But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.Matthew 5:28
Two Point Perspective of Virginity
Many attempt to define virginity brings the above verse of the Bible to mind. Others have also defined virginity around the hymen concept: like defining virginity as one who has not involved in vaginal-penis sexual activity.
These two approach to defining virginity is very extreme and despicable.
In the first extreme, it will be necessary to emphasize that virginity though a laudable virtue but on its own as a state of sexual purity does not connote a right standing with God.
A working definition of virginity here will render virginity as a STATE of MEMORY purity about SEXUAL ACTIVITIES. A good test on what should fall under sexual activities is its trail on the memory of the persons involved. This is why virginity is not holistically a spiritual state because even after you have repented and forgiven, the memories of moments of sexual activities continues to be there.
The Thought Perspective
This fact addresses the first extreme in the definition of virginity as a state of the heart/spiritual purity. To be considered and excluded from the definition of virginity is the bodily and soulish aspect of man. Bodily, man is a physical, biological or physiological beings with instinctive hormonal meditated responses. In the soul aspect of man, man has a mind which is the oceans where the wind of thought blows to cause it’s wave of emotions. As long as man lives, the mind cannot cease to receive the winds of thought!
Having established this, it will be necessary to revisit the statement our Lord Jesus made in Mathew 5 above. Firstly, He was referring to adultery/sin; not virginity: a state of the memory. Thus, this verse should not be extended from adultery; specified, to virginity by any means whether inductive or deductive. That’s why it should be emphatic that virginity is only a virtue and not a state of right standing with God.
Secondly, He was speaking to the Jews; scribes and Pharisees who as we well know, were ardent adherents of the law of Moses, the Torah. I believe that our Lord Jesus making the statement above was intending to deny the Jews of any platform to stand and feed on their self righteous attitude but for all to acknowledge the hopeless state of man and acknowledge their need for a saviour as the only way they can fulfil the law which they so much love.
So to quote the above verse of the scripture would mean crossing out every one from the virginity status which is unobtainable. Every sexual lust that is not controlled would often graduate into pornography, masturbation, bestiality etc. Until then, it is not a sexual ACTIVITIES yet.
Also, it should be emphatic that virginity is not defined as one who has not lust/thought lustful-from the hallmark of the mind activities but defined as one who has not engaged(physically) in any sexual activities.
Albeit, am I endorsing dirty thoughts? NOP! Our thoughts is influenced by what we hear, see and do. The Bible enjoins us to renew our mind by reading the word of God(Rom12:2; Eph 4:28). This way, our mind is submerged in the spirit and our body too is stayed.
The Hymen Perspective
On the other extreme, virginity is not limited to presence or absence of hymen. Men don’t have hymen after all. The definition of virginity includes every sexual ACTIVITIES like; Masturbating alone or with a partner, oral, vaginal, and anal sex, kissing sexually, rubbing your bodies together in romance, bestiality etc. It includes every source of sexual satisfaction, acclamation, habit or addict. Many persons whose hymen is still intact(in the faces of other factors that can tear the hymen noted) could get a legal chastity of virginity but not a memory chastity. There’s no virginity in the absence of sexual chastity for virginity is a chastity belt: all things being equal.
Summarily, you are a virgin if you have not involved in any sexual activities. If you are not a virgin, this is not a condemnation but like our Lord Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery; go and sin no more! Lean on God through Jesus to overcome every sexual activities outside marriage.
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- sunstev · All agreed to this rendering. Thanks dear all.
- stolzyblog · Interesting to read your thinking about Biblical virginity —and even contemporary virginity. I have different thoughts about the significance of virginity than you do, but more importantly, I have a different reading or thinking about Matthew 5 than you seem to. So I would like to share it. I noticed that you mentioned that Christ was speaking to the Jews, Pharisees, and Scribes, in connection to Matt 5:28, the well-known phrase about adultery. But I do not think this is true. It says at the very onset of Matt 5, in setting up the narrative, that Christ seeing the crowds, went to a high place — away from these crowds — and some disciples followed him, whom he began teaching. “Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:..”How can one think about this? The disciples are not the general crowds, the masses. This is the first thing to realize. All the subsequent speaking during the famous ‘Sermon on the Mount’ is directed to a smaller group of chosen disciples, who already could understand Christ to a far greater degree than the typical Jew of the times. This is special teaching, an intimate seminar, if you will, directed at the small group of initiates who had ears to receive it. The image of the mountain, or a high place, always signifies in the gospels (and elsewhere) a special condition, meditatively, wherein Christ could spiritually transmit teaching to the ones of his contemporaries who were capable of and destined to grasp his meaning. If you reflect on this in the context of all of Matthew 5, you will see it’s truth. Whereas if you picture all of Matthew 5 as being shouted down from the summit to a crowd of hundreds or thousands, it makes little sense. You are correct, I think, to distinguish between virginity and adultery. The spiritual meaning of virginity in the gospels is an esoteric one, which cannot be literally equated to physical meaning of the word in everyday parlance. But why does Christ say the things he says in 5:28 (and also 5:22 in a similar vein)? Because he wants to impress upon them the power of their thoughts, and to suggest, by implication, that the road to spiritual purity (virginity) is one which demands that the aspirant begin tackling the quality and content of his thinking. This is a radical teaching concept, because at this era thinking was presumed to be quite a natural activity, unfolding of it’s own on the basis of a stream of sensory images or inner experiences. All esoteric conditions stress the importance of learning to control thinking, and the reason is because becoming an inhabitant of spiritual worlds (Kingdom of Heaven) demands that one be the master of the thoughts which come to one and live within one. This is a spiritual law. Well, I think this is all I wanted to say for the moment. Thanks again.
- claire o’sullivan · 6 Days AgoI agree. Jesus was entreating people to understand the law in light not of action, but of the heart. Sexual immorality, hatred, etc. The people around said, then who can be saved? They were freaking out. But that is why He had to fulfill that law. Later Paul says he loved the law in his heart but he warred with it constantly. While we cannot fulfill complete sanctification during our lifetime, as we’ve been justified freely by His blood, our sanctification is to run the race, work furiously (with the help of the Holy Spirit) toward sanctification. Thank you, great post!
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