Teaching youth about virginity and forgiveness via Todd Friel

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Todd Friel discusses how to talk to youth about virginity and what to say if they fail.

 

 

 

We’ve talked about the purity culture that some of our teens have been taught (Soul Tied: Harmful Spiritual Conclusions about Sex Abuse, Purity Culture, and Sex Abuse Victims).

What do you think about this new video from Todd Friel of Wretched?  It’s only 2 minutes long.

Let’s discuss!

182 comments on “Teaching youth about virginity and forgiveness via Todd Friel

  1. I’d agree that I’m no prophet, and things could be better or worse, but I still think your dad did right. While statistics are not destiny, to be sure, one would be as silly to ignore them regarding our sexuality as we would be to ignore them regarding seatbelts or the polio vaccine.

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  2. So a marriage license is comparable to a vaccine or a seat belt? I don’t think so.

    I have no marriage license. Like Michael Peal, my former “church” didn’t believe in getting state permission to marry. I am common-law married according to my state. So, “statistically” we are bound for failure? I mean, realistically, all we have to do is split up for two years and the state will view it as having never happened. Are you saying that that piece of paper is what holds a marriage together? Has it been imbued with some special powers that determine between success and failure?

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  3. BB, for the sake of your children’s happiness within the family, I hope they are exactly like you, with identical attitudes and biases. For the sake of the world, however, I hope they are less biased and more compassionate.

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  4. Carol, if I’m biased and uncompassionate for citing studies and drawing conclusions, then so are you. Pot, meet kettle.

    Let’s be serious and grown up here; there are certain realities in life that we ignore at our own peril. Your employer rightly points out that certain attitudes and behaviors are startlingly good predictors of divorce. There is nothing whatsoever “biased” or “judgmental” about it. It is simply the facts.

    And in the same way, there are a fair number of studies out there that point out that if you want STDs, divorce, heartbreak, domestic violence, poverty, drug dependency, and welfare dependency, you can do little better than to engage in premarital or extramarital sex.

    Really, if we’re going to talk about bias or a lack of compassion, I’d suggest we look at those who are NOT pointing out these facts of life.

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  5. BB, Arguing that sex outside of marriage is not necessarily bad is not claiming that it’s always good. This is why I’ve tried to differentiate between responsible and irresponsible relationships. So, yes, it’s good to look at stats that show statisically when things like STDs show up and warn teens about it. But again, it’s not just an act outside the institution of marriage that is being considered, but if it’s responsibly engaged in. Finding a large percent of bad outcomes after sex-outside-of-marriage means nothing if you don’t factor in whether those relationships were responsible or not. That’s why you can also have bad outcomes in marriage relationships too. That doesn’t make marriage necessarily bad, just as bad-outcomes doesn’t make sex outside of marriage necessarily bad.

    Again, just because someone has a position like this, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t warn teens about STDs, divorce rates, or teach that there are good reasons to delay sex until you are mature and more responsible. It’s not black and white, like if you don’t agree with the traditional values you are pushing teens to have sex. I (and most, more progressive sex-ed teachers) tell teens they shouldn’t consider sex until their early twenties for some of these reasons. But that is different than preaching it’s wait-until-marriage-or-you’re-sinning type of approach. Studies in European nations like Finland and Sweden show that teens taught non-traditional sex education have fewer STDs and unwanted pregnancies than their American counterparts.

    And of course, someone mentioned that evangelicals actually have higher divorce rates despite being taught, and supposedly following, that sex is always wrong outside of marriage. I’m all for good stats and warning people, but those stats have to be put in perspective.

    http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2014/02/05/evangelicals-more-likely-to-divorce-study/

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  6. BB, Bear in mind that arguing that sex outside of marriage is not necessarily bad is not claiming that it’s always good. This is why I’ve tried to differentiate between responsible and irresponsible relationships. So, yes, it’s good to look at stats that show statisically when things like STDs show up and warn teens about it. But again, it’s not just an act outside the institution of marriage that is being considered, but if it’s responsibly engaged in. Finding a large percent of bad outcomes after sex-outside-of-marriage means nothing if you don’t factor in whether those relationships were responsible or not. That’s why you can also have bad outcomes in marriage relationships too. That doesn’t make marriage necessarily bad, just as bad-outcomes doesn’t make sex outside of marriage necessarily bad.

