I was blessed to have parents that raised me in the Word of God and in a church that valued God’s truth for our lives – even if the topic was controversial. I go to a private college, I work at a Christian summer camp, and I was extremely involved in my church growing up. While being a virgin doesn’t seem to raise any eyebrows among my circle of influence, I know that statement isn’t as popular in many other circles.
Realizing you’re the odd one out
After my senior year of high school, a few of my friends and I went camping at my grandparents’ cabin on the Manistee River. We went on a two and a half hour kayak trip down the river just chatting and enjoying nature. We started playing truth or dare (you know, as is common of high schoolers). I got stuck on a tree and was a few yards behind my friends. As I caught up to them, I could hear my best friend say,
“Don’t ask her that, I can already tell you the answer, it’s yes.”
I became curious “What are you guys talking about? You can ask me.”
After quite a bit of time arguing amongst themselves about whether or not it was a good idea to actually tell me what they were talking about, they posed the question:
“Are you really going to stick to your whole purity ring thing? Like, you know, wait until you’re married to have sex?”
I was shocked. I couldn’t believe my friends would even consider asking me such a question. They knew my conviction on this subject. I was pretty open about it. I thought it would be normal in my circle of influence to wait until marriage to have sex with my husband. I thought that was a common conviction of women in the church. I thought all girls were being taught the same message about sex that I was taught at an Across My Heart retreat almost eight years ago. So why was it such a surprise to my friends that I was going to wait? Why were they so shocked?
So why am I waiting?
I am not waiting to have sex until marriage simply because I believe it is a rule God asks me to follow. I am too curious to blindly follow rules (for anything) without questioning the why or what for. God is after my heart. God is asking me to follow a guideline that he has set out for me because He knows best. God is asking me to save sex for marriage because He knows that is what is best for me – for my future marriage, for my relationships, for my own mental and physical health. God’s rules aren’t for controlling what I can and cannot do. They are for creating in me a heart that is after His heart and helping me live a life that is glorifying to Him.
Writing this blog scared me because I just wrote a blog about how our God is a God of second chances and that He redeems sin. I still believe that. I still believe that God is more powerful than our judgements or past or anything we bring to the table. He is strong and capable and more than willing to take whatever we have.
But I also believe that God calls us to follow guidelines he sets out for us because He knows best. I believe God makes it very clear in the Bible that sex is to be kept in marriage.
Recognizing what God has to say
The heart of AMH is teaching young women God’s design for sexuality. In the least restrictive and most freeing way possible, we want girls to know God’s plan for sex – in marriage – and point them to His heart. We want them to know His desire for it to be something good and shared between a husband and wife – a physically and emotionally intimate connection to be shared with one other person.
Sex within marriage has been God’s design from the beginning.
Genesis 2:24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Hebrews 13:4 Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex. [The Message]
Married sex is not only good, it is commanded by God.
1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
Proverbs 5:18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
Song of Solomon records the glory of faithful married sex.
Song of Solomon 7:10 I am my beloved’s, And his desire is toward me.
When we have sex outside marriage, It is outside God’s design.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;
Romans 13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Writing His Word across my heart
When my focus is on God, His word, and His plan for my life, I don’t wonder if I’m living up to the world’s expectations. I don’t know when we switched to thinking that having sex in a relationship made you cooler, but I choose to believe that that is not what God’s word says about sex. God calls me to wait. God tells me sex is a special thing to only be shared with my husband. And I choose to believe that He knows what’s best for me.
Struggling to believe that? Here are some practical steps to help you in your walk towards the heart of God.
- Find people to hold you accountable. We were never meant to go through this life alone. Especially not through the numerous obstacles and temptations we face. Find some core people in your life that you can share your struggles with in grace and truth. Ask them to hold you accountable. Ask them to check in with you on how you’re doing. Ask them to help you stay out of situations where you might compromise your convictions.
- Stay in the word. There is something special about God’s word that binds our hearts to His. If you want your desires to be aligned with God’s, spend time reading and discovering what His desires are (Psalm 119:9) Learn about who He is and the life He calls you to. This makes resisting temptation much easier because we can write His truth across our hearts in defense of the attacks of Satan’s lies.
- Make a promise to God every day. Every retreat I go to I tell girls that the path of purity is an everyday commitment. Committing to waiting until marriage to have sex is not a one time decision. It is an everyday commitment of giving that part of your heart and decision to God. I wake up everyday and by putting my ring on, I decide that today I will keep God’s word and way for me written on my heart. Am I perfect? Definitely not. But I do ask God to walk with me, and He does. If committing to an unknown date sounds scary to you, start with waking up every day and devoting the day to God and His promises. He gives us new strength for each day and wants to help us stick to His word.
- Already had sex? It’s not too late! In my last blog, I talk about how God redeems ALL sin if we admit that we are sinners and He is the only one to free us from that bondage. God doesn’t want us to continue to live in sin – the way that leads to death. God wants us to commit our futures to Him – no matter where we come from.
The path to purity isn’t easy, but choose to believe that it is worth it.
FOLLOW OUR BLOG SERIES: WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY
What will people say… when you speak up for what’s right? It’s not always easy. It’s not always fun. But it’s always worth it.
When you live a set apart, counter-cultural life, it won’t always make sense to the people around you. But that’s not what matters.
In the NEW blog series “What Will People Say?”, we will be sharing crazy stories of times we’ve gone against the crowd and gotten interesting reactions from people around us, all because we were doing what God calls us to do.