Disclaimer – This post is outside my normal. It is something that I absolutely believe has to be talked about in our sexually saturated world, especially with our young people.  It is something I will talk to my children about as they enter their teen years. I use sexually graphic terms to get my point across.  You’ve been warned.

Apparently four of the Duggar daughters have written a book called Growing up Duggar.  I have never watched an episode of the Duggar show. I have my assumptions about the family, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable even going there because they aren’t based on anything I’ve seen or heard first hand.  That being said, this family does seem to elicit controversy in regards to some of their child rearing techniques, and the daughters attempt to explain these beliefs throughout this new publication. The controversy boils down to their relationship philosophy which states that they will not kiss or date before marriage, a shocking idea in our sex crazed world.  Here’s Mom, Michelle Duggar’s take on her daughter’s beliefs:

I’m conflicted as a mom who has children entering their pre-teen years. Ryan and I are already fielding questions about boyfriends and girlfriends and who’s going with who and first kisses and when to have a first kiss. It is way too young for my kids to have any knowledge of sexuality (in my opinion), but they do, and I will not be that mom with her head stuck under a rock refusing to acknowledge the reality of what my kids are facing.  Looking at the Duggar system of dating, I have to say, I respect this belief system much more than what typically occurs in many young, religious, social circles I’ve been a part of and many others which I’ve heard second hand accounts from.  

The premise of the message in many of these faith based circles is well meaning, but the reality is not necessarily truthful. The admonishment begins innocently enough from those in authority, as kids praise the Lord, declaring as one united body, purity rings wrapped around naïve, young fingers:

“SAVE YOUR VIRGINITY! YOU HAVE A PRECIOUS GIFT THAT MUST BE SAVED UNTIL MARRIAGE! IF YOU GIVE IT AWAY YOU CAN NEVER GET IT BACK AND YOU’LL BE RUINED FOR LIFE!”   

I took this loud declaration from my youth group leader very seriously until I just didn’t anymore and lost my virginity on a whim. The thing was, all of the youth group mantras of “SAVE YOURSELF FOR MARRIAGE!! IT’S A PRECIOUS GIFT FROM GOD THAT YOU CAN NEVER GET BACK ONCE IT’S GONE!” started to seem a tad bit blasphemous as many of the same young people who were “saving” themselves, (yours truly included) were also playing a popular game, a holier than thou type of game, a game I’ll affectionately refer to as fake virginity, toeing the purity line as far as possible, and this in some profound way saved their virginity for their one, true, God appointed marital love while those who allowed penetration with release had damned themselves to eternally giving up the only precious gift to ever be able to give another person. I didn’t see the difference between sex and almost sex; they both conjured the same empty feelings as if something wasn’t quite right – something was missing.  Yes, both were fun in the moments but neither one left a satisfied soul in the wake because neither one was quite the way God intended sex to be.  

Fake Virginity – A misconception involving a belief that you have actually saved yourself for marriage by expounding the virtues of virginity to everyone on why you’ll NEVER give “it” up in an attempt to make yourself appear spiritual but behind closed doors allowing for anything sexually oriented (oral, anal, complete feel ups, nakedness and even penetration) EXCEPT for penetration with release within the female cavity.

Yes, for some of you with your mouths open in horrific disbelief, this does occur with many of our Christian youth and it’s not a new concept.  The sooner we, the adults, are aware of what’s going on the sooner we can have real conversations about it and not just mindless, feel good rants about “saving your virginity” while slapping a purity ring on our kid’s finger which our teens can then smugly convince themselves and convince us that they are following the rules by keeping the hymen intact.

Webster defines virginity as the state or condition of being a virgin.  
The state or condition of being pure, fresh, or unused.  

I don’t think putting naked genitals anywhere near another person probably constitutes as an “unused or pure” act outside of marriage.  True virginity, in my opinion, involves an absence of nakedness, an absence of putting things in places or on others where they don’t belong – it involves something that looks similar to what the Duggar family is promoting. 

