Is Waiting Until Marriage Still Worth It? 3 Thoughts on Celibacy

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Growing up in the church, I attended tons of youth conferences and teen programs that stressed the importance of waiting until marriage for sex. Virginity was a gift to your future spouse and would honor God. I started believing that my sex life would be super amazing when I got married for the simple fact that I waited. I figured God would have a special blessing for me and my spouse when we got married that would be lost if we didn’t control ourselves and wait.  

But as I got older and realized a lot of my friends (in and out of church) were having sex long before they got married, I started to question things. I wondered if being the only one in the room who was still a virgin all the time was worth it.  My friends seemed to be having more fun than I was. And when my husband and I started dating, I became even more conflicted because there were times when we went further than I intended to physically, and I would wallow in my guilt because I felt like God’s favor on my marriage would be taken away if we went too far one day. 

Now that I’ve been married for a while though, I’m absolutely glad that I waited until marriage for sex, but for different reasons. And I want these reasons to be talked about more, instead of making it seem like God will curse you or something if you decide to have sex before you get married. 

  1. Waiting is worth it because you really are giving yourself (and your spouse) a gift when you wait. 

My husband was my first, and even though I wasn’t his (to his regret), the fact that we were celibate while dating made our sexual discovery so much better in the end. You see, getting naked in front of someone else is probably the most vulnerable act you can ever do. You’re exposing yourself to this other person, with every imperfection and flaw clearly visible. When you know that you’re being this vulnerable with someone who is 100% committed to you, there’s a freedom that gives you confidence and joy in your lovemaking. I know I’m not being compared to anyone else and vice versa. I know that no matter what, this person will be with me for the rest of our lives and loves me in spite of any imperfections I have. 

2. Sex is a privilege, not a right.

 If you truly believe what God says about marriage (that it’s a holy institution designed by Him), then sex is a privilege reserved for a husband and wife. Until you make the lifelong commitment of marriage, you really don’t have any business having this special kind of access to your partner-even if you intend to marry them anyway. Sex belongs in the context of marriage because making a lifelong commitment to honor, love, and protect your partner is protection for their vulnerability in the act of sex. So when we wait until marriage, we are actually protecting ourselves from the unnecessary heartache of sexual attachment to someone who is not committed to us in every way. God wants to protect you!

3. The practice of self-denial before marriage will help you practice self-denial during the marriage. 

Once you make it a habit to give in to your sexual appetites until marriage, it’s foolish to think that you’ll be cured automatically after saying “I do.” I know couples who have had to be separated from each other for long periods of time because of school or work, and the sexual frustration does build up after a while! I’ve read blogs where couples use porn and masturbation to satisfy their sexual needs when their spouse is absent. But once you get started on that slippery slope, what’s to stop you from continuing those habits even when your spouse is present? 

I think the practice of sexual discipline is super important when you think about all the different circumstances that couples have to deal with during the course of marriage: extended absence, a spouse being very sick, or even the emotional disconnection that happens at some points of our lives. You need to have that muscle built up so that when you face those trying moments, you’re not as likely to betray your spouse with a sexual or emotional affair. 

Waiting until marriage is definitely not an easy road, and at times it can be a very lonely one. But take it from a married woman-it’s worth it! And even if you’re not a virgin anymore, it’s never too late to start practicing the discipline of celibacy! There’s a blessing in waiting. 

What are your thoughts on waiting until marriage for sex? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Here are some other posts I’ve written about this topic that I think you should check out:

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