WILL YOU BRING A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE?
An excerpt from the book, IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8.
A high school human sexuality teacher who is a Christian did this experiment for me in a class I taught at our church’s Dunamis Academy.
She gave paper and pencils to everyone. Before class, she marked an X on the back of one of the papers, but none of the kids knew it. She instructed students to shake hands with other teens and have them sign each other’s papers. They shook hands and gathered signatures for five minutes, and then returned to their seats.
“Turn your papers over and see if there is an X on the back,” she told them. A girl found the X and raised her hand.
The teacher told her to stand up. “She has Virus X. Who signed her paper?”
Five hands went up, and those kids stood.
“Now these five have the virus. Who signed their papers?” Four more got out of their seats, also contaminated by the fictional “virus.”
Six more admitted their fate.
Eventually all remaining students were “infected.”
“This is how sexually transmitted diseases spread,” the teacher said. “When you have sex with someone, you are essentially going to bed with every person that individual had sex with, because once a sexually transmitted disease is shared, it is contagious until the disease is cured—if the disease has a cure. You might be intimate with only one person but be exposed to multiple diseases.”
Some STDs, such as herpes, cause severe misery and are incurable, but they don’t kill. But the HIV-AIDS virus isn’t the only one that kills. Both hepatitis B and C affect the liver and can take your life. Human papilloma virus (genital warts) sometimes causes cervical cancer. Chlamydia and gonorrhea, left untreated, can affect joints and heart valves and cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and even blindness.
A story by Lawrence K. Altman published in the New York Times on March 12, 2008, said the first national study of four common sexually transmitted diseases among girls and young women found that one in four is infected with at least one of the diseases.
But the federal study could have pointed out three out of four do not have the disease. I imagine a large number of them were virgins.
When my husband and I were married, couples took blood tests to check for STDs. When a virgin discovered she was set to marry someone affected with a disease, there was time to call off the wedding. Of course, my husband and I had nothing to worry about, and the test came out negative.
I would guess in my day most of us were virgins, and I knew my beautiful white satin gown testified to that fact.
According to Kelsey McIntyre in From Times Past, white has been accepted as the preferred wedding dress color since Queen Victoria married her cousin Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840. Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1849 reported, “Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood and the unsullied heart she now submits to the chosen one.”
A wedding gown probably is the most beautiful dress most women wear in their lives. Even the least expensive are exquisite.
Young men, too, probably will never be more handsome than the day they stand at the altar waiting in a tuxedo for the beautiful bride.
Children often like to play “bride and bridegroom,” and during their growing years, many girls dream of the day when they walk down the church aisle, dressed in white, as the wedding march fills the sanctuary.
In 1953, about half of all women were married by age twenty, and half of all men by age twenty-two. In 2002, the average age for the bride was twenty-five and bridegroom age twenty-seven.
Today, thousands of couples are living together without being married, and multitudes of young women give birth to babies without being married. In addition, approximately fifty million babies have been killed by abortion in the United States since abortion became legal in 1973.
Something happened. A large number of young men don’t bend a knee and extend a tiny box containing a diamond and ask their beloved to marry them. Instead, many just want to rush the girls off to bed somewhere and perhaps live together.
Some folks blame the lack of finances and needing to wait to earn a college education as the reason to delay marriage, but it doesn’t make sense. You can get a marriage license for a few bucks. A pastor will marry you for free, but it’s customary to pay him one hundred dollars or so. A couple can live cheaper than two single people, and you can get your education after marriage. I did. Thousands of people earn their degrees later, and most of the people did from generations before us.
But there is something else—and it’s huge. Young women and men are giving away their virginity as if they are dropping a penny on the sidewalk and leaving it there. Guys who already have a sexual relationship with a woman won’t hurry to get married. A woman who gives away her virginity before marriage risks never being married—especially to him!