Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Why "Abstinence Only" classes DON'T work...(sex has nothing to do with it).
Now you may be thinking (especially if you're a parent), "What the crap Kyle? My kids aren't going to have sex until they've got three kids and half-way to retirement!!!" Well, I'm sorry to say...probably not. We all know the statistics around premarital sex. So why should we be telling people to not have it? Disease, unwanted pregnancy, etc...Oh yeah, and there's that whole purity thing.
But you know what? This little rant isn't about sex at all...I know, an Abstinence Only post not about sex? Nope, not about sex at all. This post is about marriage.
In almost all Abstinence Only curriculum, somewhere along the line someone will talk about saving sex until marriage. Sounds good right? Marriage, the land of milk and honey and endless amounts of wall thumping, primal screaming, and passion! You can get it whenever you want to...right? Well, probably not. But that's beside the point. Look at marriage in our society. Look at it! What's the divorce rate at these days?
But this post isn't about divorce either...rather it's about how youth see marriage. It doesn't take long to pick the happily married couples out of the unhappily married couples. You can tell which couples still talk to each other, value each other, and love each other and which ones don't. Youth can see this! Youth are some of the keenest observers on the planet and couples that don't like each other are easy to pick out of a crowd. And it doesn't take much to make the connection to presume that marriage isn't as great as Abstinence Only curriculum makes it out to be. Youth see miserable married folk and think, "Are you kidding me? They hate each other...and if they hate each other they sure as heck aren't getting it on! I'm not waiting...screw that!"
So, the answer? Well, how about this...how about a call to romance? How about the men take intentional steps to win their wife’s hearts back. How about the women let the husbands be the heroes. Why don't we all take a step back and remember why we got married, how great it was right away, and what we did then to win each other's hearts and why we aren't doing it now. I think the most poisonous idea that we get as married people is that we are entitled to each other's love. "I earned it and I'm not going to do anything until they give me what's due!" WRONG! Each day is a new adventure. Why do you think Paul writes in Ephesians 4:26-27, "In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."? If we cannot deal with the supposed wrongs that our spouse's commit, how are we going to live out our oaths and vows that we made in our wedding? We can't! It is only through the continuing devotion and commitment to love our spouse that we can live out our vows. And if (and I realize this is going to be a slow process) each work on our own marriage and fight for our spouse's heart, then I assure you marriage won't be looked upon by society as ~10+ years of torture that almost always ends in divorce. The only way that Abstinence Only curriculum will work is if we can fix the miserable marriage problem we have in America. Otherwise we might as well be handing out condoms and birth control pills.