Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up! Yes, I just put “God” and “Vagina” in the same sentence. Let us not forget that according to the creation account of Genesis (which for the record, I believe is a beautiful allegorical story and not, in fact, SCIENCE), God clearly states that both man AND woman are made in the image of God. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure we could make a very good case for at least one member of the trinity having a vagina.
I’m sorry, this isn’t what I’m going to talk about today. Today, I’m going to address the idea that as a woman in the church, your worth is determined by your sustained (or lack of) virginity. Abstaining from sex is basically like, the best way to show you’re a church-y person, according to the major churches and politicians in America today. With all that hoo-rah this past election season about legislating your hoo-hah, you’d think that America believes the value of its women should be determined by all the sex they’re not supposed to be having.
Listen. It’s up to you if you don’t want to have sex. If you want to wait ’til you’re comfortable enough with your body, if you want to wait until you’re in love, if you want to wait until your wedding night, these are all really great and valid things to decide about having sex. If you’ve had sex before and feel like you need to abstain for some time, that’s also valid. If you want to engage in sexytimes galore, that’s up to you too! Because the marvelous thing is, sex is great, and you get to decide when and where you’re going to engage in that.
Right now, over 80% of young evangelical Christians in the church are regularly having sex without putting a ring on it. So, it’s basically happening all over the place, and to those engaging in it, it’s obviously not something that they feel impedes their ability to be a good person or a person of faith. But there’s a sneaky guilt-complex built in to church today that basically implies that if a woman is having sex “outside of the confines of marriage” (geez do I loathe that phrase), they’re essentially going to burn in hell for all eternity. You could be doing everything else right and feel that you have a thriving relationship with the God you choose, but, hey, if you let someone else see your lady parts you are in BIG TROUBLE with the BIG GUY.
I’m here to propose a radical idea to us: God doesn’t care all that much about your vagina. Yes, sex affects you. It’s a meaningful act. But don’t you think God, perhaps, has bigger things to worry about? Like if you’re being kind to those around you; or maybe if you’re contributing to your community in a positive way. Maybe God cares more about how we treat other people than he does about how we enjoy the bodies we live in. I find it hard to fathom that a woman could be a back-stabbing, gossiping, selfish, materialistic person who just so happens to not be having sex, and still be considered “better” or “holier” than a kind-hearted lady who happens to be having sex. Does God really work that way? Heck, does morality work like that? There’s so much more to us than just sex. We are hearts, minds, emotions, dreams, goals, laughter, academics, friends, sisters, and lovers. I don’t think God has such a narrow view of who women are as humans. I don’t think God limits us to what we do in bed. I was talking to a friend recently and said, “God is not the God of SOLELY YOUR VAGINA.” Honestly, that’s not God’s priority. When church focuses on our sex lives, to the exclusion of all else, church limits us to something less-than human. We’re no longer souls, our hearts beating with passion. We’re defined by our sexual decisions. Isn’t that a shame? I wonder what it would be like if church, instead of focusing on who does what in which bed, decided that there were more important things in life to worry about. Like, perhaps, what’s in our hearts.