Fight to Follow

http://adamsallyillustration.blogspot.com/
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/adam-sally/64/b72/694

So I asked God what He wants me to write tonight, cause I felt a nudge to write something.  I walked over to my Bible, and said, “What do You want me to say tonight, God?” and opened to Romans … Continue reading

About these ads

Abortion Survivor: “I Shouldn’t Be Standing Here at All”

Abortion Survivor: “I Shouldn’t Be Standing Here at All”

Another interesting thing about this article is the explanation of what the saline injection does: it actually burns the baby’s body to death, burning through the skin, the nerves (ow.), the organs.  It’s not as run-of-the-mill as the doctors say.  But beyond that, this is such a miracle story.  One of overcoming, fighting, and forgiveness.  God is so good!!

5 statistical facts about sexual purity from published reports

This was a list of facts given to Ethan and I when we signed up to be married through our church.  I am going to list them as they are.  These are not my opinions, these are statistics collected and expanded upon in research.  They’re legit.

1. Those who abstain from sex before marriage report the highest levels of sexual satisfaction in marriage.  In fact, those who report they are very sexually satisfied in their lives are not good-looking singles who have multiple partners.  Research done by Bethesda Research Group reported in the Washington Post, “Couples who strongly believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong are a whopping 31% more satisfied with their sex lives.” (From The Hottest Valentine”)

2. “Those who cohabitate or live together before marriage have a 50% higher possibility of divorce than those who do not.”  Researchers at UCLA discovered that not only do those who cohabitate have a higher level of divorce, they are more likely to commit adultery once they are married. (From M.D. Newcomb and P.M. Bentler, “Assessment of Personality and Demographic Aspects of Cohabitation and Marital Success,” Journal of Personality Assessment)

3. By contrast, the University of South Carolina in a study said that those who abstain from sexual intercourse before marriage have the highest rates of marriage fidelity. (From L. H. Bukstel, G.D. Roeder, PR Kilmann, J Laughlin, and W Sotile, “Projected Extramarital Sexual Involvement in Unmarried College Students,” Journal of Marriage and the Family)

4. “The introduction of sex in a dating relationship is almost always the ushering in of the breakup of that relationship.” Doctors Les and Leslie Parrott made this statement after interviewing thousands of single people on college campuses.  (From Relationships)

5. “Sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, can remain dormant, asymptomatic (you don’t know you have it), for up to a dcade or more, but be passed on to others during that time.”  The rampant spread of STDs flatly contradicts those who try to claim that sexual intercourse is a harmless recreational activity to be pursued with a large number of partners.  People are paying with their lives and their health for accepting that lie. (From Ibid., 139)

9 ways to beat sexual temptation

9sexualtemptation

We are sexual creaters.  We were created that way.  Sex in marriage is a blessing from God, but the time before we tie the knot is a constant battle.

Ethan and I were always very attracted to each other, but over the last 2 years of deepening our emotional and spiritual bond, the attraction is insane.  This is the hardest and most rewarding battle I’ve fought in my single-lady life. Same for Ethan.  There have been so many benefits and blessings to waiting that we have no doubt we are doing what is pleasing to God.

Here are the ways Ethan and I beat sexual temptation:

1. Don’t wear sexy underwear or bras unless you will not be alone at any point that day/night.  I don’t know about you ladies, but the second I put on my favorite bra, I want to show Ethan how awesome it looks.  I found it so much harder to stifle that desire those days/nights.

2. Flee.  If you’re put in temptation’s path, run.  When things get too heated or too tempting, Ethan and I literally separate until we can calm ourselves down and get control.  If need be, separate for a few hours, or even the rest of the night if the temptation is too great.

3. Pray and redirect yourself when you get on those train of thoughts.  Those days that I let my mind run rampant, I struggle.  Same for Ethan.  It’s alright to have lustful thoughts for the person you’ll be marrying, but be careful.   Too much can lead to you pushing the envelope.

4. Pray together.  Ethan and I used to start off nights we hung out together with this.  We should get back into it because it is so extraordinarily helpful.  Or if you’re both having a hard time with control one night, stop and pray.  You’ll be amazed how focusing both of your minds back on the bigger picture will change the mood for the better.  Satan flees at that point.

