Ha, this is going to be interesting. I haven’t tackled this kind of subject in, well, ever.
This whole post is a bit terrifying to talk about, mostly because I worry I won’t make sense as my thoughts are a bit scattered and/or that I will sound like a silly, prude, and brittle Christian female who wants to flaunt her virginity for the whole world to see. I also know the weight of this subject as there have been so many women out there who have been hurt by the church and all their talks about “purity.”
That is not my heart at all.
Yes, I do desire to remain a virgin until I am married, but there is SO much more to living a life of purity than saving sex for marriage (I think we get the words virginity and purity mixed up too often). I also desire and wish that everyone else to have these same standards, but I know mistakes happen in life, heat of passion can become too overwhelming for any sense we have, as well as events that are out of our control (i.e. sexual abuse, molestation, rape, and trafficking). My heart is for everyone to experience true love, freedom, wholeness, and healing in Christ. He is the only One who can do this for us.
So why am I now deciding to bare my heart and part of my story? What is my motivation?
There are two kinds of shame in this post that I would like to address:
Shame that comes from mistakes that have been made and
Shame that comes from mistakes that aren’t made.
The first shame I want to talk about is something I have dealt with for a few years now: Shame from our past mistakes. It’s come from years of looking at things online late at night, occasionally during the day, that I shouldn’t have (i.e. the “free” pornography that you find on the google image search among random sex scenes from foreign movies on YouTube). This may seem silly to many of you, but coming from someone who struggles with a lot of self-hatred and trying SO hard to be perfect in any way, shape, and form, it has been really destructive. It has kept me from a healthy relationship with Christ for too long. Over the last 5 or so years, it has done a really good job isolating me from any community, healing, and sense of worth.
This shame has a way of catching me at my most vulnerable moments to remind me of how horrible of a person I am. It haunts me when I am told how “pure” of a person I am and how “God is so pleased with me and the life of purity I am living.” What if people knew? What if they found out all these secrets I have? What if they discovered that mentally I am no virgin anymore? This shame keeps me captive and silent, unable to walk confidently in the calling God has for my life.
I know I am not the only one who has struggled with shame this way. I have talked with countless women and young teenagers who have so many regrets and so much shame from past decisions about their sex life they have made. Of course, their stories and journeys may be a lot different than mine (i.e. addiction to pornography, losing their virginity before the covenant of marriage, having sex with anyone and everyone, unexpected pregnancy, etc), but the shame is still there and just as destructive as it is with me. It breaks my heart as they carry these shackles of captivity with them wherever they go like I do so often.
The other shame I want to talk about is the shame that comes from desiring and striving to live a life of purity. This one I am very, very familiar with as this has been something I have dealt with most of my life. Yes, I have struggled with mental impurity during my early twenties, but the first 19 or so years of my life that wasn’t me, nor most of the last year. For as long as I can remember my desire for relationships and marriage was that I wanted to save myself completely for my future husband.
I have always wanted to be that woman, decked out in white, walking down the aisle towards her soon-to-be-husband, able to offer all of herself to him, whole and unblemished, for the rest of her life. I grew up learning about sex. My parents started talking to us about our bodies and how sacred they were when we were 3 (we still have the books too!). I grew up the first 7 years of my life learning that I am someone of value, someone worth waiting for, someone worth loving. Of course, my mom dying, abuse from a step-mom, and years of learning self-hatred ruined a lot of that, but deep down, that desire to save myself for marriage was still there… as well as the shame.
I feel ashamed so many times that I am one who has decided to remain a virgin until marriage and still able to, especially when I am around those who’s decision to lose their virginity wasn’t there’s to make. I feel this way because I feel as if I am not worthy of a title “pure.” I feel this way because when people find out I am a virgin and desire a life of purity in every area, they believe me to be naive, childlike, cute, prude, weak, or lack experience to make a wise decision. I also feel like if my guy were to meet me and decide I am worth pursuing, he would be turned off by my innocence and lack of experience with relationships, especially if he is experienced when it comes to relationships, sex, marriage, and parenthood. I would be “too good” for him.
I know this is all may seem so silly, but it has haunted me for so long.
(I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge another shame: one that come from situations out of our control, from others taking from us what is not theirs to take. I personally have not had this happen to me, but I know so many who have. I did not want to miss mentioning this since it is just as devastating as the other two kinds of shame I talked about.)
