Why is it so important to wait to marriage? Well, back when the bible was being written (and up until recently) there was no way to tell for sure if a child was yours. Women were property, their main value derived from their ability to have children. They were property used by men to beget more men. Marriage was primarily a financial transaction where the husband buys a wife from the wife’s father. The father then walks his daughter down the aisle and “gives” his daughter to the other man. It’s all about property. Thus it was important to the men that their “property” not be previously “used”.
The theology behind it was just whipped up out of early church father’s utter disdain for woman and the human body. St. Augustine for example hated women and sex, and from this hate centuries of boys and girls were brought up to be ashamed of their bodies and desires. Your body and desires are perfectly natural and there is nothing wrong or dirty about them. Believing they are can lead to all types of sick disorders and self-loathing.
Besides these side effects, waiting to marriage can have some disastrous consequences. There are plenty of young evangelical men and women who are now rushing into marriage way to early, and for the wrong reasons. They’ve been told their entire lives that they can’t give in to their strongest urges until they’re married, and so these young adults are diving into marriage in their late teens, early twenties, just so they can have sex. They might not have ever dated anyone else seriously, and they aren’t fully ready to support themselves. Financial stress is one of the leading causes of divorce, and these kids just aren’t set up well enough on their own two feet to be in a marriage.
Here are the divorce rates among Christians, Jews, and Atheists:
|Religion||% have been divorced|
(I wouldn’t be surprised if Born-again is so high up there because the kids rush into marriage just to have sex)
It’s important to experiment in life to see what works for you. You’re shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t experience all life has to offer before you die. I have a housemate that is engaged to a woman he’s never had sex with. The woman does not want to have sex before marriage, and so he’s going to wait 5-6 years (supposedly, if they last that long) to marry her and then have sex. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. What if he marries this person and they don’t have good sexual chemistry? Then he’s shafted for life! And don’t try and say “Well, the other qualities that makes him love her should overpower the lack of sexual chemistry”. That’s naive and unrealistic. Sex matters. You can have a great personality, but if the sex just isn’t good, the marriage/relationship is not going to work.
Telling kids to wait until marriage also increases the chance of teen pregnancy. In September 2009, a study came out showing a link between how religious a state is, and the teen pregnancy rate. Here is an indisputable FACT of life that will not change no matter what any religious book will ever say: Teens will have sex. This has been true for all time, and will continue to be true forever. Telling teens to not have sex until they are married does nothing to keep them from having sex. Abstinence only does not work. Instead they will just not use birth control and will get pregnant, which raises the number of abortions. (Hint, want to stop abortions? Teach safe sex)
When it comes down to it, sex is all about responsibility. Some people are more responsible than others at different ages. I was very responsible when I was a teenager, many of my friends were not. Now that I’m an adult, I’m even more responsible, yet I know people my age and older who aren’t. It depends on the person. Some people are emotionally mature enough to handle sexual activity in their teens, some are not. If they are ready for sex, they must be responsible enough to also use protection consistently. Diseases are out there and they do not magically disappear when you get married.
If some people feel they are not ready for sex and want to wait until marriage, that’s fine, it’s their body, they can make that choice, but don’t then go and try to tell me I should do the same, that my body is sinful and dirty, that
I should be ashamed just like them. Marriage is an outdated patriarchal institution when it comes to managing sex.