It’s never easy admitting you’re a hypocrite. But that is exactly what I am. In Chapter 10 of our current study, “Communication, Sex & Money,” Ed Cole says the following: “God has no double standards-man does. God doesn’t.” He is absolutely right!
This chapter discusses the glory of virginity. Not a popular subject for discussion, especially in the church; but would we be better off if it was? Ed also states that it is his belief that the divorce rate in America is directly proportionate to the loss of virginity before marriage. It would be difficult to argue against that point.
God makes it clear that He expects everyone to be virgins when they marry. Everyone, men and women. Except we live in a culture that expects it of women, to a point, but not really of men. This is where my hypocrisy is exposed on a couple of different levels.
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.” 1 Thessalonians 4: 3-5 (NIV).
As a teenager it was one of, if not the most talked about subject among the guys. Nobody wanted to be called a virgin. If you were, you sure didn’t want to admit it. So you kept your mouth shut up until you had to say something, then, as in my case, you would lie. Or maybe it wasn’t a lie. Who really knew? I remember the incredible force of the peer pressure not to appear less than one of the guys. It led me to say some stupid and downright false statements. How about you?
It even carried over to the guys at church. The one place that you would think it wouldn’t or shouldn’t be a problem. Honestly, it was just as bad in church as it was at school or at ball practice among the guys. What a shame.
Now keep in mind I grew up in the dark ages, the 70’s. The decade of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. But that really describes every decade since the 50’s. In recent years there have been things like the Purity Pledge and other movements promoting virginity until marriage. These are great, but is it enough, and what is the church doing?
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1 (NIV).
Another area of hypocrisy was as a father. I was all about protecting my daughter and her virginity while she lived at home. I had no problem in letting young men know that she was my daughter and they better think of me before they ever thought about doing anything like that with my little girl. It was to the point I was like that with some of my friend’s daughters. I even told a young man that I have killed before and I would kill again if he had thoughts he shouldn’t have. Of course, I was talking about killing insects, snakes, rodents and the like. He didn’t have to know any specifics.
But when it came to my boys, I was much less enthusiastic about their virginity. I can remember talking with some friends of mine when our sons, in my case my oldest, were teenagers and saying things like: “It’s what us guys do,” or “He’s just being a man.” It makes me sick to my stomach knowing I was like that. I was not an exemplary follower of Christ.
Looking back now, who did we think the girls were that our sons were “being men” with? It had to be somebody’s daughter. But not mine. Hello hypocrite. I never asked or talked to my oldest about this subject. As much as I thought I loved him, it seems I didn’t love him enough to care about him being a virgin. Have you been like me or are you like that now?
“God expected both the man and the woman to be virgins at the time of their marriage. It is possible to prove the virginity of a woman but not the virginity of a man. The man’s word was to be reliable.” Ed Cole, “Communication, Sex & Money”, page 95.
Thankfully, Cheryl and I have had talks with our two youngest boys. But I need to have more with them. I have to make it a priority like I did with my daughter to protect them. Do you take your sons virginity as seriously as you do your daughters?
As fathers, we will be held responsible.
If what Ed Cole said about virginity and the divorce rate is true, are we sending our sons and daughters into the world with the odds stacked against them or in their favor? I know the train wreck of divorce. Some of you do as well. We can all relate. You may not have personally gone through divorce, but maybe you are a child of divorce or you have a family member or friend who has. Why would we not do everything in our power to prevent this from happening in our children’s lives?
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.” Psalm 119:9-10 (NIV).
We can’t be followers of Christ and not care about our children’s virginity. We may not be successful in protecting it. After all, they will make decisions just like we did. But have we done our part as parents? I didn’t at one time. I don’t want to be that father again. Do you?
There is no room for hypocrisy at the foot of the cross!