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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. frank sol

    What do you mean by Non-Christian peers?.... for Jews and Moslems is a must to be virgin to marry, much more than Christians.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  2. Patrick

    The whole part about all of this that I find so amussing is that the bible a written text created by whoever your little heart feels like giving the ultimate credit to "unknown" based on your beliefs "interpretation" was created with the single purpose of giving a guide of morality to humanity and since its gennisis all man has done is fought and killed over who thinks they are right. that is the greatest joke of them all.

    January 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • spell check

      Patrick, you can't even spell words properly. How can we take you seriously here?

      January 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Rick

      spell check: do you apply the same test to the words of theists?

      January 7, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • nonbeliever

      Not that gramatical errors aren't a little annoying, but think about all the people you would "not be able to take seriously" because they spoke incorrectly or wrote something out wrong? Including your church leaders.

      January 7, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Patrick

      Spell Check: Thank you for your concern over my spelling and grammar. I personally put more thought into content rather than form. I think you missed the point while you were grading my post. Over 5,600 posts have been made on this article mainly people arguing over who's individual views are right. This simple argument may be trivial on this blog but at its core the religious argument is the cause for almost every conflict in this world. So go ahead keep judging people on what you feel is important and you can proudly stand up and say your part of the problem!

      Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

      January 9, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  3. cary4

    Honestly...who cares about this? Use birthcontrol and have a little self respect..that's all young people have to know

    January 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • George

      How could anyone make such an ignorant statement? Birth control is sinful and so is extramarital s.e.x. Read your Bible.

      January 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • J.W

      Why is birth control sinful? We need to control the world's population or it will become unsustainable.

      January 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • OhPlz

      "Why is birth control sinful? We need to control the world's population or it will become unsustainable."

      It's about power, the more Christians there are, the more power is in the hands of Christian, the more money the church makes.

      January 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • J.W

      Well I do not think that most Christian denominations believe in not using birth control. But for the ones that do you may be right. The more members the better.

      January 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Rick

      Birth control is sinful? Again, Georgie Porgie is purporting to know the mind of god. Go ahead, Georgie, bark some more

      January 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • George

      Birth control is sinful because it per.verts the natural purpose of s.e.x. It has nothing to do with power and control. That's ridiculous.

      January 6, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • spell check

      Birth control is not an option. You seem to not understand why fornication is not acceptable behavior for Christians. Bad advice cary4.

      January 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • nonbeliever

      @spell check-

      I don't the original post was directed at christians. Also, is BC wrong to take once married?

      January 7, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • nonbeliever

      For christians, that is.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • Rick

      Georgie: Modern medicine perverts the natural order of things. Do you avoid doctors?

      January 7, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Rick

      I think that cary4's advice is good. Georgie or Spell Check may not like it, but not all of us have our heads up the "savior's" rectum

      January 7, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  4. Grandma

    GOD BLESS H.I.T.L.E.R

    January 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Klaus

      Amen.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  5. kanawah

    god does not answer, because there is no god.

    Man made god in his own image.

    January 6, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • DJones

      That is sweet and simple. What basis do you have for your belief that there is no God? Are you truly atheist based on your on research and experience or just from what some other person said? Just curious.

      January 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • nonbeliever

      @DJones-

      Does it matter? The vast majority of christians don't study theology, greek and hebrew, church history, ect. They simply act on what their church leaders tell them. Either way, I would agree that most people who do not believe in the christian god have a way better idea why than those who claim to.

      January 7, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  6. Ethan

    Mormons doctrines of the divinity of humanity also play into their superiority in these matters. The teachings that every person is a literal child of heavenly parents and that they can learn to be like God instills a sense of worth tat is not possible in other faiths. LDS youth wear "CTR" rings (Choose The Right) – and everything in the Mormon theology points to personal purity, culminating in the LDS temple which presents a symbolic step-by-step- ascent to God or Godliness. With that in reach, why would a youth desecrate their bodies, which we are taught are also temples?

    Just some insights.

    January 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • nondescript

      Wow, you put so much importance on a tiny piece of skin. I'm glad I'm not a Mormon.

