This week an article appeared in the London Telegraph newspaper about a 22 year old San Diego woman who is taking a unique approach to funding her higher education. Natalie Dylan (not her real name) is auctioning off her virginity to the highest bidder in order to fund a Master's degree in, of all things, Family and Marriage Therapy. According to the report the highest bid to date is in the neighborhood of 3.7 million dollars. The article can be viewed by clicking here.
This article reveals a great deal about the state of our culture today and how many people view sexuality. Ms. Dylan explains in the article that she developed the idea to auction off her virginity after her sister prostituted herself for a few months to pay for her own education. While this entire article is disturbing and sad, one particular statement stands out. Ms. Dylan concludes her interview by saying, "It's shocking that men will pay so much for someone's virginity, which isn't even prized so highly anymore." Regrettably, I have to agree with her on that last part.
To the contemporary mindset the idea of being a virgin upon entering marriage is both laughable and absurd. A study released by NPR in 2006 reported that 80% of Americans have had sex by the age of twenty. That is a staggering thought. This means that more than half of the kids in your church's youth group are already having sex, and of those 50% who haven't, half of them will be shortly after leaving for college. Based on the results of this same study, only 20% of women who will marry this year will be virgins. I believe the reason for this is not simply because, as Ms. Dylan states it, virginity "isn't even prized so highly anymore." The real issue here is that God and His Word are not prized so highly anymore. Instead of viewing Scripture as God's plan for real and lasting joy amidst a sin-drenched existence, most today see the Bible as a restrictive, outdated rule book for nut-jobs crazy enough to believe it literally.
Today sex is no longer esteemed as a wonderful gift from God intended to be celebrated and enjoyed within the safe and loving boundaries of marriage. While every culture throughout history has abused God's gift of sex to some degree, the rampant abuse seen today is unmatched in world history and has led to a pervasive numbing of the moral conscience. The reality clearly on display in this article is that sex is now a tool used to achieve my wants and desires. Yet God's plan for our sex lives is so much more rich and satisfying. Sex is not simply about personal gratification, but instead it seeks mutual enjoyment and satisfaction within a relationship that is honored by God and reflects the glory of God. While this may be taboo in today's world, every single part of the marriage relationship, including sex, is designed to reflect the relationship of Christ to His bride, the church.
When I married the love of my life, my precious wife Emily, we inserted a non-traditional element into our otherwise traditional wedding ceremony. Right before we exchanged our wedding rings, we publicly exchanged the "True Love Waits" rings we each had worn symbolizing a vow of chastity made seperately in high school. By God's grace alone, we both stood at the front of an audience of God, family and friends as virgins and proudly stated it publicly through this exchange. Now I say that with much humility, knowing it was in no way because of my superior strength or discipline that I remained a virgin. But I am immensly grateful to say that by God's gracious presence and providence in my life and in my wife's, we were both virgins when we stood to be married that day.
I am deeply concerned and worried at the prospective results of Ms. Dylan's financial agreement to sell her virginity to the highest bidder. 3.7 million is way too cheap to sell one of God's greatest gifts, especially when we know He seeks to give us a much richer and fulfilling joy found in a marriage that glorifies King Jesus.