Monday, January 19, 2015

So You Don't Want to Wait for Marriage

Last summer, a woman wrote a blog post about how she remained a virgin until marriage and how much she wished she hadn't.

She wrote about how she signed her name to the True Love Waits pledge at 10 years of age, how she wore her "virginity badge" with honor all throughout her teen years. Then on her wedding night, instead of joyously experiencing the beauty of God's way, she felt dirty and awkward. She hated being intimate with her husband, underwent therapy, and finally shucked religion altogether.

Suffice it to say, the post went viral. Reading it, my heart broke. There's no telling how many read that blog and decided that purity wasn't worth saving.

So you don't want to wait for marriage? May I give you another side of the story that is far different from the one above? You see I, too, signed my name to the TLW pledge at an early age. I, too, remained a virgin all throughout my teenage years and into my early twenties. I, too, was pure on my wedding night. So let me be honest and give you some good advice, from someone who's also been there, done that.

Many make the mistake of assuming that virginity and purity are the same thing when, in truth, there is a difference between the two. Virginity is something we have and give away once, preferably to our spouse on our wedding night as commanded by God. It's priceless and we can never get it back. Purity, however, goes deeper. Purity is a not simply something, it's a lifestyle of shunning sin and embracing what is holy and beautiful. The young woman who wrote that blog had a misconception of the two and I believe the Church is partially responsible.

The Church has failed its young people by making marital intimacy appear boring and unexciting. Instead of seeing Christian couples in the Church madly in love and enjoying all the blessings of sex inside of marriage, they see most of them battling pornography addictions, having affairs, or undergoing painful divorces. For the most part, young people grow up either believing their elders are outright lying to them OR they grow up being indoctrinated that sex is dirty and shameful. And as a result, they either reject the notion of marriage altogether, or they carry that into their marriage and end up feeling impure once they hand over their virginity to their spouse. The problem isn't that they remained a virgin, the problem is the fuel behind their choice and the misconception of what purity truly is. If you make the choice to remain a virgin until your wedding night, assuming that's all there is to purity, you are going to be disappointed and you will likely wind up with just as much angst as the girl who wrote that blog. Purity is not merely something you "have." Purity is a way of life that can only be lived through the blood and the power of Jesus Christ. If you want a heavenly marriage, you will live in purity. You will carry it with you always, not leave it on the bed on your wedding night. It will go with you as you fold laundry, buy groceries, and pay your bills. It will walk with you into the sanctuary at your Church and into the bedroom with your husband.

Was my wedding night awkward? Not really, no.

Did I feel dirty and ashamed? Not once.

Did I grow to dread intimacy with my spouse after that? Not at all (my three kids likely prove that, eh? ;)

I made the same choices as that young woman did. The difference between us both, however, is the reasons behind the choices I made. I didn't stay a virgin because it was expected of me or because everybody else was signing cards pledging to do it too. I didn't stay a virgin because the Church pounded the notion into my head, threatening me with hell fire if I gave it away before the wedding vows. I made the choices I did because saving physical intimacy is a command of God and based on a principle of God's Kingdom. In Matthew 7:6, Jesus told His disciples, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine." 

I trusted that the Lord would be faithful to me. And He was.

Countless young people read that blog post and fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. No doubt many decided to forgo sexual purity and hand over their virginity simply because it's their body and their choice. But to that young woman and all the others in the same boat, I say this: Of all the things of great value in your life, one of the most precious is your sexuality. It's meant to be a holy and set-apart place of our being and reserved for only one to have access. It's not about rules and regulations, it's about God granting us a little brush with heaven. When God sets the stage for marital intimacy, it will never ever lose its beauty.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Resolutions for a Momma

Happy (belated) New Year!

Currently, my hands are very full. I have a three and a half year old, an almost-two year old, and a four week old that demand my attention and my care 24/7. My heart is much more full than my hands ever could be, but my work load is, nevertheless, far from light. Entering a new year with a brand new baby, I thought long and hard about my resolutions for 2015. To be honest, it got overwhelming. My list of things I'd like to do is long. But the more I tried to make resolutions like "I will write more Thank You notes this year" and "I will finally organize that closet I keep avoiding," the Lord slowly redirected my thoughts.

I haven't blogged much at all lately and my book I have been working on for over a year is nowhere near complete. But instead of letting that make me feel like a failure and that my potential is being wasted away, I resolve to read one more book to my little boy and use the writing time I get - be it very little - to do my best. (Col. 3:17)

My hair stays in virtually one style and I'm spending these rare "me" moments writing this blog post instead of working to firm up these flabby abs. But instead of choosing to let that make me feel unattractive, I resolve to smile and put on Jesus Christ; letting Him be my beauty. (Col. 3:12-17)

In the wee morning hours while feeding my baby, I've spent more time playing on my phone than praying and meditating on God's Word. Instead of allowing myself to be caught up in distractions, I resolve to take my thoughts captive and delight in the law of the Lord. (Psalm 1:2)

I'm ashamed to say I've been ushering my kids upstairs to get them out of my hair lately. Instead of letting laziness be my boss, I resolve to play more board games, put together more puzzles, and to reach the heart of my children in 2015. (Prov. 31:28)

My nails are chipped, my laundry is endless, my kids need a bath, and I'd love to sit down with tea and book (and quiet that doesn't mean my little girl is writing on the walls again!). But instead of feeling overwhelmed, my resolution is to live joyfully. There will always messes to clean, meals to bake, events to attend, and dates to remember. There will always be a list of things to do and groceries to buy. There will always be people I will disappoint and expectations I will not meet. But no more guilt! To echo Jonathan Edwards, my resolution for 2015 is to live with all my might while I do live.

Micah 6:8
"...and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

May 2015 bring us close to the feet of Jesus and may our cup be full-to-the-brim of His joy!


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