…You know you want to
I find traditional wedding practices across the world to be quite fascinating. Having watched quite a number of them in movies and documentaries, I can say that nothing gets me soppier than watching traditional weddings.
A long time ago, far removed from this acutely
corrupt civilized age we’re in, the South-Western Region of Nigeria (the Yoruba tribe) had grand wedding celebrations rich in culture and tradition. A young bride would be escorted to her husband’s family-house by her sisters, brothers, cousins, friends, aunties and the likes with all her personal items and wedding gifts. Upon her arrival, singing, dancing and prayers for the new couple will commence. Often times, the bride and groom barely even know each other but they are quite content. After the formalities are completed, the bride and groom must proceed to consummate their marriage while the hosts and guests wait anxiously at the door at the party arena.
The groom is presented with a white piece of cloth with which he will show proof of his wife’s chastity after the consummation of their marriage. Once the groom emerges from the consummation room with a bleeding piece of cloth, shouts of joy abound and the bride’s family revel in booming accolades; they have raised a good girl. Only then can the special virginity mortars be rolled out to pound a delicious yam meal for all. God help the bride who doesn’t bleed for whatever reason. Her family’s shame shall indeed know no bounds.
This practice has long been set aside (thank goodness!) but a lot of people still raise their young ones, boys and girls alike to maintain chastity until marriage. Many others, not necessarily compelled by family orientation or wedding practices are persuaded by their faith or just personal choices. It seems to me that in this new world where peers and the media spread the idea of wanton sexual gratification like the gospel, faith offers the greatest persuasion.
Sexual purity is such a strong cause of the Christian faith that the bible identifies sexual sin as the only sin against one’s own body. (See 1Corinthians 6:18). As much as it seems like the whole world is having pre-marital/extra-marital sex, the age long cliché, “not everyone is doing it” couldn’t be truer.
Unfortunately however, the flesh doesn’t give up so easily even where you have made a resolve or vow or you wear a purity ring. The flesh offers many who have decided on sexual purity an outlet; an avenue to release the stress of holding on so long, without actually having sex. This outlet could be in the form of masturbation, pornography, heavy petting, questionable imaginations or day dreams and various forms of sexual activity excluding actual intercourse. This, I believe is the root cause of hymen worshipping.
Many now tie sexual purity to the existence of a hymen. As long as the hymen is intact, all is well. For crying out loud, what will be the faith a young girl who loses her hymen to horse riding if this were the case?
Women/girls are not the only ones caught in this practice of hymen worshipping however. Let every man/boy search his heart; whatever bench-mark of sexual activity he has set for himself is the hymen he worships. A lady once said of her bare cleavage: “they can only see but they can’t touch” – hymen worshipper alert!
But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
(Matthew 5:28, NLT2)
I am yet to find one verse of the bible that ties sexual purity to the existence of a hymen or limits the definition of sexual relations to intercourse. Believe me, I know it’s tough but the answer to this ‘question’ is simply YES or NO; no fancy or clever answers are allowed. You are either chaste or unchaste and none of this is related to the intactness of your hymen. This is why a harlot can come to Jesus and be cleansed; purified; chaste, yet a young woman with a flourishing hymen may displease the Lord!
We are called to absolute purity – in our hearts, in our thoughts, in our actions. We are called to treat our bodies (and minds) as the temple of the Holy Spirit 1Corinthians 6:19. Our obedience must be full and complete.
We must get off our high horses of hymen worshipping and search our lives for whatever outlets we’ve created to bypass the grand command. Sexual purity is not a punishment. Rather, it is an act of worship to God.
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
(Colossians 3:5, NLT2)
God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor–not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.
(1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, NLT2)
The Holy Spirit’s help is available to all who acknowledge that they cannot do it on their own. Seek and you shall find the strength to resist the flesh and its wiles. God help us all.
Photo credit: bellanaija,com