Yesterday I mentioned that this year’s star of The Bachelor, Sean Lowe, has made headlines by declaring himself a "born-again virgin." Presumably what he means is that he was once sexually active, but decided to take a different path and has now committed to saving sex until after marriage.
I am not holding Sean up as the poster boy for purity. But he does raise an interesting question—once someone has lost their virginity, can it ever be reclaimed? Is it possible to be a "born-again virgin"?
It’s a question worth exploring.
I’ve talked to many young women who mistakenly believe that once they’ve had sex, they cannot stop or turn back. Having already lost their virginity, they see no way to get it back. So they decide it’s too late for them and keep making things worse by perpetuating this behavior, going against God’s clear and loving plan.
If that describes you, I want you to know that it is absolutely not too late for you. It’s true that you can never become a physical virgin again. That’s water under the bridge. But you can become a spiritual virgin. God can wipe the slate clean.
1. Acknowledge your sin.
Don’t say "I blew it" or "I made a mistake." Don’t come up with excuses. Call your sexual activity what it is—sin. This step is called repentance. Repentance simply means to agree with God that sin is sin with no rationalizations or intent to commit it again.
2. Confess it.
In 1 John 1:9 we read, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Once you’ve admitted that your sexual activity outside of marriage is sin, confess it to God.
3. Accept Christ’s forgiveness.
For many sexually active girls, this is the most difficult step. In 1 John 1:9, God promises that He will forgive us of our sin and wipe the slate clean.
This is where the idea of born-again virginity comes from. His promise is to "cleanse us from all unrighteousness." God offers the gift of total forgiveness and a chance to do things over.
But girls who continue to have sex outside of marriage often feel cheap, used, and unworthy of God’s love, and so they continue to sin. When you consider yourself beyond forgiveness, you are saying that God is not all-powerful and that He is unable to cope with the magnitude of what you’ve done. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Colossians 2:13–14 says, "And you, who were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross."
When you accept Christ’s forgiveness for your sexual sin, you agree that God’s grace—evident in Christ’s death on the cross—is sufficient payment for your sin.
The beautiful truth of the gospel is that all of us have the chance to be "born again" no matter what the nature of our sin is.
First Peter 1:23 describes this possibility: "Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God."
Some of you may well be "born-again virgins," who were once slaves to sexual sin, but by God’s grace are now a "new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17), just like some of us are born-again liars, born-again gossips, born-again narcissists, and born-again addicts. True, we all face the consequences of our sin, and there are consequences for sex outside of marriage that don’t go away when we choose the path of purity. But The Bachelor is a reminder that we always have the choice to run in the opposite direction of sin and that God’s grace means He is willing and able to wipe the slate clean.
Now that deserves a television special …
Note: Portions of this post are taken from a book Erin wrote with Josh McDowell titled The Bare Facts: 39 Questions Your Parents Hope You Never Ask About Sex.