I used to Google search the words "Encouragement For Purity" during the first few years I had been saved. After a few dates with guys, I'd learn that they were not waiting until marriage and that made temptation that much harder for me. I wasn't sure if they would feel like they were missing out on something or that I'd believe that I was. I also came to grips with the fact that any guy I dated and winded up marrying wasn't going to be a virgin, so I'd have to always face this on my own.
Each article I found essentially said the same thing. "Stay away from those boundary lines... Why? BECAUSE GOD WANTS YOU TO!" Hearing that over and over again made my heart grow cold to this subject. Those words from the article also made it seem like God didn't like sex much, which made me feel like I'd carry around an immense amount of shame if I had given in. I was still waiting, but not joyfully nor willingly. It was out of religious duty and it was exhausting.
When I met Ronnie, he was 23 years old. He was passionate about Jesus and on our first date, I crossed my fingers and asked him if he was waiting until marriage. I didn't want to waste time anymore. I wanted to at least know from the get-go what I was getting into. To my surprise, he had been waiting his whole life and was continuing to journey towards purity. MAJOR PRAISE.
Side note: If a man told me he made a mistake many years ago and lost his virginity BUT recommitted himself to Jesus and was making an honest effort to stay away from that sin, then I'd still give him a chance because HELLO, G R A C E. But it was just so nice to finally, for once, be understood when I found out Ron was in the same exact position as me.
I was in a relationship with Ron for over two years and the struggle for me was so real.... It wasn't easy by any means. Many people think the situation is harder for men, but it really challenged me personally. Each time I was in an innocent situation like, being alone in the car, having late night dates, hanging around in my dorm room, that's when the enemy would strike the hardest. I'd be tempted to tempt Ron or to try and prove myself physically.
All I can say is that the Holy Spirit never stopped strengthening him or I. I'm so thankful that Ron took the role of being a leader, even in our dating relationship, because he knew he had to prove he could be one within our marriage. It was normal for me, or him, to feel an urge and for him to look me in the eye and say "We are stronger than this. You are a Proverbs 31 Woman and I am an Ephesians 5 man. We have to stop". I hated being told that in the moment. I seriously would sometimes even cry because it was just so dang tough. But now, looking back, I couldn't be more thankful for our determination.
When I saw Ron waiting at the alter, I knew it was finally over. We had done it. We won.
We were ready to enjoy and bask in the reward.
Let me tell you just some things the reward consisted of...
Christ Was Our Foundation: We started and ended our dating period honoring God. I trusted Ronnie so deeply because of how committed he was to Jesus and he loved me intimately because of how obedient I craved to be to Jesus. We didn't taint our relationship or blind ourselves with physicalness. We had clear minds and our relationship was driven by how attracted we were to each other's spirits, not bodies.
We Had Inexplainable Freedom: When we were able to finally indulge on our wedding night, it was magical. Usually, whenever we crossed the boundaries a little, we would be sick over it for days. We were finally free from the bondage of guilt because we were enjoying God's gift. Just like if we found the stash of hidden presents before Christmas and tore them all open, we'd feel horrible. But waiting until Christmas day to open them up is so much better. There is a green light accompanied by such victory.
Everything Was New: Many couples we've talked to that got married around the same time as we did, tells us that nothing was different once they got married. The only thing that had really changed was the woman's name. For Ron and I, everything was different. We were living together, knowing each other fully, and experiencing this whole new realm. We were one. There was such a passion and zeal for each other because of the newness. It was so much fun and continues to be.
We Grew Together: Though we will never experience unmarried sex- We can tell you that married sex is the bomb.com and we'd venture to guess that it is better. You mold each other into what you enjoy and like and there is no judgement. There is also no comparisons because you are each other's first. It's almost as if there is a force field around your bed because you know this person will never leave you or hurt you because of the covenant you're under.
You should absolutely wait until you are married to have sex... but it shouldn't just be out of obligation. There are real and tangible benefits to waiting. God adores sex and made it for our pleasure. He could have made procreation as boring as just sneezing but he made it better than fireworks on the fourth of July. He wants us to delight in it, but at the appropriate time.
If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be this.... Date someone with the same values and morals as you, or you will most likely fail at achieving the goal.
And fight with all your might for purity because it's worth it. I promise, it really is.