Friday, June 14, 2019

Is Abstinence Really Possible?

Barrington H. Brennen
By Barrington H. Brennen

Is it possible for today’s teens and young adults to remain sexually abstinent?  Is it an out-of-date teaching or expectation? Before I explore these questions, I will give my definition of sexual abstinence.  Sexual abstinence is not having sex in any form (emotionally or clinically) before marriage.   Wikipedia gives this definition: “Sexual abstinence or sexual restraint is the practice of refraining from some or all aspects of sexual activity for medical, psychological, legal, social, financial, philosophical, moral, or religious reasons.” 

Here is one reason sexual abstinence has not worked very well in our society where most people claim to be Christian.   Religious parents and leaders have mostly taught sexual abstinence only in the context of spiritual purity—a Divine expectation.  “This is what the Bible says, and therefore, do not do it.”   That’s about the limit to the teaching.  While the teaching of sexual abstinence is ideal, the method of “Do what the Bible says” really does not provide enough knowledge to assist the individual when navigating natural emotional and physical sexual desires.   Many religious leaders ignore the reality of natural drives or desires of the budding young adults.  Many make our teens feel that sexual desire itself is really wrong when not in a marriage.  Read more >>