The Bible provides limited sexual directions because it has no absolute definition of what virginity is or is not.  It does repeatedly speak about fleeing from lustful desires and sexual immortality which can be interpreted as a broad banner covering most sexual activities including oral, anal, penetration, and nakedness with another person who is not a spouse.  It never specifies that virginity is an actual breaking of the hymen which is the relevant train of thought in our modern twenty-first century.

“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” Matt 5:28.  

This verse condenses what is allowed in a Godly sexual relationship and what is not, and it is a stringent order.  According to this verse, any kind of lustful relationship, physically, emotionally, or spiritually with a person who is not a spouse, is adulterous in nature, so unfortunately for the fake virgins this covers any kind of naked activity as well, not just limited to hymen breaking. This verse also seems to point to virginity beginning in the mind rather than below the waist, an interesting concept to mull.

Many of these well intentioned mantras proclaimed by those in authority have also become something they were never intended to be.  What was intended to spur youth toward Godly living has the potential to become a guilt induced, shame driven type of philosophy, and this in turn breeds an insane loophole permitting for everything but penetration with release within, (I keep making this distinction because it is a game young people allow for, release outside, no virginity lost, release within, virginity’s gone) pretending to themselves, pretending to God, pretending to their parents, pretending to those in authority over them in church, and even pretending to their future spouses that they have “saved themselves for marriage.” The thought process is infinitely flawed – Biblically, worldly, physically, and emotionally flawed; there is no difference in the spiritual realm between the two categories. The “V” word becomes the end goal, but instead it’s only a trick played on ourselves, on our future spouses, and one we try to play on God.  

This highly touted “virgin” premise also has a tendency to make Godly men and women feel like scum if they gave away the gift, “the most precious gift in the whole entire world” and the thing is, God doesn’t make anyone feel like scum. People, often Christian people, make others feel like scum.  The truth is, the most precious thing in the whole entire world is not my virginity or your virginity, or lack thereof for that matter, but it is instead Jesus Christ and what he did at Calvary.  That is the most precious gift, a gift that completely covers every single stupid mistake anyone ever makes if they ask for mercy. I’ve known many women who should be blessed for their incredible sacrifice of saving themselves for marriage, their sex lives with that special someone, their forever someone, but they’re not blessed at all.  In fact, these women hate sex and avoid it at all costs.  On the flip side, I’ve seen women who had been around the block a time or two or three before marriage, express true repentance over those decisions, and have amazing, loving, fulfilling, Christ centered sex lives full of passion. Why?  Because Jesus is good like that.  He can take the ugly, the mistakes, the nasty, the scum, and the fake virgins, and he can redeem it all in an instant and make it white as snow. These mantras we chant to our youth often lead to lies and mistruths that our youth tell to give an appearance of something they believe we want from them – perfection.  We need to instead point our youth to Jesus and trust that he will help them sort out how their purity is going to look according to the convictions and standards God sets in place for them, and we need to trust that Jesus will be able to handle all of their questions, struggles, and mistakes.  

I wholeheartedly agree that virginity and fake virginity are incredibly sacred. I believe in the sanctity of marriage and in the sanctity of sex.   I believe that you should save yourself sexually for marriage.  I believe that fake virginity is just as sinful and just as damning as actually losing your virginity – no difference, in my opinion.   I believe that a husband and wife share a beautiful, special bond together through a sexual experience that can be recreated through the redeeming blood of Christ if a husband and/or a wife was not a virgin on their wedding night, and they can experience that bond with one another that supposedly only true virgins get to experience. This is true for anyone who desires to have wholeness and oneness in their marriage. Christ is in the business of restoring beauty from ashes; my life is a living testimony of this fact.  Christ is also in the business of making things even better than they ever were before, thank goodness.

