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Why young Christians aren't waiting anymore
A young Christian at an purity rally spreads the word.
September 27th, 2011
08:39 AM ET

Why young Christians aren't waiting anymore

By John Blake,  CNN

(CNN) –True love doesn’t wait after all.

That’s the implication in the upcoming October issue of an evangelical magazine that claims that young, unmarried Christians are having premarital sex almost as much as their non-Christian peers.

The article in Relevant magazine, entitled “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing It,” cited several studies examining the sexual activity of single Christians. One of the biggest surprises was a December 2009 study, conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, which included information on sexual activity.

While the study’s primary report did not explore religion, some additional analysis focusing on sexual activity and religious identification yielded this result: 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex - slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried adults, according to the teen pregnancy prevention organization.

The article highlights what challenges abstinence movements face. Movements such as “True Love Waits,” encourage teens to wear purity rings, sign virginity pledges and pledge chastity during public ceremonies.

Yet many of these Christian youths eventually abandon their purity pledges, Relevant’s Tyler Charles concludes in the article. Tyler talked to people like “Maria,” an evangelical woman who said she wanted to wait until marriage to have sex.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

But she said she started having sex with her college boyfriend when she turned 20 because nearly everyone, even most of  her Christian friends, were having sex.

Maria:

It seemed everyone in my life, older and younger, had “done it.” In fact, I waited longer than most people I knew and longer than both of my sisters, even though we were all Christians and came from a good home.

Relevant theorizes about why it’s so hard for so many young Christians to wait, including the saturation of sex in popular culture, the prevalence of pornography and a popular “do what feels good philosophy.”

Yet the article also asks a question that rarely comes up in discussions about abstinence movement. Relevant notes that in biblical times, people married earlier. The average age for marriage has been increasing in the U.S for the last 40 years.

Today, it’s not unusual to meet a Christian who is single at 30 - or 40 or 50, for that matter. So what do you tell them? Keep waiting?

Scot McKnight, author of “The Jesus Creed,” and "One.Faith: Jesus Calls, We Follow," acknowledges that young, single Christians face temptations that their counterparts in the biblical age didn’t face.

He  tells Relevant:

Sociologically speaking, the one big difference – and it’s monstrous – between the biblical teaching and our culture is the arranged marriages of very young people. If you get married when you’re 13, you don’t have 15 years of temptation.

So what should a Christian parent or youth pastor do? How do they convince more young Christians to wait until marriage, or should they stop even trying?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Culture & Science • Culture wars

soundoff (5,770 Responses)
  1. Patrick

    well, i didn't wait and it worked out great for me. $600.00 a month in child support payments for 18 years, a bitter divorce that highly favored the ex.. yeah – lol go ahead and do your thing. hope it works out better for you than it did for me.

    November 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • serious

      @Patrick

      Is your divorce caused by the premarital s@x? Just out of curiosity. I'm sorry about that, but please keep in mind that it's never too late to change. The pain always teaches people lessons and prevents you from the worse. As long as you realize where you fell, if you get up and you'll continue walking. Since you know your mistake, you'll have a better future. All the best!

      November 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Commenter

      So sorry, Patrick. Unfortunately, a wedding and a marriage certificate does nothing to prevent your bitter and expensive fate.

      November 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • nonbeliever

      @Patrick-

      I'm sorry that you didn't learn to use contraceptives properly or at all. But that is your fault, not the fault of the act of se.x.

      November 27, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  2. Hater

    To All the Atheist:

    If you don't believe in God, why do you bother reading this article? Just to make yourself feel better? Why do you even bother posting your comments about God? Why do you waste your "precious" life time to debate with some "stupid" Christians here? If I was an atheist, I would just believe what I believe; I wouldn't even have a debate on this if I was SO sure all the Christians were wrong. I guess y'all have some kind of fear subconsciously that there is a GOD and He will judge, so you want to try your best, spend hours here to prove your point that there is no God. However, if you want to prove it, give some logical evidence. Don't just repeat "there is no god"... things like that. You can't convince anybody by saying the same sentence over and over again. You can't make somebody to trust you if you sound dumb. I'm tired of hearing and seeing it. If you are intelligent enough, try to surprise me with something more creative because I really doubt about y'all's IQ.

    November 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • bob

      the reason that people that don't believe in god read these articles and comment is because you religious nuts are always trying to pass stupid laws based on your stupid religion that you think we need to abide by. stop trying to force your crap down our throats and we'll probly stop caring

      November 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Hater

      @bob

      I'm sorry maybe I'm stupid because I don't see any relationship between reading this article and Christians forcing others to believe. First I have to state that I'm NOT a Christian. So if y'all read this article and post some unfriendly comments, that will stop Christians forcing everybody to believe? Does it change anything? So if you are the truth, you won't even bother reading what those "stupid" Christians do.

      November 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • somehow

      @bob–I don't see ANYWHERE that ANYONE has ever held a gun to your head and forced you to read the bible or forced you to open your door to listen to them talk about God or printed an article and forced you to read it.

      You do this on your own free will and then complain that people are forcing it down your throat. Hypocrit.

      November 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Hater: by saying "All the atheist" you imply that there is only one. Your message would be more to the point if you used the plural, atheists, or direct it to the specific individual you are addressing by removing the "all".

