This article is a continuation of commentary relating to this article: (http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/04/08/5-reasons-religious-millennials-arent-marrying/31633)
I have no idea what the rate of Orthodox Christians having sex before marriage is. According to the article that we’re commenting, the rate among evangelicals is insanely high. (apparently 80 percent). Judging from the reign of terror at Holy Cross that kept men and women isolated from each other as much as possible to the point that some of us suggested that the only way we’d ever reproduce would be by spreading spores, I suspect the rates may well be higher than I would assume.
And yes, we really should wait until marriage. The problem, of course, is waiting to get married when there’s nobody that interests us around. We all get impatient. Yes, earlier on, the time of waiting between puberty and marriage was much shorter. Blah blah blah. But here in the Americas and Western Europe, It’s grown, to sometimes more than a decade. (I have no idea what it is for traditionally Orthodox countries like Serbia, Greece, Russia, Georgia, Lebanon and Armenia. It would be interesting to see if that wait period is exitant there.). I can definately see why this can be a huge issue, but I don’t think that being able to satiate our lusts and curiosity outside the framework of marriage is a reason why we’re not getting married.
First, let’s get this straight: Sex is like nuclear power. If you abuse it, it’s going to explode in your face and destroy a lot of potentially beautiful things. You shouldn’t give yourself away right off the bat. We’re all worth more than that. But sex is not evil, or dirty, in and of itself, and I would argue it’s not purely for procreation, either. (dramatic chord) When it’s in the right place, and the right context, sex is not only the ultimate act of creation that humanity can partake in, but so many other wonderful things as well, and possibly even ultimately redemptive.
But then, that’s not what we’re talking about. I’m talking about waiting for sex, not whether sex is something dark and to be avoided. I ain’t talking about sex, I’m talking about waiting. (sorry, channeling my inner Allen Iverson here; I apologise).
Yes, the temptation is definitely there, but I’ve noticed from those I’ve talked to that it’s far easier to succumb to it if one partner isn’t at least Christian of some form or another. You don’t have the mutual spot-check that you have if both parties are of the same moral code; which is a problem in relationships. And here’s the thing—in order to be tempted, you generally have to be in a relationship. Which is not the problem that most of us are having.
Waiting is hard. And in this sense, for Orthodox people, I don’t think the idea that “premarital sex is a sin that can be easily overlooked within our generation because society says it’s okay” is an influential factor in why we’re waiting to be married. Most of us, I think, would marry in a heartbeat if we found the right person. We’re just not finding the right person. Which is the bigger problem here, bigger than anything else. The fact of the matter is, we’re so freaking used to waiting, that when we meet someone, we’re usually waiting to wait just that little bit longer so we can do things right.
Why are we not able to find the right person? I have my theories. We’ll get to them eventually.