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Friday, December 17, 2004 AD
Another Wilson Family Series Reflection
Deborah asked in a comment on a post below whether I had any more thoughts on Doug and Nancy Wilson's series of books on the family ["...eight, count them eight..." OK...one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight...nine. Oh well, at least they've got the ninth one up there now instead of surprising you with it when you go to check out!] I think the only one I've finished but haven't yet commented on is Her Hand in Marriage. Again, this isn't a full review, just a reflection on what stood out to me about the book. Since I'm reading each one pretty quickly -- more to get a quick overview than to really study them -- I can't attempt to offer anything more thoughtfully thourough.

In this case one thing that stood out was Mr. Wilson's treatment of the subject of virginity throughout the book. It's just so rare to see/hear anyone even mention virginity, much less so openly place such a high value on it. The exception was the ad campaign with the billboards that exhorted, "VIRGIN [scrawled grafitti-like in red spray paint]: Teach your kids it's not a dirty word." I don't think the church in general cares much about virginity, and I think single men looking for wives in general care about it even less. I haven't done a scientific study, of course, but here's my anecdotal evidence:

1) I knew a young woman some years ago whose marriage had split up because of multiple adulteries on both sides before she came to Christ. Granted, she didn't go around advertising this to all and sundry. But she was pretty and vivacious and men would flutter around her like moths while plainer, purer girls got little or no attention.

2) [True confessions time] Six or seven years ago in my pre-Reformed days, I joined an online Christian matchmaking thing for a few months. It was the sort of thing where you post a profile and read other peoples' profiles and perhaps make connections. I looked at hundreds of men's profiles in the time I was a member, and I would guesstimate that more than half of them made it very clear that fat chicks need not apply. How many made it clear that nonvirgins need not apply? Exactly one.

Now before anybody starts screaming, let me make it perfectly clear that a) premarital sex is not the unforgiveable sin and it doesn't disqualify anyone from marriage, and b) a man is not necessarily sinning either if he decides he wouldn't rule out a nonvirgin as a potential wife or if he places a high value on certain physical characteristics such as physical fitness. But I think there's a glaring problem in our Christian culture when thinness is valued so much more than virginity --when Christian men have more trouble getting over extra poundage on a woman's frame than they have getting over the extra notches on her bedpost.

So I appreciated Mr. Wilson's high valuation of virginity, his pointing to the Bible's high valuation of virginity, and his defense of men (since there are evidently others besides the one I saw on that matchmaking site) who set virginity as a necessary requirement for a potential wife. This high valuation of premarital chastity is an important factor for the author in his case for biblical courtship, particularly the father's role in protecting his daughter's purity.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 12/17/2004 12:44:00 AM • Permalink

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