Gene Edward Veith of World Magazine asks why, statistically speaking at the least, Evangelical Christian teens are more sexually active (and at a younger age) than non-Evangelical teens are. (And World Magazine being a conservative, Republican-based, Classics-themed mag, some of his language, phrasing and solutions are not up to PC-code. Sorry if that embarrasses anyone.)
But what really got my attention (and my ears burning) was at the end:
[T]he Bible does offer a direct solution for people who are burning in lust: marriage (1 Corinthians 7:9). Adolescence—that time when a person is physically an adult but socially a child—is a modern invention. In the past, people married much younger, as soon as they were sexually ready. Today’s culture postpones marriage while stretching celibacy to the breaking point.
A counter-cultural church may do well to encourage younger marriages. The young couple may still need the financial support of their parents and the social support of their fellow Christians. But this would be better than the current hypocrisy and guilt. And it would fulfill God’s positive purpose for sexuality.
I know I have a few problems with this possible solution. But what should be taken seriously is this idea of the cataclysmic void era. I too believe that sex is really only viable within the marriage union, and that teenagers daily confront sex urges, not just from advertisements and general cultural signposts – which only serve to confuse them further -but from their very God-created bodies.
I also applaud Veith in not buying the standard Evangelical line, that “True Love Waits” and celibacy programs work. As he (and Lauren Winner in her marvelous book, Real Sex) notes, the effects of these campaigns are only short-lived and only temporarily delay what GNR and GEV may both call an appetite for destruction. Although self-control is certainly a good thing, it is often neglected. And even so, calls to self-control are often no more effective in the sexual area than in the peer-pressure area (remember “Just Say No”?).
So, maybe this is asking for too much, but I’d like to see what people think. Post your thoughts.