5. Pray for each other separately.  This is always good.  You never know what your other half could be struggling with and facing on a daily basis.

6. No porn.  No looking at other people lustfully.  Your husband spouse deserves a faithful wife – mind, body, and soul.

7. Don’t kiss on a bed.  Or maybe even on a couch.  This leads to heated moments that can lead to other bad things.  Best to just avoid it since it gets extremely tempting very fast.

8. Honestly ask your man if he could be your rock for you the days/nights that you’re having a particularly hard time.  Men love to be needed and to be useful in their own unique way.  They love having a purpose and being able to help us.  That’s how they’re wired!  You admitting a weakness and vulnerability will also deepen your trust in one another and he will take your plea to heart.

9. Don’t tempt him with a super sexy outfit.  Ethan always tells me this is the hardest and most frustrating thing because “he has me, but he can’t have me all at the same time.”  When we wear super sexy outfits, we’re making the battle harder and more frustrating for our men.  Men are even more sexual than we are, and seeing a woman he has such strong feelings for showing off the body he’s trying so hard not to think about all day… how much temptation can a guy take?!  Don’t get me wrong, making an effort to look good for him is important sometimes and greatly appreciated, just don’t push it too far.

Here is an interesting way to think about this – when put in a sexually tempting situation you have two options to choose from:

1. your flesh – your sexual desires, your desires to fulfill your significant other’s sexual desires, your fear or disappointing said significant other, your craving for affirmation, trying to satisfy their craving for affirmation – this is so temporary.  Literally minutes of physical satisfaction that will leave your Spirit suffering.  Also, you cannot fully satisfy your significant other’s craving for affirmation, even physical.  That is something that is not your job until marriage.  Believe me ladies, I’ve tried.  That is something you have to trust God with until that point.  He will come through for you both, but God can’t fill that void (yours or your partner’s) until you give it to Him to fill.  After I truly gave this up to God, after I told Ethan very plainly, “I am sorry for holding you back spiritually, I haven’t been giving God the opportunity to fill this void in you because I  hate to see you suffer.  But God is asking me to trust you with Him, ALL of you,”  Ethan had his breakthrough God moment literally a few days later, where God was finally able to heal all the wounds from his past.  Ethan’s relationship with God is on a whole new level now, a level he may have never reached had I kept clinging on to him for fear that God would remain silent.

2. your Father – choosing Him over yourself, choosing Him over your significant other, trusting Him with your relationship, leaning on Him to help redirect you.  God will bless you, God will bless the relationship He has designed you for.

Don’t let your flesh rule you, let the Spirit guide you and obey its nudges.  Don’t choose your significant other over your Creator.  Fight the good fight, purity is beyond worth fighting for.

One last note to the ladies – staying strong in your morals may turn a man away from you, but guess what that means – he’s not the one.  He doesn’t deserve your body.  If a man pushes away from you because you have physical boundaries, that’s a good indicator that his heart and intentions with you are far from being in the right place.

6 reasons to be sober

whywearecalledtosobriety3

I’ve talked to so many people that are hesitant to commit to Christianity because it seems to just be a long list of rules.  There are rules as there are with everything else we ever do in life, yes, but God’s rules have a specific purpose and were only made to protect us and keep us near Him and away from the Enemy.

Let’s start with drinking.  It is, first and foremost, a sin.  Only bad come from it.  A good friend of mine once called it “Satan’s stimulant.”  How fitting!!  Even if you have a night with no incidences, you’ve still decided to use an impairing substance to have fun instead of delighting in God’s creations and life sober, or you’ve decided to cope with something through alcohol instead of taking it to God.

I started drinking heavily when I was 16.  It lead me to some seriously dangerous situations and extremely stupid decisions.  I was nearly raped twice, even though I was surrounded by friends.  By the grace of God it didn’t happen.  The number of bad decisions I made while drunk are too numerous to count.  I regret so much of my past because of what has transpired while drinking, but this is God turning my ugly past into something beautiful to help all of my sisters out there.

