Sex Before Marriage | Why I Regret NOT Waiting for Marriage

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Hi Guys! Today I’m getting super personal and sharing my story about having sex before marriage and why I regret not waiting. This post is another faith-based post and my perspective is based on my belief that we should wait until we are married before having sex. So, if you are interested in my story involving sex before marriage and some of the issues that resulted, keep on reading.

sex marriage

Sex Before Marriage and Why I Regret Not Waiting

The circumstances that led me to think differently about sex before marriage began when I was in college. Before college, I had always hoped that I would wait until I was married to share that level of intimacy with anyone. I also knew that it wasn’t something that many people around me agreed with or at least practiced. However, I did believe that marriage was a special commitment that God designed between a man and woman that was beyond just the physical act of having sex day in and out without shame. I now realize that marriage is the most intimate spiritual, emotional, and physical connection that any couple could experience because two souls become one.

My undergraduate college experience was not the typical college experience. I was not a party-girl and I didn’t enjoy clubs, parties, or whatever else us college kids were known for doing. I had a lot of dysfunction in my immediate family household, so I was super motivated to do whatever it took to become independent. I believed I had the power to change my life and create a brighter future.

My family was a blended family, so there were a lot of issues there. Furthermore, I wasn’t surrounded by any extended family and I didn’t have a relationship with my biological father. I know no family is perfect. However, I just want to lay the foundation. Due to a lot of those issues, I sort of idolized having a career, and finding "the one." I truly believed if I had accomplished those goals that my life would be complete.

Meeting “The Guy”

While attending college, it was a pretty busy time and the problems at home weighed on me. My escape was reading books and watching chick flicks. I probably had the most unrealistic, romanticized ideas about what finding someone and creating a life together would look like. But, that is what I longed for anyway. The problem was that most college guys that approached me only seemed to want a super casual, sexual relationship (or hookup). Most guys that I would begin talking to or getting to know would end up moving on pretty quickly. It was hurtful at the time, but now I’m thankful that I was protected by seeing their true colors.

Then, I met my son’s father at my part-time job. He showed an interest in me, but he also seemed to genuinely want to know me as person. I really appreciated that. On top of that, we had a similar sense of humor and got along pretty well. Due to everything going on at the time, I didn’t think I was ready for a relationship, so I expressed that I believed that it was important to be friends first before dating. He seemed a little disappointed by that at first, but I was trying to protect my heart and didn't trust him enough yet.

Even so, I started confiding in him and we would hang out all the time. It felt so good to have someone with whom I could talk about my problems and share my burdens. He was always there and emotionally supportive. After a few months, he asked me to be his girlfriend and I was finally ready to take that risk. Things moved pretty quickly from there. Everything was going so well between us that I felt that it was meant to be. 

The Sex

As I began leaning on “the guy” and spending time with him, I began to want that level of intimacy that other couples around me had. It was pretty obvious from the media and in real life that a lot of couples were having sex and/or living together. I considered those relationships as more serious or committed than mine. Even many Christians seemed to be doing it and even though it wasn’t a traditional waiting until marriage situation, it seemed to be working out for them. In addition to that, sometimes marriage eventually resulted in those relationships.

I figured that my situation would work out like the successful ones because this guy had come into my life at the right time, he was a student with drive and goals, and seemed to have a nice family with stability. Being around his family made me trust him even more. I believed that if a guy’s family life was good, then that meant he would model what they instilled in him. In addition to that, he was kind and supportive. So, I took the leap and decided that it was time to go to the next level. I had it all worked out in my mind because I thought I was looking at the situation objectively. To me this was the guy that I trusted, would settle down and grow with. However, no one can really know how another person will handle the big things and the stresses of life after only a few months. Even so, I initiated the sex thinking that it would take our relationship to a “higher level of committment.”

An Alternative Path?

