Billy Joel and a warped view of regret

As I was driving home from Chattanooga recently, Billy Joel’s song Only The Good Die Young came on the radio.  Most of you are familiar with it.  It’s a great song–without the lyrics.  I love the music, but  the words contain Joel’s rant against Roman Catholic piety.  They also reveal a very warped view of regret.  Notice how the song begins:

“Come out Virginia, don’t let me wait
You Catholic girls start much too late
But sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one
They showed you a statue and told you to pray
They built you a temple and locked you away
But they never told you the price that you pay
For things that you might have done…
Only the good die young”

The interpretation is easy.  Virginia was going to regret (“the price that you pay”) for remaining a virgin.

Admittedly, my circle is rather small.  The majority of  individuals I know are Christians. But even before I became a believer I had never encountered someone who verbalized that they regretted choosing to wait until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse. However, I have met many who genuinely felt remorse for pre-marital sex.

I know that I do.

Some “locked temple” (see the song above) would have been good for me!  For that matter, a birds-and-bees conversation initiated by a parent may have helped.  Yet I received no guidance, no encouragement, to view women as God’s creation rather than as objects.  I was never challenged to consider young ladies as an end instead of simply a means to an end.  No one ever instructed me that carefree living has consequences.

As you might imagine, my children are receiving more purposeful parenting. They are being taught that their purpose in life is to glorify God and bless people.  Sexual intercourse outside the bonds of marriage does not fall under either category.  Pre-marital sex dishonors the Creator and hurts the partner.  Gratifying the flesh rather than glorifying God always produces consequences.

The concept of saving yourself for your marriage is foreign in our world of “conscious coupling.”  My mom even struggled to believe that Jodi and I had waited until our wedding night.  Adult virgins are ridiculed in our culture.

But Virginia, the wait is worth it!  If starting “much too late” means that God is glorified and people are blessed, you won’t have any regrets. You will not look back on what you might have done and think that you  paid too high a price.


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