      January 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Jon

      Yes you reach .01 of 1% I am sure that when the Bible says do not add or take away from the Bible you just overlooked that part and made another whole book of legalistic mumbo jumbo. God bless and come to a real faith of Jesus. I was brought up in the cult and the brain washing it total by 30.

      January 5, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Klaus

      Mormons are also creepy. And their leader is a polygamist.

      They also appear to be a sect, like those 7th-Dayers and Jehovah's Witnesses.

      There's a reason why no one listens to them.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Klaus

      nondes.,

      A virgin is someone that hasn't willingly consented to perform or have a se-xual act (hugs and kisses are not se-xual) performed on him/her. Everything else is irrelevant.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • rick

      klaus: anyone who purports to speak for god is creepy.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  7. Ethan

    Mormons young single adults (18-29) are 80% virgin, a rate that is vastly more successful than other Christian groups. Mormons live in the same modern world, with the same TV programs and internet access. The reason Mormons are better at this, and many other things, is because they train their youth from a very young age to keep themselves pure. The LDS theology of personal purity and progression is much more powerful and sophisticated than other religions. It is very effective at creating strong character.

    January 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Alt2ning

      Read the article before you post!!

      January 5, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Greg

      They train there youth...sounds very legalistic...how about maybe a little transformation from the Holy Spirit...

      January 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  8. Flo

    Young Christians don't wait anymore because in churches the pastors are preaching about a loving GOD no matter what and also prosperity. Rededication is all you hear now.

    January 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Rick

      Flo: What would you have those pastors preach?

      January 5, 2012 at 3:40 am |
  9. realish

    because TV, RADIO, and Commercials tell them not to

    January 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Rick

      Because they have hormones and hormones trump ideology hands down

      January 4, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  10. sonotso

    So why are they not waiting? Hmmm? I have no idea.

    January 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  11. dude

    allow to put the issues of marriage and s ex like this....

    ...you wouldn't buy a car without first test driving it.

    can i get an amen?

    January 3, 2012 at 5:25 am |
    • Klaus

      Did you just compare a woman to an object?

      Perhaps why we have the objectification of women to begin with.

      January 3, 2012 at 5:37 am |
    • Jason

      Calm down betty, he wasn't being gender specific.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Klaus

      Jason, so you compared a human being to a car?

      January 3, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • dudette

      I think what Klaus is trying to say is that it's unfair to compare humans to non-living objects. A better analogy would be: Would you buy the cow before trying the milk?

      January 3, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Klaus

      What?! So now you're comparing a human being to a cow/cattle? While that's what our elected officials, central bankers and heads of enormous multinational corporations think of humanity, it isn't what I'd like to think.

      January 3, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Kathy from Kansas

      Driving a car is not a sacred, sacramental act. Consummating marriage vows is.
      Driving a car does not make you and your car "one flesh," never to be put asunder.
      Driving a car will never bring a new human being into existence, an immortal being created in the image and likeness of God, who dignifies man and woman by allowing them to be co-creators with Him of a new soul who will live forever.

      January 4, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • rick

      "Driving a car is not a sacred, sacramental act. Consummating marriage vows is."

      Well, another opinion heard from.

      January 4, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Will

      For the one who said you wouldn't buy a car without test driving it I say...... The rental car agency won't let you have their car for even an hour without signing a contract. Our daughters are more valuable than cars!!!!!

      January 4, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • rick

      Will: Your daughter is rentable like a car? What is her weekend rate?

      January 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • SuperDude

      The funny thing about the first analogy from Dude is.....I purchased my car and never test drove it (it was ordered and I just picked it up and drove off). Likewise, I married my wife after dating for a year...and I never took a test drive before I said "I DO!" (she was a 26 year old virgin). Married for over 1 year and some change and if I had to do it all over again.....I wouldnt change a thing and I constantly encourage other young men to take same steps/committment. Oh yeah, and I was faithful and celibate for over 2 and a half year before hand. So I guess I got a brand new car...and a brand new woman. And we both live our lives for God. GO JESUS!!!

      January 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  12. john

    I am Christian, and the Bible says there will be trials and tribulations, and think about it, if resisting temptation was easy, everyone would be able to do it, and there would be no faith involved. So, that is why God sent Jesus to die for our sins. Because God KNOWS that we cannot resist ALL tempatation ALL of the time, that is why He gave us his only Son to die for our sins. And like all sins, it is forgivable, as long as you ask forgiveness and MEAN IT. im 18 by the way, and if I can believe that at 18, then others that are older can too.

