Wow I still can’t believe I stumbled onto this site! It took about two weeks to get signed up! I tried several different emails addresses and only my Gmail worked…So if you’re reading this and did not receive the confirmation email, try a Gmail…worked for me.
So I’ve already noticed something interesting. There are men expressing a lot of grief and pain over there significant other’s (SO) sexual history, whether it’s a few partners or even one.
By doing this, your SO will probably see it as a major lack confidence and find it unattractive….That should worry you more than how many partners she’s had. If she is completely and fully satisfied with you and not settling, then why does it matter if she’s not a virgin? The girl is more important than her virginity.
I was a 28 yr old virgin when I met my ex gf. When I told her she was my first everything, she told me I was her 60+ something sexual partner. I even met one of her ex’s because they worked at the same company…she had two years of fun before me...I did not freak out over this and we had a loving, healthy, committed and monogamous 3.5 year relationship… So it baffles me that some guys are choosing to let a few ex-partners or even one cause them so much grief. My advice is to develop confidence and security within yourself before you start dating. If a man possesses these qualities, his SO is STD/child free and she is not settling for him, then there is no reason why he should be deeply troubled by her sexual history. He should be happy he gets to spend time with the woman he loves and who currently shares his values. Also, having these qualities will allow you to properly handle other challenges life throws at you.
Who I was:
I’ve had one sexual partner. Before her, I kept my V-card as innocent as you can because I was a Christian fundamentalist for most of my life. And when I say virgin, I mean I never even had a single kiss. Which is surprising because I was wild in college but managed to never fool around…Yeah that was really hard.
Christian fundamentalism interprets biblical scripture literally as long as it supports their narrative of Christianity. They can ignore key factors like societal customs and period norms, etymological discrepancies, the purpose for the message, who was the author and et cetera.
So for most fundamentalists, premarital sex is evil, wicked and you are sinning against God.
Anyway, I believed that keeping my virginity till marriage was the only way to go. Anything outside of marriage was a serious sin and would really make God angry. So I was only going to have sex on my wedding night…and every single day thereafter. However, this was a daily struggle. I have an extremely high drive and many days it felt like torture controlling myself. It is much easier when you are struggling to simplify something as Yes or No, Do and Don’t, Good and Bad. I would read many passages in the New Testament discussing “Sexual immorality” or “Fornication”, supporting my indoctrinated narrative of premarital sex, this gave me reassurance that I was doing the right thing. “Sexual immorality” or “Fornication” = sex outside of marriage = bad.
Here is where things began to change for me. I knew a devote Baptist. He was my best friend's roommate and he was indoctrinated with core beliefs that were absolute fact to him. One major issue for him was drinking alcohol. He was convinced it was a very serious sin and if you are a Christian, then you can't consume alcohol.…Well one day I casually challenged him on the topic in a friendly conversation....He was left stumped and had no response to my questions. Several months later, I noticed a big change in him...He was at a friends house for a fight night and had his first beer...I about crapped my pants when I saw this because he was so convinced that drinking alcohol was a serious sin. The next day later I said to myself, “ What would happen if someone challenged your world views in a similar way?” This was the start to a several year journey.
So naturally I thought of the most challenging thing. The thing I fight every single day. The one thing that messes with my sleep, drives me crazy, and makes me grumpy. Yes, male PMS aka celibacy. Since I have an extremely high drive, I was putting myself through hell by keeping my celibacy for so long. For years I begged and pleaded with God for help but nothing got better. I was hoping the older I got, it would start to die down. However, it only grew more intense. I was only able to get at most 3 hours of sleep per day. I had to put all of my mental effort into suppressing my insatiable, innate, biological drive. Words cannot even come close to describing the frustration and depression. Subsequently, my career really started to suffer and I was struggling to do my job. This is when I realized I had a serious problem and needed to make some critical changes in my life. I simply could not continue living that way.
Growing up I often heard we need to treat our bodies well...we should avoid drugs, drunkenness, bad food and other things that can harm our bodies because they are a temple of God....Yet at the same time I was destroying myself mentally and physically by keeping my celibacy.
