Worth Waiting For

This Christianity Today article popped up in my feed reader today.

CT Jesus Waits

The title reads “Jesus’ Family Tree Shows Us He Is Worth the Wait.”

The article is about Jesus’ genealogy, but that’s not the way I read the headline the first time through. Evangelical purity culture played such a central role in my upbringing that the phrase “worth the wait” is intrinsically tied to abstinence teachings. As a result, my mind went straight to Jesus, and sex, and then froze—that can’t be right. I sent a screenshot of the headline to several friends with similar evangelical upbringings, and their reactions were the same.

Looking back, “sexual purity” was perhaps the defining feature of evangelical teen culture. Not missions or evangelism, not serving the poor—abstinence. “Don’t have sex before you get married” became the central mantra of evangelical youth outreach. Which is interesting, because Jesus says an awful lot about loving our neighbor and giving to the needy and absolutely nothing about not having sex.

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