by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser
Just when I think I’ve heard all there is to hear from Evangelicals about sex, purity, and the like, someone will write or say something that I have not heard before. In other words, not all the nuts have fallen from the tree.
Recently, Bethany Jett, a thirty-something married Evangelical woman who writes on girly topics from a godly perspective, wrote a blog article about two reasons why a woman should save herself for marriage. Here’s what Jett had to say:
I remembered why I decided to wait to have sex as I listened to a podcast from Andy Stanley this morning on my way home from dropping off children at school.
“I’m not the appetizer, I’m the dessert.”
If we start off loaning our bodies, who is going to wait around for the main meal?
We ordered Olive Garden to-go last night and I had one of my favorite cheat meals—chicken alfredo and breadsticks with alfredo dipping sauce and an extra tub of alfredo sauce to heat up the leftovers the next day. Mmmmm … I was full and stuffed and happy. Deliriously-food-coma happy.
But I wasn’t completely satisfied. All the savory goodness was amazing, but I needed something sweet to finish it off. A bit of dark chocolate would have taken the cake … but there was NONE.
Justin ate it.
My marriage is like that. Dating Justin was the appetizer … good for a short amount of time, but I was excited to have the main meal with him. I wanted an entire lifetime. We’ve been married for almost 11 years, together for 13, and that man still gives me butterflies. He makes me strive to a better person and he is my teammate, partner, best friend and so much more.
But God knew that wasn’t enough.
So He throws a little dessert into the mix.
The dessert is exceptional.
It completes the meal…
…I’ve always believed that God means what He says. He said to wait, so I did. I always figured that if sex was as great as the students in my high school and my college roommate thought it was, that it would be even better if I waited. That God had a blessing in store if you did things His way.
There are many reasons to wait until you’re married to have sex, but here’s two at the top of the list:
1. God said to wait.
2. You’re worth waiting for…
Jett has been married for eleven years. She is an advocate of purity rings, having worn her own until her wedding night. In 2013, she wrote a book titled, The Cinderella Rule.
While Jett tries to dress up her blog post with a bit of wispy, feel good self-esteem, there really is only one reason a woman should wait until marriage to have sex. God said to wait. That’s the bottom line for Evangelicals, God said don’t do it, so don’t.
Several days ago, I shared with readers Melanie Pritchard’s puritanical view of spaghetti straps. Jett has a similar view. Here’s what she had to say in Cinderella Rules about spaghetti straps and a few other things:
Apparently, shoulders are sexy. I know that sounds crazy, but guys are wired differently than we are. That’s how God created them, and Justin (her husband) didn’t want to be tempted physically. He wanted to do things right.
Bottom line: it’s not our place to put impure thoughts into guys’ heads. We don’t understand that the male mind replays images days after seeing a girl in a short skirt or catching a glimpse down a plunging neckline.
A guy friend told me that he was minding his own business at a gas station, pumping gas, when he saw a girl at the opposite station. She wore an extremely short skirt, and he couldn’t get the image of her legs and the idea of what was under her skirt out of his head. He thought about it for a couple of days. “Those images don’t just leave your mind,” he said. “I wasn’t even trying to look at the girl either–“I was merely glancing around.”He ended up masturbating to remove the building tension.
While guys are responsible for their thoughts, we can’t allow Satan to use us as a tool to lead guys down a path toward lust, pornography, and sexually impure behaviors. Even wearing spaghetti straps during a church service can throw guys off. Another guy confessed that one Sunday, he had trouble concentrating on communion and the sermon that followed because the girl next to him had bare shoulders. He was wracked with guilt for not being able to concentrate, unable to push his thoughts away since she was right next to him.
Ladies, we may never fully comprehend how guys think, but if they’re telling us they can’t concentrate,let’s help them out. Grab a cardigan for church or work,or anywhere,and let’s keep our skirts and shorts an appropriate length…
…a godly guy wants to date a girl who shares his values. If you want to be pursued properly, you must dress appropriately–just enough skin to be cute, but not enough to reveal the goods. Dressing modestly helps keep his mind from going into fantasy overdrive.
Remember, a guys pursuit is with an end goal in mind;and girlfriend, we are taking a pursuit to the altar…
…Honestly, chasing a guy is exhausting. Most guys will do anything with anyone, and high school and college guys, in particular, are not known for their exclusivity. Raging hormones dictate many a guy’s decisions; and if you pursue him, you won’t ever be sure whether it’s his heart or his hormones that loves you more.
