As most of our regular readers know, I got married recently. Hurray to marrying my best friend!
There are many things I love about Josh. But one of the things I love most, the thing that drew me to him in the beginning (besides his model-status good looks, obvi!) is his passion for Christ. I have never met a man who can intertwine Christ into daily conversation like he can.
He can take a normal conversation and pull out the Gospel. He can take my vent sessions and turn the attention to Christ’s grace and love. I mean, any conversation and he will find Jesus. I just love it!
So, when we first started dating we had lots of conversations about how dating as a Christian looks. We talked about what we each had been praying about in regards to dating and marriage and other things along those lines. Essentially, dating with Christ at the core!
One of the first serious conversations we had when we started dating was about sex. Yep, we dove right into the heavy stuff. He shared his heart, I shared mine. He shared his experiences, I…cried a lot and then mustered up enough air to share mine.
We talked about how we each knew that we would not be physical with each other until we got married, IF we got married. It wasn’t even a discussion of “I think we should TRY to abstain from sex”, we were both saying right out the gate, “I will not have sex with you unless we are married. Period.”
We each had different smaller reasons for wanting to not be physical with each other but both had the same big reason: this was the way it was supposed to be. Duh.
This was the way the God created sex – to be between a man and a woman in the context of marriage.
This conversation would produce the roots that helped us grow into the couple we are now. This conversation would set us on a path that was so difficult but SO rewarding.
I have always wanted a relationship where Christ is truly the focus and I can’t say that I’ve ever had that until Josh and I started dating. I truly think it was because we had both come out of a season of singleness and we were both able to focus on Christ first and foremost without the distraction of a relationship. And we really made it a priority to have those tough conversations VERY early even if they were awkward or uncomfortable. We knew it was so important to be on the same page about the “make or break” topics.
I wholeheartedly believe that when you take out even the option or question of sex, when you take it completely off the table from day one, it frees you both up to focus on the things that make a relationship last. Christ. Friendship. Gospel-driven conversation. Relationships with the purpose of discipleship.
I had one friend ask me, “So, if you’re not having sex, isn’t it just like you’re hanging out with a friend? Except you just call him your boyfriend?” —–Ummmm yea, yea it is. And it’s amazing.
Our friendship is one of the reasons I married him. I married my best friend. How cool is that?
I knew that I was safe. I knew that I could go over to his place, watch a movie, snuggle on the couch without the pressure of thinking, “Is he going to try something?”. Not having sex but rather having a deeper friendship is one of the smartest things we ever did.
But that’s not to say that just because we “took the option of sex off the table” that we weren’t tempted or that we were careless with our boundaries.
As silly as it sounds we set up “rules” to help us resist the temptation. And we were willing to look “silly” to others if it kept our relationship holy.
One of the main things we agreed on was that I would leave his place at 11pm. For some reason this was just the time that worked for us. Things got more difficult after that.
Another was that we were never on each other’s bed. This was kind of an unspoken rule that we never really had to talk about. Yes, things can happen on the couch BUT things are much more likely to happen if you are laying horizontally next to someone that you find super attractive. It’s just not wise y’all!
I’m not proud to say that my past isn’t spotless. I have made mistakes and have had to deal with those choices spiritually and mentally. I have had to have “the talk” with Josh about my past. Which was uncomfortable and truly humbling. Thankfully the Lord knows exactly what we need in a partner and He gave me exactly that. Josh was gracious and understanding and I loved him even more after that conversation.
For me, the decision to hold out with Josh was a matter of putting God before myself. Putting God before any relationship. Putting God before physical desires. Was it easy? Uh, no. Was it worth it? Without a doubt!
So, why am I sharing all this with you, loves? Why am I getting super personal today?
Because I feel it’s SO important. I feel like it’s too important to not talk about. It’s too important to just brush under the rug and ignore. It’s just too important and I feel too strongly about this topic!
Friend, you are called to be so extraordinary. You are called to stand out, to look different than the world. To show the world what Christ looks like.
So, don’t allow the world to tell you any different. Don’t allow your friends, co-workers, boyfriend to tell you that it’s “weird” or juvenile to choose to not have sex.
What’s weird is opening your heart to a deeper connection with someone who has not joined with you in the covenant of marriage.
What’s juvenile is giving your body to someone purely because of fleshly desires.
Did you know that your brain is made to become “addicted” to someone you have sex with? Yep, it’s true. God created sex between one man and one woman and created it in a way that when it happens your brain releases serotonin and oxytocin. It is said to have the same effect that heroin has on the brain. Heroin y’all. That’s no joke!
So when we say “two are becoming one” in marriage, we don’t just mean two lives coming together. We mean that when you experience sex together your brains essentially become addicted to that feeling. Which, in a Christ-centered relationship is amazing because the two of you become addicted to each other. Forever.
This is part of the reason why it’s so hard to “get over” someone. If you’ve had sex with that person then you are emotionally and physically tied to that person. Your brain is tied to them more than if you would have not had sex with them because of the oxytocin that was released.
And I don’t think I have to mention all the other sex related things. If you are pleasuring each other sexually your body and brain are becoming “addicted” to that person!
This is why God created sex for the context of marriage. To tie you two together even further! To bind you together for life. So that when you are married, you can be loyal and committed and completely trusting of each other.
If you’re reading this and you’ve held out, you’re keeping your focus on Him until you’re married. You will not be sorry! I pray that you don’t allow the world to discourage you. That you don’t allow the lies of the world to break you. Let this be an encouragement that it is well worth it!
And if you’re reading this and you have fallen. You have fallen to the temptation of sex, girl, I understand! I get it. And let me just say that it’s okay. Our Father still loves you, He still has an amazing future for you. And He is still longing for your full attention. It’s not too late to choose to wait. It’s not too late to find someone who treasures Christ before He treasures your body!
Know that my heart behind these words is that you seek Christ above all else. Above friendship, above a relationship, above the human desire for sex.
I pray that these words stir something in your heart and that you choose to stand apart from the world. That you choose to put your desires aside and put His desires at the forefront of your heart.
I promise you, friend, when the day comes for that covenantal love, you will not regret it!