      November 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • John Richardson

      What difference does it make to you how others spend their time? What are you afraid of?

      November 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Hater

      @tallulah13

      WOW, I eventually found somebody perfect that never make a single mistake.

      @ John Richardson

      I'm not afraid of anything. I'm not a Christian here who is trying to push his belief onto y'all. I just don't understand why atheists are trying to prove their point while this article is only about Christians. Like I said, if they were so sure there is no God, they wouldn't even bother speak a word to those "stupid" Christians. Would you have a debate with anybody from mental hospital? Or unless you are also a patient there!!!

      November 13, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No, not perfect, but there are those who comment on this site who don't know the simple plural of atheist. Just trying to help.

      November 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Webster

      tallulah13,

      It seems that the mistake in the pluralization of 'atheists' is the one that shows up the most on this site; but they do the same thing with many '-st' words, such as, 'scientists', 'biologists', 'pharmacists', and even 'posts'. I really don't know where they learned to do this, but it is incorrect. It is maybe 3rd or 4th grade elementary school knowledge. We are doing them a service in spiffing up their writing - and I consider it to be a charitable act, which I do even for people with whom I don't agree.

      November 13, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Hater

      @Webster

      Thank you for the correction. I really thought about this issue before I had my original post. But maybe there is another way for talluah13. Since atheist is a singular (a-theist), maybe the plural can be theist (without a). ;-)

      November 13, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Sun Sneezer

      Hey Hater. Check out my reply to The End. Maybe some of what i've written is informative? I don't know if you are referring to me as saying "there is no god" because I did say that, but probably lots of other people did too. You're completely right. "there is no god" is not a compelling argument. It's just something to stir the pot.

      Peace!

      November 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  3. Christianity vs. Secular Humanism

    Both are diametrically opposed, the first founded on absolute truths, the second founded on relative truths. Because they are polar opposites, their followers cannot both be "right," leaving one side to be "wrong" by definition alone. Christianity does not deny evil exists, secular humanism does. Christianity recongnizes a "right" and a "wrong," but secular humanism does not. Secular humanism recongnizes that "good" exists, but denies that evil exists. Again, both sides cannot be right if one side is arguing that the other is wrong. So, basic logic and reasoning agree that only one of these groups can be right and since concluding that "Christianity is wrong" is, in fact, conceding that evil, wrong and absolutes do exist...the conclusion is that secular humanism is circle logic, which cannot provide a solid foundation for individual or social growth. Of course, common sense can tell you all that too.

    November 13, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Jesus' son

      Haha, what a joke this attempt at logic is! There are more ridiculous assumptions in your comment than I've ever seen to justify a preconceived conclusion.

      November 13, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Christianity vs. Secular Humanism

      Actually, your wrong :) See? Very simple.

      November 13, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • serious

      Awesome saying. This is really logic. AGREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

      November 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Commenter

      "Secular humanism recongnizes that "good" exists, but denies that evil exists."

      Where did you get this fact? You are either lying or are grossly misinformed.

      November 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Grammar!

      You're*

      November 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Gulp

      serious
      "Awesome saying. This is really logic. AGREE!!!!!!!!!!!!"

      Seriously, you need to have your gag reflex tested - you'll swallow ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!

      C vs. SH logic is based on flawed premises... therefore NO logic.

      November 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • serious

      @Gulp

      Sorry to disappoint you. No gag reflex. I just like to support some intelligent people because nowadays most people are just stupid. They know nothing while they want to have debate here. All they can say is something like what you posted. If you want your conclusion to be accepted, please give some evidence.

      November 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Gulp

      serious,
      "No gag reflex."

      That's *exactly* what I meant. You SHOULD gag on C vs. SH's logic.

      His/her premises are deeply flawed:

      1. Christianity is the only truth.
      - There is not a scintilla of verified evidence for this.

      2. Secular Humanism denies that there is such a thing as evil.
      - This is nonsense.

      November 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • serious

      @Gulp

      Communication problems. Well, I don't see C vs. SH said anything about "Christianity is the only truth" in the beginning. Maybe he/she believes it is the only truth, but his/her premises was both couldn't be correct, and only one should be true. And he/she proved the point in the end (not the beginning).

      So y'all believe in evil then? That means y'all believe in spirits? Make a poll or something, see if all atheists believe in it. I'm very curious.

      November 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Of course, in the real world, there is no proof of any god ever existing, so your "absolute truths" may as well be based on Jack and the Beanstalk.

      November 13, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • John Richardson

      The Christian festival of ignorance is at full swing here, I see!

      November 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  4. LibsSuck

    More of CNN's attack on Christianity, they avoid ever displeasing their chosen religions of Athiesm masked as Anti-Christian biggotry or of course their messiah's religion (obama) of Islam....never insult Islam always give Islamistis American Taxpayer money..........Obama the legacy of biggtry and racism coupled with hate of Country.

    November 13, 2011 at 7:56 am |
    • rick

      Awwwww....poor, poor, set upon Christian. Atheism is not a religion, it is a philosophy. Seek professsional help

      November 13, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • nonbeliever

      What's ironic about your comment, is that CNN was simply piggybacking of an article that Relevant (a CHRISTIAN magazine) did. So quick to judge and rain down hate on nonbelievers. No wonder so many people hate your religion.

