The Decision To Wait
Before I was saved, I remember telling my mom "I am probably going to have sex soon. I'm falling in love with the guy I'm dating." I remember her responding back to me "Just be smart and careful when the time comes, Jon."
The desire I had was normal. The advice my mom gave me was actually secularly sound. But luckily, God saved me before I gave that precious part of myself away to an older man, who was in it for the wrong reasons anyway...
We are living in a time where the "hookup culture" is ever so popular. Even after I gave my life to Christ, waiting until marriage seemed antiquated at best. This was the only thing I was pretty hesitant about when I decided to live for God. I didn't really want to give up connecting with another man intimately, and I didn't think you really had to be married in order to have sex. I didn't really think God cared about that. He had more important things to worry about.
As I ignored God's Word and lived the first few weeks of my salvation with one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom, I found myself face to face with horrible shame and guilt.
I had invited a boy over just to get that temporary high of hooking up. As we began, he started getting super rough and saying all of these gross and dirty things to me. I gradually stopped and I asked him to leave. He begged to stay. I got enraged and basically pushed him out of the house.
I stared at myself in the mirror after he left. I felt like a shell of a human being. I said to God "I'm so sorry. This isn't what you want for me." and I curled into my bed, and just prayed until I fell asleep.
After that last awful night of "freedom", I dug into my Bible and found out why God commands that we wait. Sex is such a good gift and it holds such power. He just wants to protect us and not awaken the desires until it's time. I decided to take a purity class at the church I had started to attend.
Every other Saturday, we would watch videos based on the ministry, "The Silver Ring Thing" which was a virginity pledge. At the end of 9 weeks, I got up in front of the congregation, put a ring on my finger, and vowed my purity to God. During those 9 weeks I was truly able to shape my view of God's idea for sexuality and intimacy.
And So My Journey Began...
I created a future husband box. Whenever I was tempted to find temporary pleasures in this world, I'd write my future husband a letter.
I also went on divine dates with Jesus.
I was so busy with ministry at Church, the Bible Club at my school, and trying to get into a Christian college.
I filled my time and mind with Jesus so that I wasn't being influenced by the things of this world.
Along the way, I made peace with the fact that I'd probably never find another virgin to marry. And to me, that was absolutely fine since God forgives and everyone is able to start a new life under the blood!
I still prayed for posture of my future husband's heart and if he hadn't waited, I pleaded with God that he had made a commitment to honor himself and wait in the current season of his life.
I began dating throughout this time and without fail, on each first date I went on, I'd say "I'm waiting until marriage. I just want you to know that."
At first, every boy I told thought it was the coolest thing. They'd think I was rare, respectable, and a person they'd want to bring home to their mama.... That was until they realized a few weeks later that they didn't have the same standards and that they had "needs" that had to be met.
They'd drown themselves in pornography. They'd begin talking to other women. I would know then that they had just said they went to church and were a Christian to make me feel better about going on a few dates with them.
Dating as an adult is already difficult - but dating as adult that is waiting until marriage? It's very hard, no question about it! Although trying, waiting gave me a strength and confidence in myself that I had never had before. It helped me to realize my true worth. Everytime a man couldn't wait for me, I took it as God's protection. I didn't feel as if I wasn't good enough, I felt like they weren't good enough for me.
God was shaping me into the woman he wanted me to be and I felt empowered by it.
Then I met Ronnie... My husband. On our first date, I told him I was waiting until marriage. He said "Yeah, me too." - He was already 23 years old so I assumed that he must have been waiting after already giving in to his fleshly desires. He read my face and clarified... "I've been waiting since I was a teenager. I've never had sex and I don't plan to until I get married".
On our first date, we hung out until about 3 AM. Now, that's not normal and neither of us had ever experienced such a long first date. But we couldn't stop talking about Jesus and the way He changed our lives. Seriously, on the beach, after midnight, we sat there just telling each other testimony after testimony about God's faithfulness.
Ronnie was the real deal.
After a few months, we began dating, we fell in love, got engaged, and got married. We waited. I was 21 when I got married. He was 25.
If You Are Wondering If You Should Wait Until Marriage... Let Me Just Say This:
Now that I am married, I can tell you that God is the glue that holds any relationship together. If you build your foundation on your love for God, when trials come (they will come), you can fall back on your faith. My heart breaks for the couples that have based their entire relationship on sex, and now that they are married, whenever something goes wrong, they have nothing sturdy to look to.
Rather than talk through problems and work through issues, they have sex. Rather than spending time to really get to know one another, they have sex. Before you know it, sex is their “go to” more than just about anything else. And before they know it, they may realize that there’s more of a physical attraction that a true compatibility.
For Ronnie and I, sex is the cherry on top of our ice cream sundae. It's not the entire sundae itself. In other words, if that’s all Ronnie and I had in common with each other, our marriage would be so unstable.
Unpopular opinion: Sex is not about “making love.” In marriage, sex is about celebrating love. It's about celebrating the love that exists between two friends who’ve taken vows to be with one another - for life. For better or worse. Through thick and thin.
Waiting until marriage has empowered me as a woman because no other man on this earth knows me the way my husband does. There is also no other woman on this earth that knows my husband the way that I do. I haven't had to deal with chronic insecurities that people face when their partner has been with multiple people. We were able to give ourselves to each other completely whole.
I don't know what it is like to be intimate prior to marriage - but I do know the freedom and beauty that you find when you wait. And trust me, it's worth it.