I realized I had to research and investigate the scriptures that I was so devoutly following. I had to keep an open mind and ask the deeper questions:
- Who is the author?
- Who is the intended audience?
- What were the cultural norms for that time period?
- What is the purpose for the message?
- What is the original language? Has it been translated, copied, if so by who and how many times?
Who I am now:
Currently, I can go both ways on waiting. I can wait or not wait...it would all depend on what my partner wants.
Premarital sex- I do not believe it is a sin but I do believe WTM can have valid emotional reasons...but not religious reasons. During my time of challenging my own indoctrinated views, I discovered the definitions for “Sexual Immorality and Fornication” had been changed.
Here are some of the things I found and general thoughts I have developed thus far:
1) The New Testament was originally written in Koine Greek. The Greek word porneia (written in Greek = πορνεία) means fornication in English. Porneia means harlotry, i.e. prostitution and NOT premarital sex. Fornication also used to mean prostitution but throughout history Christians worked to change the English (not the Greek) definition of fornication to mean sex outside of marriage. The definition of porneia can be verified in the first two sources below. The definition of fornication, which again was translated from the Greek work porneia, can be verified in the last two sources. Both words define PROSTITUTION and not PREMARITAL SEX:
a. James Strong Greek dictionary page 59, G 4202. https://ia800209.us.archive.org/29/items/StrongsGreekAndHebrewDictionaries1890/StrongGreekDictionary_text.pdf
b. H.G. Liddell, R. Scott, H.S. Jones R, McKenzie - A Greek and English Lexicon (1940), Starting at the 14th word, https://www.areopage.net/PDF/LSJ.pdf
c. Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/searchresults?q=fornicator
d. Harpers' Latin Dictionary, 1879, pg 770 - https://ia801904.us.archive.org/35/items/LewisAndShortANewLatinDictionary/lewisandshort.pdf
In 1604, the New Testament was getting translated into English and by 1611 the First Edition of the King James Version was completed. After 1611, the definition of fornication began to change. This website https://web.archive.org/web/20110304002348/http://goldenrule.name/Fornication_ENGLISH/ shows ad infinitum how many times the English word fornication meant prostitution, NOT premarital sex. God gave us a list of the sexual sins to avoid and that was in Leviticus 18.
2) Leviticus 18 is an incredibly detailed list of sexual sins the Israelites are instructed to not commit. It is EXTREMELY detailed and here are a few important observations:
a. There is no mention of having sex before marriage…If consenting premarital sex was sinful, it would have been made crystal clear to the Israelites, just like the other sexual sins mentioned. They would have been told something like....Do not have sex with your bride/groom until after the marriage ceremony has been completed but there is nothing like that mentioned.
b. Parts of the passage says how and what you can’t do when having sex with a “woman” and/or your “wife” If you’re having sex with a “woman”, then these are non-married couples engaging in premarital sex.
c. VS 19…..Yeah I am willing to bet most Christian couples do this one and don’t even realize it’s on the incest, homosexuality and bestiality list.
3) The Greek-speaking Jews (Hellenists) seem to have adopted porneia as a broad term for adultery and the sexual sins that were prohibited by the old law. i.e. Leviticus 18 which states the Israelites should not have sex during a woman's menstrual cycle, commit bestiality, homosexuality, incest and have sex with their neighbors wife. For example, it is used in Matthew 5:32 to describe grounds for divorcing one's wife probably due to unfaithfulness - as was thought of Jesus's mother. (Matt.1:19). In 1 Corinthians 5:1 it is used to classify incest, and in Jude 7 it is used to refer to homosexuality. These were considered immoral and detestable.
However, there are two problems with the Hellenists misusing the original Greek word porneia:
a. The sexual sins in the old law are completely different from porneia, which ONLY meant engaging in prostitution.
b. Both the old law and porneia have nothing to do with couples having consensual, premarital sex.
