5.23.2014

Purity & Waiting

 I have sat down to write this post so many times. It has been in my drafts for weeks. I have so much to say, yet every time I sat down, the words would not come. The other day, a friend of mine from college encouraged me to finally write this, and I am so glad she did.


Purity. Everyone's favorite thing to discuss publicly, right? It's such a complicated, confusing, wonderful, awkward topic. So, what better place to start then the beginning?

For those of you that have forgotten or simply do not know, I grew up atheist. With that, I grew up with what I thought was a very healthy view on sex and sexuality. I felt (and still feel) that we are incredibly sexual beings and that expressing our sexuality should not only be common, but fun. I was never ashamed of my sexuality, and I am still not now. I enjoyed, and still enjoy, talking about sexuality and sex openly.

In my atheist head, I saw Christians as naive. Naive to their sexuality; their human nature. How was one supposed to experience their sexuality if they never had sex? How could one find out what they liked and did not like? How could they choose someone to marry not even knowing whether or not they could satisfy their sexual needs and wants?

As I grew older, and became more open-minded, I started to appreciate the people that were not giving into what society expects of us in relation to sex. I respected people that were waiting until marriage- although I never, ever desired that for myself. I wanted to know someone inside and out before I would make the decision to marry them. That meant sex before marriage, absolutely. 


When I first started dating M (still atheist), I respected that he was a virgin. It was a little strange for me, but I never tried to push him any direction (I knew that would end badly, and honestly it never really crossed my mind). We had conversations early on about how I was not a virgin, and how he was. We talked about his reasons for remaining a virgin until that point, suggesting it was not necessarily because of his religion. In my naivete I accepted that and thought, "OK maybe it is not totally off limits then." Anyways, it happened. Many times. Then, M decided for his own sake that we needed to abstain again because he wanted to make sure he was in our relationship for the right reason. I obliged, however, I was pretty angry because it basically felt like the equivalent of someone telling me: you're not wanted, you're not good enough, you're not sexy, etc. When you are not equally yoked, this is what happens. But praise God that it did because otherwise I would probably never have known Him.

After M "got what he needed" out of us abstaining, we started having sex again. Then, I moved to Scotland for three months, experienced a huge growth in my faith, and realized the sinful nature of our choices. While I was there, we decided to abstain again. After getting engaged and moving in together, we decided that since we were basically already married it would probably be OK to start having sex again. Cue my guilt. I always trusted M to be a leader in terms of our choices as Christians, after all he is a little more experienced than I. So I trusted him (and trust me when I say his intentions were good), and we kept having sex.

A few months later I realized we were really struggling with keeping our relationship Christ centered. I was pretty sure I was doing everything "right," and I was in denial that having sex was wrong. Until we had our premarital counseling and our pastor, and friend, told us that he would not have anything to do with our marriage if we did not abstain until our wedding. Talk about a slap in the face. However, I knew he was right. And we took his advice.

God has changed my heart so much over the past few years. Instead of viewing those waiting until marriage as naive, I value what they have. The relationships I had with other men before M was like giving a little piece of myself away every single time. I did not realize the impact of that until it was too late. Until I was already emotionally damaged from it. And now that I am a Christian, I realize how it still distances me from God when I choose to sin in this way (and in any way honestly). It also saddens me that I was not able to give my future husband that gift, because it had already been given away.

Despite my experiences, I do not live in the guilt I once felt. I know God has redeemed us, and washed away the past. However, I do not want to sit on this pedestal because of that. I am imperfect. M and I are both imperfect. I am so thankful for that, because now I know that I can be real with my children when discussing why waiting until marriage is so important. I can tell them first hand what the consequences of not waiting look like. And I hope that they will be able to learn from that and make different decisions then we did.

It is so hard to live in a world that surrounds us with images like this:


It's so hard to live in a world that is telling you the exact opposite thing that God is telling you. I still struggle with how to combine my new found relationship with Christ with my views on sexuality and sex being important and fun to talk about. Society, and Christians, have a hard time seeing the two as being related. I also struggle with people saying things like, "Wait so you haven't had sex?" etc. I struggle with how to tell my story honestly, while still glorifying God, despite the fact that my choices clearly were not glorifying him. It's all very confusing, however, I am confident that I will eventually figure it out. I also hope that others can find comfort in my confusion, because I know I am not the only one.

For more on purity, I will point you towards Erin James at Sweetness Itself. She talks about purity in a far more elegant way, and has written numerous posts on it. 

Thanks for sticking with me friends, I know this was a long one.

10 comments :

  1. Man, oh man.... this is so good. I'm so proud of you for sharing this part of your story! So many women are in the same boat as you and will learn from this. I seriously had tears in my eyes while reading this beautiful post, tears of happiness because of where you are right now! I can't wait for you and M to become one and see what God will do with that union! love you so much, sweet friend!!!

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  2. love this. good for you for talking about the choices you made and why you are where you are right now. i am one of those that waited, my husband wasn't, there were challenges for us there too.
    for me, i've been struggling with the right time to write about our journey with Natural Family Planning instead of birth control...i'm hoping i get a push like you did for the hard post.

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  3. Thanks friend, so happy for you friendship! love you and see you in LESS THAN A MONTH!!!!

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  4. It's definitely a hard thing to talk about, but thank you for your positive feedback. WRITE THAT POST GIRL!

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  5. Totally. Thanks girl, I always try to be real without being too preachy haha

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  6. This is such a beautiful post. I am so happy you posted this. I grew up with no religion and now being a Christian there are so many things I would do differently. You said everything perfectly.

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  7. Thank you. So glad you can relate!

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  8. Cassie I just love this post :) Thank you for your honesty! I really do understand that internal battle. My hubby and I both had a similar past, but when we started dating, we decided to abstain from sex and made it until our wedding night. Though neither of us were virgins, we were so grateful that we had...it was freakin' hard! I so admire your hearts and all of the effort that you've put into it. You've been so disciplined and you will be rewarded! I'm also grateful for the wisdom you have in friends and mentors. That's so valuable!

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  9. Yep yep yep to all of this. I feel like we had very parallel lives in many ways...thank God for blogging and all the relationships it brings about!


    My sexual past was really really messed up in a lot of ways and I called my sex life "healthy and free" even though I hated myself for what I was doing and the casual attitude I had towards it. It stemmed from some major trauma but honestly I chose to continue along that path for a long long time. When Drew and I got back together I had become a Christian and hadn't even kissed anyone in over a year because I was stuck in an attitude of shame and not redemption, and he and I didn't kiss until we had been together for four months. We did give in to temptation during engagement a few times and I wish so much we hadn't, and I know all of those things compounded were part of why I had intimacy issues going into our marriage.


    So thank you for being such an honest person and for sharing your whole truth bravely. You're wonderful and I'm so glad for blogging for letting me get to know you!

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  10. THANK YOU for sharing with me. It brings me comfort knowing that I'm not alone in this struggle and that God is GOOD and redeeming! You're wonderful too! :) Glad you stumbled on this post!

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