      November 13, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • Andrew

      awwww poor poor dumb lil atheist, Atheism is the belief in no god just like christianity is the belief in a god. Atheism also has to answer upon the same base questions that all religions are based on. If it looks like a religion, sounds like a religion, and feels like a religion, its probably a religion genius.

      November 13, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Martin

      Christians await the dictatorship rule of their King on planet earth. Therein is revealed the inherent evil in Christianity and the true hearts of Christian adherents. Islam and Judaism, also await the rule of their dictator on earth. These three major religions share the same primitive twisted moral disconnect.

      November 13, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Commenter

      Andrew,

      You are incorrect in saying that atheism is a religion. There are no rites, rituals, devotions or anything of the sort.

      The ONLY far out definition of "religion" that it even comes the slightest bit close to fitting a SMALL number of atheists is: "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith"... and that definition can fit fans of any issue. A person can be so devoted to a cause or issue that they are said to follow it with 'religious' zeal or fervor - such as politics, sports, art, music, or many other intense interests.

      Atheism is lack of belief in a god or gods. Period.

      November 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • serious

      @Andrew

      That's darn true. Atheist just sounds pathetic to me. I mean they really think they are the center of the world. They are so sure they are correct while they can't answer every question. No difference from any religion except that they are the most pathetic because they don't see any hopes.

      @Commentor

      You have proved me why the atheism is the most pathetic. I'm sorry y'all have no rites, rituals, devotions or anything of the sorts. That's why probably atheists don't even agree with each other on everything. The difference between personal views and philosophy is that philosophy has a system of views. Since you don't even have a system, how can you convince people? How can you even be logic to fit every perspective in one "philosophy"?

      November 13, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • serious

      @Andrew

      I don't know what your belief is, but I agree with "religion genius". Believing in everything happens by accident sounds very "genius". They are the true "genius" because they need more "faith" to believe in that fact. It really amazes me anything can be so ridiculous.

      November 13, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Commenter

      serious,

      People who are atheistic have one thing in common - they do not believe in a god or gods. Other than that, they carry on in life just like anyone else. They belong to families, clubs, political parties, businesses. They just don't believe in a god or gods. They have diverse ideas on many issues. They just don't believe in a god or gods. They have sentimental and romantic feelings and groove with their emotions. They just don't believe in a god or gods.

      It may be easier for you to have a cover-all philosophy with everything neatly packaged and tied up with a bow, but that is not reality.

      November 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • serious

      @Commenter

      I'm honestly glad they have at least one thing in common. So if ya'll don't believe in god and if ya'll are so sure you are right, why can't you answer where everything is from? Right, maybe "God created everything" doesn't make sense to you, but to be honest, ya'll really believe everything happens by accident? How rare is that? It's hard to believe there is a god because you don't see it (any other reasons?), but I think it's even harder to believe there is such a miracle that from the universe to human body system happens out of nothing. I guess you are not the one believe atheism is philosophy. The Rick above believes it is. But apparently, you said it doesn't have a system, then I guess Rick is wrong because it's just one point of view on God according to your comment. I know atheists have your personal lives. I have lots of atheist friends and they are awesomely nice people. It's just hard for me to understand how strong faith it need to believe everything is out of an accident. Another thing, lots of atheists here are very unfriendly. If they could talk calmly like you, that would just be so much better.

      November 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Commenter

      serious,

      Saying "We don't know (yet)" is very, very uncomfortable - humans truly ache for answers; but as I said in another post, the default / fall-back position is not that the myths, legends and supersti.tions of past ages (or current adaptations of them) are true... no matter how earnestly and sincerely we wish it to be the case.

      November 13, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Danny

      @ Andrew Definition of RELIGION:

      religion |riˈlijən|
      noun
      the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods : ideas about the relationship between science and religion.
      • details of belief as taught or discussed : when the school first opened they taught only religion, Italian, and mathematics.
      • a particular system of faith and worship : the world's great religions.
      • a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance : consumerism is the new religion.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:41 am |
    • Andrew

      Welp, I guess you guys got me. The definition of Religion is the belief in a god or gods, a superhuman controlling power which Atheism, in its most basic form, clearly does not fall into. And yet, Atheism is treated like a religion by the atheists who so blindly follow it, yes i said FOLLOW it because we all have faith. I have faith there is a greater purpose as well as an allmighty creator. You have faith that there isnt. I defend my Religion/Faith/Belief System and those who follow with me because I believe it is the better system, that good things can come out of more people believing like us. Which is where I'm a bit perturbed at the Atheistic movements going on at the present time, If Atheism truly is as simple and cut as " We just dont think there is a god" then why am I always bombarded with anti christian/anti religious themes put on by the atheists in fields of interest that are so obviously not geared towards them? They seem to always go out of there way as much as possible to point out how 'anyone who believes in a god is ignorant, esp christians' when last time i checked we live in a country that specifiaclly allowed the FREEDOM OF RELIGION. If you're truly atheist then why do you care if anyone believes in god? i quote megadeth here "If im right i lose nothing, if your right i lose it all" obviously the tense is changed a bit for the purpose of this discussion but you get my point i am sure.

