As a medical journalist, I reported disease statistics every year. This is an excerpt from my new book, Imagine the Future You, which should be released this month. While principally written for youth, adults can profit from it as well.
HOW SELF CONTROL AND BOUNDARIES ENHANCE OUR FUTURE
HOW SELF CONTROL AND BOUNDARIES ENHANCE OUR FUTURE
By Ada Brownell
Scripture: “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.
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 gathered signatures for 3-5 minutes, 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.
The remaining students signed the papers of those students, so all 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 only be intimate with 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 let untreated can affect joints, heart valves, cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and even blindness.
A story in the New York Times by Lawrence K. Altman published on March 12, 2008, said the first national study of four common sexually transmitted diseases among girls and young women has found that one in four are 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.
According to Kelsy 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 20, and half of all men by age 22. In 2002, the average age for the bride was 25 and bridegroom age 27.
Today, thousands of couples are living together without being married, and every day hundreds and thousands of young girls are giving birth to babies without being married. In addition, 45 million babies have been killed by abortion in the United States since abortion became legal.
Something happened. A large number of young men don’t bend a knee and extend a tiny box containing a diamond and ask his beloved to marry him. Instead, many just want to rush off to bed somewhere and perhaps live together.
Some folks blame the lack of finances and waiting to earn a college education as the reason, 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 $100 or so. A couple can live cheaper than two single people, and you can get your education after marriage. 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 like they would drop a penny on the sidewalk and leave 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!
With throwing away virginity goes the dream of walking down the church aisle in a white wedding gown or a tuxedo as a virgin, pure and unblemished. Maybe the bride will wear white, but it won’t mean anything—especially to the bridegroom.
In addition, sex before marriage causes emotional consequences. Physicians Joe S. McIlhaney and Freda McKissic Bush, authors of the book, “Hooked,” say neuroscience has discovered sexual activity releases a chemical that impacts the brains of developing adolescents and young adults. These chemicals cause an emotional bond between partners and when this bond is broken, the youth suffers depression and difficulty with bonding in future relationships.
In contrast, when the bride is a virgin and her man loved her enough to control his own urges for this day, there is suspense, excitement, electricity and sparks that go way beyond the fireworks of the wedding. When they bow their knees together and pray with the minister’s hands on their heads, they are serious about this commitment. They recite their vows to God, concluding with tears in their eyes, “Until death do us part,” and they intend to keep their vow. If they continue to follow Him, God will help them through the better or worse, thick or thin, hair or baldness, sickness or health, poorer or richer.
Staying pure until the wedding night is the way God dreams of life for young couples.
Sure. God knows about sex. He invented it. Here’s what God’s Word says: “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4).
One time during the Hippie generation Evangelist Billy Graham visited a college campus and asked students what they would like to talk about.
“Let’s talk about sex!” yelled one uncouth student.
“Sure,” said the evangelist with a smile. “That’s how we all got here, isn’t it?” Then he explained sex is a wonderful thing between two married people, and marriage is endorsed by God. But he added sex outside of marriage will only bring sin and sorrow.
Young people who accept anything less than God’s best for them learn early about the sorrow.
---To see more from Imagine the Future You, look for it on Amazon later this month at Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06