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Waiting for marriage is hard. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that. But what makes it such a challenge? Why can we decide to wait but struggle so much with actually waiting? Why is premarital sex so hard to avoid? This post explains 5 subtle reasons waiting for marriage can be difficult and what you can do about it.
- 1. Everything is sexualized
- 2. Everyone and their mother is doing it
- 3. You’re not sure why you decided to wait
- 4. Your friends may be pressuring you
- 5. You and your significant other are not on the same page
- 6. You and your significant other have no hobbies or things in common
- 7. You’ve had sex before
- 8. Your significant other is too attractive
- 9. You don’t have any self control
1. Everything is sexualized
Almost everything we watch, read or listen to talks about sex, implies sex or is related somehow to sex.
Many movies, shows, advertisements, books, magazines, music, memes, social media posts, and even outfits are created to bring sex to mind.
Okay… so what?
Maybe you’re thinking that seeing, reading or hearing something that is sexualized doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to start thinking about sex.
But is that really true?
Does what we consume affect our thoughts?
In an article on sciencedaily.com, Ezequiel Morsella, associate professor of psychology said this:
“Our conscious thoughts seem protected from our surroundings, but we found that they are much more tightly linked to the external environment than we might realize, and that we have less control of what we will think of next,”
The article ‘How Unconscious Mechanisms Affect Thought‘ also talks about external factors affect our thoughts. Interestingly, the author says that unconscious influences (such as photos) that we aren’t even aware of, can powerfully affect our thoughts and behavior.
So it’s safe to conclude that the sexualized content we see and hear really does put sex on our minds at one point or another.
Okay… but is thinking about sex wrong?
There are many instances when thinking about sex is quite appropriate.
But while thinking about sex may be a completely normal activity in some situations, the question is: how often should it occupy our thoughts?
The answer will vary based on your relationship status, values, and lifestyle. But it’s important to understand that the more we think about something — even subconsciously — the more it preoccupies our thoughts.
And the more it preoccupies our thoughts, the greater the desire is to do or have that thing.
I’m sure you know how it goes from there.
This is a concept understood in many different fields, particularly those related to productivity and goal achievement. According to rismedia.com:
“Your thoughts are the genesis of any actions.
Whatever you do, any action you take, is spurned by a single thought.
These thoughts—simple, sometimes complex—are what lead to the actions that define your life.
Even the inactions—those things you don’t do—started somewhere in your mind. They compile, one on top of the other, making up the blueprints of what is to become your life.
Thoughts create actions.
Actions get results.”
The Bible also creates the link between our thoughts and actions. That’s why Philippians 4:8 says this:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. -Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Our thoughts are important.
And so, to those of us who are waiting for marriage, we must remember that the sexualized content we consume does affect our thoughts.
In turn, these thoughts only make the decision to wait harder.
How to consume less sexualized content, particularly when waiting for marriage
When it comes to limiting how much sex occupies our thoughts, we need to also limit the amount of sexualized content we consume.
How can we do this?
Maybe you’ve heard the song that says: “Be careful little eyes what you see… Be careful little ears what you hear… Be careful little mind what you think…“
That’s the key.
We need to make a deliberate effort to avoid the content that preoccupies our minds with sex and sex alone.
I have a friend who told me that’s she’s tired of watching sex scenes so she always skips over them.
That’s one great way to do it.
Here are some simple ways you can limit the amount of sexualized content you consume:
- unfollow sexualized social media accounts
- avoid listening to songs that talk about sex
- skip the sex scenes!
- refrain from reading books that describe the sex scenes in detail
- avoid sex talk
And the number 1 tip: Be mindful.
You know that what you consume affects your thoughts, so don’t mindlessly consume anything.
Colossians 3:2 says:
Think only about the things in heaven, not the things on earth. – Colossians 3:2 (NCV)
So, whenever you have a choice about the content you consume, carefully select what you watch, read, and listen to. Always choose those that are in line with your values, goals, and beliefs.
2. Everyone and their mother is doing it
At least that’s how it seems.
When you choose to wait, it can seem like you’re the only one in the whole world who ever made such a choice.
Even in Christian communities, it can seem that all the girls who ‘waited’ didn’t have to wait that long! Or you may feel that you can no longer relate to them because they’re already married.
These are just a few things that can make you feel incredibly alone in your journey.
But of course, that’s not true.
You are NOT alone.
It’s easy to focus on all the people you know who are having sex, but all around the world are people who, like you, have chosen to wait.
You just need to find them.