So here are the reasons we are called to sobriety based on my experiences:

1. Drinking impairs our moral compass, HEAVILY.  This is so dangerous and detrimental to our walk with Christ.  When we are on God’s path and are tempted to drink and give in, we have already veered from Him.  But then, our human tendency and alcohol-consumed mind often says “welp, I already messed up, so what’s a little ___________”… smoking?  sex?  porn?  drugs?  It’s a snowball effect.  This is especially true with drinking and sex.  The two often go hand in hand.  This means we’re breaking another of our callings – to fight for purity and wait for marriage.

“It’s not as though people do drunken things because they’re not aware of their behavior, but rather they seem to be less bothered by the implications or consequences of their behavior than they normally would be.” – Dr. Bruce Batholow. 

2. Drinking DOES NOT make you feel better.  Actually, if you’re going through tough times, alcohol is a great way to make yourself feel worse.  It is a depressant.  It may be fun in the beginning, but at some point, the darkness and reality of your problems sink in and you won’t know how to deal with it because of your emotional impairment.  This is from a great article I found about this:

“But here’s the twist: alcohol also increases the release of dopamine in your brain’s “reward center.” The reward center is the same combination of brain areas (particularly the ventral striatum) that are affected by virtually all pleasurable activity, including everything from hanging out with friends, going on vacation, getting a big bonus at work, ingesting drugs (like cocaine and crystal meth), and drinking alcohol.

By jacking up dopamine levels in your brain, alcohol tricks you into thinking that it’s actually making your feel great (or maybe just better, if you are drinking to get over something emotionally difficult).  The effect is that you keep drinking to get more dopamine release, but at the same time you’re altering other brain chemicals that are enhancing feelings of depression.”

3. A relationship free of drinking is peaceful. Ethan and I have decided that alcohol will never be a part of our relationship.  That means I never drink, and neither does he.  Not even one (see #4).  It has been so wonderful.  There are no pressures to go out and have that kind of social life on the weekends.  Friday and Saturday nights get filled with dates, games, snuggling, relaxing, and cozy atmospheres with good friends.  There are no trust issues, there is no worrying when they’ll be home or who they’re with or what state of mind they’re in.  I’ve been in so many relationships where drinking was a big part of it, and the worrying never stopped.  If I didn’t know exactly what was going on any given night, I wondered and worried until I knew.  Now I’m on easy street.
4. “Drinking in moderation” is such a tempting situation to put yourself in. I have an addictive personality.  I either am all in, or I’m all out.  I’ve never been one for moderation of anything.  Like Mountain Dew for example!!  I always joke that I’m a Dew addict.  I cannot say “I’ll have 3 per week, but that’s it.”  Or “only when I go out to eat.”  I inevitably sit there sipping Mountain Dew all day no matter what the parameters.  If you can honestly sit down to dinner and have only 1 or 2 beers, then you’ve got great self control and I genuinely applaud you for it. But for all you ladies out there like me, once I had 1, I had 2, then I had several.  It’s better to just eliminate it completely and stay out of temptation.  Booze isn’t worth your relationship with your Creator.

5. There is a danger of becoming an addict.  This is not an extremely common thing, but the danger is there, it’s real, it should be avoided.  More from that article:

Over time, with more drinking, the dopamine effect diminishes until it’s almost nonexistent. But at this stage, a drinker is often “hooked” on the feeling of dopamine release in the reward center, even though they’re no longer getting it.  Once a compulsive need to go back again and again for that release is established, addiction takes hold.  The length of time it takes for this to happen is case-specific; some people have a genetic propensity for alcoholism and for them it will take very little time, while for others it may take several weeks or months.”

6. It is biologically harmful to our bodies and minds.  It is essentially a poison, capable of killing in high enough dosages.  There is short-term damage and long-term damage from drinking.  Here are some links if you want to learn more – 1, 2, 3

Let’s talk about weed.

I started smoking heavily when I was 19.  Now you guys, know I have an addictive personality, so as you can imagine, I did so very frequently.  Probably 5 days a week when it was at it’s peak.  I realized I had a problem when I started wishing I was high while doing EVERYTHING.

So many people will argue that it’s not addictive.  No, it is not biologically addictive.  Your body will never have withdrawal symptoms or go into shock without it.  But there is a level of addiction with our minds.  I experienced it first hand and I’ve seen it on so many occasion with all of my old friends.