Around this time, I also started to become closer to some family members on my biological father’s side. I had become acquainted with many of them through Facebook. Specifically, I became close to a cousin and two of my aunts. They even helped me get housing on campus. I was extremely grateful. I bring this up because one of my aunt’s lived near Atlanta where I lived at that time. Housing was pretty expensive and I was nearing the end of college. That aunt eventually invited me to live with her, but it was a bit of a drive. So, I would often stay over at “the guy's” house after classes and after late shifts at my job. One of “the guy’s” parents had invited me to move in with them several months prior to my aunt. So, I began thinking that it was closer and more convenient to live with “the guy” and his family. The option to live with my aunt was an alternative path that I could have taken. It relates to the verse in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that states,
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 
I knew that I had a place with my aunt and her family, but for my last semester of school and beyond, I wanted to be with “the guy” and moved in with him instead. Things seemed fine at first, but problems soon arose. 

The Problems

One of the main problems we had was that we didn’t have a similar vision. I wanted more for us and wanted us to work towards a life of independence together. At the same time, I started really feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit about living together and having sex regularly outside of marriage. I knew that God was telling me I needed to stop and turn away from that sin. One night in particular, I felt the conviction so strong that it really shook me and made me reevaluate my situation. Around this time, I began looking for education opportunities because I couldn’t find a job in my field. So, I decided to take the LSAT. I didn’t get accepted to the law school closest to me. However, I kept getting e-mails from a recruiter from a law school out of state. I did a little research and decided to take a chance and applied.

It worked out pretty quickly. I was accepted and I moved to Florida. It was hard leaving him, but I knew it was the right thing to do. It was amazing how everything fell into place so easily. I started praying more and expressing my gratitude to God for the opportunity. There, our relationship really began to fall apart. We had already drifted apart a little before I decided to leave. We really cared about each other, but we were learning that we had different values and ideals. So, we spent less time together. While away, there was not an equal output of effort to make it work. That was really hurtful for me. We actually ended our relationship after a while, but still spoke often. I will admit that I still had a strong attachment to him and initiated most of the contact because it wasn’t easy to let go.

By the end of my first year, I got really lonely and fearful because I could discern that things were changing spiritually. The idea of moving on and things changing even more made me really nervous. I didn’t think my life would be right not being close to my family or the guy that I always pictured would be there in my life. I was terrified of the unknown. So, I went back home to visit my family on break. I also ended up seeing “the guy” and eventually staying with him again because I still wasn’t getting along with my family. During that break, we "reconciled" and I got pregnant. There was obviously a lot more to the story, but this was only the beginning of a few years of disappointing heartbreaks for me. Most of our relationship had been based on assumptions and wishful thinking. We were young college students who came from very different households and cultures. Although we seemed to have a lot in common in the beginning, our values were actually completely different. Our relationship also didn’t have a strong foundation. So, the responsibility of having a baby under these circumstances exacerbated and added to our problems.

My Personal Consequences and Some Considerations

I strongly believe that there are spiritual consequences to any sin. In my case the consequences were obviously particular to fornication. In the Bible, God gives us direction and warns us of things in life that will lead to destruction. From my personal experience, I truly understand how true that is and how real the consequences are. The Bible reads in Galatians 6:7,
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Separation from God

One of the most obvious consequences for me is that my sin drew me away from God. One of my life goals and dreams was to live a life where my faith took me further than I could imagine. However, I never imagined that I would choose to stand in my own way of that. After a while, the day to day problems in my life wore on me emotionally and I could feel pieces of me die spiritually. I didn’t hope as much and had forgotten basic biblical principles by which I used to live. I also began to think on a “real world” level with limits and very little expectation. Because things kept falling apart around me, it also began to affect my self-esteem. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't make things right.