      November 15, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Andrew

      Starting a debate is one thing, deliberately trying to dismantle there faith by insulting there intelligence and bombarding them with insults is another. Not illegal, but still not necassary. I know christains do it too, so do muslims, catholics (yes, they are a different religion), and jews. its because theyre all people.

      November 15, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Andrew

      I fail to see why it matters to you, why do you care if there isnt a god and that i believe that there is one? If there isnt one then, heck it doesnt matter what i do in this life and the fact that i had faith in a non existent being sure isnt gonna change much when im dust in the ground, right? I leave this post with a quote from who i believe was a russian astronomer ( i may be wrong on that) "Either there is a god or there isnt. BOTH possibilities are incredibly frightening." If there is a god then we better find out what he wants and do it since he created the universe. If there isnt a god then were a biological accident hurdling through space at millions of miles an hour next to a gigantic ball of fire and noone is in control.

      November 15, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
  5. Barby1

    Are you really so prejudiced against christians that you blocked my posts –for no reasons of vulgarity or bigotry or offense to others here –except that a conservative Christian view on social issues is offensive to liberals –and BTW, their view is offensive to me. So why did you delete my posts???

    November 12, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Bob

      Barby1, must be Satan doing that. Couldn't possibly be the CNN word filter that most other posters are aware of and are smart enough to work around.

      Enlighten yourself about that. And about the fact that neither your sicko Christian god nor your Satan exist.

      November 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Andrew

      Wow Bob! You seem to have a pretty good grasp on the subject! Why dont you explain to me why I'm so dumb? I mean I must be if I believe in God and the existence of satan, right?

      November 13, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • rick

      bob: it is an opinion that neither god nor satan exist. it happens to be one i share, but it is an opinion nevertheless

      November 13, 2011 at 3:22 am |
  6. Colin

    An atheist who has not yet read enough science. An apprentice atheist, if you will

    November 12, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  7. Alecia

    Confession does not equal possession. The Bible speaks of a "vain" faith. (Readers may want to do a word study on it, if that is new or unclear to you.) If one claims to be saved, but has no submission to Christ, and doesn't walk in the "good works that He afore ordained" Christians should walk in, then they may not be saved. Also, a big problem among Christians is that they follow the world's way and they date, which makes provisions for the fleshly desires, instead of using courtship to find a mate. God didn't bring many different women to Adam and tell them to "try" them all out, or date them, but rather God brought Adam one woman-Eve. Before that, Adam was in a deep sleep-symbolic to the fact that Christians should be "asleep" until God brings them the right one. The Bible speaks of not awakening love, until it be proper.

    November 12, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • i wonder

      Alecia,
      "God brought Adam one woman-Eve"

      Yeah, and how did *that* work out (according to your old-timey stories)? They spawned a whole world full of such evil people that "God" had to drown them all, except for the family of one mean, vengeful, grouchy drunkard, who was the best of the bunch. Hah!

      November 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • KS

      iwonder, you're not feeling God's love for you, are you (*sarcasm*)?

      November 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Bob

      God has no love. He can't because he doesn't exist. (no sarcasm intended).

      November 12, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Andrew

      Alecia I like some of your points, please keep making them whenever you get a chance. As for the rest of you, specifically KS and (once again) Bob, I'd really love to hear about why I and Alicia are soooo stupid. You both sound incredibly intelligent and well rounded individuals, so it should be no problem to shut me down in my ignorance... ;)

      November 13, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • hippypoet

      Alecia – your wrong... according to the book adam was created then lived and it was only after being alone that he asked god for a companion... But according to many different stories told even at the time of jesus speaks of a woman named Lillith, Adam's equal wife – also created in god's image... Adam tried to lay her down to do the deed – she wasn't in the mood, he tried to make her – again she wasn't in the mood... Adam complained to god and even god tried to make her bend her will, in his defense (god) he did make her, she totally owes her existence to him! But still she denies against her will and god then punishes all women with still borns and she also becomes a succubus in certain myths where she pulls stray men from the bed and kills unborn or new born babies...

      November 13, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Michael

      I wonder, Bob: agnostic or atheist, dont be a dick about it. im agnostic, deistic at most, but you dont have to blaspheme. humans naturally have a longing for something more, something higher. if it makes them happy, why do you care?
      hippypoet: please dont bring lilith to a religous debate. yes, there are many books left out of the bible. there are seven additional books in the catholic bible. many scriptures were floating around, but were debunked as fake and not added into the Torah. some were not considered necessary. Lilith is officially considered mythology.
      Alecia: Hippie was right about the first part. Adam was in the garden for a time doing he job God had given him before he asked for a companion. Also thats a very weird interpretation of vain faith. as far as being saved goes, in the christian view once you are saved you never leave the Fathers hands(remember all we have to do is confess). I get reminded that every now and then.
      what you're describing is what i've always heard of as "lukewarm christians". great at church, love to say theyre christian, but they have no fruits to show it. its more common now then decades ago. society has changed.

      November 13, 2011 at 6:59 am |
  8. preacherkip

    What if Christian parents raised their children to be adults rather than indulging them in prolonged adolescence? Perhaps then they would be capable of supporting a family by the time they reached 20 years of age or so and could be married and this wouldn't be as much a problem. Also, what if Christian leaders mentored their congregations in raising their children to do the above rather than playing the role of surrogate parent to the kids?

