You know there was an occasion that myself and Iyebiye were talking. Somehow we stumbled around the subject of sex and wanting to taunt me, she said to me that whenever we will be having sex in the future, as soon as we want to board that “flight to Jerusalem”, we must put off the light. We laughed but I didn’t omit to rebuke that spirit since we didn’t know the angel that was passing at that time. You won’t understand that expression except you grew in Yoruba land of Nigeria.
I’m informed that many couples do not fail as a point of duty to switch off the light whenever they want to go naked with each other. Someone seems to be hiding something from the other. Hiding what by the way? Some cannot dress up in the presence of their spouse. They needed a large wrapper as barricade. As funny as that may appear, it’s the reality in many homes today. In a nutshell, they are both naked the man and his wife and ashamed of each other.
But the concept of shame which flows from nakedness which I alluded to last week does not apply to married couples. It was said of the first man and woman before the fall, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife and they were not ashames.” (Gen 2:25). It was the introduction of sin that founded the concept of shame. Shame is a direct effect of sin. When you sin, you feel ashamed. The knowledge that you have done something wrong, immoral or corrupt makes you ashamed. That’s why you try to hide the fact. You don’t go publishing what you’ve done on the streets. On the other hand when you act righteously, morally and with integrity, you feel proud. Like helping an elderly woman lift her heavy load down the road to her house. You will normally feel good about yourself afterwards. You feel like telling someone about what you’ve done. The next time you’re in the midst of your friends, eventhough the discussion was about a separate subject, you somehow find a link between the subject of discuss and the good deed you have done. You want to share it. It affirms you. You should note that what the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil did to mankind is the impartation of the knowledge of good and evil. They register in our brain differently. And this is why no matter how you try to escape it, you feel ashamed when you have for instance, premarital or extramarital affair. It’s because they are sinful. Except of course you’re not a christian or you’re just a christian in name without a christian worldview or you have seared your conscience with hot iron.
The knowledge that what you’re doing is sinful, that it breaks the heart of God, that it defiles your marriage will bring you shame.
This is my response to my friend who challenged a statement I made last week. I had said “only sex with your married spouse doesn’t breed shame and a sense of being used.” She argued that this statement was fallacious. A mere conditioning of people’s mind. First she needs to appreciate that this series I have been writing and other series to follow are directed to Christians or those who at least have some respect for the Bible and its teachings. I appreciate the foolishness in preaching no premarital sex to someone who is not saved. How will that make sense to him? In the unlikely event that it makes sense, where will he get the power to obey that kind of principle. It is only through the package of salvation that a man can access grace (divine enablement) to live free of the hold of sexuality and it’s compelling appeal. Romans 8:14.
If we agree on my intended audience, then it isn’t fallacious to say sex with someone you aren’t married to will breed shame. I have shown that above. As per the feeling of being used. Yes of course. Same as the feeling of being cheap. That devaluation we spoke about last week. My friend questioned whether the context (marital or premarital) was sufficient to foist value and the concomitant honour of your sexual partner on the act of sex with him or her. My answer is yes. It is actually the context that determines the value ascribable. Everyone values gold because you don’t find it on the street. It’s scarce. You go through so much before you can have access to it. Before I will gain that extreme access to Iyebiye for instance, there was first this six months of my waiting after I dropped those punch lines. They were six torturous months. Thankfully, after two Nos, I got a yes. That’s to encourage someone not to give up too quickly. Some people by nation need to say no twice to be able to say yes once (Humour only).
Next is the courtship which will last few years. That’s the case for many people. Then I will have to go and meet the parents for the first time- that scary event when her father will adjust his googles intermittently as he asks me straight questions that are empty of emotions. If I succeed at that level, I will be transferred to meet the council of Pastors for another grilling. Wedding preparations then begin. And it costs a little to pull that off. We will need to approach the state too for some approvals and legal recognition. It is after I have gone through this long process that I will finally have access to what’s inside those skirts. Those beloved skirts that have been my object of admiration for years. Of course sex with Iyebiye will command a sense of value with me unlike the other lady who gave me sex on our first date after a plate of rice that cost a paltry #1,500. Some guys told me this rice is even too costly. I don’t refer to a true life story by the way. Get away. Lol.
She will also value me for being a man of honour who will not take a woman to bed whose father hasn’t released his blessings. Think about it. That father who has invested so much money and time to raise that girl for at least two decades doesn’t even have access to her underwears. It’s taboo. How can I then, a new comer who has contributed nothing to the raising of this lady beyond open up her underwears without first giving honour to whom it is due? If you try that with me, I won’t respect you as a son-in-law. It would mean you lack manners. So though sex in marriage also leads to extreme access, it doesn’t breed the contempt premarital sex may breed because the access in this case wasn’t gotten cheaply. You can’t have contempt for something that cost you so much no matter how familiar you become.