Now the Old Testament did not forbid a woman from being a prostitute unless she was a priest's daughter (Lev.21:9), nor was any man condemned for sex with a prostitute (Judges 16:1). Prostitution by a married woman was warned against repeatedly in Proverbs. The other type of prostitution that was forbidden was cult prostitution (Deut.23:17) I think this is really important because it helps to understand what Paul is talking about in the New Testament. When Paul warned against sexual immorality/fornication in 1 Cor.10:8 (and other verses similar to this one), he referred to the events in Numbers 25:1-5, cult prostitution or committing idolatry through sex....which has nothing to do with premarital sex.
4 ) Do not spend your tithing money on sex, that is money that should be allocated to the church. When Paul talks about sexual immorality in 1 Corinthians 7, he suggests getting a husband/wife. This is important because after the marriage, sex will be free. This would be avoiding and fleeing from sexual immorality/fornication. i.e. prostitution. This is why we have to know who the author was, who the intended audience was and the purpose for the message. For example, if the author was writing to a community located next to a major see port, there is going to be rampant position for the sailors. Prostitutes knew that church members tithed their money. So it would makes sense they’d be trolling the area to tempt church goers with some quick road side tug jobs or more. If this was happening, hence the purpose for the message....The church is losing money, can’t help the poor, missions can't be funded and the communities suffer. I think this applies to a lot of Paul's writings.
5) The importance of WTM/ Virginity:
When the Bible was written, women did not have basic rights. They were the property of a man and the father determined who he would allow his daughter to marry. Sadly a women's virginity was a form of currency. If her virginity was violated, it was also a violation of the father's property rights. In Exodus 22:16-17 if a man sleeps with a virgin who is not betrothed, he must pay the father for the virgin price and they must get married. If the father refuses to marry her, the man still has to pay for the dowry. In Deuteronomy 22:28 if discovered that a virgin woman was raped, her rapist had to pay the father 50 shekels of silver....and worst of all she had to marry her rapist and they could not divorce. Also, marrying your daughter off to a man who comes from a large, well established family was going to make surviving much easier for the entire family. Since human populations were WAY lower back then…nothing like it is today, there were fewer options and competition was going to be a lot fiercer. During that time there was probably no accurate and safe means of birth control…So the safest way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy and STDs was abstinence. A father could not marry off his prized, fertile daughter if she had an STD or a child from an unwanted pregnancy.
These were specifically cultural and period issues that were customary for the time. Now let's look at the things some modern Christians do today because they take into account cultural and period changes. The biggest acceptance we make today is woman's rights:
a. In biblical times, if you were a single women in your mid 20’s, not married and no kiddos…you were viewed almost as defective. Back then 14 or even younger was a prime time to marry a girl off to a husband and raise the grand kids. And if the guy is 25 and the girl was 14…that was totally fine. Do we do that today? Hell no! You would be a monster for doing that and breaking the law. Can a father marry off his daughter to a man she does not wish to marry? No, women have rights today and they are not viewed as property...(well that does depend on where you live)
b. Back in Biblical times it was almost never allowed for women to get a formal education, have a job outside the home (other than prostituting) or not under the direct supervision of her husband/patriarch, become independent from men, vote, handle money if married and having a leadership role over men. Can women do these things today? Of course.
c. Look at 1 Timothy 2:9-11 and what it says on how we should worship. It says women should dress modestly, not wear gold or pearls, not have elaborate hair styles and must learn in quietness and full submission. If you walk into many churches today, you will see a lot of women are not modestly dressed when compared to biblical customs, they will also be wearing some sort of jewelry, will have their more expensive Sunday clothes on and fully participating or leading small groups/classes within the church.
d. While this is not gender specific, it is still relevant to changing times and cultures. Divorce in Mark 10- 1:12 is made quite clear. If you marry a divorced person, you’re committing adultery. In this passage, there is no justification for the divorce…i.e infidelity…However, many churches today believe it is fine to marry a divorced person...especially if the divorce happened due to adultery/physical abuse.
My point here is, if these things are also subject to cultural and period changes, then so might the attitudes towards sex.