Yes. There was a post here that is not here now. I meant to put it in comments and so I corrected that.
Cindy asked -Where have you been, Ruth?
I've been studying for finals and writing papers and jumping through hoops for financial aid and praying for my brother and spending time with Harris and working and - yeah. I learned the lesson a while ago about putting concerning things on my blog but concerning things have been all that are on my mind lately. I apologize for the blog silence.
In the "sex" post, Shoshanah came around and started quite a debate. She sent me a very long e-mail explaining more of her position and I asked for her permission to post it here. I couldn't tell if it was supposed to remain private or not by the information given. She responded today saying that I could post it so long as I posted it in context. To do that, I should probably post it in it's entirety.
I will try to address mostly Ruth's comments about my own. My last two comments were not directed at Ruth, but rather at other people. So of course, I do not think Ruth hates me or the things I have said.
Ruth, since I am a Christian who believes God's Word, anything I say will hopefully reflect that. Because I believe God's Word to be 100% true, I believe that anytime His laws are broken we harm ourselves and need to be restored back to Him. I am a sinner and no better than a murderer or a thief because I have broken God's laws. The good news is that I have been restored to Him because of what He has done for me. He freely forgives me and FORGETS what I have done, even when I do not. He loves us and finds beauty in me and you, even when we can't see it ourselves.
I have no authority over you and am puzzled as to why you would think I had such an idea. Nor do I want authority over you. You are an adult and have the freedom to make your own decisions. I will try to answer your questions.
You said: "How can you teach your daughters about purity in relationships and then stay out of it?" I taught them about purity when they were young. The two oldest are adults (19 and 21) now and already know what we believe about purity. Unless they seek our guidance, it's too late to try to influence them. They are adults who need to sink or swim. If they need a little lift from me, they can always ask. I have no desire to pry into their relationships (that would certainly set a bad precedence as a mother-in-law someday, now wouldn't it?) I trust their good judgement. I only know what I know because they have voluntarily shared things with me about their boyfriends. I know that they hug and hold hands and that's it. I have a great relationship with the two oldest, especially the younger one who has been dating her boyfriend since she was 16. She met him at a Christian high school where she was asked to help produce the play she had written. He spends a lot of time with our family and seems to enjoy us because his parents do not spend much time with him. My oldest daughter's boyfriend is a student here from Brazil. We like him very much and have met his parents. If they marry someday, I think they will move to Brazil when both are finished with college. The younger kids love the boyfriends. I do not know if it will be this good with all of my children. Some of our adopted children have emotional problems from the abuse and neglect they suffered before we adopted them. They are doing very well now and I hope will continue to be close to us. I make mistakes but can only do my best with God's help in the short time we have to raise them. By the way, we teach the same beliefs about purity to our sons. Their responsibility is the same.
We are not Gothard, or Doug Phillips followers and never have been. We want to follow Christ alone. We do know and admire the faith of other Christians and at times ask advice or read their books. I like some of the things Doug Philips says, but I threw away the series of Elsie Dinsmore books I had bought from Vision Forum for two reasons: They were unrealistic, especially in how artificial Elsie was, and slavery was not addressed as an evil. We have adopted black children, among others and I was ashamed of how the book portrayed a white, Christian girl.
Ruth said, "I don't respect myself any less for having a serious relationship without the promise of marriage." There is nothing wrong with having a serious relationship without the promise of marriage. It is even desirable. Relationships need to end when a couple finds they do not belong together, even though their intentions were serious to begin with. The usual dating experiences are far less than satisfying, I know because I've done this. You find someone. You may or may not be physically intimate. One may be more serious about it than the other. Then you break up and start all over again. Sometimes it has to happen this way, but it all depends on whether you are working towards marriage or just playing around with someone. It's artificial, not like marriage. Most people just play around for years, making up and breaking up. The physical aspect is important, but so is the spiritual/emotional aspect. To continually begin and end relationships with the opposite sex does not prepare a person for marriage, it keeps people from growing up and taking responsibility in a committed relationship. There is more heartbreak when a person has had sex with someone, along with the emotional closeness they have felt when the other one doesn't want to see them anymore. Why put yourself through it? If you date someone, and learn to have a mutual love and respect, why wouldn't sex work out in the marriage? My daughters do not seem afraid to talk about being married and having sex. They have happy, healthy relationships now and a happy sex life should reasonably follow.
God's plan for waiting until marriage for sex is a good one for many reasons, both emotional and physical. Venereal diseases, unwanted pregnancy, abortion, etc. I knew girls long ago in college who would brag in minute detail about their latest sexual conquests. They often had venereal diseases or got pregnant. One girl I knew, who was a medical student, got pregnant near finals time. Her abortion at the university clinic did not go well. She ended up with a bad infection from retained "products of conception". (and a badly broken heart, by the way as he abandoned her) Was it worth it? Birth control does sometimes fail. Hers did. I also worked on an inner city gynecology floor as a new nurse. I sure got my eyes opened. Pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal pregnancy and VD were very common. Some of my patients were as young as 14. Premature babies are the norm for young teenage mothers. I also worked in a neonatal ICU and had to teach young teens how to take care of their very sick babies. Having sex before marriage degrades what is supposed to be shared only by people who have made a very important commitment to one another. It makes sex less special. It also contributes to infidelity after marriage. I know some of you won't agree with me about that one, but I know it's true. After all, what's the big deal? However, if you have had sex before marriage, it's never too late to confess it to God and ask Him to forgive you. HE will help you move on with your life and seek healthier relationships.
