Sexuality and Consent

I have major revelations of things that I have been struggling with at the weirdest of times, the most recent one was this morning at 4 am when I should have been sleeping like a normal human being, but instead I was awake in my bed and my brain wouldn’t shut down. I’d picked up my phone to read some stuff off of Facebook to try and pass the time, and I was reading a follow up article in response to Leadership Journal taking down their article written by a prison inmate about going from youth pastor to felon. This article was arguing that Leadership Journal should have left the post up, and his reasons why, several of which were legitimate. The comments, and the original thread I followed, were very interesting.
I totally agree that the church in general has a major sex, abuse, and rape problem. As someone just newly divorced out of a bad marriage, I was struggling with why sex really was such a big deal to God, and why it was supposedly important to not have sex outside of the context of a one man and one woman marriage, and why the church in general had to be so strict on the issue. I was wondering what the heck I was supposed to teach my children about sex, and if I really truly was supposed to teach and expect abstinence until marriage.
I was trying to grapple with some of the points of view towards things such as rape, does a woman who is raped in the legal context of the word ever hold any responsibility for the rape if she flirted or initially gave consent, the age of consent, how to set the age of consent, and the concept of consent itself. And then all of a sudden, it just clicked. God designed for sex to be within the context of a one man and one woman marriage in part because he was trying to make it simple, following what God says about sex actually protects us. If everyone followed what God said and only had sex within marriage, we wouldn’t have to worry about things like the age of consent, etc.
Now I can teach my daughter that it’s important to wait until marriage to have sex because it protects her from having misunderstandings over consent as a teenager, hopefully making her changes of being the victim of statutory rape a little less. I can teach her to guard her sexuality and give it away wisely to a man she is committed to when she is developed enough to understand what she is doing. I’m not naïve enough to think that this will protect my daughter from sexual abuse, but it may help protect her from some bad sexual experiences and ruining her life.
I can teach my sons that it’s important to wait until marriage to have sex because it protects them from believing they had consent from the young woman and then having them arrested for statutory rape because she was underage. Some clear easily understandable guidelines may prevent them from a mistake. Then again, it might not, but I’d like to think that it would help.
It’s easier for me when I understand that God has reasons for the stuff he says, and that it’s not just some outdated rule that someone pulled out of their hat and made up one day and attributed to God. I’m so thankful that God chooses to speak to me in those quiet times, instead of just demanding that I do something because he said so, he lovingly takes time to explain…even though I should do it because he said so.

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