How to find people who are also waiting for marriage
Some great place to find other people who have decided to wait are in Christian:
- Facebook groups
- Discord chat rooms
- Quora spaces
- Online forums
It may be a lot easier to find groups online, but if you prefer face-to-face communication, check out your church youth group or a Christian club at your school. (Or you can join both!)
Benefits of joining a group of people who are waiting for marriage
Whichever way you choose, it’s important that you are part of a group of other people who are waiting for marriage to have sex.
It can make your journey of waiting a lot easier.
Here are some benefits of joining a group with other people who have chosen to wait for marriage:
- accountability: you will meet people who will help you stay in check
- knowledge: you will learn tips from other people who face the same temptations and issues you do
- confidence: if you feel shy talking about sex and your struggles in person, you may feel more comfortable and confident in online groups where you can be ‘anonymous’ if you choose
- support: being part of a group will remind you that you are not alone or ‘weird’ like some people may try to make you think
A side note…
Let’s say that it’s not possible for you to join a group in person or online.
And even if it’s not true, let’s imagine that you are indeed all alone in your journey.
My question is: does it matter?
Are you going to give up and give in?
In Romans 12:2, the Bible says to be in the world but not of it.
Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect. – Romans 12:2 (ERV)
That means even if EVERYONE else is going against God’s instructions, it shouldn’t matter to you.
You should do what you know is the right thing.
It can be hard, but even if you feel all alone in your journey of waiting, remember why you started (which we’ll talk about next) and why God would want you to. He only asks us to do what is good for us.
3. You’re not sure why you decided to wait
Another reason waiting for marriage can be hard is because you’re not sure why you decided to wait.
Like you’ll read in any book about setting and achieving goals: being clear on your why is super important.
In an article entitled ‘The Power of Why‘ the author says:
Your why serves as a compass; it gives you reason and purpose and forces you to make choices from your intrinsic motivation.
In other words, your why gives you direction and keeps you going.
So why are you really choosing to save sex for marriage?
Is it simply because that’s what’s expected of you? Or because you heard it at church? Is it because you’re not willing to give your body away to just anyone? Or because you’re scared of being used?
You may want to look up Bible verses that talk about waiting for marriage as well as some other reasons to wait.
But regardless of what reasons you choose, it’s important that you are sure of them.
Be clear on your reasons.
They are for you and you should remind yourself of them.
There are so many reasons people may decide to wait for marriage and it’s best to have more than one in mind. That way, if one reason doesn’t hold up, you have another to keep you going.
NB: I say ‘in mind’ because you are not obligated to share your reasons with anyone else. In fact, it may sometimes be better not to share them with anyone who is not on the same page as you.
If you decide to share, choose carefully who you say it to.
You make think this is a weird warning, but I say it because some people may try to convince you of why they think your reasons are wrong.
They may try to ridicule you or try to make you feel stupid for your choices.
You really don’t need that kind of negative input.
Your decision to wait is personal and should be based on your own personal convictions and reasons.
Are there some people you can share your reasons with?
In some cases, it may be more than appropriate to share your reasons with someone else.
Here are a few examples of some people you can share your reasons with:
- Your significant other
- A friend who isn’t sure if they should wait or not
- Someone who can remind you of your reasons and keep you accountable.
It’s all up to you to know who you can trust.
4. Your friends may be pressuring you
Maybe have friends who have chosen a different path from you.
They have decided not to wait any longer or maybe they never decided to wait in the first place.
While that is completely up to them, your journey of waiting may be a lot harder if your friends are also pressuring you to have sex.
If this is the case, you need to first ask yourself 2 simple questions:
- Do I benefit in some way when my friends have sex?
- Will they benefit when I have sex?
Most likely (hopefully), the answer to both these questions is no.
When you think about that, you can really understand that your decision to wait for marriage has absolutely nothing to do with friends. (And the older you get, the less your friends should influence your behavior.)
What to do if your friends are pressuring you to have sex:
So what should you do if your friends are pressuring you to have sex?
Here are some tips you can try:
- State plainly to your friends your plan to wait: don’t try to pretend or give excuses. They may think you’re insane at first or try to convince you to do otherwise. This why it’s important to have your reasons in mind. Remind yourself why you’re waiting.
- If they ask you for a reason, you can simply say that it is a personal choice or you can give another reason you believe is appropriate.
- If/ when your friends talk about their experiences, don’t get annoyed or upset or feel left out. Just remind yourself why you made your decision to wait.
- Remember that even if they disagree with your choice, good friends will always respect your decision.
- Enjoy your life: work towards achieving your goals, have fun and be happy. Show your friends that it’s more than possible to enjoy your youth without having sex.
