Friday, 5 December 2014

Saying 'YES' before 'I DO'...

“We are living at a time where some people …

want to test whether the milk is good before they buy the cow.”

— John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

We live in an era where sex forms the staple of the lingo of the nation’s youth. "Is it okay to have premarital sex?" is a common question among teens and engaged couples. Perhaps you are in a relationship that is progressing in that direction, but you're not sure what to do. In your mind, you are probably weighing the pros and cons of premarital sex. On the positive side of the scale, there is acceptance from your peers, hope for pleasure, and the fulfillment of sexual desires. The negative side of the scale carries the weights of morals, fear of pregnancy or disease, and guilt. How do these scales balance? What is the right decision?

Before we proceed let’s have a quick look at some statistics according to an article in Outlook:

On being asked of a Pre - marital sexual experience, this is how people responded :
Yes : 33% 
No : 50% 
No response : 17%

A sneak peek into other detailed statistics reveal how in the large metros namely, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, pre-marital sex is accepted as a fact of life and does not carry the same stigma of disapproval as elsewhere. In Chennai, however, the prevalence of pre-marital sex is the highest at 60 per cent, Lucknow coming a poor second at 37 per cent. Amongst the cities, Bangalore has the lowest incidence at 22 per cent.

Having seen that, let us shift back to our unanswered question. What is the right decision?

Morality is a factor for many people when deciding whether or not to have premarital sex. Well, keeping in mind what the youth of today is exposed to in movies and television shows, they ought to think it is no big deal. In light of today's permissive attitude, your peers may think you're weird to even question it.

But maybe there is a voice in your head, that is holding you back from the big step. Many people refer to this voice as their conscience. How can you know if your "conscience" is right? People all around the world look to the Bible as a moral or religious book, so let's see what it says about premarital sex.

The Bible also has plenty to say about premarital sex. Or nothing, depending on your interpretation. The issue revolves around the Greek word porneia.

The New Testament uses this word a lot. It’s clearly a bad thing, but it’s not clear exactly what it means. It’s often translated as “fornication,” which Webster’s defines as “consensual sexual intercourse between two persons not married to each other.” That includes premarital sex, so the Bible prohibition appears to be clear.

But explore other translations, and the issue is trickier. Some define it as “prostitution,” because the Septuagint used the word this way.

A popular translation is “sexual immorality,” though this ambiguous.

Let’s see Wikipedia’s take on the subject:

"There is much debate amongst Christians as to whether or not sex between two people who have never been married constitutes a form of fornication. The Bible itself is silent on the issue of consensual, premarital sex between an engaged couple."

And even if premarital sex were prohibited in the Bible, so what? The Bible celebrates genocide and slavery, and we reject them. If a ban on premarital sex makes no sense for modern society, drop it.

After all, are we living in the Stone Age? I’m fed up of the wholly unnecessary controversy that's raked up by one renegade group or the other every time the subject of premarital sex crops up in a discussion. I am aghast that on the one hand we speak of going ahead and staking a claim to be treated as a modern, developed state at par with other nation states, and on the other feel so shy of even uttering or acknowledging that three-letter word. Talk of hypocrisy, you'd rarely find it in such abundance as here.

Yes, there can be harm with sex, but there can be harm with a lot of other things too. Sexual compatibility is an important component of a strong marriage; shouldn't the couple figure it out before taking the vows?
The gap between sexual maturity and marriage has gone from a couple of years to more than a decade. The ban on premarital sex is naive, especially when its just a tradition and isn't in the Bible. There is nothing inherently harmful in premarital sex, and the sin of premarital sex is one of those rare problems that you can simply define away.


NOTE : This post has been written for a contest by Indiblogger concerning Poonam Uppal's latest book :
A Passionaate Gospel of True Love : A Mystical True Love Story

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