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What’s a born-again virgin, and does it matter?

Is it possible for a person who is no longer a virgin (either male or female) to be made virginal again?

Recently, a friend raised this question. Apparently, someone she knows claimed to be a born-again virgin, although this person is a divorced parent with multiple biological children.

Is this person a born-again virgin? And does it matter? 

Maybe this is merely a question of semantics.

Sure, the Bible speaks clearly of God’s forgiveness, grace, and new beginnings. The Lord of love delights in extending His mercy to any and all who call upon Him. He rescues the fallen and raises the broken-hearted.

Any Christian can quote the passage from John 3, when Jesus told Nicodemus that a person must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God. And we understand He wasn’t talking about the physical birth, but an eternal and spiritual one.

So, from that spiritual standpoint, a person’s virginity could be restored. (And not all sex is sin, of course. Even the most conservative believers would have to agree with that, especially if they've reproduced. But that may be another post for another time.)

Psalm 103:12 offers this promise:

He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.

What a wonderful assurance for those who believe. I love that! No matter what harms and hurts we've turned away from, God promises to make us new.

But what about the born-again virgin question?

Should we stick purity rings on the fingers of all who turn away from their past sexual experiences? What about the divorced man or woman, the unwed parent, the once-rebellious teenager, the human trafficking victim, or the rape or incest survivor? Can anyone claim sexual experience never happened?

Certainly, God-bought innocence is real. His loving-kindness knows no limits. His purity is genuine. And anyone can have a fresh start, which the Bible calls being born again.

Can virginal status be restored?

We can understand and even salute the spiritual conviction that may lie within such a consideration. It speaks of a fresh start, which is a wonderful thing. And this offers a marvelous means of extending godly grace to those who earnestly crave it.

The idea of restored virginity may represent the removal of personal guilt and shame for past sexual experiences, either within or without the cover of marriage. (Yes, guilt and shame can happen inside of marriage. Ask any therapist.) From that viewpoint, this seems like a worthwhile idea.

And the concept of born-again virginity may boost a person’s commitment to abstinence, going forward. If it helps someone to keep his or her own convictions, is it wrong?

At the same time, there seems to be simply something weird about anyone publicly boasting about born-again virgin status, unless this represents a turning point in that person’s testimony of faith. Even then, that person would likely not crow about his or her own status, but of the redeeming work the Lord has done.

Born-again virginity is not exactly a Facebook status. It’s not a badge, a billboard, a bumper sticker, or a boast.

Let’s not trivialize the wonderful mercies and life-changing grace of the Lord. It’s far too costly to be cute.

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