This is what I'm teaching my 11 year old daughter. For most of my adult life I have willfully disobeyed God when it came to sex and I admit it. In the movie, "The Devil's Advocate", the devil, played by a couple of actors - Al Pachino most notably, at the very end of the movie looks right into the camera and says, "Vanity, definitely my favorite sin." Well, for me it's always been lust that I've struggled with almost all my life.
In the movie "Oklahoma" there's the song, "I Can't Say No" with the line in it that goes, "...kissin's my favorite food...with or without the mistletoe, I'm in the holiday mood". Yup. Kissing and everything else that follows. But here's the thing. Yes, lust has historically been my favorite sin, so to speak. Somewhere along the way, I started to believe that in order to get a man's attention or keep it, that I had to offer up my body. Cheapen the act of intimacy and turn it into something crude and rude and vulgar. Sometimes it was so that I wouldn't feel lonely. Sometimes it was to prove to myself that I was desirable to others because I had extremely low self-esteem, regardless of my looks. Sometimes it was just because I wanted to feel close to someone. Sometimes it was just because I wanted to.
Maybe it had to do with the childhood trauma of being molested, not raped, thank God, but by more than one person as a child. One, a single adult in the neighborhood who'd been friendly to all the kids. I suspect I wasn't the only one, but I could never prove it. Two others, one girl when I was very young who was much older than me, one boy my age when I was older... All of these years apart from each other, but all under the age of 10 for me. My mom only knew of the one at the time, and only because my best friend back then forced me to tell her. Back in the late 70's through mid-80's, you just didn't discuss stuff like this and I didn't know what to say or do about it. The one was dealt with quietly and she protected me as best as she knew how and I love her even more for it. But you don't experience stuff like that and not have it leave some sort of damage to your soul.
Regardless of the reason, I KNEW it was wrong. As I got into my late teens, I finally caved to the pressures of the world that said, "if it feels good...DO IT" and continued to do so for many years. Growing up in a strong Christian household and having accepted Christ at an early age, I was definitely not ignorant of God's Word and what it said about intimacy and sex outside of marriage. I was just willfully disobedient about it. Like so many Christians I know today. People who claim to know and love and follow Jesus, but think that living with someone or having sex before marriage is perfectly fine because purity is old fashioned and...everybody's doing it.
I'm woefully guilty of this myself. I KNEW it was wrong but did it anyway. I desensitized myself to God and what His guidance is.
There are reasons why God says that we are to save ourselves for the person we marry. GOOD reasons. There's so much heartache to be brought into a marriage if you've contracted an STD or have "tried somebody else on for size". Too many people to compare your spouse with and what if they fall short of your prior experiences? What disappointments are you bringing to them? To yourself?
There's a REASON God says we are to remain pure and chaste for the one He has chosen for us.
Casual sex is rampant in many societies. There is, in truth, no such thing as “casual” sex, because of the depth of intimacy involved in the sexual relationship. The following analogy helps you to understand just what casual sex and multiple partners does to us. If we take a sticky note and attach it to a piece of paper, it will adhere. If we remove it, it will leave behind a small amount of residue; the longer it remains, the more residue is left. If we take that note and stick it to several places repeatedly, it will leave residue everywhere we stick it, and it will eventually lose its ability to adhere to anything. This is much like what happens to us when we engage in “casual” sex. Each time we leave a sexual relationship, we leave a part of ourselves behind. The longer the relationship has gone on, the more we leave behind, and the more we lose of ourselves. As we go from partner to partner, we continue to lose a tiny bit of ourselves each time, and eventually we may lose our ability to form a lasting sexual relationship at all.
Yes, I have a rather colorful past. God, in His grace and mercy, has forgiven me for the sins of my past. It has been 2 years since my divorce and I have not been intimate with anyone since then. Not even when I was seriously dating someone a year ago. I know now WHY God says these things. I am so thankful that God did not allow me to reap the punishments I deserved for my sins. I don't have to explain to someone that I contracted something that can't be gotten rid of because I gave myself away to someone who was just as reckless with their bodies as I had been with mine. But I have friends...family in Christ, who have had to deal with the fallout from their sin of lust and sex before marriage and it's hard. It is difficult for them. It's a whole different world to have to deal with. A permanent reminder. Even if it is an STD that has gone away through surgery or medication, the fact is that they still had one. It is just one result of not honoring our bodies and the gift that God has given us to give ONLY to our spouse that He has chosen for us. Of not respecting ourselves...or God.
Do you not think that God doesn't love you and that He wouldn't have chosen the best person for you? Perfect for you? Why ruin something wonderful by being unwilling to wait for God's best?
If this the lifestyles in this world are what's considered "normal", I'm glad to no longer be "normal". I'd much rather be considered "different" as I finally follow what God says about sex. Yeah, it might be "old fashioned", but so what? At least I know that the one who is worthy of the person I've become loves me for me, and not because I'm an "easy" catch. Someone who's an "easy" catch is just as easily thrown back while they search for someone who is worth keeping...someone who isn't so easy to catch.
So, here are some other truths for you if you're single, whether you've never been married or are married and divorced - once or more than once, like myself.
1. God desires us to be pure, maybe the reason you are single is that He is removing that temptation from your life until you are ready for the one He has chosen for you.
2. God is still writing your love story so don't mess up the ending by trying to write your own.
3. God wants your focus to be Him first. Keep your eyes on HIM and delight yourself in Him and He has promised to give you the desires of your heart.
4. You should be so hidden in God that someone needs to seek Him in order to find you, and when they do find you both of you should keep seeking Him together because, as the Bible says "a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken".
5. Trust in God means trust in HIS timing. We can't force God to move and if we try to do it on our own, how can He bless us with His best?
6. The RIGHT one will respect you and your decision to remain pure and will want to honor what it is that God has given to the two of you by not pressuring you to have premarital sex.
7. Ladies...yes, it is a man's job to respect you...but it is your job, as a woman, to give him something to respect.