When a man sees a girl he wants,he goes after her…Similar to a lion stalking his prey, a man will overcome any obstacle to get the woman he wants. I’m not talking about creepy stalker behavior. I’m talking about romantic, I can’t get her out of my head intensity. When a worthy guy desires you like that, girl, watch out!
But you’ll be ready.
You’ll know how to look.
How to dress.
How to act..
…when the right man starts the pursuit, let him.
I’m gonna to show you how…
What up with spaghetti straps? Am I out the lust loop here? I’ve seen more than a few spaghetti strapped women, and I don’t think I had ever had the thought, oh my, I need to have her right now. If I don’t have sex with her RIGHT now, I am going to have to spank the monkey to release all the built up sexual tension.Pritchard wrote about not revealing the “mystery.” Jett, taking a similar approach, writes about a woman not giving away all her “secrets.” What’s with all the code about genitalia and sex? Are Christians so prudish that the correct words for genitalia and sex can’t be used?
Maybe Pritchard and Jett’s problem is that they have spent their life around the weak, pathetic, forbidden sex on the brain, men found in the Evangelical and Catholic church. Perhaps they need to get out more and spend time with real men, men who know how to control their sexual desires and know how to treat a woman appropriately.
Think for a moment about the pathetic, weak
men boys mentioned in the excerpts from Jett’s book. A man is pumping gas, he sees a woman with a short skirt, and he is so driven with lust that he later has to masturbate. The other man couldn’t focus on communion and the sermon because a woman near him had bare shoulders. Can there be any better examples of weak church men boys?
Boys like these have been conditioned to think that they are helpless, that it is not within their power to sexually control themselves. Perhaps every church boy is like the stupid young man in Proverbs 7:
…I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart… Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves…With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;…
What I want to know is this: was the harlot wearing spaghetti straps?
It’s time for church boys and men to grow up and own their sexuality. If they can’t keep from lusting the problem is theirs and not woman who dare to bare a leg, shoulder, or show some cleavage. If they are so sexually charged up that they are reaching in their pants as soon as they see an attractive woman, perhaps they need to spend more time looking at porn and self pleasuring themselves until they get their “sexual tension” under control.
But Bruce, some women DO dress provocatively. Shouldn’t they be called out on their deliberate attempt to make men lust? First, how do you know that is what they are trying to do? Second, perhaps you need to learn to enjoy God’s creation. Yes, women are attractive and yes, they can arouse sexual feelings in a man. Would you rather women dressed like they just walked off the set of Little House on the Prairie? Learn to control your thoughts and desires. It really is that simple.
Sadly, far too many churches are like nurseries filled with infantile men who can’t control themselves. I don’t know of any other way to change their behavior than to say to them STOP IT!
People like Bethany Jett are shooting at the wrong target. Like in many Muslim countries, American Christians with puritanical ideas about dress and sexuality, put the blame on women who dare to dress in ways that show their femininity and sexuality. Jett wants young women to show just enough skin to catch a man, but then the free show is over until the man puts a ring on her finger. In other words, she wants women to be flashers, showing just enough to get the attention of a man.
Every day, or so it seems, there is a news report of an Evangelical pastor, evangelist, college professor, church leader, or Sunday school teacher getting into trouble because they can’t keep their hands to themselves or keep their pants zipped up. This should not surprise us because many of these “fallen” leaders were raised in churches that preached the puritanical sexuality found Jett’s book, blog, and other writing. It’s the whole blind leading the blind thing. Generation after generation of Evangelical boys have been taught they are impotent when it comes to controlling their thoughts, urges, and desires. After a few generations of this, you end up with a church filled with hapless men who get boners as soon a woman shows more flesh than one of girls on Little House on the Prairie. Instead of being taught to be accountable for their actions, these men are taught to flee from the Jezebels that roam the halls of the church.
Bethany Jett is a featured writer on Nicole Dell’s Choose Now Ministries. According to her bio on the site, she is the wife of a youth minister and a cheerleading coach. You can read all of Jett’s advice columns here. Some of you might find her column on purity rings quite interesting.
Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network member, Bruce Gerencser blogs at The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser He writes from the unique perspective of having been a pastor for many years and having seen it all in churches. His journey out of being a true believer and pastor has been an interesting and informative one.
Bruce Gerencser spent 25 years pastoring Independent Fundamental Baptist, Southern Baptist, and Christian Union churches in Ohio, Michigan, and Texas. Bruce attended Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan. He is a writer and operates The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser blog. Bruce lives in NW Ohio with his wife of 35 years. They have six children, and ten grandchildren.