Deception

By subscribing to the world's idea of sex being ok in any "committed" relationship, I was deceived into believing that sexual sin was an “acceptable sin.” I felt that my situation was some kind of exception. The following viewpoints are some that I used to justify my situation. The obvious main one was: No, I was not married, but “I was in a committed relationship.” In addition to that, “I waited until I was much older than most people.” Even more so, “I had only been with one person and only planned on being with that one person.” However, the truth is that there is no “good sin” or “bad sin.” A sin is a sin. 

One of the things that I questioned and took to heart was that people’s relationships seemed to be working out even if they had pre-marital sex, and they seemed happy. In my mind I didn’t understand how it was wrong if two people were exclusive and had plans of marriage. In the end, the Holy Spirit gave me a crash course on why these relationships don’t work. So, I will subcategorize some of these common issues below.

1. Women Want to be Married. 

I'm sure you have heard about "it" from memes, to portrayals on TV, or even played out in many relationships around you. The “it” I’m referring to is the infamous, “so what are we now?” I feel like the “modern woman” is not that different from women from past generations. I believe that some things are natural and instinctual to us. And just because there are some women who don't identify with those instincts, doesn’t mean that the majority of women should ignore those natural characteristics we posses. 

I feel like sometimes we as women are fooling ourselves into thinking that we are fine with casual relationships. It is the “in thing” to declare that we don’t need “papers” and it’s even popular to send a “rebel” message of undermining the blessing of having kids because buying a puppy is better or less work. I don't believe that there is anything wrong with not having the desire to have children. However, I don't think it's OK when other women belittle or attack other women's decision to have children or even be "just a stay-at-home mom." Even still, I don’t buy the idea that most women will be satisfied being in a relationship that doesn't lead to marriage. If that were the case, then why do so many women still want some kind of declaration to the status of their relationships and even have pretty high expectations of her sexual partner? 

I think a lot of women are trying to be appeasing, while secretly hoping that a marriage will happen eventually in the relationships they are settling for. That maybe a guy will wake up and realize that she is worthy of that official “wife” title. But, the problem with this is that if he is comfortable and she doesn’t make marriage a standard, he has no reason to marry her. Further, if she does make that a standard several months to years later, he may resent it. It’s similar to the “why buy the cow when the milk is free argument.” It is unrealistic to have a goal of marriage and settle for a relationship where marriage is not a tangible goal from the beginning for both the man and woman. I think discernment is also necessary here because many people say a lot of things that they don’t mean or think they may mean but it isn’t a present goal, just one they eventually expect later down the road. Due to the fact that we can’t read people’s hearts, we have to depend on God who examines people’s hearts to lead us to the right spouse. This takes faith and trusting in God, which we often times will compromise because we are caught up in what our heart wants or when we want it instead of what God is telling us is right for us.

2. We often make an idol of him.

This point relates to the argument above. Sometimes women (and men) make idols of the one we’re dating. We sometimes have this super high opinion of who the person is and what that person will be like based on insubstantial things. It’s so easy to fall for what someone is saying rather than observing how the person deals with relationships and challenges in their own lives over time. And sometimes we jump into relationships so fast that we don’t have the opportunity to observe these things. On top of that, sex complicates things even more because we become really attached to the person we have sex with.

For me, some unwarranted assumptions became harsh realities after my pregnancy. There are more responsibilities, family interaction (which can be stressful if you don’t have supportive family members), and financial considerations when you have a baby. Here, I learned really quickly that having the same values, being on the same page, and working towards a common goal are important. You can not make assumptions about how you hope your partner will react to these stresses and responsibilities. 

3.  Heartbreak 

I strongly believe that a lot of casual relationships bring deep unresolved issues that a lot of people may carry from relationship to relationship. I don’t believe it’s just a problem with women. I believe men carry the affects of a failed relationship as well. All you have to do is log in to any social media platform and see the evidence of jaded men and women who have “given up” on relationships. They may be in relationships, but they may no longer believe in love and may just be going through the motions. What I mean by this is that some people can’t give someone their heart and be free to really be vulnerable because they have an emotional guard on their heart. For example, it’s a heart problem when you see some of the dark humor that reduces a man or woman to an object or only find him or her useful for sexual pleasure. 

