Today’s post is by Lisa Johnson, a young lady I have had the privilege of knowing for many years. She and her husband Jeshua were married in March 2008.
Lisa wanted to share why they decided to wait until marriage to exchange their first kiss and to be sexually intimate.
Lisa is now transitioning from teaching full time into being a stay at home mom as on July 23, 2014, Lisa and Jesh welcomed their precious daughter, Adelyn Sofia, into the world.
“First of all, we want you to know that we are nothing special because of the choices we made. We had past mistakes in relationships and screwed up like many teens and college kids do. We have fallen short of His glory. But it is because of God’s great grace and love for us that we have been forgiven and redeemed. And it is because of His kindness and mercy on our lives that led us to decide to forgo all physical intimacy until our wedding night. Yeah, people thought we were weird. Family members didn’t believe our moms when they shared our choices with them. But that’s okay. This is something that the Lord called us to, and we embraced it, and were blessed with so much freedom to just enjoy each other during our time of dating and engagement. There was no pressure to be physically intimate because we both knew that would come later. We just got to hangout and deepen our friendship and it was awesome! It doesn’t mean there weren’t times when both of us were tempted, but because of our commitment to the Lord and one another, it was never an issue. God gave us freedom to enjoy each other and enjoy Him!
How did we get to that place? Unfortunately we both made mistakes in past relationships. In our minds both of us would say that we went “too far.” Regardless of details, by the time we came into each other’s lives, we were tired of making those mistakes. I found out early in our relationship that Jesh decided in college that the next girl he kissed would be his wife on his wedding day. I appreciated so much that he was bold enough to tell me his commitment without reservation. He was strong in his commitment to the Lord and to me, and I was so thankful for that. When he told me about his decision, it was so early on in our relationship that we hadn’t even dug into our pasts yet. Jesh didn’t even know that I struggled so much with making out all the time in relationships, and that it was something I wasn’t proud of nor wanted to do anymore. How cool is the Lord to bring a man into my life whose commitment was so strong that it would provide protection for me in our relationship? When I met Jesh, neither of us had dated for almost 2 years. I had already decided that I didn’t want to kiss until at least engagement. I got what I wanted, and it was all in God’s timing and His sovereignty.
I want to mention a couple of things:
First of all, every young man and young lady is worthy of someone who will honor a commitment that they’ve made to save physical intimacy until marriage. Every single one. If you’re with someone right now and they think an idea like that is crazy and they’d break up with you over it, then you’re better off without them. That may sound harsh, but it’s true. And truth is the only thing that matters. Truth from God’s Word (Psalm 119:9-11). So just know that you are worthy. You are worthy because you are God’s child, if you know Him as your Savior and you’ve been redeemed by His blood. You are His first and foremost before you ever belong to your spouse. Your identity in Christ should define your worth (Galatians 2:20). Don’t sell yourself short or think you’re weird because you want to be wise.
The second thing I want to mention is that when it comes to living for the Lord and making decisions, you cannot mix the “wisdom” of the world with the wisdom from the Word. There’s no blending (James 3:13-17). If you’re trying to make a decision in your relationship based on what the world tells you, you’re going to get some mixed reviews and some real jacked up “advice.” You’ll hear things like this: (These are ALL lies! Do not be deceived!)
- You need to know each other sexually, so you can see if you’re compatible or not.
- Kissing and touching aren’t wrong, because that’s not sex.
- You have to “put out” or your boyfriend/girlfriend will break up with you
- If you just hangout and never get physical you’ll get bored (Trust me, marriage is not having sex all the time. Nor is life in general!).
**The list could go on and on. The important thing to remember is what you’ve been called to: holiness (1 Peter 1:14-16). Because of our sinful nature we will never be completely holy until heaven, but at least here on Earth we have a chance to strive for holiness. Verses like Hebrews 12:1-2 talk about “throwing off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…” Trust me, when it comes to physical intimacy, that is sin that is easily entangling. And it’s interacting with the opposite sex in ways that were designed to get you ready for sex. You’re interacting in ways that make it very hard to stop. They are ways that promote “oneness.” Becoming one should only be reserved for marriage. (Genesis 2:24)
I cannot tell you the number of friends I’ve talked to who didn’t set boundaries in their dating and engagement, and ended up doing things they weren’t planning on. Things reserved for the marriage bed. If sin is so easily entangling, be wise about your interactions. If you have a line, don’t do things that make you get right up next to the line, but interact in a way where you can be comfortably behind that line. Remember, God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. And He will provide a way out so you can STAND! (I Cor. 10:13) I can confidently say that Jesh and I spent our 9 month relationship comfortably behind the line, and it was a blessing to be able to enjoy a completely new part of our relationship on our wedding day, free from guilt or shame. And all glory be to God because it’s by His grace alone.
If we had the decision to make all over again, hands down we would do that again. This is a story we will share with our kids someday when they get into their teen years. We will definitely encourage them to do the same.
Last thing: Think of intimacy as a gift that you have to offer your future spouse. And I’m not just talking about sex. I’m talking about kissing and everything else. If you’re not sure you’re going to marry this person (and most relationships in high school do not end up in marriage), then why would you want someone to start opening that gift? Do you want someone to open that gift multiple times? Or do you want to give that gift to someone who’s equally committed to the Lord and to you; someone you’ve exchanged your vows with in front of the Lord and your family, and someone who you’ve now committed your life to? I’m telling you, it’s so worth waiting for!