If you choose to be a virgin until marriage, do it, be a real virgin, man or woman or Duggar up and physically, emotionally, and spiritually be what your convictions say to you.  Don’t hide behind fake virginity, hold your head high and truly live what you believe to be your truth. If you’ve already lost your virginity, it’s not the end of the world. Godly people make mistakes and lose friends, respect, positions, and trust.  You lost an intact hymen; the things on the list above seem like a much bigger deal to me than a piece of skin, and God can restore it all.  He can restore friendships, respect, positions, and trust, and he can spiritually restore virginity.  I believe this wholeheartedly.  What the locusts have eaten, he can restore.   

Just keep livin!!

This is a continuation of the previous post, Birds, Bees and Babies in Mommy’s Tummy…..

 

The next day, the day after we told the kids our exciting news about the pregnancy,  I walked down to the bus stop to retrieve Caleb, a little more tired than usual being newly pregnant and waited for him to bounce off the bus.  He arrived right on time, and we promptly began the return walk home and that’s when he abruptly turned to me and said

“Mom, were you awake or asleep when Dad did that thing to you?”

MY MIND WENT BLANK AND MY MOUTH WENT MUTE AND MY HEART PUMPED OUT MILLIONS OF GALLONS OF BLOOD IN ABOUT 5 MINUTES.   

I had absolutely nothing, not one of those super sharp come backs I’ve so proudly bragged about, NOTHING but bright redness blasting across every cell structure in my face. I muttered and stuttered and JUST ABOUT DIED.  

“Ummmm, what do you mean?”  I asked as innocently as I could muster, pretending like I had no idea that he was comparing our baby making session to some sort of bean weevil mating session he had most likely witnessed on Animal Planet or one of those other stupid shows his father lets him watch involving unique mating rituals of just about every walking creature in the universe including the elusive and odd bug, the bean weevil, who severely damages the female’s reproductive system upon successful insemination, thus coining the term, “traumatic insemination.”

“MOM, awake or asleep?  It’s not a hard question.” He asked again, this time getting annoyed with my obvious avoidance.

My brilliant reply, “What does your book say?”  

Great plan, project blame onto the book, the book should have covered that and if it didn’t, well, that’s not MY fault, that’s the book’s fault.  
The book in question is called It’s NOT The Stork! 

itsnotthestork

a descriptive, informative manual about a boy’s changing body, also loosely covering the birds and the bees.  
We thrust this book at them with the admonishment of “Come talk to us if you have any questions…”  Probably not one of our finest parenting moments.   

“Mom, it doesn’t say. I’m just wondering, were you awake or did Dad sneakily do it?”

OH MY WORD, I DON’T HAVE EVEN A REMOTE CONCEPT OF HOW TO DO THIS WITH MY TEN YEAR OLD SON…..

“Awake” I muttered hoping to slam the door completely shut for any further advancements in the conversation, the most mortifying conversation I’ve ever had in my life.  

This child had absolutely no comprehension of how his mother could be a willing participant in THAT ACT his book talked about.  I suppose he must have a very prudish version of his mother in his mind.
We continued our walk, talking about a plethora of other topics, his question having been answered and as we neared the house, I suddenly had a burst of energy and bounded up the steps, bursting into the office where my husband sat plugging away at numbers for his new project,

“Honey, I gasped, you are not going to believe what Caleb said to me…..”  

I retold the story to Ryan who in turn burst out laughing, an embarrassed type of laugh as he realized that his son viewed him as some sort of primal predator type of human being who totally took advantage of his mate in a weakened state of sleep and impregnated her against her will.  HILARIOUS.

I think that’s all I have to say about that…..

Just keep livin!!