Unplanned Pregnancy 

I purposely made this category separate because so many issues arose for me personally due to the responsibilities of parenthood. I strongly believe that every baby is a miracle no matter the circumstances of his or her birth . In fact, the Bible says in Psalm 127:3 that,
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 
I was so happy that God entrusted me with the gift of a child. However, I was not prepared for the struggles I would face sharing the responsibility of parenthood with my son’s father. We have different parenting styles and values as it pertains to being a parent. As I share some of my personal experiences with this, keep in mind that I am not sharing this to bash my son’s father. It wouldn’t be fair to him, especially when I have made mistakes along the way and I have not always reacted well to some huge disappointments (or unmet expectations). In addition, some of these problems are not my experience, yet are common to others that I will also include here. 

Unexpected Shame

It is very common in my culture for men and women to have committed (or even uncommitted) relationships that result in unplanned pregnancies. I learned statistically that the marriage rate was lower for us, but it was something I had already noticed and was used to. I also feel like the strong, single mother scenario is highly praised in our community, yet the heartbreak, loneliness and consequences are not always specifically highlighted. Therefore, I always imagined hypothetically that I would take pride in the fact that if I had to do it alone, it would be ok, especially because so many women did it before me. Yet, I was surprised to feel the shame of having my baby under noncommittal circumstances. I often introduced “the guy” as my son’s father, but people would still automatically begin to call him my husband and it just felt awkward and weird. I didn’t want to have to correct them and give the circumstances behind why we were not married or be questioned on why we won’t just get married. There were so many issues that it was just something that I didn't feel comfortable discussing. Plus, what old school woman (like myself) wants to explain why a guy didn’t ask her? 

Family Interference

A supportive family can be a true blessing. However, sometimes families can cause problems if they are not supportive, or critical or biased to the way that you choose to raise your child. Sometimes there is absolutely nothing wrong with how a couple is raising their child or children, but some grandparents, siblings, cousins, etc may still be offended because the parents are not doing things the way that that grandparent, sibling, cousin, etc. would do it. I won’t get too personal here, but some of these issues are exasperated and can cause real emotional pain and division to the parents on the receiving end of criticism and even gossip. I believe that is why the Bible in Genesis 2:24 states that,
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 
This can be an issue if the couple or one or the other are hesitant or unwilling to create that boundary. Boundary issues can be common in a marriage, but it is even more of a problem when one person doesn’t really want to commit to the person with whom he or she had a child. 

Marriage/ Staying Together out of Duty

I’ve never been married, so I can only speculate and discuss what I’ve observed from other’s situations. However, I think it is a similar situation to staying together out of duty. I do know that in my case at the discussion of marriage after the unplanned pregnancy, there was a sense of doubt or insecurity about the main reason behind the thought of the marriage. Was it out of duty? Was this person someone you valued or treasured enough to marry in the first place? Why was there hesitation or a delay to get married before the baby’s conception/birth?

There is also the issue of resentment. Parenthood and marriage may be something that a person may think will eventually happen for them in the hypothetical sense, but if the feeling of obligation is the main factor driving the relationship, there could be some clear signs of resentment. This could be in the form of reverting to childish behaviors, complaining about lack of time to themselves, and other actions or statements that reveal that that person feels trapped (or subconsciously longs for freedom).

Loneliness is yet another consequence. If you know deep down that this is a obligatory situation, the true desire to make decisions for the benefit of the family may be lacking. Doing the right thing is commendable, but one person may be alone in those efforts. One person may give their all, while the other may do just enough to feel good about fulfilling a minimum standard of obligation to the relationship/family unit. It is worse if the other person eventually leaves the relationship. However, loneliness can also stem from someone not being as emotionally invested as the other partner desires. That can cause hurt, bitterness, etc to take root. Confronting issues or trying to address bad habits or cycles also does not guarantee that the problems will resolve themselves. It takes real effort.

