A lot of people make a big deal about staying a virgin until marriage. They say that purity is one of the most beautiful things about a person. They say that saving your virginity till you get married is the best gift you could ever give your spouse.
I’m not ashamed to say that I’m one of those people. But I would also like to say that if you’re not a virgin, it doesn’t make me think any less of you.
Being a virgin is a strictly physical condition, while purity is about the mind and heart, as well as, the bodily state.
It’s hard being a sexually-desiring young man or woman in a sex-saturated world that promotes having sex before marriage as ‘just another thing to do’. If it satisfies you, what’s the harm, right? You’ll have sex sooner or later. And who knows when you’ll get married. If a woman looks appealing to you, has a good body, a beautiful face, and turns you on, why don’t you just get in bed with her? If a man sweet talks you, tells you how much he’s attracted to you, and makes you feel good just by softly touching you, why not give him a little more?
Why do you have to be the [seemingly] odd one out and say ‘no’ to this?
Now before I start throwing a bunch of verses out here, let me start by just asking you a simple question. (And no, this isn’t gonna be that whole candy shop story example.)
What would you rather have...
1) a man/woman who wants you for a one night stand, to satisfy their desires and to pleasure themselves?
2) a man/woman who falls in love with you as a person (not just your body) , and who will not be afraid to enter a committed relationship with you so you two can have sex as much as you’d like and not only for the other person’s satisfaction, but for your own?
Which of those sounds more appealing? Which of those sounds more sure and long-standing? Which one sounds more like how God intended it to be?
Hebrews 13:4 says:
‘Marriage is to be held in honor above all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.’
I love that phrase towards the beginning of the verse, where it says ‘above all’. Above all. Above all what? Well, in the previous verses, the writer of this book was giving commands to the Hebrews - ‘love the brethren’, ‘be hospitable’, ‘remember the prisoners and the ill-treated’, etc. And then comes verse 4. Above ALL of those, let marriage be held in honor. It’s as if they were saying, ‘More importantly than all those other commands I just told you, this is the most crucial. This is the one you need to listen to the most. This is the one that trumps all the others: that you don’t have sex before you get married.’
I could give several more passages about saving sex for marriage (the book of Proverbs is full of them - and that book was written specifically for young people), but I’ll just keep it simple and down to just one.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, purity isn’t just about being a virgin. It’s almost the opposite. Virginity is about being pure. If you’re pure - in mind, soul and body - then being a virgin will basically, ‘come naturally’. This doesn’t mean that if you aren’t a virgin, you can’t be pure anymore. Far from it. There is no sin too great that the LORD can’t forgive (except for the ‘unpardonable sin’ mentioned in Matthew 12:32). If you’ve had sex before marriage, it doesn’t mean you’re damaged goods, it doesn’t mean you’ll never get married, it doesn’t mean you’ll never find someone to love you for more than your body. It means you made a mistake. We all do. And having sex before marriage is, honestly, an easy trap to fall into - given that we live in a world where sex is so prominent. Our brains and bodies are wired for having sex. God created us that way. Sex is not the problem here. Sex is not a bad thing. It’s the lust and untamed desire to satisfy ourselves before the appropriate time that’s what we need to guard against . It’s hard! I’m not saying it isn’t. I’m not saying that ‘well, you’re not married so don’t have sex and that’s all. It’s a piece of cake’. No! It’s ridiculously hard. Especially when you’re tempted. Especially when you know someone who could easily (and wants to) have sex with you. Especially when you don’t take extra precautions to protect yourself and keep your self-control stronger than your desires.
Purity is a beautiful and wonderful thing. And it displays such a strong self-control of someone that it’s attractive and something to be honored. Not many people can say that they saved their body for marriage. But if you are saving your virginity to give only to your future spouse, you are amazing. You are a treasure. And you should be treated as such. Your purity is something you need to defend. You’ll face temptations, you’ll face people who want to take it from you, who want to pluck it from you as if you’re just a flower in a field of others. And you are. You’re one in a million. But you’re someone who has a choice whether to let people take advantage of you or to wait to give your everything to the one who deserves it, the one you love and who loves you in return. Most of the time, the person who wants to take this from you isn’t some random, evil person. It may be someone you considered one of your best friends. It may be someone you really, really like. It may be the person you never thought you’d have a chance of attracting. And now that they’ve finally noticed you, now that they’ve started telling you everything you want to hear, suddenly, it seems almost okay to give them what they want. Right?
Your purity is worth defending. And if the person who wants it won’t defend it with and for you, then that person doesn’t deserve you. In a world where people WANT something in order to feel loved, the one who truly cares for you needs to GIVE you something. Amidst many other things, they must give you their promise that you are important enough to them that they will harm themselves before ever harming you - emotionally or physically. And that includes taking your virginity. And they will joyfully promise you this, because purity is something to rejoice over.
Some people will look at your purity as a challenge. Your body is something that no one else has touched, and they want to be the first. They’ll say anything and do almost everything to be the first one to get you in bed. And those people are the ones you need to be on the lookout for the most.
Others will view your purity as something to be respected. To have that much restraint, to face as many temptations as this world has to offer, yet standing firm in your standards and beliefs, is something that needs recognition and honor.
So is being a virgin a big deal? Yes. Is it a deal-breaker in a relationship? For some, it may be. For others, it’s not. But if those two questions were about purity, the answer to both would most definitely be ‘yes’.
For my fellow virgins: I respect and honor you more than you know. Stay strong. You are absolutely amazing.
For the ones who aren’t virgins anymore: You’re not a hopeless case. None of us are perfect. But if you’ve decided to live your future life purely, are determined to keep the rest of yourself for one man or woman, then you are absolutely amazing too.
For the ones who had their virginity taken from them by force: You’re not one to be respected or honored any less. You can’t control everything that happens to you. You couldn’t have known that you would be hurt in this way. Your situation is different than the majority of the audience I was writing for, but I want you to know that no one deserves to be treated the way you have been, and I hope and pray that you will someday meet someone who will love and care for you the way you should be loved and cared for. And yes, you are absolutely amazing.
‘Fear not, for you will not be put to shame. And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced. But you will forget the shame of your youth...for your husband is your Maker, whose name is the LORD of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth.’
- Isaiah 54:4-5