wife-and-husband-sunset-holding-hands-featured-w740x493I decided very early on in my life that I was going to wait until marriage to have sex. I can’t take all the credit for being some amazingly religious and reverent young man who was destined for greatness in following every verse and commandment I had ever known. Surely being in a private, Catholic school since the third grade had something to do with it; quite honestly maybe I was just scared to death. Scared of sinning, scared of hurting my religious mother and father, and scared of giving something up I couldn’t have back. Or maybe those religion classes had a really good way of getting into the heads of children about being chaste; every day they chose to talk about it was one of the few days my attention span lasted long enough to catch what they were teaching. But, whatever it was, it worked.

Overall, I think the hardest thing for me to think about was my future wife somewhere in the world, unknown to me at the time, being hit on and hung all over by big, obnoxious, and undeserving of her love – men. It may seem funny or sort of weird to think about, but having a protective and caring nature, the thought of it almost made me angry. Angry at the fact that someone else who had no business being in her life was doing and saying whatever he could to get whatever he wanted from her young and naïve self. But furthermore, I began to think of the girls that I had once called my girl, the possibility of future girl friends, and being someone else’s soul mate. It began to seem as though they were placed in my life, and I in theirs, as some sort of puzzle piece or guiding path, yet not the final piece, and certainly not the most important piece. I couldn’t handle the thought of taking something away from a young woman that wasn’t mine to take; it wasn’t meant for me. So, through a combination of fearing God, His will, and the hopes that another young man wouldn’t steal something of my bride’s, I made my decision.

In today’s world this can be such a tough decision; a decision that often comes with ridicule. We are constantly surrounded by Hollywood making it seemingly imperative to “get lucky” on prom night or before/during college. Girls have been taught that they must either give themselves or lose the boy of their dreams. While boys have been taught that virginity should be ashamed of, detested, and an embarrassment that increases significantly as their age does. I in turn detest this outlook and the fact that young men and women are falling for this.

Five Reasons to be Chaste

In order to protect oneself from ridicule or pressures to participate in premarital sex, I am offering five reasons of why I believe I made the right decision and how and why you should protect one’s virginity.

 1. People will offer respect instead of harassment:

I was never the most popular kid in school, nor did I care to be. I had a variety of “friend groups” and enjoyed being in the presence of good people no matter what their “group” was. So don’t think for one second that I had it easy with my decision. I wasn’t Mr. Awesome and everyone didn’t look up to me as the coolest kid in school who could say or do anything, or that it was automatically cool or okay because I was me. Instead, I began to realize something that saved my decision to save myself. I saw that along with many things in life, (getting girls attention, getting a job, and making good impressions), confidence and courage were the keys to success.

From day one, I was never afraid to say that I chose to save myself for marriage because of my personal and religious beliefs. I always said it with confidence and looked everyone who asked me straight in the eye with confidence. I assure you that in hanging with the good ol’ boys in Georgia, traveling nationally and internationally, making friends everywhere I went, and being in a college fraternity, I was asked countless times. Every time it seemed theatrical or right from a magazine when they would ask, “Hey Andrew, where was your first time?” or “Yo Andrew, how many girls have you taken home?” I promise you that every time I responded confidently that I had decided to wait until marriage. I received a very surprising and positive response. Every single time, without fail, they would respond with something along the lines of ,“wow man, I really respect that.” or “Dang I didn’t expect to hear that, but good for you. That’s really impressive.” I never once was made fun of and I believe it was because of the immediate confidence I offered.

Time and time again, I have seen a young man answer with some excuse, or embarrassed answer as to why they haven’t or how they’re trying. And every time they are bashed for being a virgin and not being a “real man.” The hardest thing for me to understand is that some of those people are the same people that said they respected me for not having sex. It is a shame and shouldn’t be that way, but if you are not confident in your own decision or position, then why should anyone else be?

Unfortunately, one of my close friends was ridiculed for a good amount of time about being a virgin. I had no idea he was under so much pressure about something that only he should have a right to decide on. His strength eventually broke. He slept with the first girl that he could simply to get everyone off of his back. Four years later, he admits that it is the biggest regret of his life, and he wishes he was never pressured into it. To make matters worse for him, only a few months after giving himself to that girl, his now, soon-to-be-wife walked into his life.  You never know God’s plan or the path you are supposed to take, but you should always make an effort to be holy throughout the journey.

2. Girls are attracted to a chaste man:

Many girls are extremely attracted to a young man who has made such a holy and sacred decision. To be honest, in my experience, girls who aren’t attracted to the idea of a chaste man usually aren’t the best ones to bring home to mom. Not to mention they may not make for the most holy and virtuous partner.

3. Help yourself to BE and be with the kind of person you would want to marry:

Saving yourself is hard work! How about someone saving themselves for you? How awesome and holy would a couple that saved themselves for each other be? But in general, be the change you want to see in the world and in your friends and loved ones. In saving yourself, you have an opportunity to meet someone who can, no matter what the past, save themselves for you.

4. Be a role model:

Stepping up and making it known can really have a profound impact on the people around you. Not only will you become more confident in your decision, but also people will look up to you and want to be like you. People always say imitation is a form of flattery. How amazing is it to please God in living how he meant for you to live, sharing something with your “one and only” at the right time, and leading other people towards him and towards his will?

5. It is in the bible:

An excellent verse from 1 Corinthians reminds us how the Lord views this amazing bond between a man and a woman. It always helps to see the proof of why so many are passionate about encouraging youth to be chaste.

“But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:1-40).

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Take these reasons, use and share them. They are what got me through the hardest decision times, and the pressures to change my mind. They have helped my friends and family in the past.

I only wish that they might help others too. I’ve seen and known too many people hurt because they wished they had waited, and in turn, it hurts me. They were fooled by so many past relationships that should have only been a small part of their life, not the thief of a part of them.

I want everyone reading this to understand something so important: you and everyone else are not and never will be the mistakes you have made. Don’t ever think it is too late to change. That includes saving yourself for the one person that you were always meant to save yourself for, regardless of your past. Take it from me, it feels great to know that I made it through the hardest part. The thought of my wedding day is so much more meaningful and fulfilling now. More than anything, when someone chooses to save herself for you, there is no greater gift a bride can give her husband.  As Pope St. John Paul II said, “Only the chaste man and the chaste woman are capable of true love.”

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