One of the reasons I volunteered to speak at the purity retreat for high school girls at my church is that this was not something that was talked about when I grew up. My parents didn’t talk about it, my youth group didn’t talk about it, my friends didn’t even really talk about it. So, I am so excited for these girls to have the opportunity to have an intimate discussion from a Biblical perspective on a sensitive topic. I was less than eloquent, as I anticipated, but thanks to prayers of some friends, I was calm and felt very comfortable with the girls. They asked great questions and I think I was able to answer them in a way that was honest, authentic and gave them supporting evidence to the discussions they’d already had during their overnight retreat.
I got to be the “good” example. Obviously, it wasn’t presented that way, but they had women who waited and those who didn’t. My husband and I waited until we were married. It wasn’t always easy and we didn’t do everything perfectly. But we were intentional in our choice and God honored that decision.
Growing up, I knew the “rules” about sex—aka wait until you are married—and I was a goody two-shoes who always followed the rules, so this wasn’t really a problem. My weakness was a prevailing desire to be desirable. I was constantly seeking approval from others, specifically the opposite sex. You may think that all I needed was some self-esteem or confidence. Uh-uh! That makes it worse! I came out of my shell in college, and that’s when I entered a rebellious stage. It was only through God’s protection that I navigated my high school and college years without making the mistake of seeking that approval through sex.
I used to wonder why God protected me. I was a young Christian, accepting Christ when I was a sophomore in high school. I didn’t remember making many Biblically based choices, and I wasn’t praying for sexual purity or God’s protection. But I found not too long ago while cleaning out my basement one of my journals from high school. I was in the Word almost every day! I didn’t have maturity or understanding that I do about a lot of things today that comes with life experience, but I was reading God’s Word and being obedient to His truth.
I have learned so much even in the past few years about putting your confidence in God, finding my identity in Christ and abiding in Him. I’ve had 34 years of life experience to get to the point of understanding that I do today (and I am far from understanding it all). And I want these girls going through this now to understand like I understand. I remember hearing the phrases and words and illustrations that I might use today to try to explain difficult truths, but I didn’t fully know what it meant until much later. It’s possible, through the power of the Holy Spirit, understand even without the life experience. But it’s also maybe one of those things that you won’t fully be revealed to you until after you are married. Like the disciples who didn’t understand Jesus’ death—and pretty much everything else he taught, until it actually happened, you may just have to be obedient, respecting your body as Christ’s Holy temple, where Christ abides, so that you can fully benefit from His blessings when married.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24