the "Ask Amy" advice column. Do know that I do NOT read it because I get my life's counsel from her. I read it because it gives such a clear indication of where our culture is.
This recent article was interesting for a variety of reasons. First, for the stated problem: Fear of having sex.
We live in a culture that is bold and brazen about sex. Today's culture is so obsessed with sex to the point that a man isn't considered a man until he has lost his virginity. Times have changed for the females too. It used to be that a girl was considered a "slut" if she was promiscuous. But today a girl is considered an old prude if she isn't excessively flirtatious and at least somewhat promiscuous.
Though our society tells us that sex is natural and to be embraced fearlessly & feverishly (like those in the animal kingdom), people should know that anxiety over sex is normal--especially among those who choose to wait until marriage. Two people who are not "experienced," but want to serve his/her beloved in their time of intimacy will no doubt have some frets over it.
But the girl's worry over having sex was not the real item that I found most noteworthy. As I said, fears of having sex for the first time are normal and it is something that one would naturally seek out advice on (though most people would ask a parent or pastor, not a national columnist).
What caught my attention was the fact that the girl said she was 21. From my perspective it seemed that the girl was saying, "I'm allowed to have sex now because I'm old enough." It is almost as if the drinking age is also considered the permissible sex age. One may even wonder if she thinks she now has a license to love. Now that she has reached this arbitrary legal sex age, can she now have it as often as she wants with whomever she wants?
I admire the girl for having the courage and tenacity to hold out so long (most in our time would set the "legal sex age" around the driving age, if not younger). And I'm sure that all who read the column will applaud her abstinence to this point. But I'm afraid she misses the boat completely.
The standard for "when one is allowed to have sex" is not determined by age, or any other arbitrary way for that matter. It is determined by one's marriage vows, as the Word of God states.
This girl's mistake is one that is made throughout our society. People think they have the personal right to set the limits and guidelines for morality--or as the Bible says "do what is right in their own eyes." But this is not so. The Bible says that there is a time and place for everything, and those parameters are set by God.
And when it comes to sex, the way one begins to relieve his/her anxiety over it is to be able to say, "My lover is mine and I am his." Song of Songs 2:16
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.