Onward, Virgin Soldiers

When 20,000 Christian teenagers converge in Washington, D.C., even the secular press has to take notice. Just last week, ABC's "20/20" highlighted the rally, which was the most visible event in a new campaign called True Love Waits. The teenagers drove small stakes into the ground near the Washington Monument, each bearing this message: "I promise to God, to myself, those I date, my future mate, and my future children to be sexually pure until the day I enter a covenant marriage relationship." True Love Waits started just a year ago and has taken off rapidly. Already more than 26 Christian denominations in 30 countries have joined up to teach teens that True Love can Wait. In our sex-saturated culture, how did a movement for chastity catch on so quickly? The teens themselves say they're rejecting a culture that treats them as less than full human beings. As one teen in Washington put it, "We're not just a bunch of weak, throbbing hormones [with] no control over ourselves." Teens are yearning for the message that sexuality is more than just physical urges or emotional desires. And they're hearing that message in the biblical teaching on chastity. The Bible teaches that sexuality is part of the comprehensive pattern for human life, designed to nurture a deep bond between husband and wife. That bond becomes a secure umbrella that protects children as they grow up; it ties the nuclear family into a wider network of family members and relatives; it nurtures a sense of responsibility for the entire community and for the future. This is why sociologists describe the family as the bedrock of the social order. And at the heart of the family is the sexual relationship between husband and wife. This long-term, broad-based view of sexuality lifts us beyond a selfish preoccupation with indulging our emotional and physical impulses. God's purpose for sexuality is far richer and far more rewarding. Once we grasp this rich vision, then the biblical command to keep sex within marriage makes perfect sense. Think of a parallel between sex ethics and athletic training. Writing in National Review, William McGurn says that if we did not understand the goal of building a strong, healthy body, then things like push-ups and jogging would strike us as forms of masochism. By the same token, if we do not understand the broad purpose of sexuality in building a strong marriage and social order, then Christian sex ethics seem to be just a set of negative rules—"an arbitrary catechism of don'ts designed to frustrate our natural desires." This is why it's so important for churches to teach the positive purposes of sexuality, not just the negative rules. The True Love Waits campaign is helping teens place their sexuality within the rich tapestry of God's overall purpose for their lives. Why not find out if your own church is participating in True Love Waits. In our sex-driven culture, we all need to help teens discover that True Love does wait. And that it's worth waiting for.


Chuck Colson


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