A couple months ago, I was sitting on the couch watching an episode of the Bachelorette and I got so riled up I turned off the TV, pulled out my phone, and angrily ranted to my Instagram story viewers. No, I wasn’t mad that Becca, the bachelorette, sent home my top pick; I was furious because of the way Colton, one of her suitors, was shamed for being a virgin. They talked about his virginity like it was a disease or a bad case of the flu; like being a virgin made him broken somehow. Other men in the house said comments like: “She might not want to take that on.” “I wouldn’t put a ring on that if I were her.” “This could be a real deal breaker.”
I was so appalled that my heart rate literally skyrocketed. This is what our culture communicates; this is what our youth is being told; that being a virgin is a curse. And that is not okay.
If you are a virgin, you are not broken; you are not lame. You are honorable, and I believe that saving sex for marriage is a choice that will protect you.
At a very young age, I decided that I was going to save sex for marriage. Looking back, it seems like somewhat of a miracle that I was a virgin until our wedding night, because no one gave me positive reasons to wait. I’d learned all the stereotypical reasons. You could get an STD. You might get pregnant. God tells you not to. But no one, in school or church, gave us perspective on the flip side – why waiting is worth it.
Now that I’m on the other side, and enjoying the pleasure of sex with my husband, I’ve recognized that there are so many reasons that being a virgin until our wedding night was worth it. What I don’t understand is, why don’t people talk about them? This lack is the largest issue feeding the lie that virginity is bad.
Today, I’m speaking into the void and reframing the negative perspective about virginity by sharing my top 5 (non-cliché) reasons saving sex for marriage was worth it. Let’s get to it.
1. No “Am I pregnant?” anxiety
One time in college, my period disappeared for over 3 months. I’ve never had a regular cycle, but this was the longest I’d ever gone without a period and I was freaked—so much so, that I convinced my roommates to come with me to buy a pregnancy test. Wait, hold up- I thought you just told us that you were a virgin until you got married…how could you possibly be pregnant? Yes, yes. True and very true. There wasn’t even the slightest possibility that the test would come back positive because I wasn’t having sex. But somehow my anxious tendencies had me convinced that perhaps I was the modern day Virgin Mary.
Of course the test was negative - shocker. But imagine if I was actually having sex. Even if it were protected sex, I would have been a constant anxious mess. Saving sex for marriage protected me from “Am I pregnant?” anxiety.
2. Sex creates a unique bond
Culture tells us that sex is simple – it’s primal, all about pleasure, thoughtless, and carefree with zero connection necessary. This is a giant misconception. Sex creates a unique bond; even science agrees. During sex a hormone called oxytocin is released. This hormone often referred to as the “love drug” plays a role in bonding; it’s even said to influence feelings of trust or confidence. So, what this tells me is, even if we want to remain disconnected emotionally, it’s not physically possible – our bodies are chemically wired to use sex as an instrument to build a bond.
Check out this 3-minute video where John Mark Comer, pastor and author, describes sex as being “fused together at the deepest level”. This beautiful bond is so powerful that it blesses marriage richly, but outside of marriage it’s capable of emotional destruction every time you walk away from a sexual partner.
Saving sex for my marriage protected this bond in two ways. One, I never questioned whether the connection I had with a significant other was falsely built through the bond of sex. And two, I was able to bond solely and wholly with my husband. Which leads me to my next point…
3. No comparison
My memory is like a steel trap. As a writer, this comes in handy, but when we’re talking about emotional experiences, it can easily become a fault. I can pretty vividly remember some of the steamy kisses I had with my ex-boyfriends. I can tell you where we were, what I was wearing, and the intensity of the make-out session. As much as I’d like to block them out of my memory and only remember those moments with my husband, they’re still lurking in the depths of my brain.
Saving sex for my marriage protected me from creating sexual memories that could creep into my mind unwelcomed, while I’m having sex with my husband. I’ve told Chris time and time again, “I am so glad that I am not bringing anyone else into our bed.” Without any uninvited sexual memories, our intimacy is protected and there is no comparison game. When Chris and I are having sex, my mind is able to focus solely on what I’m doing and feeling with him.
