Belief Beat

Belief Beat

Paging Bristol Palin: Most Christian Teens Don’t Wait Until Marriage, Either

Here’s the latest story reporting that most evangelical youths, despite the best intentions of their clergy and parents, ultimately losing their virginities before marriage: Why Young Christians Aren’t Waiting Anymore (CNN)

This story addresses the obvious angle that coverage of the abstinence movement often seems to ignore:

 Relevant notes that in biblical times, people married earlier. The average age for marriage has been increasing in the U.S for the last 40 years.

Today, it’s not unusual to meet a Christian who is single at 30 – or 40 or 50, for that matter. So what do you tell them? Keep waiting?


Scot McKnight, co-author of “The Jesus Creed,” acknowledges that young, single Christians face temptations that their counterparts in the biblical age didn’t face.

He  tells Relevant:

Sociologically speaking, the one big difference – and it’s monstrous – between the biblical teaching and our culture is the arranged marriages of very young people. If you get married when you’re 13, you don’t have 15 years of temptation.

In other words, the Bible and traditional social mores come from a time when puberty and marriage were synonymous, if not even reversed. So “waiting until marriage” was kind of a no-brainer. But now, the average Americans don’t wed until they are over 25. That’s another decade or more of polishing those purity rings — twice their lifetimes, at that point, and during the years when hormones and peer pressure are at their most insistent.


On a related note, check out this NYT Modern Love column that ran earlier this year, about a 35-year-old single Mormon woman who wanted to wait until marriage.

Anyway, the facts are the facts — even youths in stable two-parent middle-class Christian households don’t wait. Bristol Palin and some of MTV’s “Teen Mom” stars are famous (glorified?) examples; I can think of plenty of less famous ones, can’t you?

So to paraphrase Original Recipe 90210’s St. Donna Martin (who also ended up not waiting until marriage, despite real-life daddy’s intentions): Let’s say your neighbors have a swimming pool. You can put up a tall, locked fence around that pool, and warn your kids over and over again that pools are off limits, and that they are incredibly dangerous. But if there’s even a tiny chance that your kids will sneak into that pool — don’t you think you’d better teach them how to swim?


What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Comments read comments(3)
post a comment

Pingback: Christian Teens Embracing “Sinful” Sexual Relations « Universal Life Church Monastery Blog


posted February 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm

You could definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

report abuse

Pingback: Christian Teens Embracing "Sinful" Sexual Relations - Universal Life Church Monastery Blog

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!
Thank you for visiting Belief Beat. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy:   Beliefnet News   Good News Happy Reading!   ...

posted 4:57:28pm Feb. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Fun Friday: Atheist Temple Planned for UK's Nonbelievers
Author Alain de Botton has announced plans to build an Atheist temple in the United Kingdom, presumably so nonbelievers have a place to gather and share their philosophies. Um... isn't that what Starbucks is for? Also, I can't wait to see ...

posted 2:53:42pm Jan. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Alaska Airlines: High Payers No Longer Offered Sky Prayers
Alaska Airlines, now the country's seventh-largest airline, has announced it will stop offering prayer cards with its in-flight meals. (It's just raining religion news in the great unchurched Pacific Northwest lately.) I've flown Alaska ...

posted 11:07:56am Jan. 26, 2012 | read full post »

Washington's Gay Marriage Debate: Clergy vs. Clergy
I reported for Reuters at the Washington state Capitol yesterday, covering the public hearings on a gay marriage bill -- and in between, the breaking news that the state Senate now has enough votes to pass the bill. (The House already had ...

posted 11:24:39am Jan. 24, 2012 | read full post »

What Israel's Domestic Policy & Santorum Supporters Have in Common
Hope everyone had an introspective Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, whether observed as a faith-related holiday, a nice break from the work week or something else entirely. Check out this story from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly about how ...

posted 1:32:44pm Jan. 18, 2012 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.