I remember being chased around the wooden, castle-like playground in first grade by one of my boy classmates. Although his name is long gone from my memory, I will always remember the shocked and somewhat confused feeling that overcame me as I ducked away from him while he yelled, “Get over here, Rachel! Don’t you wanna do the bumpity bump?!”
This would happen almost everyday at recess, and it went from what I thought to be a joke to a continuing occurrence, where my teacher and other school officials would have to interject. The “bumpity bump,” as this boy so eloquently phrased, was of course sex, and yes, even in first grade it is hard to get away from.
At home I was taught that sex is a very beautiful, intimate encounter and should only be shared with the man to whom I say, “I do.” My family, my mother especially, held my older sister and I to very high personal values. We grew up in the Church and were always surrounded with plenty of “moral support” to steer us in right direction. My mother taught us that sexuality is very dear and should by no means be spread around as if it were butter at the dinner table.
The rest of society, on the other hand, has some extremely different views on sexuality. In a time when there are no boundaries as far as someone’s personal life, it’s hard to remain strongly planted in a set of standards for oneself, as well as hold that standard for others. As a college student attending a very mixed population at Florida State University, located in the even larger “mixing bowl” of America, college life can be very confusing at times. In a student-run environment where no one even blinks when sex is mentioned, I rely on my deep-seated values when making my decisions more than ever.
I have gotten used to goofing around with friends over the issue of sex, but if someone pays close attention, they will see that while I laugh and smile, my opinion on sex is surprisingly quite strong. The beliefs that I have are not empty. They stem from many different vines in both my life and that of others. Probably the most prominent experience that shaped my belief about sex came from my older sister. In January of 2001, she gave birth to an adorable baby girl who has filled her life with unspeakable joy. But this baby has also brought her and those who love her to a very hard realization. Whether she is ready or not, that precious baby is now her life. My sister was 20 years old when she found out she was pregnant, and today she is 22 going on 30. My sister and the baby’s father married shortly after the news and are now laboring everyday to support their sweet Savannah.
It is sad when I look back on what my sister gave up to be a mom. She will never get to experience going off to college all alone and shaping her life to be anything she wants, never get to take spontaneous road trips with friends, never get to date different guys to find the one she always dreamed of. These all slipped away because of a simple mistake that people are making everyday.
Until that day when Megan calmly told me she was pregnant, I had always been cautious of sex and knew deep down I really wanted to wait for my husband. But that day marked my decision with a seal that holds secure even today as a sophomore in college. My friends would never label me as a preacher on abstinence or morality because I don’t believe in forcing my opinion where is not welcome. In fact, most people are somewhat shocked when they find out I am a virgin. I go out with friends, party, dance, date and keep my personal convictions to myself unless asked about them. When it comes down to it though, I have put endless amount of thought into the matter and have reached the resolution to remain a virgin until I am married.
At a college like Florida State, or anywhere in the world for that matter, it is an extremely daunting task to go against the norm of casual sex or sex in a relationship. I would say in an environment where college kids are free to “rebel” against their upbringing however they please, the true rebel is not the one who shacks up at the end of the night, but the virgin who watches her peers stumble away.
Separating oneself from the cultural flow of things is never an easy task, especially when it comes to discipline of the highest degree. It takes patience, faith, stamina and disregard of the constant sex-promoting message heard and seen everyday through peers, TV, radio, movies, books, magazines, online or pretty much anywhere. What we do need to listen to is our own instincts telling us to wait until we are ready—which in the end boils down to marriage.
The gift of sex should be held exclusively for marriage. It is the ultimate gift one can give their spouse. It is the purest expression of love and commitment that one can show toward another human being and the only way to a hopeful future.
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