I’ve been thinking about sex all week long. While it is true that I’m a part of the wildly insane, sexually frustrated few who are trying to wait until marriage, my thoughts about sex have been less about an immediate desire to partake in it.
I read this article about sexuality among single Christians and was wrecked by the realization that when it comes to sex, I’ve been living in a happy little bubble for most of my life. I am not naive when it comes to matters of sexuality; I was regrettably introduced to its broken facets too fast and too soon. So it wasn’t that I was completely unaware that unmarried Christians were having sex, I just assumed that they were anomalies. Turns out, I am the anomaly.
Days before I read that article, a friend asked me for a good reason why we should wait to have sex until marriage. My indignation was immediate, but I quickly discovered I had no real answers. Other than the typical answers of “Premarital sex is sin” and “It’s the Christian thing to do,” I couldn’t defend my position.
It forced me to consider more thoroughly my views on sex. Why am I choosing to go against everything society permits and applauds? Why deprive myself of something that eighty percent of the people who follow the same God I do are currently enjoying? What on earth is the purpose of waiting?
That’s why I spent all week thinking about sex – so I could figure out why I was choosing to not have it. And after much contemplation, I decided that waiting is, in fact, worth the ridicule. It is difficult and laden with frustration but it is a commitment worth making. These are my reasons why.
I’m choosing to wait because I trust in the goodness of the God I serve. Choosing to have sex outside of the boundaries he set for me would be telling him that I don’t believe he has my best interests in mind; that his goodness doesn’t extend into the area of my sexuality; that he can have all of me except the parts his commands are too outdated to handle.
I’m choosing to wait because a woman of noble character brings her husband good all the days of her life. Sex isn’t just about me, or what I want. My body was never mine alone to begin with. It belongs to God and when I become a wife, my husband and I will share equal ownership of it. Our bodies and sexuality were never intended to be a selfish thing. I’ve chosen to honor the man I will spend the rest of my days with by remaining faithful today, even though he isn’t as yet a part of my life. I’m collecting years of experience in being faithful to one person so that when he stands in front of me, flesh and blood, it won’t be an enormous readjustment to honor him above all else.
I’m choosing to wait because I don’t receive my value from societal norms. My sexuality doesn’t determine my worth; the fact that everyone is doing it and I’m not doesn’t make me less of a woman. I embrace my sexuality – it is not hidden, but I refuse to exploit it because that’s what the world expects or because it simply feels good.
I’m choosing to wait because research has shown that, regardless of religious beliefs, premarital sex leads to higher rates of divorce and extramarital affairs. Knowing fully well the effects of growing up in a single-parent home due to divorce, I’m choosing to think about the well-being of my future children, doing all I can now to ensure that they have both parents in their lives. Marriage is terrifying enough as is, without adding a precursor for divorce into the picture.
I’m choosing to wait because, for me, intimacy is a reward for commitment. Even in my friendships, I don’t bare my heart in its entirety until you’ve shown a willingness to invest, to commit, to be consistent. My heart is worth the pursuit. So is my body. And honestly, that level of intimacy intimidates me – it makes me glad for an extended opportunity to better prepare myself for it.
I’m choosing to wait because I do believe that marriage is a beautiful, sacred thing. I don’t believe what most of my peers do – that it will be the end of my life, dreams or personality. I believe that it will enhance those things while teaching me the courage it takes to place another’s needs above my own. I believe that it will be hard and painful, but that the richness it will bring to my character will be immeasurable. I believe it will be full of laughter, and exuberance, and earth-shattering sex encased in a covenant relationship where I won’t be in constant worry over whether or not he will be gone the next morning.
I’m choosing to wait because I’ve learned to love myself. I’ve chosen to honor the person I am by believing that my intellect, humor, personality, passions, and dreams are enough to intrigue a man. I am enough. I don’t need to give up my body to hold anyone’s attention. The ones worth alluring will honor my body too.
Oh I know, it’s a hard thing to do in today’s world. I’m planning to return to this list on days when my raging hormones would dictate a different view of life. But in searching my heart, this is what I found: in the same way I don’t want to meet my husband just yet because I know he will be exquisite and my hands are not quite steady enough to hold such a gift, I don’t want to have sex quite yet. My heart isn’t strong enough to handle such a gift outside of its original context.
So I’m contentedly waiting with the rest of the twenty percent. Most days, that is.