Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Breakpoint Articles

Hi all,

I've been on Breakpoint twice this past week ---so you can catch up.

Here's a feature article Am I a fake Virgin?

and....here is a review of Rachel Coker's splendid Chasing Jupiter

Go forth and read, kittens! and have a great week!


Rissi said...

Rachel Coker's novel is wonderful! Glad you liked it so well also, Rachel.

Caralee said...

Dear Rachel,
I read your article "Am I a fake virgin?" as it was re-broadcast through MyChristianDaily.com. I wanted to let you know that I am about to turn 27, and your words resonated deep with my life experience, including the same exhortations in my teen years on having strong godly standards before one lands oneself in a tempting situation, etc, and having grown a similar desire for that knight in shining armor who was worthy of all my waiting.
I am the oldest of 3 girls, each of us having generally the same teaching in our upbringing. In my weaker moments, I find it bewildering that my 2 younger sisters (at the time, ages 20 & 21) found Godly men who "fit the bill" or fulfilled the long-awaited dream enough that they chose to go forward, through all the hard work, on into marriage. My middle sister (now married 3 years with a new baby) had questionable standards as a Christian teen. She always flirted with boys, held a few "secret boyfriends" and eventually dated an older Christian guy (about 7 years older than her) before meeting her husband at age 18 (he was 22). She was bound and determined to marry young, and constantly fought an internal battle between flesh desires and God's call on her life. Thank God our mother towed a hard line with her, and (practically exhausting her own soul) kept my sister out of many a bad scenario. All we can say now is that it was the Lord's keeping hand.
Anyway, all that to say, I do not understand how she and I ended up so different. We have very different personalities but the same upbringing. I was rather shy in high school, committed to abstinence, and held a standard so high I have never (then or now) seen a high school boy attain to it. I can laugh about this, and remain mostly thankful for that season. In Christian college, the social scene burst upon my existence, and the "real me" (talkative, friendly, amiable, and much less afraid) came bounding out. I was mildly flirtatious with a few of my decent single Christian guy friends, but always maintained strict resistance when approached with the temptation to dabble in more seductive things. I look back now and see how I could have maintained a reasonable "openness" to dating, showing self-confidence, with less giggly-girl flirting.
Now, a few years later, I work as an admissions counselor at a Christian college, constantly observing the life-cycle of college romantic relationships. Though I have attended a plethora of friends weddings (and a number for students too), thankfully I have a handful of solid friends, mostly girls (ages 25 - 35), who are not married, so we have some comradery amongst us.

Caralee said...

(Part 2 of my comment) Presently I am the only one, in our friendship circle of single Christian girls, who has a boyfriend. Now, this is the main reason I am writing (and not to flaunt at all, but to observe life from an objective vantage point)... he and I have been dating a year and a half. This is taking much longer than I ever dreamed it would. In fact, many aspects and difficulties of our relationship have utterly burst my ideals about the future "knight in shining armor". Now that's not to say that I am suffering through a terrible thing, but it is a much harder journey than I ever expected. At the beginning, I took the step to respond to his interest, waited patiently for him to pray and feel resolved about a certain level of "readiness" for this step, and then took the plunge to "officially" start dating. He is a man that has come back with a strong heart for the Lord after having walked away from Him for a few years. Sadly, we have to wade through the effects of his past live-in, intimate, long-time relationship with an unsaved girlfriend. He also was brought up much differently, in a moral but nonreligious household where he was raised to be very independent and non-communicative. He came to Christ as a teen. It has been, and continues to be, a long journey walking together as he learns to show that he "needs" me on a daily basis, learns that I need him to express his deep affection towards me (since he occasionally confirms that it indeed is there!). Thankfully, God has brought him through breaking old soul ties to his ex, and starting to replace his old expectations of "what women are like" with Truth rather than his assumptions from his past experience. I struggle constantly with the fight between realistic and unrealistic expectations in my heart about our relationship. My patient waiting is really getting a work-out. As you can see ...this is hard work. Harder work than any youth leader ever promised it would be for me.
Funny enough, due to my lifelong belief that the Lord would bring one worth waiting for to me, I have fought and held on through this hard road to wait and see if this (though it looks much different than I expected) is indeed the one the Lord is giving to me. Now, you should know, it often takes strong prompting of God to have me give up on something (any task, in fact!) that I feel that the Lord has opened the door to. In this sense, I have continued to refuse to "give up". There are also plenty of great things about my boyfriend that draw me to him (namely: we are both committed to being pure towards each other, both love to reach out to teens and we're both active in those kind of ministries, he holds a good full-time job, he takes care of his health and fitness, and his heart appears to be teachable, he has a regular devotional life in the Word, and shows that he loves the Lord). It is a mystery to my hopes and ideals about the "knight in shining armor" how a godly man like this could also still struggle with communication and proper relational give-and-take so severely. I am encouraged that I have seen him beginning to really wrestle with these issues and pray about coming through them. We have yet to make a decision (in either of our hearts) about whether or not we should start taking steps towards getting married.
Rachel, I say all this (and forgive me for writing a veritable book) to contribute a bit of reality and yet hope. I hope that as you take it in, and face the uncharted course ahead of you, that you find the Lord's stabilizing hand outstretched to those of us who have waited. The is my one relief in the face of uncertainty. And then I pray, dear sister, that you (and I) are able to continue to wait for what comes as we try to live wisely serving the Lord. Hope this is an encouragement to you. I'd love to hear your thoughts in response!

Anonymous said...

Hi there Rachel, I read your article with great interest and empathy.

I’m 50 and still a virgin, and these days I can almost laugh about it. Almost. What else are you going to do – laugh or cry? Life is very odd, for sure ... but knowing Christ means everything.

I have been tempted – serious, full-on, red-blooded temptation – and I can tell you it’s no walk in the park. You are not a lesser Christian, and certainly not a ‘fake’ virgin just because your principles haven’t (apparently) been tested in the line of fire. Don’t do yourself down! My own principles tend to be paper-thin when faced with a hormonal onslaught, and I’m what you would call a ‘seasoned, mature’ Christian.

I’ve had to work out my own praxis on the whole singleness/celibacy/virginity schtick, since I’ve not had any pastoral support on this from any church I’ve ever attended. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret being an evangelical – I’ve been fed by great teaching down the years. Just not on what it means to be a single Christian woman.

Forgive the rant. It is my sincere prayer that in fact you meet a good man ... and sooner rather than later.

Philippa, from the UK

P.S. Marriage is not a ‘reward’ for the godly and the virginal. It’s a gift, to the righteous and unrighteous alike. I know atheists who are happily (and faithfully) married: it’s not a magical preserve of Christians.

Charity said...

Great article on "fake virginity." I've not been tested either, and am about to turn 30, so... I understand your frustration.