About four years before I got married, (which was about a year before I got into a committed relationship) I made the decision that I was going to wait until I got married before having sex with another man. I had a very promiscuous sexual past and I wasn’t proud of it. Nor was I fulfilled or happy with the way that my sex life was going. I would leave a mans house and feel ashamed and empty, like all he did was take from me and didn’t care anything about pleasing me or making me happy. Initially I had decided that I was going to wait until I got into a committed relationship before having sex with another man, but as I reflected on the committed relationships that I had been in, I realized that though we were “committed” to each other, having sex in those relationships didn’t help us stay together nor add value to either one of us. I thought about the fact that having sex with my boyfriends didn’t benefit me in the long run. At the end of the day, I had just given myself to another man, increased my “body count” and was still single and empty. It was that realization that made me decide that I would wait until marriage. In my mind, waiting until marriage at least increased my chances of giving myself to a man that would actually cherish it and someone that I know would be committed to me for life. I was abstinent for 3 and half years before having sex with my husband for the first time on our wedding night. Since then, I’ve come across women and men that see no value in waiting until marriage before having sex with their partner or with any one. Aside from the popularly stated biblical text (1 Corinthians 7:1-40 or Hebrews 13:4) , most people (especially young adults) see no reason in waiting for years before having sex with a person. I decided to share some of the practical and logical benefits of waiting until marriage. From my experience and the experiences of friends who also waited until marriage to have sex.
- Marriage isn’t Sex
The misconception (among most Christians that I know) is that once you get married, you’ll be having sex every where, anywhere and everyday for the rest of your life. While I have very limited time as a married woman, I can tell you that that is not the case even after almost two years of marriage. When you get caught up in your routine and the busyness of your days. You can go an entire week or two without having sex and not even realize it. Sex can often go to the back of your mind while dealing with everyday life. Not to mention the visitor that comes to ruin the lives of women for 5-7 days. The point is, not having sex before marriage, allows you to become accustomed to being content coexisting, hanging out, and talking to your partner without the pressure that you have to have sex to survive. You can have conversations with each other to handle conflict as opposed to using make up sex as a viable solution. While it helps, having sex to fix issues will not help your marriage last. You will realize that a pile of issues will develop that you have neglected to deal with because you thought sex was the answer.
2. Intimacy is more than sex
Intimacy is a huge part of maintaining a growing and passionate relationship. The issue is, for many of us, we’ve regarded intimacy and sex as synonyms. While sex can be a part of intimacy, it is not the only way that you can be intimate with your partner. In fact, you can be intimate with a person without touching them physically at all. Developing a sense of intimacy is often hard. You have to allow yourself to be vulnerable with a person mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. Learning how to do this without being physical has so many benefits. It increases your connection with a person and helps you to explore if you can truly spend the rest of your life with them (if that is your goal). Intimacy can be the late night conversations about what kind of parent you want to be. Or the walks in the park where you share some of your deepest secrets. It’s those moments when you cry in front of each other because you are sharing your fears or even your triumphs. Without that intimacy, sex will never be enough.There is a trust that is developed within a relationship when true intimacy is shared with one another.
3. An Unclouded Judgement
Throughout my years of knowing married couples, the success of many marriages has been in the foundation of a friendship. True, authentic friendship with no goals or wayward benefits. During this friendship period, two people are loving each other for who they are and not what they can do for each other. The advice given to each other is genuine and objective. You desire to see the other person win because of who they are and not because it will benefit or affect you in any way. You can enjoy each others personalities without judgement or the conflict of whether you can handle certain things for the rest of your life. With friendship as foundation, there aren’t any expectations that can’t be met or misconstrued. You’re able to establish a foundation without the distractions of sex or the possibility of sex ruining a perfectly good friendship. Your judgement of your sustainability isn’t based in how great (or not great) the sex is, it’s based in authenticity and friendship that you’ve established. It’s based in what matters most.
4.Growing with God
When I made that decision to not have sex until marriage, it gave me the opportunity to develop and strengthen my relationship with God. I wasn’t conflicted or convicted by my sexual actions and I was able to rely on him to fill any void that not having sex made me feel as if I had. I was able to realize that I didn’t need sex to survive as I once thought that I did. I realized that God was great enough to provide me with alternatives that kept me sane and even inspired me. My physical body didn’t suffer because I was no longer worried about pleasing it. I was more concerned with all of things that God had for me and how I could live a full life without the distraction of what sex could do for me.
5. No Baby Mistakes
No babies! Don’t get me wrong, I think babies are a beautiful gift and a blessing from God. I also think that they are best when they come in times when we’re equipped and ready to take care of them. I can remember being so relieved to find that I wasn’t pregnant the few times that I had pregnancy scares. Being abstinent eliminated that fear or worry from my mind completely. I didn’t have to worry about having to explain a baby to my friends and family or having a baby before we were ready to take care of one. I believe that marriage is one of the things that best prepares you to have a baby by giving you opportunity to work on yourself before caring for a new life. While the order is mostly talked about in a biblical sense, I believe there is reason for it aside from “these are the rules and you should follow them”. I think God had an idea for the best possible environment for a new life and being married, committed, and emotionally healthy were prime reasons. Not having baby scares to worry about in our relationships allowed us to focus on having fun and helped eliminate some stress.
6. Weeding Out the Regulars
I can’t even count the number of men that I tried to date that gave me the stank face once I told them that I was waiting for marriage until I have sex again. It wasn’t as if I was telling them to marry me that night, I was just giving them my standards. And by doing that, they decided that I wasn’t the one that they wanted to date. It was often disappointing and even insulting until I began to think of it as a weeding out process. If you weren’t willing to date me and get to know me for me before dismissing me because of sex, then I didn’t need nor want to be with you. If sex is so high on your priority list that I’m not even worth the wait, then why even waste time dating? In this, I was able to form a beautiful friendship and date a guy that was not only willing to wait with me, he had the same standards that I had. Because sex was a no go for both of us, there was no pressure or worry whether one of us would stray outside of the relationship. I was in it because of who he was and vice versa.
Now, I can admit that this isn’t everyone’s testimony. Some people don’t have great wedding night stories. But for us, it was the most beautiful experience I had ever had. It made our wedding night exciting. Gave us something new and beautiful to look forward to. We were proud of ourselves for committing to something new and difficult. And now, we could relish in each other and the fact that our waiting was over forever! We were able to love each other slowly and intimately that night in a new way. A memory that I will never forget.
I know of couples that didn’t wait while dating and still have successful relationships. But I also know that I cant deny the beautiful and benefits that waiting had on my relationship and the relationship of others that I know. There are strategies and strong will power that come into play when waiting. When you’re attracted and in love, it is NOT easy to wait until marriage but it IS possible. Coming from a woman that thought I needed sex to survive, I can testify that it’s possible if you are committed to it. I’d like to emphasize that choosing to wait until marriage was not because sex is a bad thing, because it is not. It’s beautiful and was created for pleasure and reproduction. However just like so many other things in life, it’s most beautiful in it’s appropriate time. Even if you’ve already had sex with your partner, it’s not too late to decide to wait. It’ll be difficult, but the benefits will be beautiful.