What Are You Waiting For?

I recently read an article in “Neue” Magazine entitled “True Love Isn’t Waiting”.  You can check out the article HERE.  80% of “young evangelicals” (ages 18-29) have had sex, as opposed to 88% of non-Christian, unmarried young adults.  In fact, 42% of young, unmarried Christians said they are currently in a sexual relationship, while 53% of non-Christian young adults admit the same.

Are those statistics shocking to anyone else?  As I read the article, I was just blown away.  The church is openly opposed to pre-marital sex, but there is obviously a huge disconnect between what is expected and what is done.

I agree with the article in that one of the huge reasons these statistics are what they are is that sex is avoided as a topic of teaching and discussion in the church.  Granted, most students hear multiple forms of “true love waits” talks in youth group, but by the time they get to college, many don’t seem to remember what they’re actually waiting for.

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I just read a book entitled “What Are You Waiting For?” by Dannah Gresh.

Through straight-talk and practical examples, Dannah helps young women to see why God has made us the way we are, why waiting is such a big deal, and the incredible rewards of being pure.

In the first few chapters, Dannah introduces us to the Hebrew word used for intimate sex throughout the Old Testament: yada.  As in “Adam lay [yada] with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.” Genesis 4:1.

yada: verb.  to know, to be known, to be deeply respected

In other words, yada is both a deep respect and an emotional knowing.  The same Hebrew word is also used in relation to God and us.  For example: “Be still, and know [yada] that I am God” Psalm 46:10.  And “O LORD, you have searched me and you know [yada] me.” Psalm 139:1.  Dannah puts it so well when she says:

It’s clear from these verses that yada isn’t about a merely physical act.  Rather, yada is a word of intimacy that transcends the physical.  It describes the whole knowing of a person.  It portrays an uncovering and embrace of the nakedness of another.  There are no secrets and nothing is held back…This is the heart of yada.  To be known–just as we are–and still be pursued.

She also tells a story from the Bible of a horrible act of incest (Genesis 19).  When she looked up this Hebrew word for “lay”, she found something else entirely.  This word is shakab, which basically means “to exchange body fluids.”  She goes on to say:

Some sex is God’s sex.  It’s yada.

Some sex is counterfeit.  It’s shakab.

Our culture sells us shakab, while God has perfectly designed yada.  Dannah goes on to explain and expound on these concepts.  She also talks about the amazing gift of grace and starting over if you’ve already made mistakes.  And she does a fantastic job.  Her transparency and straightforwardness are exactly what this generation of young women (and men!) need.

I highly recommend “What Are You Waiting For?” to every unmarried young woman.  I also recommend that you read it if you’re a parent of a young woman, or if you will be someday.  And even though this is written for girls, I agree with Melody Carlson (a teen fiction author) when she says that guys should read it as well.

I’ll leave you with one last excerpt from the book:

God’s call for sex to be preserved for one man and one woman who have not even a hint of sexual experience anywhere else is in context with His plan to portray Himself and His love to a lost world.  I believe the exclusive passion and commitment of a bride and groom is meant to be a picture of an exclusive, exciting relationship with Jesus Christ that is free from any other gods.  When people witness the passion and mystery of the rarely seen couple who are still emotionally engaged with each other “after all these years,” it gives credence to the possibility of something lasting and passionate.  And the apostle Paul said such a relationship will be so rare in our world that it will be called a “mystery.”  He went on to say it will make people hungry for the mysterious, exclusive love of Christ.

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So what are your views on this?  Do you think it’s something the church needs to address–aside from the occasional youth group talk? 

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–Staci

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Please take a few seconds to rank my review of this book HERE.

You can purchase the book from Amazon HERE.

You can check out the first chapter and find more information about the title HERE.

This book was sent to me by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group through the Blogging for Books Program.  You can find more information about Blogging for Books HERE.

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About mselizondo

We've been married since December of 2008, and our son, Josiah, was born in July of 2012. We love spending time with family, running, music, traveling, and reaching out to others as a family. View all posts by mselizondo

One response to “What Are You Waiting For?

  • reneamac

    Thanks for this, Staci. I’ve read Gresh’s And the Bride Wore White, which I generally disliked, but which I also appreciated because it’s the only youth book-study (other than it’s for-boys-equivalent Who Moved the Goal Posts by Dannah’s husband) on sex which discusses the covenantial nature of sex.

    In the same vein as Gresh’s focus on what Scripture says about covenantial sex, it’s good to see her yet again focusing on what Scripture says sex is. When I first read that Genesis passage in the NSAB which translates the word yada as ‘know,’ my view of sex was deeply enriched.

    Have you ever read Lauren Winner’s Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity? If you’re looking for something that isn’t targeted at teen girls and will probably have more appeal to both men and women, college age and older, Winner’s book is excellent, and the most grounded in biblical narrative I’ve ever seen.

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