BUT… I AM TIRED OF LIVING A LIFE FILLED WITH SHAME. Shame is not from Christ. It is from the devil himself whose goal for us is to kill, steal, and destroy anything he can. I no longer want to give him any power. Remember, God is the victorious One and we are His, so we are victorious over anything the devil sends our way.
So… with that being said, this is my declaration. From here on out, this is why I am waiting, in every way shape and form, for my guy and our marriage:
- The Bible encourages us to… and since the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we know we can trust it.1 Thessalonians 4 says it well: “We urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you… God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will live in holiness and honor- not in lustful passions like the pagans who do not know God and His ways…” (v. 1,3)
In the Song of Solomon, THREE TIMES (3 is the number of completion) the woman encourages others to not awaken love until the time is right. And she had a pretty passionate relationship with her guy, so I believe her wisdom can be trusted. 😉 (v. 2:7, 3:5, 8:4)
Psalm 119:9, “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying Your Word.”
- I know what true love is:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. – 1 Cor. 13:4-7
True Love also comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. – 1 Timothy 1:5
- There is wisdom behind it.
1 John 2:16-17, “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from the world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”
Or read Proverbs… That will show you what I mean.
- It is a way to honor Christ with my body.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 says, “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
- It is a way to honor my future husband.
Mandisa has a perfect way of describing this in her song “Praying For You”:
“I’ll honor you with purity, so you can have all of me…”
- Sex is a sacred act meant to be between a husband and wife:
Brooke Fraser’s song “Love is Waiting” is one of my favorites:
“I’ll give it time, give it space and be still for a spell
When it’s time to walk that way, we wanna walk it well.
I’ll be waiting for you, baby.
I’ll be holding back the darkest night.
Love is waiting ’til we’re ready
‘Til it’s right.”
- It is more fulfilling to wait
The road less travelled is hard, but has the most reward at the end.
Matthew 7:13-14, “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The road that leads to destruction is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
- Less baggage brought into the marriage
BUT, Christ can work through any baggage, no matter how big or small they may be. He is a Redeemer and Healer. He can make anything whole again. I believe this with all my heart, but if there is a way I can bring less baggage into my marriage, then I will do my best not to.
- It is a way to trust God with my love story, because He is the best Author EVER.
Just ask anyone who has let God write their love story. They’re all SO incredible.
- I want to be a healthy role model for young women.
If there is one thing that breaks my heart, it’s seeing young girls following the examples of women who are living lives that bring more destruction to themselves than wholeness. I want to be someone who is genuine yet healthy for these young girls to pattern themselves after. Young teenagers and kids are SO moldable, they will do anything (not exaggerating here) us young adults and adults do. My conscience would kill me if I knew I led any girl down a horrible path in life that gave way to hurt, despair, pain, and complete shame for any decisions she made that weren’t healthy.
- I want to walk down the aisle on my wedding day knowing I have saved all of me, just for him.
I feel so honored and so undeserving to have this opportunity to be able to do this. Yes, God can restore purity to anyone, but I have a chance to not only offer my purity to my future husband, but as well as my first date (hopefully), first kiss, and my virginity. It’s going to be one interesting marriage evening, especially if he’s had sex before, but we got time… and practice makes perfect, right? 😉
With all that being said, I hope that wasn’t too many scattered thoughts for you. I kind of tried combining two different thoughts into one blog post, so hopefully I did not lose you half-way through.
I would like to encourage you though, if you are like me and filled with shame, no matter where or what it’s coming from… God LOVES you. You are not too broken, too messed up, too off the right path, too ugly inside, too ugly in general (I know how us girls can get towards ourselves), too however you feel about yourself, for Christ to come into your life and redeem and mend any damage that has happend to you. God is a God of unlimited grace and mercy who’s desire is to see us whole again.
Please don’t be afraid to reach out and accept His cleansing grace. If you desire to live a life of purity from here on out, do it! You are not too damaged to be able to do so. Purity isn’t virginity. Purity is a lifestyle. It has to do with the alignment in your life with Christ’s Word and how you live it out. If you’re far away from Christ… go seek Him! You WILL find Him, especially if you seek Him with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).
I hope you all have a blessed day and weekend.
May Christ’s love meet you where you are at and bless you.
~Woman of Purity
P.S. Let me know your thoughts! And… why are you waiting, if you are? If not, why not?