Now if I happen to be the first man raising those underwears, sex with Iyebiye will be even more valuable to me and vice versa. There’s that sense of exclusivity. And it’s best if both parties enjoy that sense. That’s why virginity can be a gift because it says to your partner you are sui generis. That’s Latin for saying you occupy a special place that no one else occupies. You don’t share class with any other person in my life or anyone in my past. A gift is something of value you give someone which he appreciates. There is no human who doesn’t feel honoured about having a privilege no one else has. So is virginity a gift? Yes it can be. Anything valuable can be given as a gift.
If it’s too late to give your virginity as a gift, man or woman, it will still be a gift if you say to your spouse, “as from the time when I read Peniela’s series on sexual purity, I was so touched and I made up my mind to keep myself henceforth for my spouse and I stuck to that since then until this our wedding night”. That’s still huge value. Your spouse will honour you for that except you got him/her from the gutter. All I’m saying is it’s never too late to start building value.
Since the gift in the virginity is not the hymen (some women are without hymen yet they have never been penetrated) but the exclusivity- that “sui generis” I spoke about- virginity then is not a gift that is only required of the woman, that there’s no way of medically discovering the virginity of a man notwithstanding. The argument is there’s also no medical way by which the virginity of every woman can be certainly determined. There are exceptions. You can’t conclude that a woman isn’t a virgin on just the basis of the absence of the hymen for instance. So really the testimony of your partner still remains the most infallible proof if honest. And if dishonest, two people cannot miss out on a lie, if the person being lied to doesn’t know, the person that is lying knows he is lying.
My friend had argued that “as long as virginity is a gift, this standard would inevitably apply specifically to women, they are the only one who has a tell tale sign of whether this parcel has been opened before. It is the reason women go to extreme lengths to fake virginity. Girls do every other possible forms of sex but would do anything to keep their hymens intact.”
While I have attended to the first part of that statement, it is indeed true that many do every other unimaginable thing without breaking their hymens. Some will have penetrative anal sex while they keep their hymen intact and still go about boasting about their virginity. It has become “how much can we get away with and still be ‘virgins’? If we understand however that the honour you’re bestowing on your partner isn’t the hymen (a man doesn’t have the hymen and yet has a duty to bestow this honour too) but the exclusivity- the privilege of being “sui generis”, our ladies will withdraw completely from every form of immorality penetrative or not. The men too.
You need to hear this again though, whatever your past may have been, God doesn’t condemn you as long as you are ready to start a new life today. Then your value building begins.
Now the reason sex in marriage doesn’t come with the sense of being used is because of the commitment that comes with marriage. Your spouse’s commitment to you established through that long process of marrying removes every sense of being taken advantage of. You can’t say the same for premarital relationships. Again, your spouse can’t leave overnight the way a boyfriend can. The kind of scenario which that lady on twitter the other day experienced can hardly happen in marriage for instance. Her boyfriend of eight months blocked her on all communications channels the following day after the first time he successfully “popped her cherry.” She felt used and cheap. I hope you won’t fall for this kind of guys too? There are ladies who do this also I’m told. First date or fiftieth date, no sex until marriage. I believe I have attended to all the counter arguments. Now let me conclude from where I left off.
Being naked with your married partner isn’t sin and should not bring shame whatsoever. It rather brings pleasure to the Lord. That’s why it’s important for spouses to constantly affirm their acceptance of their partner’s body. Never look at your partner and say, “you’re too fat”. If she’s too fat, it’s your fault and it is your duty to fix it. But while the fixing is underway, you must continue to affirm how well you accept even the current situation. Experts affirm that sex is most enjoyable when it is dominated throughout with words of affirmation. “You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me”, “I can’t have enough of you”, “your nakedness is the most beautiful imagery in my mind”, “no one can rock me better than you do.” Continue these words of affirmation and watch the response. Not like some of you who don’t communicate atal on the job. Everything is approached dutifully. “Do what you want to do and leave me alone.” It’s a sign that the relationship is collapsing on many fundamentals.
Naked but not ashamed is extreme vulnerability to each other without fear. It goes beyond just sex. The principle permeates other aspects of marriage. It talks about absolute nakedness and openness in all affairs of life. The physical nakedness is but a mere symbol of what God intends exist between a man and his wife. There is nothing that he has that the woman must not know or see. There are no secret accounts or investments. All are made bare. They trust each other’s commitment of life. There is no fear of betrayal. No one is afraid to let out his weak side for the fear of being mocked or criticized. They both understand that mocking your spouse is mocking yourself. Whatever weakness in her life is only a pointer to the weakness of your own life. She was taken out of you. She is bone of your bones. To fix her, you need to fix you. So they don’t tear each other down with criticisms. They build each other up rather. They don’t go discussing each other’s weaknesses with committee of friends. That’s betrayal of trust. It destroys relationships. Men especially react badly to this. They defend each other before their respective families and friends. They are each others spokesperson. There is absolute security in the relationship, absolute joy, absolute acceptance.
I wish you this kind of marriage where you and your spouse will be naked and not ashamed.
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