    November 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  9. Joe

    This just proves what every seems to forget. we are ALL sinners. No need to create studies and surveys the Bible tells us that. It seems that a lot of us get fixated on specific sins. I have a study of my own, that the bible talks about. 100% of ALL Christians sin!

    November 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Bob

      Your religion is all about shame and guilt. You can keep your sky fairy stories. To yourself. Quietly please.

      November 12, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • serious

      @Bob

      I guess you can't be more shameful or guilty, that's why you are so sensitive about this.

      November 13, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  10. Filipe

    Uhm, this study seems to be very off. I'd love to have them ask the question, was your first time while you were convinced to have been a christian, or was it before? I'm still waiting for the right woman, but I'm certain, and that is beyond certain that had I not found Christ to be my savior at early high school I would have given up to some random girl at probably some random time and have it mean nothing whatsoever. So quite frankly this article means 0 to none.

    NO matter how much people might try to equate Christians with non-believers, as I see this article doing, there is one more reality, that simple, if you are being taught the proper way and you are having a true relationship with Christ, then these questions here should be simple responded with a no I AM waiting. But oh well, "(almost)everyone says they are Christians nowadays without actually practicing". That should be the next study these folks do!

    November 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Yes

      Good for you. Whoever marry you will be very blessed. You are right that the article is very fishy. This world just hate Christians. It's not a surprise.

      November 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • vbscript2

      The other problem with the article is that a lot of people who call themselves Christians don't actually have any real commitment to Christ. Thus, not everyone who actually claimed to be a Christian in the study actually was. I am 25 and I'm still waiting until I have a wife. Most of my close Christian friends either are still waiting for marriage or did wait until marriage and are now happily married. Yes, there are true Christians that make mistakes and I know some of those, too, but the vast majority of dedicated Christians I've known have indeed waited or are still waiting for marriage.

      The article does make one valid point, though, regarding the age of marriage. It certainly would be a lot easier if people in our society matured and married earlier, as they have in the past (even 1-to-2 generations ago, for that matter.) There are a few things in our society that cause the late marriage. First, most HS-age people are not learning responsibility until they get to college or even beyond. Second, it's difficult (not impossible, but difficult,) to be married during undergrad and most Americans (myself included) are now going to college. Of course, there are also other contributing factors both to the delayed age of marriage and to people not waiting until marriage.

      November 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by vbscript2 is an instance of the No True Scotsman fallacy.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/No_True_Scotsman

      November 12, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • nonbeliever

      Filipe: Making it sound so simple, does not make it simple. It's odd to me how many Christians want to quickly assess that people who call themselves Christians and sin, just must not be Christians in the first place. Ironically, you are sinning against your belief by judging and two, you can't throw out a study because YOU believe they must not be Christians, that point is moot. If they claim to be followers of Christ, then the study must present itself that way. Furthermore, CNN didn't even conduct the study Relevant (a CHRISTIAN magazine) did.

      November 13, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • Hater

      @nonbeliever

      I know someone called herself a Christian, but she doesn't even know who Christ is. Is she a Christian?
      Christian-to somebody is just a cool name. Is everybody really what their names mean?

      Also it always makes me laugh when someone quote "do not judge". Being a Christian (I'm not) doesn't mean you must lose ability to tell right from wrong.

      November 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Hater

      @nonbeliever

      I know someone called herself a Christian, but she doesn't even know who Christ is. Is she a Christian?
      Christian-to somebody is just a cool name. Is everybody really what his/her name means?

      Also it always makes me laugh when someone quote "do not judge". Being a Christian (I'm not) doesn't mean you must lose ability to tell right from wrong.

      November 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • nonbeliever

      @Hater-

      I think you are missing my point. I'm not telling people to not use their human instinct to have judgement or even saying that everyone who says they are a christian is, I'm simply stating what their religion implies, when it comes to salvation specifically, is not to judge. The irony falls of course in the understanding. All the christians was to say that because someone who calls themself a christian didn't wait, of course means that they are not a christian.

      November 27, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  11. Dave

    I waited until I was married at 21. Just because others are doing it don't make it right.

    November 12, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • rick

      doesn't make it wrong, either

      November 12, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • A Believer

      "doesn't make it wrong either" .... Wow....yeah keep telling yourself that lie. Self-delusion is very tricky, very subtle.

      November 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • rick

      A Believer: Back atcha

      November 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Hear This

      A Believer is a veritable paragon of self-delusion! He/she has not a scintilla of evidence, but believes anyway, just for the thrills and chills, I guess.

      November 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  12. Anne

    I am a woman and I had to wait 29 long years! But I made it to my wedding night. I had plenty of opportunities and plenty of temptations and times I almost gave in. It was definitely hard! But I have absolutely never regretted this decision. I didn't miss out on a thing and have no memories I wish I didn't have in that area. I was not a prude and figured I had a lot of time to make up for by the time I got married! You can tell if you are compatible in this area pretty well by open communication and with affection in general. We talked, read books, and the key is – do you want to please each other? Are you putting their needs first? If you BOTH do this, it's amazing. If it's not working, get counseling. If you love each other and are willing, you can work through any difficulties. Our culture is trying to sell us a" Fauxlex" when we really need to wait for our Rolex, the real deal.