    January 2, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Yveliz

      Yes John, I agree.I am also a Christian- Jesus Christ died for the purpose of reconciling us to God. Jesus does forgive our sins the moment we repent and ask for forgiveness.

      January 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • John

      I've always been amused by this Christian Cop-out Clause. The ultimate escape clause.; do whatever you want, then just ask for forgiveness–WHAMMO!–all is forgiven.

      January 3, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • DavidOfNazareth

      >Jesus Christ died for the purpose of reconciling us to God.

      No, he didn't.

      >Jesus does forgive our sins the moment we repent and ask for forgiveness.

      Again, nope.

      January 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Hannah

      I think you are misunderstanding why Jesus died for us!! Jesus died for us because our sins make us fall short of the glory of God!! Jesus died so that we could REPENT of our sins!! not sin on purpose and then ask for forgiveness and then do it all again!! God will NOT be used like that! and trust me, if that is what you are doing, then those sins are not forgiven!! He died for us so that we can take up our cross and walk with Him AGAINST this evil and corrupt world! He wants us to be non-conformists and to walk with Him in faith! He wants us to live LIKE Him! Now, we ARE human, and we will make mistakes, that is where God's Grace comes in! He will forgive you if your repentance is from the heart! But do not take advantage of Him!!

      January 5, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Nicki

      In the 1st epistle of John we see that "if we say that we have no sin, we lie and the truth is not in us".
      So we must be honest about our weakness, otherwise we are just kidding ourselves into thinking we're perfect.
      It also says that "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." So confession (which means admitting that what we are doing is wrong) then He will be the one to free us from our sin.
      It also says a couple verses earlier: "If we say that we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice truth."
      Therefore, if someone is saying "I have fellowship with Him" or "I am a Christian" (means the same thing), but is not walking as He walked an according to His grace and righteousness, overcoming temptations and growing in Love for Him and for others, then that person is kidding themselves, and living a lie.

      January 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  13. Yveliz

    Firstly, I would like to start out by saying, "keep waiting!" Too many times we're confronted by temptation because of our own desires- as according to James 1:14&15. James expresses in verse 14, "but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed." Temptation is not something that is dropped from the sky, instead temptation is that desire to do what you want-the lust of the flesh. The reason why too many christians are not waiting is because their heart's desire from pleasing God has shifted to pleasing self. Too many Christians are going with the flow or are truly Not seeking God because they lack the ability to face opposition in this aggressive world. The only way to get our youth back to God's correct concept about saving ourselves until marriage is to talk about self esteem and learning what it means to respect yourself and the fear God. There is no other way-they have to want this more than the youth pastors. Remember we are enticed by our own lust, but God will always give us a way out. We don't fall into temptation because other people are doing it-we fall into temptation because we see people doing what we wish we could do so as to fulfill what seems rationally acceptable by those around us. Thus, fornicating and doing all sorts of ungodliness and never accepting the truth of what the bible says about those who practice such things, "will not enter the kingdom of heaven." I've waited 27 years of my life and wil continue to wait

    January 2, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Me215D

      First of all, to the comment above, Jesus, a human incarnation of the divine, doesn't forgive your sins – God does.

      Second, you don't need to be a historian to know that Christmas trees are a pagan symbol and Jesus couldn't have been born in December – but that doesn't mean Jesus didn't exist... it just means that religious leaders co-opted certain rituals to facilitate bringing non-believers into the fold. And the Christian taboo about premarital s ex is just about taking the pre-existing cultural norm and justifying it by apply holy words to the practice.

      The Bible is a compilation of various, nearly exclusively male, interpretations of Jesus' and God's word – not the word of God or Jesus directly. And it's men who are obsessed with virginity. And it's men who married – and marry – off their female children when they are barely into puberty, often to much older men, like livestock. So to say that s ex before marriage is somehow about purity, and being closer to God, ignores the history of the Bible and the sociology of the times... You're using mythology created by men with an agenda, who shrouded their existing views on s ex in a cloak of Christian scripture as an excuse to perpetuate their control over the reproductive status of women in their society.

