(Tap...tap...tap...on the desk.)
The "blogshpere" is an interesting world. Don't misunderstand: I like it - that doesn't change the fact that it's an interesting place with strange, unwritten taboos and rules and whatnot.
I said I wasn't going to talk about my sex life. I meant it. Then, I read the comments on my last post and I started thinking - me not talking about sex is exactly one of my hang-ups that I need to just get over. I keep it "private" because I'm afraid of it. So let me address the question(s) and innuendos from a certain commenter.
I am a conservative Christian who is old fashioned. My husband is very respectful and loving towards me. He is the leader in our home, but would never make a decision without my input. He very much cares about what I think and is a very loving father.
Hi, Shoshannah. I am "Ruth". I'm going to assume that everything you say about your husband is true and I want to congratulate you on finding such a wonderful husband. A lot of people are never as lucky as you. With all due respect, however, conserative Christianity is different than QF/ATI/fundamental patriarchy and the power structure created within. You probably do have a very loving, considerate husband and a blessed marriage. Regardless, none of that gives you any sort of authority over me, nor does it give you the right to assume certain things about me.
We are teaching our daughters about purity in relationships (and no, we do believe in arranging marriages or being too involved with themselves and their boyfriends).
I would love for you to comment some more about this. How do you do this? How can you teach your daughters about purity in relationships and then claim that you're staying out of it? I'm not doubting that it can be done - I'm just curious how this works.
We want our daughters to respect themselves and their bodies and not freely give their bodies and hearts to men who are not serious enough to be married first.
Here's where I have questions and a small problem with the wording of this. You say "we want our daughters to respect themselves" and that's fantastic. I grew up hearing this speech day-in-and-day-out. The thing is: I don't respect myself any less for having a serious relationship without thhe promise of a marriage at the end and I'm sure many women feel the same. You're, maybe without realizing it, teaching your child that her self-worth and self-respect lies, in at least some large part, between her legs. And, that by some logic, if she allows a boy to breach that barrier or even kiss her seriously (I'm assuming because you speak of purity in the relationship, not just saving herself for marriage), she's somewhat "less" or she's letting you, her community, and God "down". Why is that such a noble thing? Are you aware of the other messages your unintentionally, probably sending her? Are you aware that quite a number of girls in these situations end up terrified of sex or end up breaking their purity bonds anyway? Are you aware of the guilt that follows them for the rest of their lives if they can't live up to the expectation of perfect purity? I'm not advocating that you say nothing and let your daughters have pre-marital sex in the family room or anything, but just how seriously do you take this and how do you define sexual purity?
It makes me sad that you seem to be throwing out everything having to do with Christian faith.
This, to be quite frank, pisses me off! I never swear in this blog, so maybe this will show you the depth to which your statement angers me. You drop this bomb in comments and then you wonder why you received such a poor reaction from the readers of this blog. Do you really think this sort of accusation is even fair, let alone Christian? If you truly think this, then isn't it your duty to approach me privately and make inquiries? I have an e-mail that's very easily found on this blog.
You may not realize it, but your wording is very condescending. You say "It makes me sad...". Why? Why are you sad? You don't know which values I've kept and which I've rejected. What have I said, specifically, that makes you the authority on what I've thrown out?
"Your parents made some very serious mistakes, especially your abusive father, but not absolutely everything they taught you was wrong.
I've never, EVER said that everything I was taught was wrong. However, you don't konw what it is that I was taught. So for you to stand here and say that I should respect and uphold the broader message, without knowing first hand what that broader message was, is foolish. What if my parents had told me that any Christian mother who spends time on the internet is putting Satan's interests before her own daughters' interest? What if I told you that my parents taught me that no true Christian would send their child to a public school? My point is this: I've been very fair in saying that my parents did teach me some useful and valuable lessons. I appreciate those lessons and wouldn't say otherwise. You, though, unless you lay it all out there, can't say that you know me well enough to know that I'm throwing it all away.
Please don't let the world pull you completely from Christ and His offer of salvation to those who will follow His humble example.
Love in Christ
This "world" that you seem to feel would pull me away from Christ has done more to show me love than my parents did. This "world" is giving me an education and independence. This "world" is showing me that there's more than one path to happiness and God than could be found in the cookie-cutter, garden variety hatred that I learned at my father's knee.
To answer the unanswered question that I imagined was personal - I am, technically, a virgin. Like I've said, I have hang-ups. But, I see no spiritual degredation that comes from holding Harris' hand during a movie or kissing him. If I chose to go to his home unaccompanied, I don't think that makes me a slut. We're having responsible fun and we're getting to know each other in a way that will make "going all the way" even more pleasurable. If I chose to have sex with him before marriage, I don't believe that would make God love me even less or make my future husband value me less. If it does, then that's not the right husband for me. I think Harris will be my husband - I'm almost sure of it. Anything can happen, so I won't guarantee it, but the fact that he's kissed other girls doesn't make him any less attractive and wonderful to me. I don't feel like his heart is broken up into pieces or that he's giving me less of his heart. That's ridiculous, honestly. We're both adults.
Being chaste and having virtues is a fantastic choice for children, and for adults if that's what they choose to do, but physical intimacy isn't evil. I do realize that relationships take focus and time away from other, maybe, more important things (especially for a child). I don't think it's wise for children to focus more on the boy next door than their education, for example. But, if they daydream about kissing the boy next door during biology, I don't think they're going to hell. If they hold his hands in the bleachers and snuggle under a blanket during the football game, I don't think they're giving away pieces of anything that belongs to their future husband. I think a girl's heart is hers. As her parent, while she's a child, you have a right to keep her safe and teach her what you will. It's your choice. Just be careful.