    Again, just because someone has a position like this, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t warn teens about STDs, divorce rates, or teach that there are good reasons to delay sex until you are mature and more responsible. It’s not black and white, like if you don’t agree with the traditional values you are pushing teens to have sex. I (and most, more-progressive sex-ed teachers) tell teens they shouldn’t consider sex until their early twenties for some of these reasons. But that is different than preaching it’s wait-until-marriage-or-you’re-sinning type of approach. Studies in European nations like Finland and Sweden show that teens taught non-traditional sex education have fewer STDs and unwanted pregnancies than their American counterparts.

    And of course, someone mentioned that evangelicals actually have higher divorce rates despite being taught, and supposedly following, that sex is always wrong outside of marriage. I’m all for good stats and warning people, but those stats have to be put in perspective.

    http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2014/02/05/evangelicals-more-likely-to-divorce-study/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Bubba,

    I think I understand now why I’ve felt so bothered reading some of your comments, especially to Carol. You remind me of someone, and I’m afraid it’s not terribly complimentary to you.

    Your comments bring to my mind the words of Kevin Swanson.

    Please, hear me out. When you say something like this…

    And in the same way, there are a fair number of studies out there that point out that if you want STDs, divorce, heartbreak, domestic violence, poverty, drug dependency, and welfare dependency, you can do little better than to engage in premarital or extramarital sex.

    …it really is incumbent upon you to back up what you say. Especially when you give specific numbers and percentages, as you did further upthread. Carol and BTDT have supplied studies for you to consider; you linked to the CDC earlier, but I don’t see how it supported the claims you’re trying to make. It’s not enough for you to just say “there are a fair number of studies”. You have to show them to us.

    I also worry that you’re coming close to a kind of fear mongering. The paragraph I quoted above strikes me as over the top. You make it sound as though anyone who has sex before marriage is inevitably bound for a life of misery, violence and disease, with no hope of a lasting marriage or a happy family. I know that there are risks involved with pre-marital sex. I know that waiting for marriage is in agreement with scripture, and I agree that it’s the ideal course to take. But to depict a caring, committed couple as doomed to a life of despair simply because they aren’t married yet? To me, that flies in the face of what even Todd Friel is trying to say in the above video — that not bringing physical virginity to marriage is not the end of the world.

    It reminds me of Swanson’s now-infamous “womb tomb” comment. He trotted out his claims about women who use birth control meds, saying “certain doctors and scientists” confirmed it, yet he never named any valid sources. And he did it, as far as I can see, in a desperate effort to control his female listeners with fear.

    I’m not saying that your comments are anywhere near as bad as his, or that you’re debating Carol and others with the same motives. But I worry that you’re skirting dangerously close to Swanson’s tactics, out of your zeal to protect young people from harm and unhappiness. Please, please reconsider the way you’re presenting your point of view.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. One more point before I retire. (I hope it’s not too far off topic.)

    It’s also worth noting that churches – when they bother to do their duty and discipline members at least – do tend to discipline the guilty parties, not the victimized.

    Bubba, I’d like to believe you. But I’ve read too many stories, both here and at other places like The Wartburg Watch, to be so certain of what you say. I fear that, all too often, a church and its leaders are so enamored of marriage and opposed to divorce, that they’ll punish whichever spouse initiated the divorce, no matter what abuse that wife (or husband) has endured.

    For your consideration:
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/09/17/boz-tchividjian-shining-a-spotlight-on-the-shameful-responses-of-churches-to-domestic-violence/

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  9. When I read BB’s sentence above again…

    “And in the same way, there are a fair number of studies out there that point out that if you want STDs, divorce, heartbreak, domestic violence, poverty, drug dependency, and welfare dependency, **you can do little better than to engage in premarital or extramarital sex.**”

    …something else occurred to me.

    BB mentions premarital and extra marital sex together as if they are both equally sinful.

    A loving, committed, loyal, mature couple who has sex before marriage is hurting no one. They are expressing their love physically (as couples do after they obtain a marriage certificate). The same cannot be said of an extra-marital relationship, by any stretch of the imagination. That relationship might be one of love, but by its sheer definition, it is grounded in deceit, lies, and pain for others. In my opinion, premarital and extramarital sex are worlds apart! BB, can you see what I’m talking about here? Can you agree that one is more “sinful” than the other, in terms of what you call “heartbreak,” at least?

