Abstience Essay, Research Paper
Sex, or the lack there of, will always be a topic among teens. Teens date, and teens have relationships. Most of these relationships will inevitably come to a point where one must chose whether to seize the moment and have sex with their partner, or they will set standards ahead of time saying they will not have sex until marriage. Every teen is either on one side of the fence or the other; they either will have premarital sex, or they will abstain. These two stances shed light on why sex is out of control today, what the world thinks about sex, and what religion says about sexual immorality.
The facts are evident: teens have sex. It seems almost impossible to calculate the number of teens who are actually having premarital sex, because, of course, they don’t wish to confess. Some teens though, have no choice but to confess because their actions lead to severe consequences such as pregnancy. Forty-three Percent of adolescent women become pregnant at least once before age 20 (Internet 1). That fact alone concludes that the choice of waiting for sex is in close running with the choice of not waiting. In the United States alone, more than 2,800 adolescents become pregnant each day. 1,300 of these girls give birth, 1,100 have abortions, and 400 have miscarriages (Internet 1). These astounding facts prove that sex may be considered out of control among teens today.
In the olden days, around the Victorian period, sex was far from the topic that it is today. Also, during this time premarital sex was unthinkable. What happened between then and now that caused such an uproar? The world says that sex has become out of control because it was hushed for so long. But, for the last 20 years, sex has most defiantly not been hushed. ” If hushing up had been the cause of the trouble, ventilation would have set it right. But it has not” (Lewis 92). As the world talks more and more about sex, and as the consequences of pregnancy
decrease through birth control methods, the issue of sex starts getting out of control.Birth control has had a huge impact on the increase of sexual activity. But, it wasn’t until the early seventies that it became an issue in America. In 1972 the Supreme Court completely legalized birth control (Corfman 3). Also around this time came the invention of “the pill.” This wonder drug completely revolutionized the way humans viewed sex. People were no longer afraid of sex since the consequences of pregnancy almost vanished. Intercourse was promoted as an expression of love, and since then has become a casual affair to most of the world.
The world view states that intercourse is merely the ultimate way to express love. This statement completely isolates sex from marriage and downsizes it to become almost equal with a kiss which is also an expression of love. All around is heard the saying that “sex is nothing to be ashamed of.” This cliche is mostly true, but that does not mean sex should be talked about so openly. In fact, talking about the sex in the state that it is now should almost be shameful. C.S. Lewis uses a great illustration to express this point. Lewis says that there is nothing to be ashamed of in enjoying food, but there would be everything to be ashamed of if half the world made food the main interest of their lives and spent time looking at pictures of food and drooling and licking their lips (Lewis 92). As the sexual entertainment industry continues to grow people continue to degrade sex until it reaches the point of being almost meaningless. They view sex in the shameful way that Lewis refers to. Becoming obsessed and controlled by their physical lust, they let their emotions and desires control their actions.
Naturally, sex is a desire of every human being. The way that humans control this desire is what separates the world view from the Christian view. The world promotes pursuing urges
and desires; seizing the day. A great example from the world view is Andrew Marvell’s poem,
“To His Coy Mistress.” In this poem Marvell possess a great love for a woman. Rather than waiting to have his Mistress, he wants her immediately. For he says “time’s winged chariot is hurrying near” because he wants his mistress to see there may not be much time left. Marvell wants her so much that he talks about “tearing pleasures.” This phrase gives the image of desiring something, such as a gift, so much that it must be immediately torn into rather than slowly opened. Seizing the day comes into play in the last line, “we cannot make the sun stand still.” Since he cannot stop time and feels it coming closer, he wants to seize the opportunity before it passes him by (Marvell 241). Seizing the day is a great motto, but according to many religions it should not be applied to sex, especially before marriage.
The majority of Christians abstain from premarital sex based on what the Word of God says. Of course not every Christian obeys what the Bible says in regards to sex; and, not everyone who abstains from premarital sex does so based on Biblical beliefs. But, for the sake of the topic, this half of the paper will assume the abstinence stance because of what the bible says about the subject. The first stance on sex and marriage held by Christians is that the two cannot be separated. Lewis again gives a great illustration of food to show that it is completely unnatural to separate two things God created to be together. He states that Christians do not believe that there is anything wrong with sexual pleasure, any more than there is with the pleasure of eating. But Christians do not believe that one should isolate sexual pleasure and try to get it outside of marriage, any more that one should try and get the pleasures of taste by just chewing and spitting it out again, rather than swallowing and digesting (Lewis 97). The World has completely separated sex and marriage; idolizing sex while degrading the importance of the covenant of marriage. Page 3
To Christians, a healthy attitude towards sex starts with a high view of marriage. For it says in God’s Word that “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, For God will judge the adulterer and the sexual immoral” (Hebrews 13:4). Christians esteem marriage and take it very seriously. Bible believing churches do not believe in divorce, except of course in extreme cases. These high standards of marriage motivate people to think highly of sex. Guarding the sacredness of the marriage bed occurs by refusing to steal from it while single. Having complete intercourse is not the only way to steal from the marriage bed. Any sort of sexual immorality that God does not agree with steals from the sacredness of sex. The majority of people these days are stealing from the sacred gift that God has given for humans to experience during marriage.
Sex and marriage are very spiritual things. When someone commits their life to Christ they die to self, and become alive in Him. Therefore the man is not his own, his Body belongs to God and he should honor him [God] by fleeing from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 18-20). When two people that belong to Christ marry and have sex they become one (1 Corinthians 6:16). It joins a couple in an inseparable way, that is why divorce is not an option. After the two become one, if they are to divorce it is like cutting up a living body. Therefore sex is as much a spiritual mystery as it is a physical fact.
Whether someone chooses to believe this statement or not: sex is a serious action with very serious consequences. No matter what stance a person takes in regards to abstinence, everyone must see the facts that sex is out of control. Either people need to be smart when indulging in premarital sex, or they need to abstain completely. It has come to the shameful state where it now stands because people have abused the scared gift God created to be experienced only between a husband and wife. Page 4
Corfman, Philip. “Birth Control”. Encarta Encyclopedia. Third Edition. CD- Rom. Microsoft. 1994.
Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. New York: Macmillian Publishing Company, 1980. 89-103
Marvell, Andrew. “To His Coy Mistress”. Elements of Literature: Sixth Course. Eds. Maired Stack, Kristine EMarshall. New York: Holt and Rinehart, 2000. 240-241.
New Student Bible. New International Version. Zodervan Publishing House. Grand Rapids. 1984.
Yahoo, date of access: 2 October 2000. Author unknown. “Teen Pregnancy Statistics”. Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa. America Online.