As you know from reading my blog, healthy living is important to me. It’s important that I feed myself properly, get enough movement throughout the day, drink plenty of water, and sleep for an adequate amount of time. Healthy Living, however, goes beyond what we do for our physical bodies. I’m going to do my best to explain while waiting until marriage to have sex was the healthiest thing for me and my relationship.
Growing up in the church, the message about sex was clear- sex was for marriage and sex out of marriage wasn’t good. This was preached adamantly to us over and over again. What was lacking for me, however, was the WHY it seemed to be such a big deal. I am not one to just follow a “rule” simply because it is a rule. I need to understand why it is a rule.
As I matured and grew closer to God, the answer to this question became clearer.
Have you ever been in a relationship that started out solid, but quickly progressed into nothing more than a physical obsession? The more and more you poured into, the more empty you felt? It’s like a fire burning too quickly and too fiercely and eventually it will either burn out due to lack of materials to keep it going or it will just blaze away at everything else?
It was prior to my struggles with anorexia, and my feelings of self worth were at an all time low. I felt like to be wanted or needed, I had to have something offer. I never felt good enough unless I was making someone else happy, but even those times were short-lived. I don’t think it’s 100% the cause, but I do believe that feelings of being used contributed to my fall into anorexia.
When you’re used rather than treasured, a relationship becomes about what you are good for and not for who you are. When you’re used you will be forgotten once the person tires of what you have to offer. It turns into constantly trying to improve yourself so that hopefully you will have more to offer.
When God led Terry into my life, I knew things were different. He didn’t make me feel like I had to prove myself or be something I wasn’t. We dated for two and half years and then we were engaged for a little over two years before we got married. We definitely went through some difficult times, but we stuck through them because we both felt strongly God had intended for us to be together. Our love was strong and able, thanks to our trust in God. We both wanted to follow God’s will for our lives, and we knew that abstinence until marriage was part of God’s plan. We did not want to let anything come between our relationships with God, and choosing to be sexually active would have done just that.
Looking back, I think choosing not to engage in sex allowed us to focus on other aspects of our relationship. What set this relationship apart from anything either of has had ever experienced was that our relationship was built on a strong foundation of trust and compassion for each other. Physical attraction was there, but it was not apart of what kept us together. We focused on building the relationship that mirrored the love defined by 1 Corinthians 13: love that is patient, kind, never envious, not self-seeking, slow to anger, and honest. Too often couples build their relationship on sexual pleasure, which can never fully satisfy. For sex that is both satisfying and fulfilling, Christians need a relationship that centers on God and that seeks God’s will.
We saw sex as an important part of our future marriage and we didn’t want to taint it by having sex outside of marriage. Some days it was harder to understand why staying abstinent was such a big deal since we were already committed to each other for life. Yet, even when feeling this way, we knew that by trusting God’s plan for us we would keep our relationship strong.
After we were married, we both agreed that waiting was the absolute best choice for us. Many times I’ve said, “I’m so glad we waited”.
We were able to be together without guilt and without shame. Our relationship is not one that centers on physical desires, but is a relationship that can fulfill our spiritual, emotionally, mental, and physical needs all in one. We both agree that if we weren’t on the same page regarding abstinence from the beginning, we would’ve had a much harder time staying the course. Both of us agreeing and wanting that for our lives was the key to our success.