    In my own life, I had two boyfriends of over a year each in high school and three boyfriends of over a year each in college and afterwards before I got married. The high school relationships did not involve anything but kissing. Why? Sex or more sexual behavior than kissing just wasn’t an option for us; we simply didn’t feel ready. My relationships in college and after did include sex. Why? Because we were ready — committed, mature, responsible, and of course, in love. (And yes, I married one of them.) Believe it or not, having those experiences DID help me know who was the right person to spend the rest of my life with. It was *part* of the process of making that determination. Sex IS an important part of marriage and just as I wouldn’t marry someone without “testing” things like how that person deals with conflict and stress and how that person deals with family relationships, I also wouldn’t marry them without “testing” our sexually compatibility.

    Interestingly enough, I grew up in Berkeley in the 60’s, the daughter of very liberal “hippie” parents. No one ever told me that premarital sex was wrong (but they sure did tell me, all the time, that sex without love and maturity is). No one ever told me not to have sex in high school; my partners and I made that choice for ourselves. And decisions I made about sex later were also not made based on any black/white, right/wrong rules handed down by others. All the decisions I made about whether to have sex or not, in high school and college, were made by a moral compass that I had developed for myself, with the compassion, communication, and trust of others (including my parents), but without a mandate, a doctrine, or a preacher’s warnings of demise.

    Now EXTRA-marital is sex is COMPLETELY different! That hurts others, that is grounded in a lie, and that betrays the one you vowed to honor your partner AND FORSAKE ALL OTHERS till death do you part. My non-Biblical, Golden Rule-based moral compass says absolutely not! In fact, I think this is one of the most immoral things one can do because it so deeply betrays a promise made out of love.

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  10. BTDT, I’ve put multiple peer reviewed sources, including the CDC, in this thread which demonstrate my contention that both premarital and extramarital sex have some pretty darned scary results these days. So it’s not fear-mongering any more than warning people about the consequences of drunk driving, really.

    It’s just that the facts are pretty darned scary. And any perceived similarity to Mr. Swanson is simply guilt by association. Let’s grow up and start interacting with the data.

    And the reason I mix the data for premarital and extramarital sex is because that’s what my sources do. To modify something Carol likes to say, STDs, heartbreak, and conception don’t care whether you’re wearing a ring. Yes, adultery brings an additional victim into the picture, but let’s be serious here. There are plenty of victims already.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. And unless the couple is someone you know and/or are related to (and I’d say *even* then…), why do you care at all what anyone, especially a stranger, does behind closed doors? Why do YOU care? ( “Well, God cares” doesn’t count here, as you are not God.)

    And, to make things fair, do you want others to inquire as to what YOU do behind closed doors? Or is that only the business of you and your wife?

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  12. “BTDT, I’ve put multiple peer reviewed sources, including the CDC, in this thread which demonstrate my contention that both premarital and extramarital sex have some pretty darned scary results these days. So it’s not fear-mongering any more than warning people about the consequences of drunk driving, really.”

    Unless I’m missing something, here are the two sources you’ve posted:

    http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/09/sexual-partner-divorce-risk.html

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/key_statistics/n.htm

    “You cannot get to an average number of six sexual partners if the vast majority of sexual relationships outside of marriage don’t fail. You’ll also find, if you care to look up the data, that such relationships are more likely to end in divorce if they ever do get to marriage, they are three times more likely to have domestic violence, they fill our prisons with their illegitimate children, they fill our doctors’ offices with STD cases, and they fill the ranks of the poor and welfare recipients.”

    So, you’ve reached some rather overarching conclusions based on two links showing correlation of divorce to premarital sex and a “National Survey of Family Growth.” What do you conclude from the research showing that “Evangelical Protestants are more likely to be divorced than Americans who claim no religion?”

    Hmmm . . . let’s see. Is it that Evangelical Protestants are more likely to engage in premarital sex (with multiple partners) resulting in relationships that end in divorce? (This is tongue-in-cheek, btw.)

