Lately one of the most visited article on this blog has been “10 things every bride needs to know before her wedding night”.
I’ve looked at some of the phrases people are using to find this article.
And I’ve become more convinced that as a society we are guilty of emphasizing the wrong thing.
The wrong thing we are emphasizing, is that it’s foolhardy to expect somebody, in this day and age, to wait to have sex for the first time on their wedding night.
We are taking God’s love for granted.
We’ve become a hush-hush generation.
One that doesn’t like to call sin sin and prefers silence in the face of blatant disobedience because it doesn’t want to hurt or offend.
We break our backs trying to accommodate every whim, belief and persuasion in our midst, in the name of love, peace and acceptance.
We refuse to hold ourselves and others to any standards whatsoever.
Because, we believe “God loves and forgives us” and “Jesus did all the work”.
And our part is to enjoy salvation, not bother with “old -school traditions” and the likes of boundaries and discipline and work.
But here’s a question I think we need to be asking ourselves.
Is our life before-Christ life and life after-Christ supposed to look the same?
And I am not talking about the scrubbed-up-Sunday-face life.
I am talking about the Monday to Saturday grind, when real life happens.
Is there supposed to be a difference between the old us and the new us?
Because here’s the thing about forgiveness and mercy.
God extends it to us, not so that we give a mental nod and go on our merry way doing whatever we please, business as usual.
He extends mercy and grace so we can become His followers and disciples.
And God is not silent about His expectations.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
True repentance has standards, it has boundaries.
It requires putting to death the works and lusts of the flesh and pursuing all that God is.
And God is Holy, He calls us to a life of obedience.
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. (NLT)
Help for those who are waiting and those who waited
So I want to say a few things to help someone who is waiting to have sex for the first time on her wedding night.
And help a wife who waited but has since discovered waiting did not exempt her from marital/intimacy issues in the bedroom.
Because I’ve been in both places.
And I must say this before I go on – if you are reading this and are not virgin (have, out of your own free-will, had sex outside marriage), please understand I am not condemning you.
The bible says as far as the east is from the west He has removed our transgressions from us.
If you’ve had sex before marriage and are now walking in purity, it’s “just as if it never happened”.
Here are my thoughts;
1. It is possible to wait till your wedding night to have sex.
I want to start by blowing off this myth that waiting is easy, that those who wait must have an extra gene that gives them a special ability to stay off sex.
Either that, or they are silly and naive with no idea what they are missing.
If you are reading this and have ever wondered; people who wait until marriage to have sex are normal.
They have the same feelings, same emotions and desires and sexual drive. The difference is in the choices they make.
Here’s where it often gets interesting.
Some people don’t believe they can control their sex drive.
They don’t understand or accept that some of our actions either fire up or cool down our sexual drives.
Mathew 25 talks about the five foolish virgins and the five wise virgins.
I won’t get into it but the reason the five foolish virgins missed the bridegroom was because they did not carry enough oil to last their journey.
In the same way, the reason we miss it and fall into sexual sin is because we act as if we are only taking a short purity walk.
We don’t gear up for the long haul, we don’t prepare and surround ourselves with things that will help us walk the distance.
You can’t wait casually.
You have to go the extra mile. Be ready to say no – a whole lot of no – to yourself and others.
You can’t be petting and kissing and making out and expecting to stay pure in heart – and body.
You can’t be accepting random dates, dating outside the faith “trying to convert souls for Jesus”.
You can’t be in his house at midnight “hanging out” – because that won’t help you stay out of his bed…and neither will it protect or guard your Christian testimony.
Hear what I am not saying: intentional efforts cannot save you.
You don’t live pure in order to earn God’s mercy and grace.
You live pure as a result of that love: because He’s made you new, because you love Him and want to honor Him with your life. (John 14:5)
My sticky point
Here’s my sticky point; purity is not abnormal. We need to quit treating it as if it is.
Christ will leave the ninety nine sheep to go for the one that is lost. But once found He returns it to the fold. His fold.
He doesn’t have a special program or exemption for them (all of us) that were formerly lost.
He brings us to the same place and expects us to act like His bride.
Waiting is not abnormal. It’s the standard.
Abnormal is having sex outside marriage.
Abnormal is encouraging behavior that makes it difficult to wait – both in the heart and the body – and then turning around and saying purity is outdated.
And here’s a short simple explanation on why God wants us to wait.
And while we are at it maybe I could explain my little rant here today: I am passionate about purity because I am passionate about marriage.
I see all the drama and junk we have to work through in marriage that could have been avoided if we’d made different choices in our single life.
Doing it God’s way
If you are waiting, (whether primary virginity or secondary virginity) I want to encourage you.
Keep up the walk.
Lean into God when it’s gets hard.
Take a cold shower in your house, hug a pillow, lose yourself in God.
He is so very tender and intimate. He gave you that sexual drive and will help you wait..and wait well.
Continue to surround yourself with good friends and counsel.
Lose everyone that tries to bog you down and tries to have you act on hormone-driven emotions.
The world needs you. It might hate the way you live. But it needs you.
You are the salt they don’t know they need. Your lifestyle preaches louder than you think.
What is your reward?
And now something you got to remember;
Your ultimate reward is not marriage. Your reward is God and doing His will.
I might get in trouble for saying this but I need you to hear where I am coming from; your single season is not preparation for marriage.
At least that’s not the whole point of our singleness.
I say this is because so many ladies have tied up their worth to a man and a ring.
They feel incomplete without “Mrs.” attached to their name.
And they live silently upset, wondering why God is taking so long to make them marriage-and-man-worthy.
I came to discover that as a single person, the only person God ever prepared me for was Himself.
Not a man.
My sweet husband has benefited greatly from my heavenly preparation, the same way I have benefited greatly from his preparation.
Truly God is in the business of making us like Himself. His plans for our lives are so much higher than marriage, they are eternal.
Saying or thinking “I am still single because I am still not worthy of marriage” is missing the point of our existence.
There’s One who orders the seasons of our lives, One who has a purpose for our lives, whether we are single or married.
You are valuable.
You are loved. You are complete in God.
Yes, He’s still working in you (He’s working in all of us). But that’s to make you like Himself. Not marriage-worthy.
I hope you get my heart in this. The goal is higher – it’s heaven bound, not earthly.
And so I hope you find peace in waiting today.
Please note: I was going to finish up this post and continue on to point # 2 – “Waiting does not guarantee you a perfect sex life” where I was going to talk about intimacy challenges in the bedroom.
But I realized that my word count has already gone through the roof.
So I’ve opted to split the post into two and share point # 2 this week on Thursday. Be sure to come back and check it out.
Update: Click here to read Thursday post - “Why purity before marriage does not guarantee a perfect sex life in marriage”
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P.P.S. Last week, I had the privilege of writing for one of my favorite marriage bloggers, Sheila Gregoire. I wrote about “The Differences between African marriage and American marriage”. If you’ve not had a chance to check out the post, I’d love for you to check it out. Also check out the comments on the blog post, lots interesting conversation there too!