I can’t stress this one enough. Saving this experience for your spouse will significantly improve your ability to connect between the sheets.
4. Excitement after you say “I do”
One summer during college, I asked a co-worker who had recently gotten married, “How is married life?” Much to my surprise, she rolled her eyes and said, “Eh… it’s fine. Nothing’s really different than before.”
She lived with her boyfriend before they got married and they’d already been having sex – nothing was new and exciting except the rings on their fingers.
After telling me her story she said, “Don’t rob yourself the excitement of marriage by doing what I did.”
Her story stuck with me. Marriage is a monumental life transition, and I didn’t want to take anything away from that. There was nothing dull about life after our wedding night. We moved in together for the first time and got to have sex whenever we wanted; married life was as monumental as it was supposed to be.
5. God blesses sex within marriage
Something that isn’t communicated enough is – God created sex to be enjoyed. He created it for pleasure. He created it to rock our worlds, to be mind-blowing, if you will. Just read Song of Songs, a book in the bible that is a love letter, basically erotic poetry and you’ll see that God is not opposed to passionate lovemaking. But, He created it to be all those things within the covenant of marriage.
In a book called, Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot, author Mo Isom says,
“Sex is not a performance-based or self-serving act that is purely there to serve our own individual wants. Sex in marriage is a beautiful, evolving, sacrificial act. It’s the Gospel lived out in sacrificial love for another’s body, soul and heart. As the church, we’ve forgotten to celebrate and edify and exalt the gift God designed to weld us together in spirit and decimate the enemy’s attempt to divide us. That holy, covenant-bound sex is worth waiting for. That sex is what God always intended it to be—shame-free, pleasure-drenched, and deeply unifying. That sex unmasks the one-night stands and the culture-crazed hookups and the promiscuity carried out in the darkness for what they really are—primitive, self-serving, impatient splurges that cheapen the value of the gift we’ve been given.” - Ch. 11
Can sex still be pleasurable outside of marriage? Yes, I’m sure it can. But those experiences will pale in comparison. Without shame, guilt, or questioning the other person’s sincerity, sex within marriage allows us to tap into all the pleasure, freedom, and connection that God created it to be.
When we have sex within marriage we don’t have to hide – we’re honoring Him and how He created us to become one by jumping our spouse’s bones. As odd as it may sound, it gives Him glory. And you know what happens when we give Him glory? We get to experience the overflow of that.
Sex within marriage may not be perfection every single time, but we are able to experience a deeper level of passion and a stronger connection because we are having sex within the boundaries for which God created it.
Protection vs. Restriction
Thinking through my 5 reasons saving sex is worth it, I recognized an important distinction—saving sex for marriage is less about restricting yourself and more about protecting yourself so that you can enjoy sex as God intended it to be – passionate and free.
In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus came not to restrict us, but to free us to live life to the fullest. Saving sex for marriage is one of the ways God enables us to do that, to faithfully experience sex to the fullest.
Here’s the best part about Jesus, this freedom is ours for the taking no matter where we’re at or what we’ve done. If you want to experience His freedom, live life to the fullest, and you’ve already had sex, there is no condemnation here. Our God is all about new beginnings; His mercies are new every single morning.
Whether you’ve had sex, are waiting for marriage, or still on the fence about the whole thing, my prayer is that together we might start more conversations about sex, and highlight the positive reasons that our culture simply does not talk about.
I’d love to hear what you thought.
Did this subject resonate with you?
Do you have more to add to my list of positive reasons?
If you waited for marriage, what reasons would you give?
If you didn’t wait, do you wish you would’ve? Or are you glad you didn’t?
This post is a part of my Things we don’t talk about series – a series whose goal is to start conversations about topics that our culture does not talk about. This is a conversation, and I can’t wait to hear from you.