    November 12, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • Douglas

      Anne, Blessings to you and your beloved!
      BEst, Douglas

      November 12, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • Loxinha

      What about your husband, honey?

      November 12, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  13. Douglas

    Castrate Sandusky. He engaged in forbidden acts contrary to biblical instruction.
    Now you see the pain, heartache and suffering caused by the disobedience that I have been
    teaching about in this forum. The scourge of fornication must end now!

    November 11, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  14. BobS

    I am a 25 (soon to be 26) year old male who has decided to wait till marriage. I had opportunities where I could have yet I decided not to. This Blog post and Relevant magazine have really started to let me down.... Just because 80% of a group of people that say they are Christians doesn't mean that they all are.

    To illustrate that point, in recent polling 75% of America professes to be Christian yet does our culture reflect that?

    I guess I will be a part of that 20% that is actually waiting. (Although, I would like to point out that although I believe this I also believe that when we give our lives to Jesus he can wipe away our past and make us like new and I would never hold the past against someone who I am interested in...)

    November 11, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • GodPot

      I applaud your determination and resolve. I myself waited for my wedding night when I was 21 as did my then wife. Just keep in mind that "doing it right" does not guarantee a happy marriage, in fact it adds some difficulties in that you do not get to choose a person with the same "appet i te" when it comes to the bedroom and there's no return policy for Christians. I went through 7 years of frustration with a wife who such a prude, she would start crying because of guilt if she read a racy Cosmo article. And forget about acting like it was enjoyable, instead it was a silent duty. I am not trying to shake your faith at all, just understand ahead of time that you are rolling the dice as to compatibility. I am now happily married with a beautiful 2 year old to a non-christian I lived with for 5 years before we got married almost 5 years ago.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • KS

      Bob, say you met a murderer who became Christian and completely turned his life around. Jesus may have forgiven his sins, but he's still a murderer and still has to face the consequences for that. How is that so hard to understand?

      November 11, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • KS

      GodPot,

      I know this wasn't directed at me, but I do believe it concerns me. And I want to ask, how many do you think that get married at such a very young age aren't mentally ill? There's only one couple I know of but they aren't doing well in life because of that choice.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Yes

      God forgives, but there are always consequences.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • Jennifer

      As for Godpot, getting married at 21 is definitely a close-your-eyes and jump type of decision. Waiting until 21 is a piece of cake – the original poster is in a very different situation at 25 with no immediate plans to marry.

      November 12, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  15. Kayla

    i didn't wait. you should see me today. happy and moving forward as if it never happened. still dating, still excited to see what the future holds.

    November 11, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • serious

      what's the point of doing it if you act like it never happened? waste of some condoms!!!

      November 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Hater

      Hopefully you had enough training so that you will satisfy your future husband and he will think you are better than his other ladies.

      November 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Douglas

      Kayla,

      Please be very careful. STDs are on the rise and there is no guarantee that "safe s@x is really safe.
      You can reclaim the high ground by by remaining abstinent and shunning men who only have one thing on their mind.
      I will pray that you have the strength to remain pure until you are betrothed. It would be tragic for your to contract
      an STD that could have been avoided.
      BEst, Douglas

      November 11, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • KS

      Douglas, please leave her alone. People like you are the reason why others leave the church (if you're Christian).

      November 11, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  16. Kayla

    I didn't wait. And you should see me today. Happy and moving forward as if it never happened. I haven't continued but I will soon enough after I get out of freshmann year

    November 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  17. Scott

    @serious: “People who didn't wait, they will never have the same trust in each other”

    You have no way of knowing this. You are just trying to make yourself feel good about having waited

    November 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • So What

      As I said earlier, I do not promote promiscuity, but the day after the "wedding night", I thought... We could have done this 3 months ago, or 6 months ago, and it would have been just as special - maybe more, considering that I was absolutely exhausted from all of the wedding hoopla and dead-tired during a way-too-busy, travel-packed honeymoon.

      Sure the relationship could have failed during those months, but it can happen afterward too.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • serious

      @ Scott

      I don't need to make myself feel good about having waited because I don't feel like trash. Nowadays, it's so easy for people to sleep with someone. I had my chances, but that was not what I want, so I feel good because I'm different from most people.

      November 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  18. the end

    Without doubt, this article is additional proof of the consumation of time. If HIV wasn't able to send the message of the importance of abstenance then what will, God said it is against HIS will for man and woman to have intercourse prior to getting marriage. No era can out live that! One of these days all men will know and fear what's about to happen. ACTS 2 verse 38. I say unto those who will read my words Repent and be baptized in the name of the LORD JESUS Christ and recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now.

    November 11, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • serious

      AMEN!!! HE will have the final judgement!

      November 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Sun Sneezer

      Wow! Delusional! There is no god.

      November 11, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • GTA

      God gave you a brain. Why don't you use it to make your own decisions rather than adhering to a set of archaic rules laid out in a book written hundreds of years ago by people whose intentions were more to control than enlighten.

      November 12, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Bob

      the end, so you are suggesting that your god sends diseases to make us suffer when we don't do what he wants? What a jerk.

      No thanks. You can keep your god-ass-hole fictions. To yourself. Quietly please.

