I came across an incredible article this morning, and it has so much great insight and truth into why we need to keep fighting the temptation and curiosity to see and/or read “50 Shades of Grey.” It was so encouraging … Continue reading
The above article is such a tremendous peek into the mystery and wonder of marriage. Me and my hubby have been married almost 8 months now, and I still cannot believe how much we have grown as a couple. We have fought through the hardest of times and enjoyed the best of times together. Our relationship is full of laughter, but also full of effort and sacrifice. Christ knew what He was doing when He created the covenant of marriage, and I am thankful for it.
I always tease Ethan and say, “we’re soul mates” when we both do the same ridiculous thing or learn the most ludicrous facts about each other… Like that my cheek fits perfectly in his eye socket… No joke. Then one day, during a discussion, he asked me if I am married to him because God told me he was “the one.” I pondered that for a while, and answered something along the lines of, “That’s part of it!” And then he pointed out the fact that, while that is amazing because the Creator, who knows my heart’s desires and needs, has brought me a man He sees as suitable for me, He also loves me enough to let me choose. Then he told me that if I were in a line of the most beautiful women in the world that were also highly compatible with him, he would still choose me. He didn’t only marry me because God gave him the green light (which is pivotal), but that he wanted to choose me, above all the other possibilities out there, because… well… because he wanted to.
That is amazing. The power of choice is a very big deal on this earth. God nudges, God speaks, but we must choose the path, either the path to obedience and surrender, or the path we make for ourselves. It is a choice to let the Lord guide your steps. Our choice to obey, to surrender, to have faith, to worship Him are how we show the Lord we truly love him. He does not force us to do so. Just like the Lord did not force me to marry Ethan, or force him to marry me. He brought us together with all of our gifts, talents, strengths, weaknesses, baggage, and brokenness and let US choose so that each day we spend together, every fight we have, we can always remember the most important facts – that God is for us, and that we chose to vow our lifetime, our energy, our love, our affection, our sexuality, everything to the one person we married – and how very big of a deal that is.
When I am being the biggest turd in the world, just a total putz… Ethan chooses to show me love and forgiveness. He chooses to believe the best of me, even when faced with my worst. If Ethan wasn’t given the choice to love me or not, if he was somehow forced to love me day in and day out, if it was a mechanical autopilot thing… I wouldn’t see it as love, but as his job, an obligation, and nothing more. It wouldn’t be special. It may seem like a very daunting task in that moment of anger or frustration or hurt to show me love, but it is something he saw worthy to commit to for the rest of his life. That is truly special.
My God, my Father that loves me, brought me a man. He told me that he could be the one I marry. He gave me nothing but green lights. That man, though he knew he was also taking on the responsibility of another life, one that he played no part in, saw something special about me and got all green lights from the Lord as well. There were hard times, harder than most dating people have to go through, including the moment he had to turn his back on his family because they thought and publicly announced the worst of me for having a child out of wedlock (though they do not acknowledge that I chose not to have an abortion). Ethan chose me. Regardless of what the world said, regardless of the verbal abuse from his family that we both had to endure, regardless of the reprimanding from friends because I have a child… That man had to turn his back on the world for me, and he continues to do so on a daily basis because he believes I am worth fighting for. Not just because God told him to, but because he chooses to each day out of love for me.
There is so much to be amazed by in marriage. The power of choice is one of those things, and man… does it carry a lot of weight. God’s lead + our choice = a very very big deal.
I am writing this as a follow-up of my other article Why sex is for marriage ONLY & 8 benefits of waiting, because I could not read enough life experiences and witness accounts for the purity battle while we were … Continue reading
I read the book “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul” by John and Stasi Eldredge. It was so powerful. It really helped me understand and accept whole-heartedly how God made me to be: emotional, loving, wanting to be seeing as … Continue reading
This topic sparks such a passion in me. I know all too well the consequences of sex before marriage. Now that I am in a relationship that has NOTHING to do with sex (yes, we have been dating almost 2 years, engaged for the last year, and have NOT had sex), I see the blessings and benefits in waiting for marriage. Now it is clear to me that God made sex to be for marriage only, and I want to share what He’s taught me so far.