      And if you don't care about any of that, then answer me this: Why do Christians feel it's fine to ignore so much of the Bible – wearing clothes of mixed fibers, eating pork, eating shellfish... but single out topics like this to claim there is no exception allowed, or no other influences allowed? The men who wrote the Bible embellished much from what Jesus said – if you believe working on Sunday (including any physical activity), and wear mixed fiber clothing, and eat pork, then you are a hypocrite to say "but premarital s ex is different".

      January 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  14. Howard

    Could it possibly be because The're Just Horney?

    January 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  15. marky

    marky

    Where in the Bible does it say abstinence?

    January 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Seems nobody can answer my question. Well then, if God has nothing to say about abstinence it must be a man made prejudice. I for one think people who are prejudice are stupid. My God loves me as I am and Jesus died on the cross for me. So, why do I have to live in the closet in fear of you prejudice ignorant people. I will pray for you. Jesus help us all to be enlightened, in Jesus' mighty name I pray. Amen

    January 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Danni

      http://www.truthortradition.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=154

      January 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Danni

      In my opinion, it's hormones. Or something of the sort. I don't actually know but I know when you're young and have a boyfriend/girlfriend and your parents are trying to drill into your head that you have to wait until marriage, all you wanna do is do it. But that's my, seventeen year-old, perspective. I've been a christian for years and yes, I'm still waiting until marriage. But it's only on someone's own decision does it really matter. I don't believe in purity pledges because it doesn't mean anything unless you actually can back it up with action. There's something sweet about knowing that someday you might meet the one person who you'll share the rest of your life with, however long or short it may be. Like Carl and Ellie from the Disney movie UP. <3

      January 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Yveliz

      In response to your question, the bible talks about fornication and clearly states that those in adultery, fornication, etc., will not inherit the kingdom of heaven Galatians 5. Also, I truly think the world must be enlightened by God.

      January 2, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Klaus

      Yveliz, I'm going to reply in a few posts if you don't mind because for some reason things aren't getting posted despite my other posts coming through.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • Klaus

      I have no problem waiting as marriage (and only then s-ex) aren't priorities in my life.

      The problem I have is a society that doesn't value it. Even most who call themselves Christians and have waited (the number is probably less than the 20% stated in this article) are just doing it for religious reasons (i.e. most of the time mindl-essly following some god) while not realising the deep-seated, permanent and irrevocable spiritual and psychological consequences in addition to having pre-marital s-ex/promiscuity. I mean the amount who understand this is so statistically negligible that you can probably count these 'people' on your hands and feet nationwide.

      How brain-dead can you be to not realise that sticking your genitals in someone else's future spouse ultimately will cause misandric and misogynst views in society as well as the destruction of marriage (and with that, everything else - the economy, social and community cohesion, etc) because no one values true love or commitment and just want to shag like a bunch of animals? Even the fourth world which has astounding AIDS rates isn't that dirty as they do value something (i.e. female genital mutilation to try to keep a woman's virginity - as if virginity were a physical, not spiritual act).

      And these id-iots dare have the nerve to complain why nothing in our society, which was once more heavily Christian percentage-wise then the Vatican probably is today, works the way it use to (i.e. freedom and democracy, law and order, etc)?

      January 3, 2012 at 3:26 am |
    • Klaus

      *My mistake. Please cross out that 'in addition to pre-marital s-ex/promiscuity' line. Was copying and pasting and it ended up making a typo.*

      January 3, 2012 at 3:29 am |
    • Rick

      klaus: how exactly does two unmarried people having s-e-x destroy marriages?

      January 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • nonbeliever

      @Klauss-

      Explain to me the "permanent and irrevocable spiritual and psychological consequences" to having se.x before you are married? I would love to read the studies you have read or conducted on this thought. This to me is the most dangerous thought line there could possibly be. The act of se.x before marriage has zero impact on your spiritual or mental well being. What hurts people psychologically is not the act, but how those around them view the act. The church will condemn them, tell them they are disgusting sinners and need to repent. Their friends will think they are unclean and view them as a wh.ore. These actions are brought on by people in society, not the act itself. You can be involved in a responsible and safe se.xu.al relationship with someone and it be something that is beneficial to you, not damaging.