I handed my two boys sex on a stick the other day; at least that’s what it felt like.  Recently Ryan and I have been chatting with some parents and researching when exactly is the appropriate age to talk to our children about their bodies and more importantly, “the birds and the bees” – apparently we’re behind schedule. Blame it on remarriage, or the seven kids, or just the busyness of life, but whatever it was we needed to get on the ball with this subject.  According to most of the parents we talked to and the information we gathered these conversations should have begun at around 7 years old. Reluctantly we have accepted this. We owned up to the fact that we had to address some of these very delicate subjects with our firstborn children soon and as we reasoned to ourselves; better late than never.  
Firsts things first, I was put on the task of finding an appropriate book for the boys.  I went to a Christian bookstore and found one book on a boy’s changing body but we were after something a little more substantial – we wanted the sex aspect of it all as well.  If we were “going there” with them, we were going all the way, shooting for a home run so to speak.  I found another book that was on the New York Seller’s bestselling list and it was recommended for ages 7 and up and had reviews from parents who had even read it to their toddlers. I thought, if these parents are reading it to their toddlers it has to be pretty tame; however, I have to admit I would rather read a sex book to my three year old than my ten year old.   The book also featured cartoon like drawings for all of the illustrations, and I preferred that over anything resembling a real live human being, my own personal comfort zone I suppose.  I ordered it, and we began to amp up the boys for a very special book that was going to arrive soon that would help them understand the changes that they would be experiencing with their bodies as they aged.  As we would talk they would walk away rolling their eyes, and Ryan and I would burst out giggling acting like we were the naïve, innocent ones about to have this whole new world opened up to us!  
 The big day finally arrived, the book came, and we opened it up slowly.  I glanced over at my husband whose eyes were bulging out of his head as he looked down at what appeared to be about the halfway point of the book and staring back at him was a cute drawing of a buck naked little girl and an equally cute drawing of a buck naked little boy and bonus – they had all of their little buck naked parts pointed out with descriptive arrows detailing the scientific terms. He, Ryan, immediately brought the book into the dining room and muttered something about how his boys weren’t going to read something that taught them about vulvas.  I gulped, and then said quietly,” Honey, we are trying to teach them about their bodies and sex so they probably do need to see some sort of illustration describing what the parts are.”  He unwillingly agreed. 
 I recognize that neither one of us was quite ready for this conversation; if any parent can ever truly be ready for this, and we were both in a state of shock that we had actually reached this stage of parenting already.  It seemed, at times, that they were still our cute little buck naked babies but they weren’t, they were here at this age and we needed to be responsible and start to teach them before they received their education in private from an unapproved source, such as a teenage boy introducing them to Playboy or even worse, the world wide web of every indulgence you can fathom.  Our goal, as parents, is to be honest with them, as honest as possible about our shortcomings, our failures, and our victories – even in the area of sex.  They are not to that point, but they are to the point of needing some honest, heartfelt information from the two people on earth who were given the responsibility of training and teaching  them – even in this awkward area.  
Our plan was to give them the book to read together and then individually discuss any questions or comments that they had about what they read. So the moment arrived.  I was a nervous wreck and could hardly even look either boy in the eye as I motioned to their father to “get the book.”  He retrieved the prized possession and then in a very authoritative voice said something along the lines of, “Remember boys, we ordered this book for you, well, it’s here, and we’d like you to read it together and then we’ll talk about it later” and with that the book was handed over.  In that one moment I felt like I was completely stripping them of their innocence and their childhood and exposing them to the world’s deepest, darkest secrets.  It was also in that moment that I realized it was never meant to be a deep, dark secret; we ruined it, not me and Ryan “we” but we as humanity. We turned one of the most precious gifts God gave a marriage into this deep, dark secret because of our sin.  It was never meant to be that way.  It was instead meant to be a beautiful outpouring of intimacy expressed between a man and a woman and if we, as their parents, could start here with being honest, perhaps, just perhaps, we could continue to have open, honest dialogs through the hard years where temptations would be raging in their naïve hearts and minds and their souls being bombarded with this porn laden, sex ridden, no holds bar society that we are attempting to raise them in.  Maybe, just maybe, with the help of this book, our commitment to each other and to them, and a whole lot of prayer, we could beat this unhealthy, sick, and straight from the pit of hell agenda that the Devil has for our kids (and your kids!) and their shameful perspective on their bodies and their sexuality.  Maybe, just maybe, we got this🙂
Just keep livin!!