Finances/ Living Together

Financial issues are huge considerations. Obviously if one parent leaves, the other can look into child support, etc. If the couple is trying to make it work, but there is a hesitation to have the responsibility of marriage and family, one or both people in the relationship may be hesitant to pool their money together for the good of the family. Living together and sharing rent and responsibilities of child care may be convenient in some ways, but it is also stressful if the couple is not on the same page. This can be another area where resentment arises. On the other hand, a convenient situation with no real intent for committment could lead to the couple having to make it work because of a lack of financial freedom to leave the situation. The couple could have accumulated things together, made big purchases, and/or bought or rented properties in both of their names. It can be a huge mess if the couple had different values about how they will handle bills, money in general, etc. 

That being said...

I don’t think every marriage is guaranteed to work even if the couple had a strong foundation and waited until marriage to have sex. However, I do think waiting and taking the time to plan and seriously consider making that huge step gives the couple a greater chance of staying together. We all know, whether we want to admit it or not, that sex clouds our judgment and that getting married out of a sense of obligation is not ideal. In my experience and with what I’ve observed and learned from couples around me, a lot of younger guys don't have a strong desire to take on the role of husband and father. I don’t mean this as a judgment, it is only an observation. A lot of my guy friends saw it as a huge burden instead of a blessing or something they wanted in the future. I think that is fine if they know what they want, but I think they have a responsibility to make it known to the girls they are dating. Even so, that may not always work because younger girls think they can change a guy’s mind by how much they have to offer to the relationship. Regardless, if a guy is not ready or he thinks that there is someone out there who better fits his idea of a wife, none of the good that a girl offers will be good enough, unfortunately. 

The older I get, the more I believe that God forbids habits or actions called sins to protect us from circumstances that can cause us serious spiritual and emotional harm. After living with the consequences, I see the verse in John 8:32 much differently than I used to. That verse reads,
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 
I now understand that sin enslaves us to bad habits, cycles, situations, and circumstances that keep us from truly living a more free and healthy life. Some of us seek God when those consequences blow up in our faces. I’ll be the first to admit that that was me. In response to that, Jesus said in Luke 6:46-49 that,
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. 

So,

I hope that this post helped you to see why I believe that sex before marriage is not healthy for us. Living through some of these consequences myself, I can honestly say that the pain, conflict, loneliness, and regret left me so heartbroken that I truly felt like I couldn’t breathe sometimes. I didn’t know what to do or how things could get better. Even so, when I was at my lowest, I felt the Holy Spirit comfort me and lead me to understand God’s perfect will. I can’t express how humbled and remorseful I felt by the fact that I knew better, yet God didn’t give up on me. He led me to revelations about what marriage means and the seriousness of the convenant of marriage to Him. I have carried these mistakes and revelations and have kept them to myself. However, regardless of how vulnerable I feel sharing this, I felt led to do it, and I know that some people may need to see this just like I needed Him to give me that understanding.

No matter what sin or issues you are dealing with, if you want to turn things around the following verse is for you. It is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and it says that,
If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 
The pastor at the church I attend interpreted "heal their land" as your impossible circumstances, your family, your lack of money, etc. God can and is willing to bring healing to your life. It is not enough to just believe in God. We have to be obedient to His word. God is love and He is Light. However, sin is darkness. Because there is no darkness in God, we have to turn away from our sinful ways in order to experience the goodness that God has for us.

Prayer for Salvation

If you are moved by God and don't have a personal relationship with Him, Romans 10:9-10 states that,
if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
I encourage you to pray along with one of my favorite pastors by clicking here. His name is Jesse Duplantis and he provides a free resource about salvation and what it means. He also advises, like all pastors should, that you find and attend a good Bible-based church.

I love you all. God bless you.


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