Do we despise virginity?

What is our society’s attitude toward virginity? Is it a good attitude? Is it a healthy attitude? Is it a Biblical attitude?

Below is an account of the early life of Jacob and Esau. There is nothing in this passage about virginity, but Esau had an attitude toward his birthright which helps us evaluate our attitude toward virginity. Notice the statement that Esau despised his birthright. Why did the author of Genesis say that Esau despised his birthright?

Gen. 25:24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.

Gen. 25:25 Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau.

Gen. 25:26 Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.

Gen. 25:27 ¶ When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents.

Gen. 25:28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Gen. 25:29 When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished;

Gen. 25:30 and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom. The Hebrew word for red and the Hebrew word for Edom are from the same root word. In other words, Esau’s name was called Red.Gen. 25:30 and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom.

Gen. 25:31 But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.”

Gen. 25:32 Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?”

Gen. 25:33 And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.

Gen. 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

What was it about Esau’s behavior that led to the conclusion that he despised his birthright? First, it is curious to me that Jacob even considered asking Esau to sell the birthright. What would have caused Jacob to ask for something as valuable as a birthright in exchange for one meal? Did he know that Esau would sell it cheap? Next, the text makes it clear that Esau was very hungry, but I doubt he was close to death. The fact that Esau said he was about to die indicates that he didn’t place much value on the birthright.

Gen. 25:32 Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?”

The reason the Bible tells us that Esau despised his birthright is because he treated it very casually and he essentially thought it was worthless. The following verses from Hebrews indicate to us that Esau sold his birthright too cheap.

Heb. 12:15-16 See to it that … there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.

Esau had the birthright. The fact that he sold it for one meal indicates that he placed very little value on it which means he despised it.

Now let’s talk about virginity. There are many young females in our society who give their virginity away in exchange for a brief moment of pleasure. Sometimes they give it to someone they don’t know very well and/or someone they may never see again. The fact that they give it away so easily and casually means they do not place much value on it. Furthermore, our society is not alarmed that this is happening which means that our society does not place much value on virginity.

If Esau’s casual treatment of his birthright meant he despised his birthright, then should we conclude that our society’s casual treatment of virginity means we despise virginity? Why do we despise virginity? Why do we place so very little value on virginity?

Consider the following verses.

Rom. 13:13-14 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Gal. 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,

1Th. 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;

We cannot control the behaviors and attitudes of our society; however, we can control our own behaviors and attitudes. We can and should evaluate ourselves and make sure we as individuals have a proper attitude toward sexuality and virginity. No matter what is happening in the world around us, we should value virginity and give it the respect it deserves.


Further Reading

What should we do when we are surrounded by wickedness?

Do you believe the Bible or do you believe the world?


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“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”