I’ve seen so many friends fall into a rut of carelessness.  They don’t really care about their future, they don’t really care about their jobs, they don’t really care about how much money they have saved, they don’t care much about people in their life… they’re just… blah.  That’s the appeal of weed to a lot of people.  It helps you just go with it and not care.  It makes people lazy.  So lazy.  And not just when they’re smoking and high, but ALL THE TIME because their main focus for the day is when they’ll get to light up again!  This is how I used to think, guys, so I know this is true.

“So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6)

I don’t have any experience with other drugs, but it is the SAME concept.

All drinking and all drugs are just another way of coping with life instead of taking your stresses to the cross.  It’s another way of having fun instead of delighting in life sober.  God worked SO hard on the creation of the universe, and we enjoy it fully when sober.

Here are a ton of Bible quotes about drinking and sobriety:

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1)

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. (1 Peter 4:7)

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit. (Ephisians 5:18)

Proverbs 23: 29-35 says:

Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
    Who has redness of eyes?
Those who tarry long over wine;
    those who go to try mixed wine.
Do not look at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup
    and goes down smoothly.
In the end it bites like a serpent
    and stings like an adder.
Your eyes will see strange things,
    and your heart utter perverse things.
You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
    like one who lies on the top of a mast.
 “They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;
    they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
    I must have another drink.”

9 ways to date God’s way

9waystodateGodsway1

Ahhh dating.  Simultaneously the best and worst thing.  So fun, so nerve-wracking, at times so confusing, at times so disappointing, at times so filled with hope and promise… It’s so much trial and error, but there is so much to be learned in that time looking for Mr. Right.

What dating has taught me:

1. Give EVERY relationship to God from the beginning – even before you meet up on date #1.  Ask God if this is the right or wrong move.  Ask God what He wants you to learn.  Ask Him to make it perfectly clear whether to continue seeing the guy or not.  Then… you’ve gotta OBEY.  Trust God that if it’s not him, it’s somebody better.  Even somebody that you think seems “perfect” for you won’t come close to the one God’s made just for you.  Trust Him.  He knows every guy’s heart better than we ever will, and the best part of this is they can’t fool God like they may be able to fool us (1 Samuel 16: 7).  I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve met a lot of phonies, and even been blind enough to date them.  For years.  Madness!  If we trust Him, we can avoid a lot of unnecessary heartbreak.  After finding the right man to date, the battle becomes keeping God in the center of the relationship AND your life, rather than the man you’re dating.  For me, this is something that I constantly have to keep in check.  When things did/do get off balance, I find that Ethan and I fight more, which makes sense, since I am expecting him to fill parts of my heart that he can’t.  This is a common struggle, don’t be ashamed of it, be aware of it and work to counter-act it with your man and with God!

2. Give yourself time to get to know yourself in Christ first, then worry about finding Mr. Right.  I know this is not the easiest thing.  I actually hadn’t spent much time single UNTIL I decided to follow Jesus.  I feared being alone because I wasn’t sure who I was without a boyfriend.  That goes away!  That time to transform, grow in your faith, and (in my case) re-grow your spine to be firm in your expectations and morals is so crucial to finding the man God’s designed for you.  My good friend enlightened me to this fact when she put it into words one night.  She had recently broken up with a boyfriend that was holding her back spiritually.  He was tempting her to drink and pushing for sex when she told him she didn’t want either anymore.  After the breakup, she felt lonely and hated thinking about how long she may have to wait for the right man.  Then she realized that she was still really struggling with serious temptations and doubts and hadn’t yet grown firm enough in her faith to meet the type of man she was looking for and be the right woman for him.  The man she wants to find is strong in his faith, straight in his ways, and leading a life pleasing to God.  She had to be firm in those regards herself, first.  This was extremely encouraging and freeing for her.

3. When you are single and feel lonely, ask God to show you how much He loves you.  We are romantic creatures.  We want to be wooed, we want to be thought of, we want to be pursued and fought for, we want little gifts – whether in the form of a bouquet or a kiss on the forehead.  We want to know that we are loved, desired, and cherished.  GOD WILL DO THAT.  He created us that way, He IS that way.  We’re made in His image.  God will pull your heart strings in a way that He knows you will enjoy.  He wants to be delighted in just like we do, He loves doing this kind of stuff!!  For me, it’s gifts in nature.  A beautiful sunset.  A beautiful bug.  A warm breeze that smells like roses.  Keep your eyes open after you ask, He will deliver.

