Young Man, Choose Wisely

Any German living under the Nazi regime, who announced that he had Jewish friends, was being politically incorrect.  He was also being shockingly imprudent and probably reckless. Any Russian living under Stalin, who proclaimed his admiration for the American ideal of freedom, was being politically incorrect.  He was also being imprudent and reckless.  Any Moslem living in Pakistan, Qatar, Brunei or any of the many other countries in which Sharia is the law of the land, who expresses enthusiasm for Christianity is politically incorrect, imprudent and dangerously reckless.

Any American today, living under the oppression of the country’s dominant faith, secular fundamentalism, who professes belief in the God of Abraham and in the Bible is being politically incorrect. If he works in entertainment, government, or education he is also being imprudent and reckless. He won’t imperil his life as in my earlier examples but he will certainly jeopardize his job.  Just ask Professors Mark Armitage, Richard Sternberg, and Guillermo Gonzalez.

Like any bully resorting to force after failing to persuade by fact and reason, secularism silences dissent with suppression, ridicule, and threat.  The underlying belief of secularism is that we humans are nothing more than super-evolved primates.  You think you’re touched by the finger of God?  Don’t be ridiculous! You’re just an animal with all the healthy appetites of an animal.  If it feels good, do it.

This is one reason you hear so little in America popular culture about the benefits that virginity brings to marriage.  As the sexual revolution runs its course and nears the end of its natural lifespan of about fifty years several serious publications and institutions are rediscovering the advantages of being married to your only lover.  However, since this runs counter to the secular urge to indoctrinate young people into premature sexuality, such information is deemed politically incorrect and it is either entirely suppressed or if it does sneak into view, it is instantly ridiculed. This is truly the behavior of the bully who no longer even believes his own propaganda.

For a timeless perspective consider these verses:

…the young man and the virgin…
(Deuteronomy 32:25)

…the old, the young man, and the virgin…
(Ezekiel 9:6)

The Hebrew word for young man is BaCHuR.  Its feminine equivalent, young woman would be BaCHuRAh. (According to the standard rules of Hebrew, adding Ah to a masculine noun makes it the feminine equivalent.)

Yet nowhere in Tanach do we encounter the word BaCHuRAh. Every instance of young man and young woman uses BaCHuR for the young man, and BeTuLAh, virgin, for the young woman.

Now let’s explore the meaning behind the word BaCHuR that explains why its feminine equivalent is not used in the Hebrew Scripture.

BaCHuR is simply the noun form of the verb B-CH-R, to choose or select.

And Moses said to Joshua choose [B-CH-R] for us men…
(Exodus 17:9)

Why this connection? Ancient Jewish wisdom explains by asking a question: What is the essence of being a young man?  The answer is being on the cusp of vital choices. He must choose a wife.  He also must choose his career, a way of serving his fellow humans. Hence, the word for young man is BaCHuR, a chooser.

By contrast, there are fewer choices available to a young woman.  (Warning:  this is going to be politically incorrect.) She can certainly choose a career today, but she is not able proactively to choose a husband.  She has to wait to be asked, at which point her choice is to accept or reject.

Please understand that this is not me decreeing that a young woman can’t ask a man to marry her any more than it is me decreeing that apples fall off the tree downwards not upwards.  If you’re uneasy with this inconvenient truth, just think of how many marriages you know of in which the wife proposed marriage to her husband. It happens only rarely. The way that God built men is that most of us flee a pursuing woman.

The very opposite of a pursuing woman is a young woman of modesty, a virgin.  Thus Scripture defines reality by referring to a young man and young woman as BaCHuR and BeTuLAh. A young man on the cusp of choosing a wife and a young woman making decisions that value herself and encourage him to choose wisely.

There! I’ve said it. I’ve told the truth even though it is politically incorrect.  And telling the truth can be dangerous under any tyrannical regime.

Telling the truth is just another way of describing the calling of teaching Scripture.  There are more politically incorrect, inconvenient truths on the topic of men and women in Gila Manolson’s book, Hands Off: This May Be Love (God’s Gift for Establishing Enduring Relationships). I think that both men and women should read it. Young people may not like the conclusions they draw from this book (though it is entertaining to read) but life is easier and more rewarding when you live in reality.

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