Have you ever read Song of Songs? It’s not the most spoken of book of the Bible, but when it comes to relationships and sexuality, it has fantastic insight. If you read chapter 4, you’ll read how Solomon delights in the virginity of his bride. He loves her passionately, taking great joy in knowing that her body belongs solely to him.
The idea of abstinence isn’t a new one. You can hear about it from your local church youth group or middle school health class. Anyone can easily roll their eyes at these talks, probably because most talks on abstinence usually involve some type of scare tactic involving STDs or pregnancy, or some vague “God said so” statement. And every once in a while, you’ll be bombarded by the newest Christian abstinence movement such as True Love Waits, purity rings or We Will Wait.
Let me first say that I have no problem with these types of movements. I encourage and commend them. But I wonder, How effective are they? Statistics state that out of the thousands of people that participated in True Love Waits, only 12 percent actually kept the pledge. That’s it. What would the statistics be then for purity rings? Is We Will Wait going to be a success?
I never went out and got myself a purity ring. I never joined an abstinence movement. I didn’t need to do any of those things to remind me of the devastating effects of premarital sex. I’ve encountered more than enough of them.
The first major factor in my decision for abstinence was growing up in a broken home, with a father who wasn’t interested in my existence. In some aspects I’m grateful; perhaps my biological father was not a good man to raise me. But on the flip side, the effects of my father’s rejection — the broken image of a complete family — has affected me my entire life. I vowed that I would do what I could so that my children wouldn’t go through the same type of feelings of rejection. Although the future can never be fully secured, having the commitment of marriage decreases the probability of my children being rejected or abandoned, and decreases the probability of my facing the same hardships my mother did as a single parent.
Another reason for my vow for abstinence involves other young women I’ve spoken to whose flesh overcame them and who made decisions they wish they hadn’t. Have you ever spoken to a scared, pregnant teenager who feels ashamed of herself to the point that she wishes she had never existed? It’s impactful. A few girls admitted to me that they didn’t even want to have sex, but they were convinced that it was part of the dating process. Yet the shame and confusion they felt proves that their theory was incorrect. God didn’t design sex to be shameful; He designed it to be fulfilling and joyous.
Between the high amounts of emotional damage, shame, and regret, and the amount of damaged families, it’s obvious that sex outside of marriage is more damaging than fulfilling. We may view it as a “need to be satisfied,” but why dig out of the garbage when your heavenly Father is preparing you a feast?
Let me be honest with you: If you’re partaking in premarital sex, you’re getting ripped off. The sex you’re partaking in outside of marriage will never truly be fulfilling, because it wasn’t meant to be. God designed and planned sex for marriage so that married couples could have a bond of intimacy separate from all other relationships. That’s where my biggest motivators are: I want my husband to have a part of me that no other man has experienced, and I refuse to settle for less than the best that God has planned for me.
Christian abstinence movements are wonderful, but abstinence should not be a vow you make because there is a new Christian movement. If you vow for abstinence, vow for it because you won’t settle for garbage when your Father is making you a feast. Vow for it because Solomon took joy in his wife’s purity and willingness to wait for him, and because your future spouse will feel the same joy toward you.