      The problem with your argument, is that you place more importance on their actual gen.italia than you do the actual person or the relationship itself. Stating that premarital se.x will cause hatred of men and women in society? This makes absolutely no sense. I'm sorry that you have such a hatred for those who choose not to, but your claims cannot be blamed on the act itself. What causes such hatred for those who do not follow dogmatic belief systems is your bigoted mindset. You believe you are better than those who don't because of a personal belief (I say personal, because none of your claims can truly be backed up). Ironic that christians (or supremacist) have been the leading cause of the oppression of women and African Americans because they believed they were better than them. You may not consider yourself a christian, but your klan like ideals are roughly the same.

      Last two points: You linked the economic decline to people not waiting till marriage to have se.x? I should have just stopped reading there and laughed at you. But then of course you went on and seemed to be a proponent of female genital mutilation if it keeps women from having premarital se.x. I think you sir, have some serious deep rooted hate issues that need to be addressed. And please, let me know where you are planning on practicing medicine, so I can stay as far away from you as possible. I would encourage you to receive some counseling before you finish up your schooling.

      January 5, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Klaus
      Pre-marital s.ex is not the harbinger of doom, my friend.
      I've been with the same person for nigh on a decade and both of us had partners before meeting each other.
      We don't consider each other dirty, or lesser beings – nor are we jealous of former partners.
      The past is gone and not returning – we focus on each other, here and now.
      Furthermore, we are raising a fine, well adjusted family and are both contributing members of society without ever having been married – nor have we any plans to get married.
      There is a covenant between us to do that which is best for our family.
      You don't need the approval of any clergy or court to have a sound basis for a fulfilling, loving relationship.

      January 5, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • noel

      First of all in the bible and 10 commamndments that we shouldn't commit adultry or fornication that's why folks always make feel its wrong to have intercourse b4 marriage. look it up its there.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Adam

      Marky: The Bible doesn't directly mention s ex before marriage (at least not as applies to regular every-day people). But, the idea of "adultery" was having s ex not just *against* your spouse (i.e. with someone other than your spouse, when you're married), but the idea of "adultery" was having s ex with anyone who's *not* your spouse, regardless of whether or not you're already married. Basically, the whole concept of s ex outside of marriage was so inconsiderable at that time that it simply wasn't discussed. Unfortunately, much like many churches and their youth today. However, the cultural climate of the Bible's time often led to complete disgrace or even death, just for having s ex outside of marriage, whereas the cultural climate of our time sees it as a good way to past the time, or an irresistible urge, or what you do when you feel in love with someone else – that sort of thing. So, the two situations are quite different and the Biblical situation doesn't speak very clearly to ours.

      The Bible nowhere discusses (or considers) the concept of how a dating relationship ought to be, nor is it likely that any of the Biblical authors ever saw anyone dating, ever. "The times, they are a'changing."

      Now, I don't think that means free-for-all promiscuity is a good idea, and I think having a single life partner (the only one you ever had s ex with) is really a great idea. But I think rather than a blanket condemnation of our culture's current norms, churches, youth groups, etc., need to find a more honest and engaging approach to the matter. Obviously, current tactics (and current motivations) aren't sufficient to encourage most Christians to have a different-than-normal s exual lifestyle. Probably there should be more honest discussions about the whole matter, including those both convicted towards abstinence and those who simply don't see any reason. The top-down, "do what I say and don't have s ex" approach just plain doesn't work. Nor is there an easy-to-find foundation for such an approach or such a command. But I do think with honest looking, encouragement towards greater self-discipline (severely lacking in most Christians of all ages), and a longer-term perspective of respecting other people, that s ex outside of marriage can be see as both likely harmful and avoidable. But not the be-all-end-all sin of a Christian's youth either. Balance is always good.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Klaus

      @nonbeliever/doc/whoever else responded to me,

      I didn't read your comment and/or zoned out.

      Keep it short. Like my attention span when it comes to philosophical gar-bage.

      I don't want sloppy 25ths (or sloppy seconds).

      January 6, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • nonbeliever

      @Klaus-

      I'm sorry that your hypocritical virgin mind couldn't make it through my post, which was just barely longer than yours. If you can't formulate a defense when someone proves you wrong, you really shouldn't be posting your ignorance on here.