4. Let go of obsessing over beauty.  Nothing is more beautiful than a woman who shines God’s light from the inside, out.  Nothing compares to a woman who is confident in the fact that she was beautifully and perfectly made.  Beloved of the Creator Himself.  A masterpiece in who she is.  There really is a warmth and light that shines from those women.  This all comes from #2 and 3 up there.

5. Dress to meet a man of good morals.  Skanky clothes attract scum bags.  Skanky clothes repel men of God.  You don’t want to be lusted after, you want to be sought after.  You want to be respected, so you gotta show the world that you respect yourself and expect respect.  It is hard to associate a ton of cleavage with a high level of self-respect.  Flaunting our bodies means we’re okay with being ogled like a piece of meat and the source of perverted thoughts for anybody in the room.  This also gives the impression of a promiscuous woman, which is not what a man of Christ is looking for.  I actually wore (and still wear) a big cross necklace to ward off any scum bags or guys that are intimidated by a strong faith.  Like I’ve said before, I asked Ethan what he thought of God on our first date, and he later told me that he expected to be questioned about it because of that necklace.

6. Expect to be treated like a lady.  Expect he pays (at least for a while).  Expect to be taken care of.  Expect that he respects your boundaries.  If he doesn’t, he’s a boy, not a man.

7. No “project boyfriends.”  I recently realized that every guy I dated until my fiance, I wanted to (and thought I could) change.  This does not work.  You cannot change who a person is and you cannot change a boy into a man.  He’s gotta do that on his own. My example for this would be boyfriend #4, my daughter’s father.  When we got pregnant, I expected the smoking weed and hanging out with friends more than me to stop.  I expected he would step up, work more, and be the provider.  He didn’t.  When our daughter was born, I expected it all again.  He didn’t.  When I broke up with him, I expected he’d do it all then.  He didn’t. It’s been years, and I think he has made great strides, but he had to do all of that by himself.  He had to choose it.  If it is forced on them, there is resentment and rebellion and fights.  If you are trying to change him, and that change is essential to your happiness together (whether it’s his religious beliefs, a characteristic, or his actions), he’s most likely not the right man.  At least not at present.  Only God has the power to really transform peoples’ hearts and they have to seek Him first.

8. You should never date without keeping the future in mind.  I remember the worst argument my mom and I ever had.  It was over some jerk boyfriend I was dating when I was 17.  He was 19, barely worked, didn’t have a car, wasn’t going to school, drank a ton, partied more, and looked like a punk hobo.  He’s the one that cheated on me.  My mom said something like “Are you  serious?  Would you really marry somebody like him someday?  Just bending over backwards all the time working while he sits on his butt at home?” to which I yelled back “I’M NOT INTERESTED IN MARRIAGE AND NO, I DON’T WANT TO MARRY HIM.”  I wish I could go back in time and slap some sense into myself.  Think about it – to face temptation, invest time, invest emotions and open your heart… for nothing?  For fun?  Not much fun in the end, really… Don’t date just to date, and don’t date just so you’re not alone.  It doesn’t lead to anything good.

9. Don’t give them your body until you’re married.  Our bodies are a gift from our Creator, and they should be kept until a man has sworn himself in marriage to us before God and all of our family and friends.  There are reasons why God made sex for marriage.  9 ways Ethan and I beat sexual temptation here.

For more on #3, I highly recommend the book “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul” by John and Stasi Eldredge.  It goes deep into the hearts of women and how we can heal and cope with the help of God.  It is such a powerful book.  There are some really interesting revelations in there – like how God made us after man, and therefore we are the pinnacle of His creation.  Really uplifting and eye opening!  Also there’s more in there for #4 – about how Satan fell because of his own obsession with his beauty.  It talks about how he targets beauty and women out of jealousy in the world today.  Plus John (Stasi’s husband) writes parts of it too, giving the male perspective which is also helpful and enlightening!

Why sex is for marriage ONLY & 8 benefits of waiting.

whysexisformarriagepic1

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.  If you ever do find yourself in this position, please message me personally.  I would love to talk to you and help any way I can.

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 have 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.  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!!