Ruth: "Your comment pisses me off"...referring to me being sad about you throwing out everything having to do with Christian faith. You are 100% right to be mad and I am sorry. I had no right to make such broad assumptions. Is it safe to say that you have been put in a position of questioning all that you were taught? I think your parents refer to themselves as Christians and presented the Gospel to you, took you to church. It seems that they were very abusive, especially your father. Without going into detail right now, I was abused as well. Definitely physically and somewhat emotionally, as a child. I can understand a lot of what you are dealing with. I have feared that you would eventually reject Christ, Who is a far better father to us than even good earthly ones. I had no right to assume that you had rejected everything having to do with Christian faith.
I was also taught purity, but in a very Catholic home. While I did not actually have sex before marriage, I tried everything but intercourse with the man I was engaged to. After 5 years, he changed his mind about marrying me (he has never married) and I was left with a broken engagement and heart. It was still wrong. I have asked forgiveness and been healed from that sin. My husband had no experience sexually at all. He didn't care much about my past. All is well and we have had a great sex life from the beginning.
Ruth said "This world you seem to feel would pull me away from Christ has done more to show me love than my parents did..." You and I are not talking about the same "world". There is nothing wrong with getting an education, especially if it will equip you to be useful and glorify God. Woman can succeed in many professions. I loved being a nurse. Medical people serve others, as well as scientists, restaurant owners and other business people. All of these professions take getting an education to be successful. We want our daughters to be as knowledgeable about the world and God's creation as possible. For some of our children that means college, and for others it doesn't. By the way, a person's education should not end with high school or college. A person should try to be as knowledgeable as he or she can be for the rest of their lives, always reading, always trying to learn more. Our two oldest daughters are at the university here where we live. A person can live in the world, but not be of the world. That means, they try to live the life that God calls them to and to be a good example to others. They try not to become like those around them, who may think nothing of lying, cheating, stealing, getting drunk or whatever is sinful. That is hard to do. I know, I lived in a college dormitory for four years. Sometimes, Christians are not as friendly or loving as other people, that's true, but it is not how God wants it to be. They will answer to God, we can only be responsible for ourselves. The world rejected Christ and still rejects His teachings. It is hard to be a Christian, especially today if person wants to be serious about being a follower of Christ. We are changed by knowing God, or at least, trying to know Him.
Ruth, there is NOTHING you can do to make God love you more, and there is NOTHING you can do to make God love you less. He loves you with a huge, everlasting love. He would not love you less if you had unmarried sex. He would not love you less if you murdered 100 people. You would be separated from Him by your sin and would need to confess them before God and ask Him to help you. Sin hurts us, and God knows that. It isn't simply that it makes Him angry, He is slow to anger. He also says, "Come to Me, all her are heavy laden, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light." As I said above, when we confess our sins to Him with true repentance, he forgives and forgets them. He wants the best for you. always.
Ruth said, "If a child daydreams about the boy next door, I don't think they are going to Hell." Children do sometimes dream about the opposite sex. It is natural, even good. What do you mean?
As far as giving a piece of your heart away when you are dating or being physical with the opposite sex, that is a poor analogy. You do have emotional attachments that are sometimes not easily broken. If you have sex before marriage, that emotional attachment will be stronger in most people. Let's face it, it is common to bring extra "baggage" into our next relationship. I've been there, done that. Why put yourself through it? Why not be more careful about whom you date? Why not wait until marriage for sex? I have to admit, the comment about needing to try out for size before getting married made me laugh. How ridiculous. And now, if someone lives with the person they are dating, they are "my partner"? It sounds like a business relationship. Talk about taking all of the beauty out of love. Some questions that you should ask yourself when dating: Are they becoming serious about you at some point in the relationship? (not someday or 2 years from now, for example) Do they love and respect you or are they just having some fun with you for awhile until someone else comes along? This goes both ways. Men's hearts get broken, too. I think dynamite is less dangerous than dating games.
I probably haven't answered all of the points. I am pretty busy and have a sick toddler. If I have missed anything please let me know. I hope what I have written is helpful, even if you disagree with me. I would have liked to address some of the commenters, but am hoping this letter makes things more clear. If you would like to address what I have written you are welcome to.
God bless you, Shoshannah
Since she took the time to write it, I thought it deserved a post. She couldn't put it in comments because of the length. I've been repsonding as time allows. I'll put my responses up if anyone is interested.