Before I had found and committed myself to following Jesus, I didn’t really see sex before marriage as a problem. If we are have all these sexual urges and desires, it must not be a bad thing… right? It was completely normal in my high school, actually. I remember the pressure I felt to have sex with each boy I dated. I wanted to experience it, yes, but the biggest reason was this: I hoped that once I gave them what they wanted, they would give me what I wanted – a loving, committed, romantic, thoughtful, ready-for-the-long-haul man. I also wanted to give my boyfriend a reason to stay and hoped that our relationship would grow stronger.
This never works. In fact, often times, when it’s not with THE man God has picked out for you, it works completely opposite. I have a lot of proof of this being the case. Boyfriend #1 of 2 years got bored with me and we grew apart, boyfriend #2 of a few months cheated on me with some girl on myspace, boyfriend #3 of 1 year called me only out of desperation to hang out with somebody (literally I was the last person he wanted to hang out with), and boyfriend #4 of 2 years broke up with me after I found Christ and told him I didn’t want to have sex unless we were married.
I have another example. My wonderful and beautiful Aunt. She was cheated on and got divorced when I was a child. It must be about 10 years later and she found a great guy. Christian, funny, nice, just a great fit for her. My whole family loves this guy. She made the decision to sleep with him at some point. My aunt very badly wants to marry him, but he’s got some financial issues that could hurt her in the near future. She’s been trying to get him to come up with a money plan to get himself back on track so they can move forward… but he hasn’t. Think about it, what’s the rush? He’s got my aunt sleeping in his bed every few days, he’s got his bachelor pad the rest of the time, he’s free to spend his time and money as he pleases, and he doesn’t have to answer to anybody. He’s got the best of all worlds from a guy’s perspective!!
Having sex complicates and destroys outside of marriage (James 1:13-15). When sex is brought to the table, often times, guys lose motivation to step up and get serious. They aren’t as concerned with getting married as women are. They’ve got everything they want for the most part, why complicate or change it? Being with all of the boys of my past and hearing the testimonies of family and friends have taught me all about the negative consequences of sex before marriage and have basically proven this theory.
Other reasons to not have sex before marriage:
First and foremost, outside of marriage, it is a sin. God is the Creator of sex, therefore He knows best. He says that sex should ONLY be between a married man and woman. The sex between a married couple is blessed by God, God is all about it, He fully supports it, He is psyched when a married couple gets to fully enjoy the blessings of sex. Sexual intimacy between a married man and woman is sacred, and having that lust for each other is an important part of a healthy marriage, hence the entire book of Songs of Solomon. BUT just because we have the urges and desires, just because God made us sexual creatures, does not make sex whenever we want, with whomever we want, excusable or acceptable. God didn’t design it this way, He instructs us not to do it (for all of these reasons and more), we should listen.
There’s also unplanned pregnancy, which is something I’ve experienced. Children are a blessing, and their lives are precious and irreplaceable. The love I have for my daughter opened my eyes to a whole new level of love that is impossible to compare. She’s brought me more happiness than I could have ever imagined. But guys, having a child before you’re with the right man and before you’re ready is so hard. College is hard enough, add an infant or toddler in the mix and it is hard x 100 because you’ve got less sleep and less time to actually work at it and money is VERY tight (if you’re fortunate enough to have the money at all with tuition nowadays). Babies are expensive!! Relationships are more complicated – you’re not just dating for you, you’re dating to find the right man for your child. Your day revolves around your baby. Your money revolves around your baby. Your sleep revolves around your baby. Your social life revolves around your baby. When the child is with somebody that you’ve decided not to be with it’s complicated and full of hard situations and conversations.
Then there’s STDs. Those can be lethal for both the carrier and their future children.
And there’s the tendency to try too hard to make it work and give far too many chances. We are biologically engineered to invest in one sexual partner. There is a chemical in our brain that is released during sex, oxytocin. It bonds us emotionally with our partner. This bond makes us want to stay with that person, and therefore makes it difficult to accept when a relationship is unhealthy and ready to be ended, and therefore, deeper heartbreak when it does. Every time we have sex with somebody and don’t stay with that person, it’s like a scab being ripped off of a wound. It scars and scars and scars until eventually the effect that chemical has on the brain, meaning the bond itself, is weakened. This means that the more sex you have with anybody but your spouse, the weaker that chemical/emotional bond with them will be. If you want more on this, read “Bringing Up Girls” by Dr. James Dobson, which is where I got this information. He has a whole chapter about it.
