I know this isn't a topic most adults talk about - except when it is in the form of a punch line - but there isn't much I don't talk about. Though the heading on this post may sound like the title of a zany new comedy "coming soon to a theater near you", it is in fact the reality of my life. I am 35 and I am still a virgin. Only, it is not funny to me. It isn't sad either. It is something I am very thankful for.
Even this first paragraph might cause a few readers to pause. It may seem a taboo subject. You might be right. But it is my feeling that it shouldn't be. It has been my experience that most people (Christian or not) assume that people over a certain age have "been with" someone. This ought not be the assumption or the standard. Most speak freely, if not explicitly, about the other side of this issue. Why should we not speak as freely about the side that is the norm from God's perspective? That should be the norm for us? So bear with me, please. I have a point, and it is not to make anyone uncomfortable...it is to give praise to the Lord and see Him glorified.
As I mentioned above, I'm 35 and a virgin. I've not had much "opportunity" to change this particular stat, truth be told. That is something else I am also very thankful for. Aside from the aspects of me that keep the men at bay, though, I'd like to think that the course my life has taken and led to me to this place was set in motion with one decision.
When I was 16, I had my one and only boyfriend. He was a year older than me and everything I wanted in a boyfriend: Hispanic and Good-looking. His brother was dating my cousin and after months of flirting over the lunch table, I, very boldly wrote him a "what's the deal?" letter. His response was to call and ask me out on a date. I don't really think we spoke much after that. The next month was full of kissing and not much else. Surprisingly to both of us, when he tried to go further, I turned into the Karate Kid (wax on/wax off) and pushed him away. Finally, he tired of getting nowhere and broke up with me. Looking back I think that was the first time he'd really spoken to me since asking me out.
Now, I didn't want him to break up with me. I wanted a boyfriend (even a bad one). All of my friends had boyfriends and were going on dates and taking group photos and such. All of them were also not reflexively pushing their boyfriends away. Of the girls in our group, I alone made it out of High School with my virginity in tact.
I wasn't a believer then, so I can only explain my behavior as God sovereignly protecting me from what I clearly wanted, in spite of myself.
When I think of how differently my life could look had I not gone all Ralph Macchio on my boyfriend, it is very humbling. That compromise could have led to more compromises...likely would have led to more compromises. I could have gotten serious with someone who wasn't serious about me. I could have gotten pregnant. I could have gotten married to an unbeliever. Instead, I went to college, dated no one, became a Christian and graduated with my virginity still in tact.
I wish I could say that with virginity comes purity. It doesn't.
The years since my hormones kicked in have been frought with urges and fantasies and sin.
But His mercy is new every morning and, regardless of my weaknesses and failings, I am pure in Christ. My virginity is a filthy rag just like every other righteous thing I do. It hasn't earned me one ounce more of grace or made me any less Christ's than those who "messed up". No, my virginity, my attempts to live a pure and holy life, gain nothing for me in the balance of eternity. Whatever crown I am given will fall just as surely at Christ's feet on That Day, whether it has the virginity jewel or not. Our righteousness isn't about us...it is about Him. It is about showing Him as great. It is about bringing Him glory in the eyes of a sinful world. It is about being holy as He is holy that others might see what our Great God can do in the life of a sinner, and hopefully lead them to repentance.
It is also about proving His Word true.
The bible is full of promises regarding His faithfulness and ability to subdue our passions and cravings, and to work in through and in spite of them. In our weakness He is made strong. In my weakness as an unregenerate sinner, He sovereignly strengthened me to ward off the advances of a very aggressive and very attractive boy. If He did that then, before I knew Him, there is nothing He can't do in me now. I have a Savior who extended grace to me when I was His enemy; who DIED for me...I need never know defeat.
And, through Him, no one else should have to either.
How Great ... Is Our God
Sing with Me
How Great ... Is Our God
And all will see
How Great ... Is Our God -- Chris Tomlin
(special thanks to my "editors" on this post, Mandy, Regina and Cheryl who helped to tone down my candor and remove some excess "me")