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  13. BeenThereDoneThat,
    are you arguing that there are no issues or risks at all with having multiple sex partners, with certain types of sex (eg, anal sex), and/or pre-marital sex?

    Are you saying there are no advantage or benefits at all to staying a virgin over one’s life, or waiting until marriage to have sex?

    If you were in life saving need of a blood transfusion, and the only ones in the hospital room who were a match for your blood type were
    1. me – a 40 something virgin, never had sex, never abused drugs –
    or
    2. a crack and heroin addicted prostitute who has had sex with five different guys a night over the course of the last ten years,
    who would you rather get the blood donation from, and the doctor in this scenario has no time to pre-screen the donation for disease?

    BTDT said,

    Hmmm . . . let’s see. Is it that Evangelical Protestants are more likely to engage in premarital sex (with multiple partners) resulting in relationships that end in divorce? (This is tongue-in-cheek, btw.)

    That evangelicals may engage in more sexual sin more often than other groups does not nullify that the Bible presents sex as being for a married couple only.

    Your point would be like saying,
    “Studies show 90% of evangelicals beat up 85 year old dementia patients for fun and steal candy from babies, ergo, there is nothing sinful or unethical with other people beating up the elderly or stealing from babies”

    Is Premarital Sex a Sin? Bible Scholars Respond

    New Study Claims People Who’ve Had More Sexual Partners Report Unhappier Marriages

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  14. carolsnider said,

    And unless the couple is someone you know and/or are related to (and I’d say *even* then…), why do you care at all what anyone, especially a stranger, does behind closed doors? Why do YOU care? ( “Well, God cares” doesn’t count here, as you are not God.)

    To an extent I agree with you, BUT. However.

    I’m a 40-something year old virgin. I admit to this under a pen name here on a blog (this is not something I go about willy nilly advertising to all in real life).

    The problem is that people do not keep their personal, sexual behavior or choices to themselves.

    People in our culture open themselves up to debate and judgement because they will not shut up about it.

    Our popular culture, in music videos, books, and movies, glorifies pre-martial sex and other forms of sexual sin.

    Militant homosexuals hold “gay rights” parades where they sometimes sashay about in public wearing next to nothing, and in some very, very tawdry “gay rights” celebrations, homosexuals walk about nude, perform oral sex on each other in public, on city streets (google “Folsom Street Fair”).

    You have militant, secular feminists who go out in public on “slut walks” (”Slut walk” info on Wiki), a movement which started out being against rape, but it seems to have morphed into them defiantly proclaiming women are entitled to have sex whenever and how ever often they choose, or to dress as publicly slutty as they want to.

    You have that young lady, named Fluke, who went before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee committee, I believe, arguing that the U.S. tax payer should fund her birth control pills. She is making her sexual choices everyone else’s business.

    And many of these groups, the militant homosexuals and the secular feminists, demand that you agree with and celebrate their sexual choices. They go out in city streets, hold parades, publish editorials on mainstream blogs and news sites, go on radio and TV news programs, to talk about their own personal sex lives and those of their friends.

    I see little to no support for remaining a virgin until marriage in our culture.

    That notion (of staying a virgin until marriage) actually gets questioned or ridiculed in Hollywood films and in liberal magazines such as Salon, which published an editorial by Marcotte a few months ago, who stated that voluntarily remaining a virgin until marriage “is a silly idea,” and she spent the rest of the editorial bashing Christian teachings and social conservative views on this point in particular.

    Most of American culture today says it’s abnormal, backwards, or weird to be a virgin and to be celibate.

    It’s gotten to the point I’ve seen a very small number of secular editorials pop up by 20 something virgins in the past year or two telling people to stop ridiculing them for choosing to stay a virgin.

    But still, these virgins are vastly outnumbered by the rabidly “pro sex” feminists and homosexual rights groups who run about on blogs and TV shows screaming that nobody should be judging them for their sexual choices or behavior.

    There used to be societal shame over having sex prior to marriage, but in the last few decades, the script has flipped, and our society now shames virgins for being virgins.

    Any and all manner of sexual behavior is now celebrated, defended, and tolerated in our society, EXCEPT FOR virginity and celibacy.

    Your average Non Christian fornicator is proud of being a fornicator and loudly proclaims it on blogs and TV.

