I grew up in a Christian home, and was taught that sex was something that was to be saved until united with a spouse under God’s covenant of marriage. Which is absolutely right. But there is something a little wrong that seeps in with the talks about saving yourself for the love God has intended for you. What seeps in is that Purity is something to be done for it’s own sake. It turns virgins into mythical unicorn-esque beasts made of magic and rainbows just because we can keep a lid on our sexual urges. It makes us seem better than those who didn’t make it to the marriage bed virgins. Which is wrong.
You see, the myth that creeps in with the truth that sex is something to only be done in the confines of Holy Wedlock, is that that’s what makes purity special, you have this magical gift to bestow on your spouse on your wedding night. Which is not only a little inaccurate, considering as physically the first time is prone to be both painful and reportedly awkward. We miss the real point in purity, which isn’t proving to the world we have a handle on our hormones, but rather proving to our spouse that we were loyal to them before we knew them. Our restraint in our single days is an example and proof that we can resist temptation out of our love for the one we wed, so when temptations and struggles come after the wedding, we’ve been prepared for this, for we persevered in fidelity even before we ever met the one we married.
Fidelity is the true purpose in purity. It’s not bragging rights, a better-than-you air, or our pride, or a present to our spouse. I mean it is a present, it’s the present of love saying, hey, I loved you before I knew you, loved you enough to fend off my biological clock and the butterflies I got with people who I thought might be the one before I met you. Saving yourself for marriage is saying I loved you enough to ignore the peer pressure, to mocked and called a prude because I have been devoted to you all of my life.
And fun fact for my fellow virgins, just because we’re saving ourselves doesn’t mean God’s given us a guarantee that our spouse will have done the same. We’ve all sinned. But when we deify virginity to some magical status it leads to serious superiority issues (been there, done that, probably have the t-shirt somewhere saying I’m A Virgin so I’m Better than You). Let me shout this to all the people in the back JUST BECAUSE YOU WAITED TIL MARRIAGE DOESN’T MAKE YOU A MAGICAL SPOTLESS UNICORN OF RADIANT PURITY! Did you ever lust in that whole time while you waited for the one to come along and lead you to the altar?… Point made. But when virgins get put up on pedestals, exalted by our brothers and sisters in Christ or just people in general who think we’re pretty awesome for keeping a lid on the hormones and ignoring the peer pressure, we get to thinking that our virginity makes us superior. Which in turn could lead us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, and our arrogance could make us stumble. Think about it, we could be sitting up on our purity pedestal and see someone who could be the guy or gal God has destined for us, but by being blinded by our pride go, “nope, they’re not in the virgin club, can’t continue/start a relationship with them”. Like any virtue, if we get to thinking that we accomplished that virtue on our own, and don’t remain humble, pride can come in and blind us to other things of equal importance. Because we have all sinned, and we all need God’s guidance, we’ve all fallen. Some struggle with lust, some struggle with pride, some with fear and some with doubt. But to let our one area of sin where we “innocent” lead us to view ourselves as above our brothers and sisters in Christ who have fallen in that same area, it puts a barrier between us ministering to them as we should. And as for the marrying non-virgins thing, when we give mystical qualities to our virginity then we also leave the door open for the person we marry, who if the stumbled in that area, feeling inferior to us, which isn’t true at all, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female” and there is nowhere in the Bible that says virgins get a special place in the Kingdom. Your virginity does not make you better than any of your brothers or sisters in Christ.
And PSA to my fellow sojourners in singleness, and those in dating situations questioning whether purity is worth the struggle. It is. Our purpose in life is to show love, Christ’s love specifically, a selfless love that binds itself to God’s will for our lives. God willed that intimacy only occur amongst those joined in marriage. But more than that, imagine how loved your spouse is going to feel because you’ve kept yourself for them, that your loyalty is that strong, that your fidelity is that steadfast. Do it for them, not for the praise or the pride in knowing that you’ve succeeded where so many fail, save your body for the one God planned you to give it to. It’s His will, and as His children we know that all of his plans are perfect. So whether you’re meant to be an example of loyalty to God’s will and inspire others with your single life sticking to purity, or whether you’re to raise up a family in God’s paths and can relate to them when they come to you with their struggles with staying true to God’s will when the world and their own hormones are crying out for them to turn their back on God’s perfect plans you will know that you followed your good Father’s will for your life in that area at least. And we must try to be as diligent about aligning all the other parts of our life with God’s Holy and perfect will for our lives as we are about our purity.