Originally published Monday, 29 September 2014.
I admire my friend Arleen Spenceley for "coming out" as a virgin in the Tampa Bay Times at the age of twenty-six.
Now 28 years old, she has written her first book entitled Chastity Is for Lovers and you can pre-order it on Amazon here. In her book, she writes that a then-boyfriend actually had the guts to ask her:
"Do you really want to ruin your wedding night that way?"
I love how she was able to rise above his accusation, redefine her worth in a culture filled with lies, and write a book about it. That's also why I hosted her in San Diego this past week. We got to meet for the first time after sharing hundreds of emails over the past 5 years. She encouraged me from a far while I published book after book after (you get the point), and now it's my turn to encourage her!
As a board member for ChristianMingle, I was privy to their second annual State of Dating in America™ Report before it released. I blogged about it here. In their report, they surveyed 2,647 singles online, ages 18-59. In their findings, 61% of "Christians" said it’s okay to have sex before marriage and 23% says it’s okay, if they were in love. WOW! And yet, this shouldn't surprise me.
Arleen writes in Chastity Is for Lovers that,
Living chastity isn't simply "waiting" or "celibacy" or "abstinence." Instead, it's proactively preparing for, or being in training for, true love and true sex. It's becoming whole persons so we have a whole person to give. It's living faithfully now so we can live faithfully later...It's about living lives that make sense in light of the Gospel regardless of how much sense our lives make to the people we meet. It's about acting on our needs for love and a Savior.
Chastity preserves the unions between body, soul, reason and passion, fertility and pleasure. Chastity enables us to respect each other and ourselves. It upholds dignity, promotes integrity, and allows a person to experience love as God designed. It helps heal the wounds of our paths (whether inflicted by others or self-inflicted). Chastity never pretends sexuality doesn't exist nor treats it as if it is the only significant part of a person. Chastity doesn't condemn the people who haven't always practiced it. It puts sexuality where sexuality best fits.
Isn't she an amazing author?
I love that as a fellow author I get to meet some pretty cool people "in real life," and Arleen is no exception.
I am also honored to identify with her sentiments because I also wrote about "coming out" as a virgin. Although I did not write an op-ed piece in the Tampa Bay Times, I certainly blogged about it on my website many times before getting married.
Today, if you find yourself single or divorced (newly single) -- I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of Chastity Is for Lovers because Arleen Spenceley is my friend (duh), and because she's a shining example of chastity and saving sex for marriage.
Question: What is your view on chastity? Why?