The why to waiting

 

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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?

I have.

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.

 

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7 thoughts on “The why to waiting

  1. I think this is such an important issue today. Hook up culture has never appealed to me and honestly I don’t understand how someone could give away something so precious. Now, I’m not delusional, I lost my virginty in high school after dating a guy for over a year and loving him for most of it. We continued to date after that and our relationship was not defined by sex at all, but looking back, now I wish I had waited. He didn’t pressure me or anything, but it’s something I would have loved to give to a potential husband. Good you and and your husband!

    1. Thanks Ellie! I definitely agree that is should be talked about more! I think the general assumption is that everyone’s doing it, so I imagine some people feel like there aren’t any other options.
      I don’t think every situation is the same nor do I think that sex always ruins otherwise healthy relationships, but I do believe waiting can have wonderful benefits. Also, I will say that I wasn’t totally “pure” when I met Terry, but we decided for ourselves that’s how we wanted our relationship to play out. It was okay to start again. 😀

  2. I appreciate this post so much. Communication is so important in relationships, and this is one topic that I think couples struggle to communicate about, as important as it is. My husband and I decided to abstain until marriage because of our faith, and it seems that not many of our peers understand that decision.

    1. Yes, I definitely understand the shock you get from your friends when you tell them that you waited! I get everything from “good for you” to “why in the world?!”
      Communication is everything and sometimes it is difficult, especially since men and women tend to communicate very differently!
      Thank you for sharing!

  3. This is a topic dear to my heart. I too wish it was more talked about. my husband and I didn’t set clear boundaries, and we didn’t really wait (i always thought i would growing up… we are both Christians… we got carried away early in our relationship_. Yes, it did cause some issues because we focused for our whole dating time on having fun and physical pleasure. We are compatible, but we’ve had to work through issues that were easy to keep hidden because of what we did. It did keep us from developing the other important parts of the relationship. Most importantly, waiting to have sex is God’s plan, and while it won’t guarantee a problem free sex life, you know that you have surrendered this area to the Lord. We have had to work through many marital and sexual issues some related and some not related to our premarital sexual behavior, and the Lord has been working in our lives through all of it. I will say that other than salvation, sexual intimacy within marriage is one of the most beautiful and amazing gifts from the Lord (before marriage, it was so different- it was covered in shame- we KNEW what we were doing was wrong- it wasn’t beautiful like the Lord has restored it to be in marriage). So good and pure. It saddens me how the world doesn’t understand this and trashes, taints it, and makes a joke about it. I wish more people could know how wonderful waiting is. If we were to do it again, we’d wait. It is hard to wait. At a time during our engagement we felt called to take that off the table for several months and it was SO hard, we slipped several times, but it was a time of growing most definitely. I think if it was more talked about more young people could support each other in their desire to honor God with this aspect of their relationship.

  4. and one more comment on my heart since we were talking about this… we both had done things with past people too… that is even sadder in my heart. we feel we gave away something precious that was meant to go to each other. The Lord restores. But still… it is such a priceless gift.

    1. I think you made a wonderful point by saying “you know that you have surrendered this area to the Lord”- there is something beautiful about surrendering all aspects of our lives to God. Some people may see it as chains that don’t allow us to do certain things, but I find the most freedom when I surrender to Him.
      Thank you so much for sharing you experience, because I know that so many others share a similar story! It was really difficult at times for Terry and I because as humans we have that tendency to think we know what’s best… I totally agree with you that talking about it more may help a lot of younger, more vulnerable couples to have confidence in following the Lord even in this aspect. I feel blessed to work with teenagers where I can share my own story.
      ❤ ❤

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