Monday, August 25, 2014

To the Girl Who Waited

By Julie Gernand
"So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate" (Matthew 19:6).
There has been an article circulating lately written by a young married woman who waited until her wedding night to have sexual intercourse, yet who claims she regrets this decision. 

My heart broke upon reading her words, for it appears to me that she suffered this regret as a result of unguided Christian teachings and a lack of knowledge of the truth of God’s wonderful plan for men and women, as written in his Word. 

Out of love for this woman and the many readers she will reach, I will quote some of the author's thoughts and, below them, share my own beliefs on the subject. I am not a doctor or an ordained theologian, but I am a believer in Christ who feels deeply for her sister.

The woman states:
"I learned that as a girl, I had a responsibility to my future husband to remain pure for him. It was entirely possible that my future husband wouldn't remain pure for me, because he didn't have that same responsibility, according to the Bible. And of course, because I was a Christian, I would forgive him for his past transgressions and fully give myself to him, body and soul.*
My dear sisters, the Bible teaches that everyone, both man and woman, should remain pure for their spouses:

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body (1 Corinthians 6:18).
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... (1 Thess. 4:3-5).
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity (1 Tim. 4:12).
God wants the best for his children. He knows how very special sex is, in its bonding and deeply intimate nature. You see, marriage and sex are a beautiful picture of Christ and his Bride, the church. Sex is a little glimpse of what heaven will be like, when God's plan is brought to completion on the day when Christ returns and takes us to live with him forever in Paradise. Because of how truly special this intimacy is, and in light of what it is meant to represent, God desires for both men and women to treat sex with the respect it deserves, saving it for your life-long husband or wife.
God also desires for us to be married to those with whom we are equally yoked.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

For us to really experience Christlike marriage, it is important for those who marry to share the same values, beliefs, and identities in Jesus. Without this strong trunk as the tree of your marriage, the fruit the tree produces will not be optimal, leading to much turmoil and misunderstanding between spouses.

The woman states:
When we got home [from our honeymoon], I couldn't look anyone in the eye. Everyone knew my virginity was gone. My parents, my church, my friends, my co-workers. They all knew I was soiled and tarnished. I wasn't special anymore. My virginity had become such an essential part of my personality that I didn't know who I was without it. It didn't get better. I avoided undressing in front of my husband. I tried not to kiss him too often or too amorously so I wouldn't lead him on. I dreaded bedtime. Maybe he'd want to have sex. *
Sisters, God desires for us to find our true identity in Him alone. When we find our identity in Him, we begin to realize how incredibly loving God is - so loving that he gave us the gift of sex with our spouse! God LOVES sex! So much so, he dedicated an entire book of the Bible to its beauty - the Song of Solomon. 

The Bible contains more about intimacy than you may have realized:
How beautiful and pleasant you are,
    O loved one, with all your delights!
7 Your stature is like a palm tree,
    and your breasts are like its clusters.
8 I say I will climb the palm tree
    and lay hold of its fruit.
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
    and the scent of your breath like apples,
9 and your mouth like the best wine.

It goes down smoothly for my beloved,
    gliding over lips and teeth.

10 I am my beloved's,
    and his desire is for me.

(Song of Solomon 7:6-10)
Pretty racy stuff, right? God delights in our intimacy!
I am saddened to think that the author of the original article did not understand that sex in marriage is a true celebration of the waiting one has done for their spouse. It seems the writer was caught a trap of legalistic thought. Yes, sex is awkward, uncomfortable, and new - but what a welcome adventure for husband and wife to share together! 
God never intended for us to feel shame in the sex of marriage - but true joy. After finding the person your heart has yearned for, the one to whom you are equally yoked in Christ, it is then time to celebrate marriage with the freedom of deep intimacy - the true reason why waiting was so darn cool.
The writer finishes by saying: 
I'm now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality. If I could go back, I would not wait. I would have sex with my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I wouldn't go to hell for it. We would have gotten married at a more appropriate age and I would have kept my sexuality to myself.*
Again, my heart is sad to think that this woman is under the impression that purity is something used by church leaders to control others. This is simply not the case. It is a command given by God out of great love for us and a desire for us to lead Christlike, full lives.
Three truths to remember, dear sisters:
1) All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Everyone makes mistakes of all kinds - no one is exempt.                                           
2) If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:19). AMEN! What a blessing! God does not see our sin when he looks at us. He sees brand new creations, no matter what our past contains.
3) There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). FOR REAL! Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved - murderers, thieves, the sexually immoral - and, gloriously, EVERYONE who sins in ANY MANNER. What joyous news!
Lord, What a glorious thing to know that no matter what we have done or will do here on Earth, when we turn to Jesus, You see us ALL as clean, new, and white as snow. Help us all to live by your truth, remember your promises, and delight in your love!
Amen.
* Original article can be found at: http://www.xojane.com/sex/true-love-waits-pledge

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