TRUE LOVE WAITS - GUNTA GRINA-SOLOGUBA

True love waits 

Why is sex before marriage mostly a taboo theme in our churches?

Nowadays society has become secularized in many areas and one of those areas is the intimate relationship between a woman and a man. So I just want to share some thoughts, what people around me are saying, what I see and what is not beneficial to see for church. If these lines will make you think and even to speak to one person about this topic, then praise be to our God.

Sex before marriage has become the standard. Young men, and not only young, are proud of the number of women they have “got into the bed”. Very rarely do pastors marry couples very seldom who aren’t sexually active haven`t been in a sexual relationship between themselves or who are virgins. Haven`t we lost something as a church? It is different in each country, but in my country (Latvia), the topic of pre-marital sex is kind of taboo theme. It is spoken so very infrequently by pastors from the pulpit so then where can we find put this message from the Bible about the purity of your bed? (Hebrew 13:4) Sometimes it may seems as an advantage to not see the reality, and need, for our Church to have open minds and open doors to speak and discuss what is our as Christian and as Methodists attitude towards sex before marriage. But if we walk silently by this topic, can we truly live with a pure conscience before God? Or?

How can we protect people?

How can we teach this generation that it sex is a gift to keep it for your future spouse? I like the Social Principles of the United Methodist church. It touches on many current topics of today which are in a reasonable fashion. It affirms: “that sexuality is God’s good gift to all persons. We call everyone to responsible stewardship of this sacred gift.” (http://www.umc.org/topics/topic-human-sexuality-homosexuality) Most of us would agree that sexuality is a gift of God and it truly is. But what do we see think about our responsible stewardship towards of this gift? To be a steward of this gift means to be the one who protects, cares, and acts. Are we stewards of God towards this gift? Or do we mostly see it as an embarrassing topic? Are we are the ones who help to make it taboo theme among people?

Sin?

Is premarital sex a sin? A Greek explanation for sin gives us a visual and clear straight understanding – “missing the mark”. So People who have enter into a sexual relationship before marriage with one or more several partners are missing the mark towards the person who will be the ONE. What is the reason for our attitudes, words, and no lack of actions about sex before marriage? Aren`t we allowing “the world” to change our foundation? Don`t misunderstand me, I am not encouraging you to condemn persons who decide to have sex before marriage, but I am encouraging us to speak up and share what how this great gift was supposed to be used.

Assuredly there isn`t just one formula for all situations, but what is our attitude as a Christians? As Methodists? As mothers and fathers? As friends? As pastors? Think! Pray! Speak! Your position will take be a sacrifice and you will endure public laughter humiliation and incomprehension because “world” declares the opposite.

There is a movie called The 40 year old Virgin (USA, 2005) where friends, colleges are so surprised that the main character of the movie is still a virgin. They make bets and challenge him to lose his virginity. They give advice and are mock him. The main character of the movie isn`t a Christian, but even without being part of the faith community, he is not understood. The movie is a comedy but somehow it made me to stop and think. That the world deosn’t see thinks virginity is not as a gift it is a shame. And We see it this not only in movies, but also in magazines with different topics such as different on sex positions, best ways how to get orgasms, how to divorce the person you don`t like anymore, etc.. Who is are reading these magazines? Married couples? Yes, maybe. But mostly it is read by teens, youth, and young adult. The Internet is wide open with so much stuff on this topic that is totally opposite to God`s given examples.

Two questions. First, how do we exist in this age and how do we protect the gift God has trusted to us? Second, how to become one whole when two separate persons become one through marriage and also be trustful stewards of each other. These are hard questions and also hard tasks. So many young people have grown up in broken families, have been abused and never have got been shown a good example of what a healthy Christian relationship looks like. Who will give and be the example for our generation? If we don’t step up – the followers of Christ – then nobody will do it. Speak up, be an example yourself, don`t hesitate to share your successes and your failures. God can heal and give us a 2nd, 5th, 100th chance…

Call me naive, but I believe that even today, True Love Waits. We only need to find the right way to talk, share, encourage, pray and ask. One aspect of our Methodist heritage that can be of much use is And here we can think about small groups where we can build trust among people, where failures can be shared and prayers heard. Small groups were the key issue for Methodist church growth in the 18th century and small groups are also the key for nowadays for churches to grow today. I believe that small groups are the key for this generation to be inspired and encouraged that virginity is a gift to keep for marriage. 

Gunta Grina-Sologuba, pastor of Liepājas and Tāšu UMC in Latvia

A part of the United Methodist Church, Northern European conference


Editor

Andreas Kjernald, pastor, Norway

CROSSFIRE

One question, two theologians

In this section you will find two Wesleyan theologians doing theology around a certain topic but coming from different perspectives, trying to understand each other but also trying to show what Wesleyan theology actually claims to believe.

Coming soon!