Sex and love. These two words are often used together. If you care about someone, why should you wait to have sex?
Sex is exciting, it’s romantic, and it makes you feel like king (or queen) of your world. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, anyway. But my personal experience and those of many I know has led me to believe that this kind of sex can only be had within the bond of marriage.
As a teen, I was determined to stay a virgin until I was married. It was a personal choice, and not a popular one. I know most people around me thought I was old-fashion, shy, or even gay. But I stuck to my commitment, and I’m so glad I did.
Years later, after my peers and I have all lived a little, dated a lot, and even married, I look back on the sexual decisions we all made, and how sex inside or outside of marriage impacted our lives.
I think about Jenny, who told me that living with her boyfriend would only strengthen their marriage that would come years later. She was certain that having “practice sex” would initiate a world of fantastic romance in their future married life.
Jenny’s boyfriend had lived with her for years with a casual attitude toward sex (which meant that she wasn’t the only woman on his radar). So even when he became her husband, his old habit of uncommitted sex was hard to kick—in fact, it grew stronger.
As we walked out of the courtroom on the day of her divorce, she sobbed as she told me that she knew all the trouble in her marriage started with the premarital sex—the sex without commitment.
Jenny wasn’t alone. Diana called me one day, crying and afraid because she had been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease. Ten years earlier, I had been the weirdo and she was the one “having fun.” Now her chances for some forms of cancer are nearly doubled, and she almost lost the baby she was carrying.
Perhaps the most tragic of all my peers is Emily, who confided in me that sex is an agony for her because she wonders if her husband is looking at her or if he is imagining one of the many faces from his previous sexual encounters.
I could fill a book with the stories of young men and women who believed that sex outside of marriage is fulfilling, only to find out that it wasn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
And let’s not forget that sex outside of marriage can affect more people than the man and the woman in bed. I have a young friend who has been searching for years for any clue that might tell her who her father is. Her mother had been a very popular and pretty woman who slept with a lot of different guys, just like her friends did. Only she got pregnant. And it’s anybody’s guess, including hers, who the father is.
I wish more people would think about stories like these before they start having sex. They don’t consider the STDs that result from sleeping around. They don’t foresee the trashed self-confidence that can come from waking up alone after a one-night stand. And they don’t recognize that the fullest expression of love is sex inside of marriage.
I can’t give you a personal experience story on sex outside of marriage. But I can tell you that I have found great sexual freedom within my marriage. My wedding night was epic because we shared a part of ourselves that we hadn’t shared with anyone else. That’s why it hurts me to hear stories from people like my friend Anna, who told me that her wedding night was a let-down because there was nothing left for her and her husband to give each other.
So did I miss out on something by not having sex before marriage? Yes, I did. I missed out on heartache, disease, betrayal, and disappointment. I never wanted that to be part of my story, nor do I want that for someone else. That’s why I’m glad I waited.