    Secular, liberal feminists do not believe anyone should have any opinions on moderating sexual behavior at all, and feel that doing so falls under what they deem “slut shaming.”

    carolsnider said,

    BB, who are the victims of premarital sex in a committed, mature, responsible relationship?

    The person who was a virgin in the relationship, that’s one.

    My ex fiance diddled about with other women before we met, and it broke my heart to find out he had boinked around with other women. I had to come to terms with that, and it took some effort and quite some time on my part.

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  15. I accidentally forgot to close my blockquote tag in my post above.

    Carol’s quote ends,
    “Why do YOU care? ( “Well, God cares” doesn’t count here, as you are not God.)”

    And my quote starts at,
    “To an extent I agree with you, BUT. However.”

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  16. “Are you saying there are no advantage or benefits at all to staying a virgin over one’s life, or waiting until marriage to have sex?”

    For the record, my husband and I were both virgins when we married. If I believed there weren’t advantages, then the joke is on me.

    I want my kids armed with good information and common sense. They can make their own decisions just as you and I have. I’m not going to motivate them with fear and shame.

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  17. BTDT said
    “They can make their own decisions just as you and I have. I’m not going to motivate them with fear and shame.”

    Shame and guilt are not always a bad thing, or bad as a motivator. I have several reasons why I abstained, and fear is most definitely one of those reasons. I didn’t have to worry about getting any sexually transmitted diseases, for instance.

    If someone steals five bucks from their sweet gram gram and does not feel a shred of guilt or shame over that, that bothers me. Sometimes shame and fear are appropriate.

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  18. Making a decision on intimacy is not comparable to stealing money. Rape is more comparable to stealing money. Both are crimes committed against another person.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. BB, who are the victims of premarital sex in a committed, mature, responsible relationship?

    Well, Carol, you know well that I disagree with your premise; that sex outside of marriage can be committed, mature, or responsible. And who is the victim in this non-committed, immature, irresponsible relationship?

    Well, for starters, the participants, who are almost certain to suffer STDs, heartbreak, and elevated divorce rates once they do marry. They are also far more likely to suffer domestic violence, unwed parenting, crime, and the like. Their children fill our penitentiaries and welfare rolls.

    Which leads to the second group of victims; you and I. We get to pay the bill for all that.

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  20. This entire thread has been a real education to me. As you have probably ascertained by now, I do not travel in the same circles as most of you — though, as Julie Anne can tell you, I do have the utmost respect for those who think differently than I do and I welcome healthy, respectful debate. I think we can ALL learn from those discussions – as long as we keep an open mind, remain respectful, and acknowledge that no one is ever 100 correct.

    Let’s see, how do I say this respectfully (and that IS honestly my aim)?

    I am truly floored by some of what I’ve read here over the past week or so. Most of the conversation here has been respectful, but I have read some things that make my skin crawl, and that make me realize that there really ARE people out there who, instead of bowing their heads in sadness over the death of someone like Matthew Shepard, actually infer that his death was staged and blown out of proportion by the media.

    Or that “militant homosexuals” make it a practice to “hold gay rights parades where they sometimes sashay about in public wearing next to nothing, and in some very, very tawdry “gay rights” celebrations, homosexuals walk about nude, perform oral sex on each other in public, on city streets.” Um, yes — probably as often as “militant heterosexual” Hells Angels stage violent demonstrations or Christian groups hold up pictures of dead babies…

    Have those of you who type those things made any effort at all to really understand what it is to be gay? To be born that way, sometimes to parents who reject their child because of it…to live in a world where there are those who would beat up a stranger in an airport in Texas (trust you’ve seen this: http://youtu.be/XxWimFepdn4 ?) simply because they are gay?

    Have those of you who believe homosexuality to be such a horrible sin (the Bible also said that wearing two different cloths together was a sin) not HEARD the important messages from gay people like Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen Degeneres who simply want to live peacefully with the one they love like the rest of us do? Have you REALLY LISTENED with an OPEN, LOVING (Christian) HEART?

    Aren’t there more important issues in the world than letting yourselves into the bedrooms of others to condemn what they do in their own loving relationship, be it married, unmarried, or gay? Isn’t there a cause that could help more people in the world than in condemning those loving relationships? How about volunteering in homeless shelters with children whose mothers have left abusive relationships and can barely afford to feed them, or with AIDS infected babies who are here now and need love and physical touch, whether they were wanted or not? There are so many causes (IMO) that are more important than making sure two loving 20-year-olds or a gay couple don’t have sex in their own bedrooms.

