Posted by: bitsydungaree | April 30, 2008

A Different World?

After reading yesterday’s post, my younger brother sent an email to warn me to “tread lightly” as my boyfriend might not be terribly pleased with my online lamenting that no one will marry me. Perhaps, my brother feared, my blog might be perceived as a virtual nudge towards the altar.

Not in the least.

I did say that I still identified with the struggles in this dated blog but (as we should all hope to two years after initially encountering a problem) I have a slightly different perspective now. I have come to terms with the fact that my decision makes me unattractive to many, but it has also finally sunk in that a man who disagrees strongly enough with my principles to not consider dating me is not someone I would have any desire to spend the rest of my life with.

I no longer fear that the choices I have made make me an undesirable bride because I realize that I have simply helped myself out by making myself undesirable to the kinds of men I shouldn’t be with anyway. Narrowed down the dating pool.

What I do sometimes still struggle with is the fact that this decision I’ve made which is pretty fundamental who I am, as it represents so much about what I want for my future, is often dismissed as absurd. I am in the middle of reading a great book by Rob Bell titled Sex God, which discusses the relationship between sexuality and spirituality. I was reading at work the other night and was particularly struck by a passage about how readily abstinence education is dismissed from sex education classes because it is perceived as unrealistic:

In lots of settings, abstinence programs are laughed at. So are those campaigns in which students commit themselves not to have sex until they’re married. Have you ever head a news piece on the television or read a magazine article about one of them that didn’t at least subtly mock the idea of “keeping yourself pure for marriage”? People who organize and promote these kinds of campaigns are often viewed as hopelessly naïve messengers from a far-off land that simply doesn’t exist anymore. The criticism of the “sex is for marriage” view is usually presented as the voice of realism. Are people actually capable of restraint?

But it’s not realism. It’s the voice of despair. It’s the voice that asks, “Aren’t we all really just animals?”

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been told my decision is unrealistic, that we “live in a different time” – even by fellow Christians! And yes, we do live in a different time. We drive cars and write emails. But modern amenities aside, the human condition is still the same. Does the fact that that I have a cell phone mean that the way God designed me to live my life and guard my relationships no longer applies? Do we really flatter ourselves to think that our brains have evolved to a point where we are capable of formulating a better way of life than God’s?

And maybe, just as I have learned to dismiss those who would consider me un-dateable based on my decision to save myself for marriage, I need to teach myself to disregard the comments of those who mock at my ideals, who tell me that my boyfriend must be gay or unfaithful if he’s willing to abstain from sex, who tell me that I’m living in a world that doesn’t exist anymore. And sure, it is easy to put up the front of, “this is my life and you don’t have to like it” but it isn’t as easy to actually believe that. God created us to be relational people, which means that, like it or not, we want to be accepted, cared for, and understood.

I could go on about this for hours, but I feel that would be unwise considering I haven’t showered yet and I’m supposed to take new headshots this afternoon, so I’ll cut it short with a guarantee to vent more later.

I also promise that sometime I’ll blog about something other than the frustration of not having sex and the frustration of not having people respect that decision, but for now, I want to know how you feel, how you find the courage to make decisions that go against the norm, what makes you strong.



  1. Betsy,

    Your blog from yesterday brought up some questions in my mind, and I posted a sort of response to it today on my blog. Also, have you read any books by Lauren Winner? I’ve met her, and she’s incredible. She has a book called Real Sex… check it out. It changed my life.


  2. You’re in the same company as the people to whom the apostle Paul wrote his epistles. In Roman times people had the sexual morals of alley cats, and that about where we are in America today. Relax, you’re in good company with the early Christians. I’m probably old enough to be your grandmother, yet I frequently talk with Christian singles who feel the way you do. Men don’t change so much over time–most of them still want to be “the only one”. It will be so wonderful not to have to explain your past to your husband, to have his trust because you kept yourself for him, to have a beautiful gift of love for him in giving him a soul without baggage. If marriage is God’s call on your life, your husband is out there, and God will see that you shall be together. Keep praying, and God bless you immensely. I, for one, think you are beautifully courageous.


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