Catching title right? I can already imagine the back lash that I am going to receive for writing this. Before composing a nasty message to me, please try to hear me out.
Today I’m going to focus on the Evangelical side of my upbringing. I have never had a serious conversation about sex within the Messianic Jewish movement besides being told to be safe. Maybe it would’ve been different if I had gone to a youth group, or was involved in a Torah study with others my age. But I didn’t, I had a few close friends who I shared beliefs with and that was all. Sex and Purity was something we just didn’t talk about, and I am grateful because I think if we had I would be less drawn to movement.
I’ve shared in the past that I’ve been burned by purity culture. Prior to “loosing my purity” at a young age, I had an unhealthy view of sexuality.
The sex education that I received in the Evangelical movement can be summarized in three words, “Sex is bad.” In school, I received very basic lessons on how it worked but it was given with tone of sexuality being a bad thing.
As I grew up in the Christian community, the older I grew, the stronger the message of purity became. I would attend Christian conferences and there would be a lesson about chewed-up gum and value in relation to virginity. I had to attend bible class where we would shame other students that we suspected were doing it during “Prayer request time.” I sat with older women who would shame teenage girls for “Dressing scandalously” (basically wearing shorts). And I had friends who weren’t allowed to allowed to associate with other teenagers who were sexual active.
We were obsessed with sex, but only with the emphasis that no one does it. In my 20 years that I’ve been active in the Christian community, I’ve heard very few lessons about sex being good. To be honest, I’m not convinced that it is. My question is, why do we put so much emphasis on this? Why do we care more about all the members in youth group being “Sexually pure” then we care about feeding the poor? Why do cut people out of our lives when you find out they are doing it, but don’t feel convicted when you engage in the gossip mill? Why do we put more of an emphasis on modesty, then making sure our community is clothed?
My views on religion as a whole drastically changed when I moved in with my boyfriend 7.5 months ago. The night I moved, my father called every person that he knew telling people about what I did, and that I needed prayer. I had to turn my phone off because I was overwhelmed by phone calls and texts. The days following, I continued to receive messages that were less then nice. All because it was it was perceived that I was having sex outside of marriage. Did it hurt? Yes. Am I now resistant towards being a part of organized religion the way I was? Yes.
As dark of a time that was, I try not to be bitter. I was treated the way I was taught to treat people like me… people who appear to be living in sin. How could I expected to be treated any different?
On the contrary, I received messages of encouragement and love from the photography community, a couple of family members, new friends that I met through him, and my true friends. I learned who was their for me. I am eternally grateful for these people in my new comunity.
I didnt begin writing about my sexual Journey just to have catchy titles for blog posts. I started writing because I was embarrassed.
I was embarrassed that others assumed that I was doing it, because where I come from, sex=shame. It took alot guts, but I started sharing about a very private section of my life. I am living with my significant other, and we don’t do it. It’s not because of all of a convicting lesson in bible class, or because I put my value in a purity metaphor about consumed candy bar. I am celibate for other reasons. Will I make it to the alter in a white dress? I don’t know. Do the majority of evangelicals lose their virginity on their wedding night? I have a hard time believing so.
As always, feel free to reach out to me.
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