For July, we invited women involved with Beautiful at Grace Family Church to anonymously share how sex has impacted their lives. While their testimonies reveal past hurts and poor choices, each woman has seen her life and relationships restored through the power of Jesus Christ. We pray their stories bring hope and healing to your life.
When it comes to talking about sex before marriage I had a lot of good excuses why waiting was not for me. Staying celibate was more of an “ideal situation” rather than actual reality. I grew up in a family that didn’t know the Lord and wouldn’t discuss any life issues such as sex, marriage, finances, etc. In my family any conversations related to relationships with the opposite sex were a taboo. And we never talked about when, how and who I should date. It was more like no boys allowed….ever.
In my teen years the topic of conversation between my friends was about “first love” and “first time.” All of my girlfriends were in love with real boyfriends and were having real sex. I had little to add to our conversations, so I began imagining what it would be like when I did have a boyfriend and could “make love.” I felt left out and I began searching for my Prince Charming. In no time, I was in a relationship. My eyes were opened to a world where sex was the norm for casual or romantic relationships. I was never the type for casual sex but I believed if I was in love and in a committed relationship, sex was a way to show I was there for the long run.
I had a few long-term relationships, but purity was never a priority in any of them. As I entered each relationship, I was always hopeful he would be “the one,” but overtime, I knew I hadn’t chosen wisely. I found myself staying too long in relationships for two reasons: one, I felt guilty for giving myself physically, and two, I thought things would eventually change for good.
As I started maturing spiritually, I began to understand that God had a purpose for my sexuality. I started to see why God says to flee from sexual temptation and that it is a sin against my own body. I prayed for God to help me practice self control and to forgive me for “doing it.” The truth is, not much changed after that. Let’s be honest, you can pray all you want, but if you don’t really believe that there is a reward for those who wait until marriage and take all the measures necessary to help you in this area, you are fooling yourself.
When my husband and I started dating, our relationship quickly turned serious and physical. Within eight months we were building a new home. We were talking about “our” finances and marriage was on the horizon sometime in the “future.” He was giving me everything I dreamed of, but not in the right order. However, I was willing to compromise; after all, he was saying the right words. We both regularly attended Grace and through many messages, God began to change our hearts and minds about being intimate with each other before marriage. The desire to please God and honor Him became a priority in our lives. We knew we needed to change things. So we began meeting with a Christian mentor, we set up boundaries to help us stay pure and we got married within the next four months. After all Paul warn us in 1 Cor. 7:9, “But if you cannot exercise self-control, you should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
After several years of marriage I have learned the hard way why it is worth waiting to have sex. Marriage, by itself, is not easy and if you add in the baggage of prior relationships, or having been intimate with your mate before marriage, it makes it even more difficult. One of the struggles in the beginning of our marriage was I found myself withholding sex from my husband. Now that I had the “till death do us part,” it felt like marriage had given me the entitlement to determine whether I was in the mood or not. After all, my husband wasn’t going anywhere. During that time, I heard my husband saying things like, “I don’t know why I got married if I wasn’t going to get any.” Or, “I got more action when I was single. Being married sucks!” How sad was it to find out that I was not only robbing the one I loved, but I was also robbing myself from what God designed sex to be. His Word says, “Do not deprive each other of sexual relations.” (1 Cor 7:5) Sex is one of the ways God made for husbands and wives to become one flesh.
Looking back on my life, I wish I would have done things differently. I wish I would have waited for my husband. Don’t think that it’s too late to stop and do things in a way that pleases God. It will bring peace to your soul.
Here are few tips that may help single gals on their journey for sexual purity:
- Long-term relationships make it even harder to maintain your purity. Set physical and emotional boundaries; share those boundaries with a trusted Christian mentor who will help hold you accountable.
- Stay away from the emotional, unavailable type of guy. These guys are the ones who like to be in long term relationships and enjoy all the “benefits,” but they will make it clear from the beginning that marriage is something they don’t believe in or have issues with. However, they “pretend” to be very committed to the relationship and you will begin to believe that eventually, you will tie the knot.
- Finally, if a guy tells you that the physical is part of the relationship, you are better off waiting for someone that will honor you and respect your decision to wait. Don’t compromise in this area. God is clear in His Word.