I’ve been following an online debate for a few months that has sparked intense controversy and elicited some very strong opinions from both men and women.  A woman blogger wrote a post attempting to educate men on what married women think about sex – basic information like a woman’s needs involve communication, affection, and faithfulness. A male follower commented agreeing with what she said and then went on to suggest that if a woman is too tired for sex she is taking on too much responsibility and in caps said loud and clear, “YOU ARE DOING TOO MUCH.”  He then suggested that if we women uncomplicated our lives by eliminating some of the stresses that we encounter like our careers, overspending habits, over obsessive ways about house cleaning and over scheduling our children where we feel like we need to have them in every sport and activity under the sun lest we hinder their opportunities to become professionals, THEN – we may have a little more energy for some hanky panky at the end of the day. Many women were not thrilled with this perceived attack on their lives and they adamantly declared their right to do these activities in many contended responses. I am apparently in the minority among my sex because I whole heartedly agree with this man who was courageous enough to spell it out loud and clear for my kind. This is not to say that I haven’t struggled in some of these areas as well but he hit the nail on the head with his response.  I would go so far as to elaborate on the last point he makes about our children often becoming the center of our universe when we give birth to these precious little beings.  It seems, in general, as soon as these priceless blessings enter our lives we are so completely enamored in our love for them that we begin to devote all of our moments catering to their needs and desires. It is within this process that our husbands are often left in the dust wondering when and where they got stuck at the bottom of our priority lists. As moms we have this mistaken idea that we need to do everything for our children because they aren’t capable of completing the tasks themselves. This is wrong; especially as our children grow and age.  It is our job to train them as the Bible so clearly points out in Proverbs 22:6, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” The word train means “to developor form the habits,thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction”   As parents we are not told to bend over backwards and do everything for our children but instead we are admonished to train them, develop them, teach them by discipline and instruction because it is our highest calling as Christian parents to enable and prepare them for a world that is often harsh and not prone to catering to those who follow the name of Christ.  It is our job to make our kids a tough breed of people who can withstand and hold firm to the teachings that we have in scripted upon their hearts in a world that does not often look favorably upon those who proclaim the Most High God.  This is what we should be doing but we often don’t. Why don’t we? I think many of our reasons are connected to an aching gap in our hearts to feel needed and wanted; it’s a gap that cannot be filled by our children or our friends or even our husbands.  It is a gap that can only be filled by our Creator. When I had four kids I was more apt to cater to each child’s individual needs, especially seeing that they arrived one at a time in my life, and I was able to adjust slowly to the arrival of another child.   When I met Ryan and I immediately became mom to 3 more and he became dad to 4 more we noticed very quickly that this extreme hands on parenting technique wasn’t going to work real well.  For about a week we would get up with all of our kids and as we had done in our previous lives ask them each individually, “What do you want for breakfast?” and then proceed to run around with a mad, crazed look in our eyes as we became a make shift kitchen, scurrying about, providing for each child’s individual taste palate for that particular morning and landing exhausted in a heap with coffee in hand at the end of the morning.  Like I said, that lasted about a week and then there were no more options.  Mom now decides what’s for breakfast and if that option isn’t appreciated there is always the fruit option in the bowl.  It is our job as parents to raise our children to be independent of us someday, to be able to stand on their own two feet and to not come running back to mom and dad as adults whenever the slightest bit of trouble rears its head. Our measure of success will be whether or not they are ready to face the world head on successfully as fully grown people. Our kids should be required to take responsibility for their actions and if they don’t, there will be consequences – period; just like the real world.  We are rewarded as adults for a job well done and there are consequences when we fail.  This is also true biblically.  God promises blessing for those who obey his commands and hardship, toil, and consequences for those who don’t.  For the gentleman brave enough to tell us women how it should be I commend you and you have my agreement and support.  We women often do not prioritize our husbands like we should and we need to take a step back and eliminate many of the activities that prohibit us from having the additional 10 or 15 minutes of energy that the men we married desire from us. Shame on us for not making our husbands a priority in our lives and shame on us when it could be as simple as making our children step up and accomplish some of the daily requirements and tasks on their own; especially when Christian parents are called biblically to do so.
Just keep livin!!