First of all, I’d like to thank you for your incredible example as a contemporary woman who puts Christ first in her life. Your role as a wife and mother, and strong morality in regards to your acting choices, are truly incredible. Your story is a beautiful example of the glory of devotion to Christ.
I ask for your advice on an issue that I’ve been struggling with for almost a year. I’ve prayed on it, and feel that your kindness and knowledge of the Word would be a great attribute to solving this issue I have.
I’m a 20 year old, Pre-Law student at the University of Iowa. A year ago I began talking to the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. John is currently in his first year of study at the Irish Bible Institute, working on earning his degree in Applied Theology, and hopes to attend seminary in the relatively near future.
A few weeks ago, I went to your website, and after reading your advice column regarding submission, truly feel that my life has changed.
At the time, I was dealing with a great deal of strife over financial matters regarding my university studies and felt tremendous anxiety. After reading your words, I began to re-read a book that John gave me by Rob Bell titled Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality And Spirituality, and within a few hours, I finally realized that the Lord will take care of me and that my life belongs to Him–I am here to serve Him and spread His word. I can’t even express how much joy I’ve felt as I gave my biggest worry up to the Lord. I now read the Word every day in devotional format, as well as from inspiration from books by authors like Don Miller, and in my constant conversations with John about his studies.
Your complete openness in expressing your faith, combined with the expressions from other devout Christians, has made such a difference in my journey with God. I still have so much to learn, but I look forward to growing with
God and hope to make as much of a difference in others’ lives as you’ve made in mine.
My question actually regards John. I’m sure you’ve been asked this before, but I’d really love to get your take on it. John and I–thanks to our 4000-mile separation–rarely get to spend time together in the same place. As a result, when we are together, we struggle with the physical side of our relationship. I know what the Bible says, and I don’t disagree in the least, but I still struggle with keeping purity before marriage.
Thanks to our educational commitments on opposite sides of the Atlantic, John and I won’t be able to get married for at least three years. This makes our struggle even greater at times as we have such a long road before we can be joined before God and our friends and family. Culture seems to be so intolerant of virginity. When the subject of sex is brought up by one of my friends, and I tell them that John and I are waiting until we’re married, the reaction is typically “…Sex is healthy and meant to be enjoyed–you’ll regret only being with one person.”
When I try to explain it, I can never really explain why this choice is so important. I’m frequently asked if my fiancé is gay and doesn’t want to admit it, and if I engage in other sexual behavior. I’m so frustrated with defending my virginity, and this makes my struggle even greater. My question is this: how do I express that my decision is an important and willing one in a world that is so insistent upon making sex as insignificant as a broken crayon? What are some practical ways to spread the message of purity without alienating people to the point of them not listening?
Thank you so much for listening to my story and question. I feel so blessed to have stumbled back to your website, as it has been the catalyst to re-dedicating myself to the Lord. I pray every day that your personal ministry, and that of your family, be strengthened and continue to flourish.
Thank you again, sister!
Thank you so much for encouraging me in my ministry, and thank you for all of your prayers. I hope that I can offer you words of encouragement as well.
I can’t imagine how difficult it is to “wait” 3 years with the man you want to marry, and I applaud you for doing so. I don’t mean to sound old, but peer pressure stinks.
My advice… why do you have to defend yourself to them? When I know someone isn’t willing to listen, but only give their worldly opinion to me, I don’t bother fighting back. I don’t think it’s being weak, but being wise. The only thing that comes from it is unbiblical advice creeping into your head. Don’t bother.
On the other hand, if someone is genuinely interested in knowing why you’re waiting till marriage, tell them. It shouldn’t be a difficult answer. It should be because you want to do it God’s way.
There are a number of places in the Bible that tell us to wait. The biggest one being the 7th of the 10 commandments, “You shall not commit adultery.” You can read what Jesus says about it in Matthew 5:27. I would also encourage you to read through Proverbs. There are many wise sayings that will keep you encouraged and strengthened each day.
I think it’s incredible that you have a man who wants to wait. That’s hard to come by! Hold on tight because he sounds like a man of the Word and one that you’d want to lead your home. I know you will both be blessed if you do.
Although I haven’t read her story, I know that Rebecca St. James talks about abstinence, and maybe her book would be helpful. I also read Tammy Trent’s book Learning to Breath Again that is very powerful.
Don’t let your peers get the best of you. That’s exactly what the enemy wants. There are reasons why God designed sex and marriage the way He did. Satan got a hold of it and has twisted it over the years–keep reminding yourself of that.
As far as spreading the message of purity… let your actions–or lack of–talk. Your testimony of staying true to God’s ways will speak louder than words. You won’t be sorry. There is so much pain that comes from sex before marriage that not many people share or even make the connection to. God will bring both of you through it, and what a party He’ll have for you when you’ve reached it in His time!
Lastly… if you’re hanging out with all sexually active friends, you also need to have a few that hold the same principles as you do, and keep each other in check. I’m not saying to only have Christian friends… but you need a few strong ones around you that will hold you accountable. That’s what friends are for.