      November 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • rick

      Gosh, get off your knees.

      November 13, 2011 at 3:31 am |
    • serious

      Y'all atheist are paranoid or something? Don't you believe in God? If you don't even believe God's existence, why are y'all so sensitive about this?

      November 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  19. jed

    He's got it right. This abstinence rule was made when people married at 14, so it was mostly a non-issue. The rule makes no sense if you are getting married in your mid twenties or later. Let go of the antiquated rule and let people lead healthy, natural lives without catching a bunch of grief.

    November 11, 2011 at 9:37 am |
  20. Yes

    KS
    You are definitely the coolest person here. I love reading your comments and I couldn't agree more because I do value the exactly the same thing as well.

    November 11, 2011 at 7:54 am |
    • Yes

      KS

      By the way, it makes me feel really nice when I read your post because most people here just made me feel so sad and sick. You are right that the world is in a deep trouble. I have an extremely strong feeling towards this issue. I wonder if it is possible to have a personal talk with you. I really don't know anyone around who holds the same value as you (or as me). I admire your courage and belief, so I think it would be nice if I can talk to you a little bit.

      November 11, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • KS

      Yes,

      Nah, there are plenty of them if 20% of Christians are serious about their beliefs and 76% of the country is Christian. I'd guess that not everyone talks about it because the people I've met who have waited, generally keep most of their beliefs to themselves; you pretty much have to interrogate them otherwise and I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing.

      And no offense, but if you need a support group that really says something about how sturdy your beliefs are. And personally chatting? I don't see how I could setup an anonymous way to do it without one of these goons impersonating either you or me there.

      Also, to answer your post on pg.53, I grew up in a hyperreligious and abusive Christian family and left because I had too many questions about things that made no sense, as well as were outright absurd that I couldn't find any one person to sit down with me and answer. That and I noticed things such as this issue being widely prevalent among 'believers.'

      November 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Yes

      @ KS

      KS

      Thanks for your comments. I truly believe there are sturdy Christians (followers of Christ more accurately) out there. I had to admit you are definitely right about how sturdy my beliefs are. I used to think I had sturdy belief, however I'm the victim of this issue, that's why I have a strong feeling towards this and my faith was shaken. I was the one who waited (more accurately I tried to stay as pure as I could for my future husband). I was such a girl living in a fairy tale, wishing and hoping that one day I would give all myself to him. However, my husband turned out to be completely opposite. The fact he told me about everything after we married completely hurt me deeply. It was really difficult because I was so devastated that I almost killed myself. However, I never regret waiting, not even at this moment. Now I just need some distraction. Since I've always loved science, that's why I'm learning physics and engineering now. I probably would never need a supporting group if this never happened to me. But now my faith is drifting.

      I'm sorry that your family was abusive. It's pretty much like my family(non-Christian though) where I grew up, so I can understand you at some point. I'm sure everybody has many questions even the most devout Christians. It would be nice if someone can sit down with you and talk about your questions. I guess that's why it's called faith. It's never easy.

      November 11, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • KS

      Yes,

      I'm so sorry to hear that about your husband. I think that would have devastated me as well. But if this issue was so important to you, why didn't you ask more about his background before you two committed to each other? And please tell me you at least told your husband about how you felt about him this because I really would have just divorced if he didn't apologise, listen, and continued to act like it didn't bother him (but that's me, and I am certainly not one to give advice to anyone so please don't take it that way).

      And if you're looking for a support group, church may probably be the best place to go believe it or not. A lot of good people there you can just talk to in a group about things unrelated to church that will listen. Also, a lot of people there know what they did was wrong and really struggle with this (coincidentally that percentage is also 76), so it's not like they went completely wild and then still manage to show up to church guilt-free.

      And you're a physics and engineering major? That's interesting. I was a Chemistry major before I had to take medical leave because I got really sick from something, otherwise I would have probably even finished my master's by now (had I went for it as I didn't take summers off), and started dental or medical school (still don't know which, I do know or at least think I know that I want to be in surgery). But I'm sure you don't want to hear that. Where do you plan on going/doing afterwards?

      November 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • Yes

      KS,
      Thank you for such a kind message. I've always hoped that I could have someone who understand me. You are right I should have asked him more before we got married. Before I got married, I was surrounded by the people who were sleeping around. They didn't bother me too much like now, but I never thought I would act like that. Since middle school, I felt I would patiently wait for my future husband. Not to be proud, but I was popular at school, however I never even dated anybody because like I said I wanted to stay as pure as I could.

      This issue almost led a divorce, but he didn't want to. I was a Christian and I didn't know if it was right. I never imagined my husband would turn out to be somebody completely opposite. He told me he had girlfriends, but that was it. I thought I wouldn't force anybody to be like me, so it was fine he dated before which is pretty normal and I didn't ask for any detail. However, after we got married, I saw one of his girlfriend picture at his parents house and it digs all the details of his stories... then it caused all the heartaches. Even I tried to tell myself about forgiving, but sometimes when things happen, it was just so hard. I prayed a lot but it didn't help. Now I can only find some distraction from my school and work.

      I thought about talking to people at church. I actually did talk to some Christians from church. They all could tell me is forgiving which is really nice, but my mood swings a lot over this issue. It just doesn't feel right. Sometimes I could tell people the same thing if they had my experience, however when it actually happens to me, it's getting difficult to convince myself. Now I really haven't talked to anybody about this issue from church anymore.

