Is Abstinence Really Worth It?
Before our wedding, we talked about writing an article on the benefits of abstinence from physical intimacy until marriage and hypothesized about what the most noticeable differences would be. As we discussed what we thought our first experiences would be like, most of our expectations revolved around the physical pleasure that we were looking forward to. How would it feel? Would it be different from what we experienced in our other relationships? In the weeks before our wedding, we spent hours daydreaming about how our first time together would unfold. Is abstinence really worth it?
On our honeymoon, between naps and marathon make-out sessions, we talked about the benefits gained by witholding sex until marriage. We took our journal to private beaches and romantic dinners by the ocean and wrote notes about the differences between our expectations and the reality of a God-honoring, married relationship.
Once we returned to the “real” world, we were bombarded with stressful distractions, so a few days passed before Julie sat down to organize our observations. As she reviewed the notes, she found grains of sand and smears of sunscreen on the pages of the red leather journal that Mike gave her as a wedding gift. Her mind was transported back to the island where we spent our first few days as a couple. She was thankful that we had that short time together before being plunged head first into family and work obligations. It seemed as if the honeymoon had been a lifetime ago.
After returning from the honeymoon, we were asked questions about the trip and what we did. Did we have fun? What was the beach like? Was the resort secluded and private? Every question was tainted with an underlying question. Everyone wanted to know, “Was it really worth it to wait?” A close girlfriend of Julie’s put into words what others were thinking when she sent a text that said, “Tell me; was it worth it to wait, if so, I will stop having sex now!”
For everyone reading this book and wondering whether it is worth it to wait until marriage to enjoy physical intimacy, we will answer the question so that you never have to wonder again.
IT IS ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT TO WAIT UNTIL YOU GET MARRIED TO HAVE SEX!
When we returned from our honeymoon, it occurred to us how wrong our thinking had been for our entire lives before we married each other. Why does married sex need to be worth it, or physically better than unmarried sex for us to be obedient to a clear command from God? When God tells us to be honest, tithe, attend church, and be baptized, do we ask, “Will it be worth it?”
Physical intimacy as a married couple is amazing. The pleasure that we feel through enjoying one another’s bodies is equal to no other. However, the mechanics and biology of the physical intimacy we share is no different than it would have been if we remained unmarried. Yet, every time that we come together as a married couple to share in this intimate act, something happens that knits us together in a way that neither of us can explain. This joining of our souls and bodies, joining on multiple levels, has united us in a way that makes us feel as if the other person’s body is an extension of our own. Because of this union, we feel more protective of one another, both physically and emotionally. One of the most noticeable benefits of having waited until marriage to have sex has been an increased feeling of safety and security. When we are alone together, there is no wrong answer. Our bodies have no incorrect responses. Julie wrote the following in her journal while on the honeymoon: “As I write this on my honeymoon with Mike, I can honestly say that Mike has seen the way my body works, and he loves it. God has blessed the obedience and faithfulness that we demonstrated by waiting. Our marriage bed feels like a bubble of safety and trust where we can openly and honestly be who we are and express our deepest desires without fear.”
As wonderful as the benefits of waiting until marriage are, though, the most important reason to abstain from physical intimacy until marriage is that God told us to. We will never know all the reasons that God told us to save this precious act for the person that we marry. With our childlike minds, we can only guess the intent of our Creator. But, if we love Him and seek to serve and honor Him in every aspect of our lives, we should surrender this fleshly desire until the right time.
By abstaining from physical intimacy until marriage, we feel that in addition to being bonded more closely together as a couple, our individual relationships with God have been strengthened. IF we were on an island in the bubble before, we are now with our Father on the island in the bubble, protected by His mighty wings.
This blog post in an excerpt from our book Island in the Bubble, now available on Amazon.com. Buy it here.
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