Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I'm Not Waiting for My Future Husband

Imagine a good steak dinner with all the trimmings. Thick, juicy, tender, with potatoes and green beans, fresh bread, and a good mug of beer. Now imagine that you’ve just completed a marathon, and you’re ready to sit down to this fantastic meal after rehydrating and showering. A delicious dinner, well-earned from a long day of pushing yourself to the max. How would that taste to you? How would it make you feel?

Now imagine that same steak dinner. Only instead of completing a marathon, you spent the day on the couch. You have gorged yourself with chips and salsa, numbed your mind with mediocre television, and the most exercise you got was in your thumbs as you flipped through channels. When you sit down to this succulent meal, how would it taste? How would it make you feel? 

It’s the same meal, but the experience would be entirely different depending on how you spent the time before the meal. This is a simple analogy, but it applies to many different scenarios in life. The bottom line is that the reward for something is much more gratifying when we've made room for it

I am a virgin. I’m keeping my heart and my body as pure as possible for marriage. Maybe you’ve heard dozens of talks and read myriad books and essays on this topic, the “I’m-saving-myself-for-a-man/woman-who-is-worthy-of-me” spiel that eventually gets nauseating. This isn’t exactly what I’m writing about. I’m writing about the glory of waiting. 

Anticipation enhances an experience. Food tastes much better when we have worked hard, allowed ourselves to feel hunger, and waited for a good meal to be prepared. There is a rhythm to it. Fasting before feasting, working before resting, waiting before receiving. We can apply this same concept to abstinence before marriage. While this is not the only reason (by a long shot) that everyone ought to wait for marriage to have sex, it's certainly a darn good incentive. To experience all that sexual intimacy should be, it has to wait for the marriage bed.

I’m not living chastely because I think I’m better than other people. I’m not saving sex for marriage for the sake of my future spouse.  I’m waiting for marriage to have intercourse because I want the best sex. I want to fully appreciate that complete gift of self to only one other person for the rest of my life. 

I admit that’s over-simplifying it. Virginity before marriage does not necessarily equal better sex within marriage. Heck, my wedding night will probably be incredibly awkward at first (I hear everyone’s first time is, no matter when it happens. This is kind of irrelevant.) But the fact that I’m waiting right now is going to help me appreciate sex for the gift it is instead of using it as a tool for pleasure. Waiting for something reminds me that it is GOOD. Sex is so often demonized in our culture because it has been corrupted by human selfishness. Keeping that kind of  intimacy exclusively within marriage is a way of building a shield around it to protect its goodness from this corruption. 

My cry to you is this: wait for marriage to have sex! Do it for yourself, for your own health and happiness. The goodness that comes from waiting will pour out into your marriage bed and into the life your spouse. In the end, though, you’re not waiting for your future spouse. You’re not waiting for good sex. You’re not waiting for the time when you finally get to stop being pure. Purity is a habit that you will have to work hard at for the rest of your life, just like marathon running is something that you have to continue training for between races. Waiting to have sex until marriage is just one way to build habits that will train your body and mind and soul to be the best person you can possibly be. And that, my friends, is worth waiting for.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent points Joan! Chastity is not something you do when you are single, it is a way you have to live even when you are married. All people, even those who are married need to learn to be chaste! The CCC calls all people to be chaste for some very logical reasons, 2339 lays it out like a boss: "Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy" So many people think Sex, even in marriage, will be the solution to all their sexual frustration problems, boy are they wrong. If one does not learn to master their sexual passions they will remain slaves to those passions, even in marriage. Nobody wants to be a slave.