Being with my fiance, however, has been completely different from all of my past relationships. It has been extremely enlightening in showing me the blessings to be had in waiting. Here are some things I’ve learned:
1. If you don’t want to have sex before marriage, get that out on the table ASAP. This is a very important topic for you both to agree on – meaning he needs to respect you and be on board. I know it’s scary, believe me, I was terrified, but establishing this early on makes that pressure and fear of handling it disappear. Afterward, I felt so empowered and strong in Christ for standing firm in what I believe in. If he doesn’t agree or fights you on it, and you wish to grow in your faith, he’s not the right guy. He’ll only lead you down a bad path, and he definitely doesn’t deserve you or your body (Romans 12:1).
2. There are men out there that will respect this choice and help you through struggles. It’s important to you, it’s important to God, you WILL find a man that will respect your boundaries and even become a rock in this battle.
3. After boundaries are established and consistently respected, that line becomes easier not to cross. Ethan and I have not been perfect, and trust me, NOTHING good comes from roaming hands. We leave each other on a bad note – unhappy, frustrated, and knowing that we aren’t staying true to what God wants for us. Ironically, it also often leads to a fight, bitterness, frustration, and feelings of being unsatisfied. But in one of our darkest valleys where we couldn’t see God at work in our lives, we actually talked about having sex. We had been waiting over a year and a half. We’d known for a long time, beyond a doubt, that we were meant to be together and we’d already been engaged 7 months. The only thing stopping us was money. We’d been waiting for enough money to come to support ourselves, were working our butts off, and fighting this purity battle, all to no avail. However, after venting about this and talking about just doing it, we both felt terrified and guilty. Neither of us wanted to cross that line now. God had totally convicted our hearts. Neither of us want any trace of guilt on our first night together, and the thought of blowing it after fighting temptation so long, really scared both of us. Even when we were feeling weak in our walk with Christ, God came back strong by giving us that fear and guilt (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
4. God blesses couples that wait for marriage. PROFOUNDLY. Not only will your relationship with each other become more deep and meaningful, but so will your walk with Christ. Then as you go, your relationship will compliment and strengthen your relationship with Christ, and your relationship with Christ will strengthen your relationship with your man.
5. Your relationship will be built on a love that is real, substantial, and stable. You will be falling in love with your man for who he is alone, and he will be falling in love with you for who you are alone. No sex to cloud judgement and feelings. Just raw chemistry and happiness in each others’ company. You will be so emotionally and spiritually connected with him that the sex to be had within your marriage will be like the cherry on top. The final finishing touch to seal the deal and deepen the bond of marriage.
6. The period of waiting for sex teaches you how to control your lust. This time will greatly strengthen your trust in each other. If you can resist the temptation to fool around with the man you love, you can resist any other bro easily. Ethan and I have even used this time to control our lustful thoughts and keep them only for each other – something we are all called to do, but is often forgotten and ignored (Matt 5:28, Colossians 3:5, Job 31:1, “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul” – 1 Peter 2:11). 9 ways Ethan and I fight sexual temptations here.
7. You become very good communicators. When there’s no sex, you talk. A lot. That is a very good thing. Ethan and I have broken down some serious walls over these last 2 years. You become best friends, knowing each other better than anybody, trusting each other with extremely personal information, trusting each other when vulnerabilities and flaws in your character are exposed… It is an intimacy that sex could never achieve. And better communication means more productive “fighting.” The issues will be easier to resolve because you will be comfortable and open with each other at that point, so you will both be able to express your emotions and needs better.
8. You’re fighting for (and earning) amazing sex for your future marriage. Imagine your first night together after waiting, fighting temptation together, growing in faith together, knowing the deep emotional and spiritual love you’ve grown together, and finally getting to have guilt-free and BLESSED sex. Sex blessed by God Himself. That’s… powerful! Plus, the odds that you’ll feel self-conscious knowing how deeply he loves you and that he’ll love you that way forever, are very slim.
For all those with a past: it is never too late to make the decision to pursue purity. Christ died for our sins, His grace is sufficient. All you have to do is commit and repent. Leave the old ways behind and follow Jesus’ plan for your life (Ephesians 4:22-24), you will find a joy that lasts and endures even through hardship. God Himself promises this!
I wrote an update on September 12th, 2014, called An Update on Saving Sex for Marriage: 3 Months into Marriage, that talks about all that I have learned about sex within marriage and why I am so glad that we waited!