Friday, May 22, 2015

Waiting for Marriage--FAQ

You asked, I am answering. Actually you didn't ask, but that's okay. I've been compiling a list of arguments or thoughts people have about waiting for marriage and am going to address them anyway. (Like I said before, this topic is near and dear to my heart and as such--please share it with anyone who might appreciate or need it).

Before I post on the topic of how waiting for marriage has impacted my marriage, I first thought I'd share my take on a few common arguments I hear regularly from people who don't choose to wait. 

saving yourself for marriage

You Wouldn't Buy a Car Without Test Driving It First
I have so much to say about this very flawed argument. Most people who respond this way do so with a manner of sexual elitism--as if they care more about their sex life than those who wait and they are more sexually mature. To begin with, I would highly argue that a couple that chooses to abstain from sex until marriage--cares very much about sex. The very act of waiting for a commitment as big as marriage to be intimate shows just how serious the couple takes sex. It is important to them. The very act of waiting shows so much more regard for the intimacy and importance of sex in a relationship than those participating in casual sexual relationships.

Another point I strongly wish to make is that I didn't make the rules, God did (see scriptures about abstinence here, here, and here, to start--all of those come from the Bible. This talk about chastity is also a good one). I firmly believe that God values sex and wants married couples to enjoy it. I also know that He wants us to wait until marriage. I could go on and on with how much sense this commandment makes since sex is a means of procreation, sexually transmitted diseases, major heartache, and more. It makes sense that if He loves us, He would ask us to safeguard sex and our bodies.

My personal experience is that God if He asks you to do something that seems impossible, He will provide a way. There are many things God asks of us that are not convenient or favorable, but that doesn't give us the option to choose to forgo them just because they are hard. He will help you stay strong prior to marriage and He will help you overcome any struggles you may have in marriage--including struggles with intimacy. I have heard of couples who waited until marriage who have problems with sexual compatibility after marriage. I have also heard of couples who didn't wait who still struggle in marriage. I have a very hard time buying into the "blame abstinence" argument.

In my personal experience, Zach and I had many (many!) a make out session prior to us getting married. Some of those memories are memories that I am not proud of, but I did know from some of our experience prior to marriage that we were compatible in that way. While I don't encourage exploring compatibility during courtship, I do encourage discussing it. Zach and I also talked about sex a lot. (Yes, our experience was slightly different because Zach has been married before). But we discussed what we expected from married life regarding sex and what we were and were not comfortable with. If you can't comfortably have that conversation with the person you are going to marry, then you may not be in the right relationship.

It Puts Too Much Pressure on Your Wedding Night and There's Bound to Be Disappointment

Too much pressure? How about so much excitement and anticipation. I've only ever had my one experience, but I am guessing that there's not much that can beat your first time being with someone who just committed to you for eternity. Sharing that experience with someone for the first time creates an incredible bond, deepens your love, and allows you to explore a whole new world that is just yours together.

Like I said, in my personal experience I was very comfortable with Zach and so there wasn't pressure to do or be anything other than myself. From the very beginning, we've been able to laugh when things don't seem to go entirely as planned and that made for an easy transition into married life/intimacy.

Everyone Knows That You're Having Sex--It's Not Very Private
Yep, this is true. I was the teenage girl who would go to a wedding reception and then say, "OH MY GOODNESS, THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE SEX TONIGHT!"  There's no way around it, people know. And I'm the type that gets embarrassed about this kind of thing, but it is what it is. I'd rather have people know I waited and be embarrassed about it than compromise my virtue. (True story: I had a former Young Women's leader of mine straight up ask me at my wedding reception if I'd had time to do the deed yet. Not joking. Mormons aren't as prude as some people like to think.)

Sexual Repression is a Real Thing--I Should Be Able to Do What I Want/With Whoever I Want/When I Want

It baffles me that I will see people post stuff like this and yet they will restrict their food intake and up their workout all the while bemoaning this new lifestyle change. "I just want chocolate!" Yet, they choose to exercise discipline because it is good for their health (and let's be honest, their appearance.) When you suggest abstience, though, suddenly it's unfair and repressive and impossible. It is an agrument I'll never understand. 

Again, it's a commandment and anything is possible. But it doesn't mean that it will be easy. I chose to not kiss anyone until I met Zach and I am so grateful for that decision. It kept me out of many potential situations that would have tempted me to compromise. It didn't make it easy, though. Once I met Zach--it was difficult to stay on track at times--very difficult. I never once considered that the decision I was making was wrong or it was "too hard." Rather, I knew that I wasn't making good choices or trusting God enough. I knew that I was the one that needed to make changes, not that commandments needed to be altered.

What are your thoughts on waiting until marriage? Have you heard or made these arguments before?

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