    My husband calls me a “hopeless optimist” because I believe that people are basically loving, compassionate, and kind. But after reading some of the comments on this thread, I really have to wonder. I am truly sorry to say that I see far more real compassion and kindness (and tolerance!) on Reddit’s atheist thread.

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  21. BTDT, here’s one on STDs.

    http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/sti-estimates-fact-sheet-feb-2013.pdf

    No hasty generalization here at all, BTW. If we follow standard infectious disease epidemiology, the likelihood of transmission is a function of the number of contacts. It would follow that those who have the most sex partners will have the most STDs. We take a look at the # of partners information. It suggests clearly that most who have premarital sex don’t just do it with one person.

    Again, STDs, divorce, heartbreak, domestic violence, etc……again, what’s loving about this? I will grant that there are some who seem to escape without significant damage, but the center of the distribution is suffering pretty badly.

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  22. I, my kids, and most of our friends must have dodged that bullet then because, although we have all had sex before marriage (and some of us even cohabited), not ONE SINGLE person “suffers STDs, heartbreak, and elevated divorce rates (… or) suffers domestic violence, unwed parenting, crime, and the like.” Of all us sinners (and I am talking hundreds, as this is, right or wrong, good or bad, the world I live in) there has not been a SINGLE child (in) “our penitentiaries and welfare rolls.” I’m not sure who you are referring to or who you hang out with, BB, but I live in a pretty normal world and I have seen NOT ONE case where this is true.

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  23. BB,

    OK, That’s good information. That’s very important information. That is the kind of information I would want to arm my kids with.

    Now, here’s a big problem. “Eighty percent of young, unmarried Christians have had sex. Two-thirds have been sexually active in the last year. Even though, according to a recent Gallup poll, 76 percent of evangelicals believe sex outside of marriage is morally wrong.”

    http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/almost-everyones-doing-it

    We should be asking ourselves, “How’s that working for you?” On one extreme, we have Patriarchy with its purity balls and daddy shaving. (ick, ick, ick) Beating our kids over the head with the Bible clearly isn’t working. If we can’t scare them with damnation, will scaring them with STD info work? (I’m asking this in all seriousness.)

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  24. Carol, I agree. I grew up in the sixties and I knew very few people who were virgins when they got married. But none of my friends had STDs, none got divorced (except me after 34 years of marriage because of exceptional circumstances), none of us have been on welfare, and none of us had delinquent children.

    My husband and I lived together for four years before we got married. We have always been committed to each other, I just wasn’t ready for the ceremony because of PTSD from the first marriage. Again, no STDs and no welfare. We own our own home, support ourselves, vote, and volunteer. There will be no divorce. I don’t recognize BB’s world.

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  25. @ MissDaisyFlower

    Why, Miss Daisy Flower!

    “me – a 40 something virgin, never had sex, never abused drugs”

    I cannot remember if you and I have ever – er – crossed swords in this place. (I am not your usual SSB clientelle and I have to admit that I did ruffle a few feathers, and got flamed in return, during my early days here.)

    If we *have* “crossed swords” (so-to-speak), then I now regret that, and hope for your forgiveness. For you have just described yourself as my ideal WLTM (would-like-to-meet) of the lonely hearts ad I would dare to place only after reading the passage in Ephesians 3, about God being able to do “more than we can ask or imagine”, several times, to help me to pluck up the courage to ask God for more than I could ever imagine. The woman of my dreams.

    You are a treasure. You had an old head on young shoulders when you were young. Nowadays you therefore still have an as-new (and hygienic) reproductive system in a body mature enough for some of your sex who are of your age to have born a dozen children already! Your market value in the Christian marriage stakes is simply immense.

    But, if you choose to die a virgin, because that is how you conclude that God is leading you, then you will still be a treasure in my eyes, like an unsold masterpiece that failed to secure a bid greater than or equal to its reserve price, when last it was put up for auction.

    Congratulations, my dear sister in Christ. Sincerely.

    (Moderator: I hope ad hominem is OK here when it is only saying nice things.)

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