An article recently posted discussed the dropping rates of teen pregnancy (well, teen birth rates) and conversely the rising number of 20-something young women who are choosing to enter parenthood alone. One proposed solution was to teach abstinence to our children. Kenya has a compelling Cinderella story of abstinence training; it literally turned the AIDS epidemic in their country around. Abstinence is a form of contraceptive, it is a safety policy, and it works. But friends, it is SO MUCH MORE! Abstinence until marriage is a beautiful, passionate expression of love. There really aren’t many things more attractive than a man or woman who can say to a future mate, “I have saved a sacred part of myself ONLY for you, for all of our lives.” Wow. I was both the recipient and the giver of such a gift and wow, just wow! I appreciate it more as I reflect on it now than I ever could have as a teen or a young bride.
So, my thoughts on this as a daughter, a young woman, and now a mother to a daughter – we need to teach abstinence not as a law, safety policy, or cautionary tale (because we are human and we will break the law, statistics prove) but rather we should teach abstinence as an expression of LOVE. Love and respect for one’s body and self (you are WORTH commitment), love and respect for a husband worthy (and yes girls, he’s not Disney’s Prince Charming, but a worthy, honorable man is out there for you), and most importantly our abstinence should be an expression of love for our savior.
Christ is our ultimate bridegroom. He sacrificed everything, riches, power, glory, the endless worship of the heavens to suffer this wretched earth with us. This was no episode of “Undercover Boss,” he knew exactly what he would find when he came and what it would cost him and he came anyways for his bride – Disney couldn’t write a better love story if they tried! As parents, whether single, married, re-married, etc, we must not only teach about such sacrificial love, but model the response of devotional love. The BEST thing that we as parents can do to teach abstinence is love our Savior with all of our hearts, minds, and soul- out of that love will come a love for our children, love for our spouse, and love for ourselves that speaks louder than any words.
Perhaps the best part of this love story is that this loving bridegroom will redeem his broken and shameful bride and cover her in His righteousness – if your story to parenthood is not one you’re proud to tell, or you have already “made the mistake too many times,” Christ the bridegroom came for you! If you are a rigid keeper-of-the-law who has never experienced the passionate, overwhelming love of Christ, He came for you! No matter the place you come from, your unreasonable faith in God’s love today and His love lavishly spoken over you will speak louder than your past, louder than your words, and louder than our culture that screams the opposite.