Sexual purity increases among young Christians

Biola encourages students to seek purity in a sexually charged world.


Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

Jackie Grade, Writer

To publicly display a commitment to sexual purity, many Christians wear a purity ring on their ring finger. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES


While American society elevates sex to the level of the divine, using it to sell everything from perfume to hamburgers, it appears that young Christians are going against the grain in an unexpected way.

A recent National Association of Evangelicals study showed an increase in the number of young, unmarried evangelicals who are virgins. The study stated that 56 percent of Protestant Christians between the ages of 18 and 29 claim to have remained sexually pure before marriage.

Sexual purity is rare in today's society

Katie Powell, director of student care, said she was surprised and encouraged by the article’s positive outlook on young Christians’ purity.

“Impurity is hidden,” she said. “Those who struggle sexually do not like to talk about their struggle.”

A Barna Group study released in 2011 said that one-sixth of young Christians feel judged by the church because of their sexual past. The article also stated that after their five-year project, they found that Christians are just as active is their non-Christian peers.

Biola students remain sexually pure

Freshman communications major Kelly Krieger said she thinks that people at Biola are staying sexually pure and abiding by Biola’s community standards contract because of its clarity in the Bible.

“We are to be committed sexually to one person in order to mirror Christ’s love for the church and I want to show this importance through my obedience in purity,” she said.

Biola students have to keep in mind that staying sexually pure is not as easy as just a verbal statement declaring purity, junior biblical studies major Matt Gugel said.

“It is a matter of the heart,” Gugel said. It is not only agreeing to not do anything biblically wrong, but it is an active commitment to say no to actions, words and even thoughts, he said.

Encouraging students to pursue purity and sexual healing

In 2009, the percentage of unmarried evangelicals who have had sex was 80 percent, according to the Barna study.

Powell explained that Biola does not expel the student who comes forth desiring to turn from his or her past and move toward purity, but encourages each student on a case-by-case strategy and gives helpful ways to seek purity instead.

Reflecting Christ's love for his church

Gary Strauss, a professor of undergraduate psychology of human sexuality at Rosemead School of Psychology, explained that in his classes he stresses the importance of maintaining purity in order to correctly reflect the relationship Christ has with the church.

“Human relationships are of great value, for both procreation and a celebration of love,” Strauss said. “But the main point relationships should focus on is bringing honor to God in his gift of intimate relationships.”

Culturally, he said he fears that more and more people have come to believe sexual immorality is acceptable. According to a recent Kinsey Institute study, the average man loses his virginity at age 16, while the average female loses hers at age 17. Strauss worries that many Christians nowadays are starting to sway toward culture’s temptations and forgetting the sacredness of purity.

“We still have a long way to go if we are to fulfill the biblical command to be ‘in this world but not of it,’” Strauss said.

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