      Yes I am physics and engineering major. My first bachelor's degree was in foreign language so I could speak two languages and read one extra language. Now I'm doing my favorite science (or applied science). Wow, Chemistry major, that's really awesome. I loved chemistry too, but it definitely requires more memorizing than physics. It will be really great to be in surgery. I wish I had a mind in medical field. I'm sorry that you had to take medical leave. I hope you will figure out which school you want to go to. Either one sounds great to me. :) I'd like to know more about you so don't worry about talking about your major, etc. I'm currently co-oping at Jefferson Lab in Virginia. I'm planning to get a phD if I have the motivation (sometimes I get stressed out too easily by school), if not, I'll at least finish my master.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Yes

      KS

      One of the question you mentioned: this also bothers me is that he never said sorry unless I asked him. His reason was he didn't want to talk about it because it was embarrassing. I'm not sure if it was true or if it was his excuse. To me, I don't ask him for more. I would just be happy to know that he truly felt sorry about everything and I was appreciated (does that sound selfish or is that too much to ask?).

      November 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • KS

      Yes:

      Memorisation? Are you kidding me? That's what students struggling with Chemistry think Chemistry is all about. In actuality, it's extremely easy because everything is conceptual. I only had to study a small fraction of the time in Chemistry that everyone else spent. The rest of that time I spent going out of my way to learn about certain reactions, background info, as well as general Chem. knowledge that interested me and yet I still spent less time studying than everyone else. Also, I switched from Biology because it was ALL memorisation and nothing conceptual. I got poor grades (high B's and low A's) as a result because I didn't know what to study and your typical Biologist who's no smarter than a squirrel couldn't explain it to me besides 'memorise all of this.'

      And I'm also learning another language (German) because my mom didn't teach it to me when I was growing up (we're from Europe) and really just didn't care about me. Otherwise, Russian is my native language; I learned English coming here. I would have finished German by now but I've forgotten so much due to Lyme disease (memory literally became Alzheimer's-like and is still recovering) and there is just no way I could learn it in the state I've been in for the past two years (I'm 21 currently, not to make it seem like I'm so old). But I do plan on finishing it and will when I get the chance.

      And that isn't too much to ask. It's your life, you have every right to know. But I do agree it's a really personal matter. But as husband and wife, why wouldn't he be comfortable discussing it with you? Also, is English your native language or do you just make a lot of typos because you're sick with something and can't remember basic spelling (albeit temporarily) like I do?

      November 12, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • KS

      *like I am

      November 12, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Yes

      KS:

      You are right Chemistry is not all about memorization. I guess that's why it didn't make me to be a chemistry major. I guess I was only comparing it with physics because there are lots of formulas in physics.. And biology is pretty much memorization and that's why I didn't enjoy it as much.

      That's still pretty cool that you can speak different languages. I understand if you don't use it as often, you will always forget the vocabulary. That's what is happening to my French. So you started learning English after you came here? I can hardly tell English is not your native language though. I'm originally from Asia and I came here because I married an American. It never hurts to know more languages.

      As for the marriage issue, he said he was too embarrassed to talk about it. So everytime when I bring it up, he just gets really irritated. Apparently it doesn't help at all because it made me feel that he is trying to hide something ( even if he is not, but I'll never know). I'm sorry for the typos. I started learning English when I was 12 and I'm now 26. I hope you will recover soon. From our conversation I can tell that you are definitely very intelligent and smart.

      November 12, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • KS

      Yes, if you're still hung up about this the only place left is marriage counseling or some kind of personal counseling in general if you can't find find friends to talk about this with comfortably, because your view, while rational, is not healthy because you don't know how to deal with something as traumatising as this.

      Counseling is usually just a small office visit fee; it's hard to find a mainstream insurance that doesn't cover it/charge some neglible amount for it, so you're likely going to be okay there. Besides, I think you'll find that those who go into counseling are very friendly and non-judgmental if that's what your concerned about (which you 'should' be if you're seeking counseling– otherwise, who purposely surrounds themselves with negative human beings?)

      November 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Yes

      KS

      Thank you so much for your nice suggestions. I may consider that. I guess my ambivalence led to the separation right now. My self esteem didn't allow me to continue living like that. All I wanted was to be appreciated and respected. It's like you had a dream since you were a child, but the reality just took away all your hope, and you will never be able to start over again. That's why I don't understand why people would make all these decisions before marriage (I guess I'll never understand that). Not because it just sounds sick to me, but also how can I be respected if I don't even respect my own body?

      I hope you will make a wise decision on the marriage (not like me) because you are a wonderful person and you certainly deserve a wonderful spouse (sorry I don't even know if you are a guy or a girl).

      By the way, I don't know what kind of movie you like. I have a favorite movie called "Daisy" (a south Korean movie). The reason why I like it because I saw myself in there. It's about a girl who waited for her love all her life. It was simple yet very moving. If you'd like to check it out, you will find it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=w3CtE6zmujk

      Thank you for your response again! I'm always glad to see people who do not act the way the rest of the world does. They are the real special and strong ones. And they definitely deserve the best!

      November 12, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.