      Was that short enough for you?

      January 7, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • Keith

      Marky, Apparently, you didn't notice this response:
      Mat 5:27 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

      Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

      January 7, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Rick

      klaus: if they are sloppy, then you need to look elsewhere.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:39 am |
  16. Reality Bites

    I was a hopeful, patient young woman at one time. The unfortunate reality is that while I was waiting – most young men were not. So regardless – if you are a patient woman, you are most likely still going to end up with a man who has had experience and probably a child or two by the time he decides to commit to you. Waiting simply decreases your opportunity to have your own children with your first choice.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Klaus

      What? I'm male and am waiting/have waited and will until I'm married and only then.

      I plan on getting married around 35 after I finish my surgery residency and have my business established.

      Keep your standards high, please. Why should a virgin have to marry a non-virgin? Let those with brot-hel values mingle together. Not my concern.

      January 2, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Rick

      Good for you, Klaus. When your new wife finds out you are a dud in the sack, she will have plenty to garner in the divorce settlement

      January 2, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Yveliz

      In response to klaus.

      Don't be dismayed! God will bless you for waiting! People from this world are unfortunately not use to waiting. Good things come to those who wait. Continue to wait! And you're right, why settle for less.

      January 2, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Yveliz

      In response to reality bites: it's still worth waiting! Reality is that when you don't wait you miss out on the complete process. It's like waiting for the turkey to come out of the oven while your hungry. You have two choices you could either wait for the Turkey and truly be satisfied when it's done or you can have a bite on the side and subdue the hunger with a munch, then, have turkey and not be completely satisfied. I choose to wait! It's a discipline that must be learned.

      January 2, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Rick

      Yveliz: "The complete process"?

      January 3, 2012 at 6:12 am |
    • nonbeliever

      @Yveliz-

      Did you really just compare romantic intimacy to eating a turkey? That might be the worst analogy that I have ever read. If you want to wait then wait, that's fine, it's your choice. But if you choose not to, if you choose to engage in a se.xu.al relationship with someone, you can do it respectively and on a level that is safe and enjoyable to your life. It amazes me that people want to make it out to be something evil...unless it is within marriage, when it can easily be something that is wonderful outside of it.

      January 5, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  17. Ifenowo,Bamidele Olufemi.

    The solution to premarital experiment as some people suggested is early marriage .Otherwise,you cannot rule out such an occurence.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:24 am |
  18. Lord Abraxas

    The name of this article would imply they used to wait. There seems to be less basis for this claim than rose colored, backwards facing glasses would indicate. People have always engaged in "recreational activities", now they are simply more open about it.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Klaus

      And you don't think that being more open and accepting about it to the point of expectancy would make others want to do it more?

      January 2, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • Lord Abraxas

      No, pretty sure they wanted to do it already.

      January 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Rick

      Lord: Absolutely correct. Nature trumps ideology.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Klaus

      I'm pretty sure I wanted to smoke myself to death at one point. Did I?

      January 3, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • nonbeliever

      @Klaus-

      If you wanted to smoke yourself to death, then you have mental issues and I advise you to go speak to a doctor about that.

      January 5, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  19. Klaus

    If you were to compare the family values of a bro-thel to the values of the average American man or woman, whose would be worse?

    I leave you to answer that yourselves.

    Oh and Rick, your 'monogamous' relationship is a joke if you think it's going to last; and waiting until marriage isn't a religious concept.

    January 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Rick

      Waiting until marriage is not a religious concept?

      January 2, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • nonbeliever

      Is there a point somewhere in this nonsense?

      January 5, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  20. AllegedlyDave

    RE: 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?

    Perhaps Christian parents and youth pastors and all the theists of the world should use that great gift God gave them... their brains... and collectively stop believing in fairy tales altogether. Or is that asking too much of the supposedly most intelligent species on Earth?

    January 1, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Klaus

      Perhaps if that were directed towards Muslims, it'd be labeled hate speech.

      But I doubt you'd have the cajones to speak out against them. Or go against the flow.

      January 1, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Rick

      Klaus: Are you feeling a wee bit put upon? Are you suffering the way Jeebus said you would?

      January 2, 2012 at 12:47 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.