Tuesday, September 18, 2007

when you're learning a lot, sometimes you think you know it all

I would like to publicly retract the word "selfish" from this previous post.

Below is a comment in response from the welcomed criticism of a good friend (from the comment section).
I've come to realize through correspondence over the past week that "selfish" is the wrong word.

Every woman is unique and in a unique relationship.

My advice would do very little to help a woman who is a virgin, finds it very easy to communicate with her fiance, and looks forward to the journey (whatever that may be ... whether laughing the first night because they JUST can't figure it out or enjoying each other passionately).

On the other hand, many women are afraid of the unknown. Should the woman afraid of the penetration of needles much less the thought of her husband penetrating her remain in her fear? No, this would be an example of a woman who ought to speak with a woman she trusts and respects and visit a doctor to be assured that her body will survive a wedding night.

Is she selfish if she does not go to a doctor ... no, just fearfully ignorant. Not the bliss you described.

2 women, 2 expectations, neither selfish.

Those who are afraid do not need to remain in fear. They can speak frankly with their fiance about their fear and seek reassurance and understanding from him. They can speak to a trusted woman that can disciple them in placing their trust in God and his purpose for marriage and advise them on what to expect. And they can seek out medical advice about their own anatomy whether from a book or a physician.

Like I said [before], in many situations just having sex is not the answer. But there are many underlying fears and expectations that need to be communicated (like Shiloh recommended above, as well) before being married.

Love and communication.


I would still recommend women visit a physician beforehand but from now on my advice would definitely lack the edge of pressure with the risk of labeling a friend "selfish" ... God forbid I harbor a mentality that communicates "If you don't do what I do, then you're wrong."

I have been amazed and humbled by the public and private response to this topic. I now understand that to use such judgmental language as selfish is indeed uncharitable, and I am sorry and apologize to those I offended.


The Borg said...

Thanks so much for apology Christine, I really appreciate it.

Sherrin said...

I also appreciate the apology. It demonstrates humility. I am sure that God will bless you as you are open and humble enough to admit wrong. This excellent character trait will really help you in your ministry to other women.

Jason L. said...

"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:2 (NKJV)

I had to publicly apologize for myself recently, and it is both a humbling and cleansing experience. Well done for recognizing your error, and your readership thanks you and praises God for His work here. :-)


Michael said...

But fear IS selfish. It's totally centered on self!

Now, can some women blissfully think everything will be perfect on their wedding night and think that going to the doctor is nothing to bother with? Sure, although I think they're in the minority. But still, those women are either ignorant or ignoring sage advice.

Christine, while I think it's always good to apologize for a wrong, you've said nothing wrong here. Christians are too easily offended these days; instead of a young woman exhorting her virgin friends in waiting to take action being the offender, I think the real offense would be tempering your observations to the point where you're trying to please every reader for fear of offending.

Because, you see, truth is divisive. And what you said is generally true. Could you have put a qualifier in? Sure. But more people are going to read your post and pass it on with the stronger title.

And let me just say that you can say someone is selfish and say it in love. If you didn't have love in that post, you never would have written about such a sensitive subject. The fact that you chose to share something so personal that 99 out of 100 women would NEVER share should show anyone that read your post that it was done in love. Please don't confuse love with everyone agreeing with your observations or opinions.

FWIW, if you want to work with a small group of women that you get to know on a deep personal level, and that's the scope of your ministry, then don't worry about what I've just written.

But if you want to reach the multitude, if you want to shout something from the mountain top to affect as many women as possible in the most profound way, using words like "selfish" gets people's attention. When Al Mohler talked about "The Sin of Singleness" a couple years back, that got people's attention and got them talking. And predictably, some single Christians were offended.

In short, if you ever want to write a book that gets people talking and doesn't bow to all potential 'offense' and that speaks truth to the multitudes, drop me a line. That'd be our kind of book.

And by the way, congrats to you and your hubby from Hayley and me! Just know we're proud of you as a couple that did the long distance courtship as well (albeit only 2500 miles.) :-)

Laura said...

Christine, thank you for being so gracious! It's a joy to see the Lord working in your and Mike's lives.

GloryandGrace said...

Just as a word of encouragement, your post made it into our small group discussion in Dr. Cutrer's marriage class on Monday night. You're still thought of and missed around here :)

ckjolly said...

Jenn, i'm curious as to what conclusions your group came up with.

gina said...

always good thought and discussion material, Christine. 'gracious' is an excellent word, Laura. also, being able to apologize is a huge thing in marriage as well as any relationship, including bloggers,too, I guess. it's humbling and difficult to do, but so rewarding and always seems to bring the two parties closer.

GloryandGrace said...

I'll definitely let you know via either email or facebook~

Astrid said...

I would like to personal thank you for personally bringing up the issue. because serously the only reason why I thought I would need to go to the doctor before my marriage was perhaps a few months before hand to sort out contraception. It's funny because as a budding health professional who's studied human bio I think I know all these things. I heard something of pain the first time but I thought it was only the first time and only a minor thing but from what your doctor described and that poor woman who commented on sherrin's blog its definitely does not sound like a minor thing but can be quite debilitating.

It seems to have been some debate as to whether a women should go to the doctor whether its selfish not to. I think all women should be made aware of the possible hardship and advised to see the doctor but it's a very personal decision that should be made between the prospective couple as what they wish to do.

I say couple because it would be sad if the women to not go to the doctor for her own personal reasons and the prospective husband not to be made aware of the possible difficulties and decision made.