As I read the CNN article, “STD rates reach record high in United States”, I remembered watching (twenty years ago) the DVD, “Sex has a price-tag” by Pam Stenzel.
Pam, while speaking to high school learners, made the point that condoms may prevent pregnancy, but they certainly don’t protect one from a whole host of venereal or sexually transmitted diseases. Pam’s point is even more urgent today.
CNN reports that:
“There were more reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases last year than ever before in the United States, according to the latest STD surveillance report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
While condom use is growing, the occurrence of STDs is also growing.
“Men who have sex with men accounted for the majority of new gonorrhea cases last year, and antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea was found to possibly be higher among the group, the new report showed.
Overall, young people and gay and bisexual men face the greatest risk of getting a STD, according to the new report. It’s estimated that about half of the nearly 20 million new STD cases reported annually are among 15 to 24 year olds.”
According to the website www.stdcheck.com, STDs that can be contracted while using a condom include:
HPV (human papillomavirus)
HPV is the most common STD; there are over 100 strains of the virus. Some strains of HPV go unnoticed and seem to cause no symptoms at all, while others can cause genital warts or various cancers.
Genital herpes is a viral STD that typically results in sores or lesions on the genitals, anus or upper thighs.
Syphilis is a highly contagious bacterial infection that spreads through sexual contact, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex.
Pubic lice, also known as crabs, are Pthirus pubis that infect the genitals.
Molluscum contagiosum causes small red or pink raised bumps to form on the body.
Don’t buy the lie
Sex is precious. Sex, according to God, is a good gift that should be extremely highly valued. This means that sex should be reserved for the loyal, committed, secure, exclusive relationship of marriage. When sex is enjoyed in God’s intended way, it is for our great good and God’s glory.
Don’t buy the lie that you must check, before you’re married, whether you’re sexually compatible or not. God has made males and females sexually compatible. (Reread your biology text-book!)
Don’t buy the lie that you’re missing out if you’re not sexually active while single. The only thing you’re missing out on is all the drama and pain and heart-ache (and STDs).
Don’t buy the lie that sex is just another biological function, like eating or dancing, that you can experience with anyone at any time – because it’s no big deal. Sex is much more than that. Sex is the highest form of intimacy that a man and woman can enjoy and it mysteriously connects the two people.
Don’t buy the lie that you must have sex or else you’ll be psychologically scarred or emotionally repressed. Jesus was the perfect man and never had sex. He was psychologically and emotionally well-developed and certainly didn’t need sex to “complete” his human development.
If you’re going have sex before (or outside) marriage, please do use a condom. But, know that there is and will be a price-tag. There is a world of pain and emotional baggage and a host of STDs that a piece of latex is unable to protect you from.
If you’ve messed up in the area, you are not alone and there is hope. Christ has died so that our sin and failures may be forgiven.
- Admit to God that you’ve messed up and trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sin.
- Ask God to help you to be captivated by His excellent plan for sex and sexuality in marriage.
- Tell a mature Christian of your faith in Christ and be accountable to him or her for your sexual purity.
- You may need to end the relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend, especially if they don’t respect your new boundaries.
- Get yourself checked by a medical doctor, that if you have a STD you can start taking medication.
- Be prepared to disclose your STD status to your future wife or husband.
- Remember that God is enough and God’s grace will make good come of even the worst situation.
Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.