Popular beliefs about pre-marital sex and purity:
1. "It’s not a big deal." "It’s just for stress relief."
2. "What if you get married only to find out they’re not good in bed?"
TRUE. Yikes! I hate to be so honest in confirming your worst fears, but this may very well be true. I know this for a fact because neither my husband nor myself were any good in bed at the beginning of our marriage. We were passionate kissers, excellent snugglers, playful lovers, and spicy gropers, but when it came to the actual act, we were completely clueless. Both of us. Roll film to 11 years later and I’m not kidding you when I say that if we were secretly videotaped, it would be a national best-seller. (TMI? #sorrynotsorry.) When I overhear people talking about tips and tricks, I chuckle to myself thinking, “amateurs.” I glance at the Cosmo headlines and feel sorry for the people who consider that stuff “hot.”
Today, one of the hottest turn ons for us is knowing that we are custom made for each other. The type of intimacy we have developed by going through this awkward, but endearing process together is an integral part of our marriage. He knows exactly how to handle my body from head to toe. I know exactly how to get his blood pumping. He is a Debra expert. I am an Eric connoisseur. We could write manuals on one another. There are parts of me no one else in the world will ever have. What an honor to my husband to know no other man can look at him and think, “I’ve had your wife.” What an ego-boosting gift to me to know that I am the only one he knows. The only one he craves. The only one that has that kind of access to him. The only one that can make him weak. Trust me. I’m not missing out. I can’t imagine getting to our honeymoon and him busting out all kinds of moves. I would’ve probably wondered, “Where did you learn this? From who?” Yuck! The exclusivity we share is way more attractive than the myth of possibly finding something better elsewhere.
Sadly, I had lots of friends with that mentality. They believed they needed to experiment and make sure the person they thought they loved was good in bed before making a commitment. I, on the other hand, took my chances and settled in marriage with a guy who ended up not being “great” in bed right away. They decided to sleep around until they found one that excited them. 11 years later, the comparison isn’t even fair. Their terrible sexual encounters far outnumber their pleasurable ones. Add on heartbreak, STDs, children out of wedlock, and it’s truly sad to watch. Many are still alone, busting their behinds to make ends meet.
As humans, we often get caught up in the now moment (trust me, I’m a mom of three kids under 8; we come that way!). Often our inability to think long-term causes us to make poor decisions because they have initial benefits. Roads that start off as rough tend to deter us even if the destination is wonderful. Abstinence and possibly having to engage in a few sessions of boring sex isn’t exactly the kind of thing you want to advertise on the marriage pamphlet if you’re trying to attract people. Certainly not when it’s positioned next to the brochure that screams, “Do what you want! Experiment with your body! Don’t get stuck!” But trust me, the small print at the bottom of the flier will tell you that stuck is exactly what you’re going to get if you follow the second path. Like everything in life: you can be “free” now and pay the consequence for the rest of your life or you can establish boundaries for yourself now and be free the rest of your life. The choice is indeed yours.
3. "Sex strengthens a relationship and takes it to the next level."
4. "Not having sex before marriage will guarantee a great marriage."
Early in our marriage, my husband and I found ourselves being defensive toward each other. I was looking out for myself and he was guarding his own. One day, we realized we couldn’t go on that way. We had a wall-smashing ceremony of sorts, where we dropped our guards and committed to trusting the other fully and never looking after ourselves again. I believe the character we developed from saying no to ourselves during our engagement played an important role in us being able to do that. Bulldozing over that great wall was tough. And I mean TOUGH. It went against the very fiber of selfishness and self-preservation taught in our culture but it has brought us great peace. I believe with all my heart that my husband is for me. That every decision he makes is with my best interest at heart. That anything he does wrong was not intended to hurt me. I trust him completely as he does me. I feel confident in that choice because I remember seeing the burning desire in my husband’s eyes and watching him exercise all the self-control in the world to walk away from me. I respect my husband and admire him for his ability to rule himself. I know first hand that my husband’s emotions don’t run him. His integrity does. If he had never shown that character trait to me, I would probably have a hard time trusting him today. He had a choice, “Do I succumb to my desires and enjoy her today or do I earn her trust and respect for a lifetime?” He probably didn’t know it at that point, but that’s exactly what has happened in our lives.
5. "No one can wait that long."
FALSE. I did. Plenty of others have too. It’s possible, and looking back, it wasn’t that bad. Again, when the mountain is right in front of you it seems insurmountable, but in hindsight it’s only a hill. The wait is worth it. People tend to think that marriage kills romance, so they desperately try to have all the fun they can before getting married, but for us it was the complete opposite. We let our desires sleep until they were awakened and unrestrained in marriage. Now, eleven years later, we have even more energy and passion for each other than we had in the beginning. (perhaps because the sex is better, Lol!) I get so excited when I hear people passionately dream about the kind of marriage we have (filled with peace, love, trust, and joy) but then disheartened to find out they are just as passionately opposed to the steps we took to get there. It’s as if they want to walk downhill and magically arrive at the top of the mountain because walking uphill is too hard.
If you saved yourself for marriage:
How did you do it? How has your marriage benefited? We want to hear your wisdom!
If you did not wait until marriage:
How has God healed you? Do you have any regrets? We want to learn from you!
If you are interested in the idea of abstinence:
What questions do you have? We want to encourage you!