Why Stay a Virgin?
“I feel pressure to experiment with sex.”—Kelly.
“I feel strange for still being a virgin.”—Jordon.
“ARE you still a virgin?” The very question might make you cower! After all, in many places a youth who is a virgin is likely to be viewed as a curiosity, an oddball. No wonder so many young people have sex before they’re out of their teens!
Pulled by Desire, Pushed by Peers
If you are a Christian, you know that the Bible tells you to “abstain from fornication.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3) Still, you might find it hard to control your sexual urges. “At times, thoughts about sex enter my mind without any apparent cause or reason,” admits a young man named Paul. Be assured that to a large extent, such feelings are normal.
However, being the victim of unrelenting teasing and harassment for being a virgin is no fun at all! For instance, what if your peers tell you that you’re not a real man or woman unless you’ve had sex? “Your peers make sex seem exciting and normal,” says Ellen. “If you’re not sleeping around, you’re classed as weird.”
But there’s a side to premarital sex that your peers may not talk about. For example, Maria, who had sex with her boyfriend, recalls: “Afterwards I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I hated myself and I hated my boyfriend.” Such experiences are more typical than most youths realize. In reality, premarital sex is often an emotionally painful experience—with devastating consequences!
However, a youth named Shanda asks, “Why would God give young people sexual desires, knowing that they should not use them until after marriage?” That’s a good question. But consider the following:
Are sexual urges the only strong feelings you experience? Not at all. Jehovah God created you with the capacity to feel a wide range of desires and emotions.
Do you have to act on each impulse the instant that it wells up inside you? No, for God also made you with the ability to control your actions.
What’s the lesson, then? You may not be able to keep certain desires from arising, but you can control your reaction to them. Really, to act upon every sexual urge would be as wrong and foolish as hitting someone each time you felt anger.
The fact is, God never intended for us to misuse our procreative powers. “Each one of you should know how to get possession of his own vessel in sanctification and honor,” says the Bible. (1 Thessalonians 4:4) Just as there is “a time to love and a time to hate,” there is also a time to act on sexual urges and a time to refrain from doing so. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) Ultimately, you are in control of your desires!
But what can you do if someone taunts you, saying with disbelief, “Are you really still a virgin?” Don’t be intimidated. To a person who only wants to put you down, you could say: “Yes, I am still a virgin, and you know what? I’m glad I am!” Or you could say, “That is a personal matter I don’t discuss with others.”* (Proverbs 26:4; Colossians 4:6) On the other hand, you might feel that the person questioning you deserves to know more. In that case you may well choose to explain your Bible-based stand.
Can you think of some other replies to the taunt “Are you really still a virgin?” If so, write them below.
A Precious Gift
How does God feel when people decide to have sex before marriage? Well, imagine that you’ve purchased a gift for a friend. But before you can give it to that friend, he or she—out of sheer curiosity—opens the gift! Wouldn’t you be upset? Imagine, then, how God would feel if you were to engage in premarital sex. He wants you to wait until you’re married to enjoy the gift of sexual relations.—Genesis 1:28.
What should you do about your sexual feelings? Put simply, learn to control them. You have the strength to do so! Pray to Jehovah to help you. His spirit can enhance your ability to exercise self-control. (Galatians 5:22, 23) Remind yourself that Jehovah “will not hold back anything good from those walking in faultlessness.” (Psalm 84:11) Says a youth named Gordon: “When I find myself thinking that premarital sex would not be so bad, I reflect on the bad spiritual consequences and realize that no sin is worth the loss of my relationship with Jehovah.”
The fact is, virginity is not strange or abnormal. It’s immoral sex that is degrading, humiliating, and harmful. So don’t let the world’s propaganda con you into thinking that something is wrong with you if you hold to Bible standards. By retaining your virginity, you protect your health, your emotional well-being, and—most important of all—your relationship with God.
READ MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC IN VOLUME 1, CHAPTER 24
Interestingly, Jesus chose to remain silent when questioned by Herod. (Luke 23:8, 9) Silence is often a good way to handle impertinent questions.
“If anyone . . . has made this decision in his own heart, to keep his own virginity, he will do well.”—1 Corinthians 7:37.
Avoid association with those who lack strong moral standards, even if they claim to share your religious beliefs.
DID YOU KNOW . . . ?
Sexually permissive people are unlikely to change their habits just because they get married. In contrast, those who are loyal to God’s moral standards before marriage are more likely to be loyal to their mate afterward.
If I am going to stay a virgin until I’m married, I will need to ․․․․․
If my associates are making it difficult for me to keep my resolve, I will ․․․․․
What I would like to ask my parent(s) about this subject is ․․․․․
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
● Why in your opinion do some ridicule those who are virgins?
● Why can it be difficult to remain a virgin?
● What are the benefits of remaining a virgin until you’re married?
● How would you explain the benefits of virginity to a younger sibling?
[Blurb on page 51]
“I am motivated to resist sexual temptations by always remembering that ‘no fornicator or unclean person has any inheritance in the kingdom of God.’” (Ephesians 5:5)—Lydia
[Box on page 49]
What Really Happens Next?
Your peers and popular entertainment often cleverly mask the unpleasant realities of premarital sex. Look at the following three scenarios. What do you think would really happen to these teens?
● A schoolmate brags that he’s had sex with many girls. He says it’s fun—nobody gets hurt. What really happens next—to him and to the girls? ․․․․․
● A movie ends with two unmarried teens having sex as a way to express their love for each other. What would happen next—in real life? ․․․․․
● You meet a cute boy who asks you for sex. He says no one has to find out about it. If you gave in and tried to cover it up, what would really happen next? ․․․․․
[Picture on page 54]
Engaging in premarital sex is like opening a gift before it has been given to you