5. You and your significant other are not on the same page
This is a big one.
If you are in a relationship, it becomes so much harder to abstain from sex if you and your significant other (S/O) are not on the same page.
From the very beginning of your relationship, let your S/O know that you want to wait.
Tell them why and show that you’re serious.
You may be worried about rejection or fear their reaction, but this is the absolute best thing to do as it prevents hurt and confusion later down the line.
And if your S/O doesn’t think they could keep up, don’t worry.
The right person will be happy to wait with you.
6. You and your significant other have no hobbies or things in common
This is another big one.
How do you spend time with your S/O?
If you two have nothing to do, abstaining from sex is going to be soo much more difficult.
Other than sex there are loads of ways to spend time with your significant other.
- binge-watch movies and documentaries
- go to restaurants
- play cards
- have a really good conversation
- take a walk
- play video games
- go hiking
And just about anything else other couples do. Trust me, there a billion and one fun, cute and wholesome things you and your S/O can spend time doing together.
Don’t believe me? Check out this post with 50 great ideas.
If you and your S/O don’t have anything in common AND you’re not interested in learning about each other’s interests, take some time to think about why you’re in a relationship with them in the first place.
7. You’ve had sex before
Maybe you’ve had sex before but you’ve decided that going forward you want to wait until you’re married to do it again.
Kudos to you.
Waiting for marriage can seem more difficult having already experienced sex, but it’s certainly not impossible!
Does waiting for marriage make sense if I’m not a ‘virgin’?
In Philippian 3:13, Paul says:
Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me. – Philippians 3:13 (ERV)
You may have made a mistake in the past — as we all have at some point — but you don’t have to hold on to it. Don’t let anyone make you think that you can’t change your mind and decide to wait just because you made a different choice in the past.
Your past is your past.
Like Paul, you can choose to forget about it and focus on your new goal of waiting.
In fact, the Bible, tells the stories of multiple women who went from having a sinful sexual past to a life of purity.
Think Mary Magdalene, the woman at the well, Rahab, and the woman caught in adultery. Not only were their sins forgiven but God also changed their lives and used them to do amazing things.
You can read and learn from their stories by clicking the links below:
- 6 Lessons We Can Learn From Mary Magdalene
- A Woman of Ill-Repute, Yet Highly Favored (The Woman at the Well)
- Lessons we can learn from the faith Rahab
- Lessons from The Adulterous Woman on Grace (The Woman Caught in Adultery)
I believe that, among other reasons, these women’s stories were added to show that we can change our lives for the better and God still loves and welcomes us with open arms.
So we see that living a life of purity even after having sex is possible! However, like I said before, it may not be easy.
So, here are some tips for waiting for marriage if you’ve had sex before:
- Find groups of other women who are waiting
- Pray to God for strength when you feel weak
- Get an accountability partner
- Remember that with God’s help, you ARE capable of doing what you set your mind to
- Follow the other tips in this post
8. Your significant other is too attractive
Yes, I said it.
No, you don’t need to get a new S/O. I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do about this one 😩
Of course, I’m just joking about this part, but sometimes your significant other may feel that your decision to wait is because you don’t really find them attractive.
That can make waiting even harder because they may misinterpret the reasons for your choice to wait. They may want you to prove your ‘love’ for them by giving in to sexual temptations.
First of all, this further proves how important it is for you and your S/O to be on the same page. Secondly, you don’t need to have sex to prove anything to anyone.
If your S/O is asking you to have sex as evidence you love them or find them attractive, this may mean that they are insecure.
You can banish these thoughts by letting them know just how attractive you think they are, but if that doesn’t help, it may mean you need to move on.
9. You don’t have any self control
Above all, you need self-control.
Lack of self-control is one of the main reasons waiting for marriage to have sex is so hard.
We live in a world that loves instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it now.
It’s like what Ariana Grande says in her song:
“I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.”
While this quote seems like a great way of going after our goals, our lack of self-control even leads us to miss out on things are would be so much better if we only waited.
In Proverbs 25:28 the Bible shows us just how important self-control is.
People who cannot control themselves are like cities without walls to protect them. – Proverbs 25:28
Let’s examine this for a bit. Long ago, cities were built with walls surrounding them. But why?
The verse tells us directly. For protection.
Without self-control, we become vulnerable to the downsides everything and anything. There’s nothing to stop us from heading down the wrong path. There’s nothing to protect us from the pain and hurt that come with going down that path.
So, we NEED to have self-control.
And we should practice it in ALL things — not just when it comes to sex.
We should show self control with spending. With eating. In our work and our play.
In fact, by practicing self-control with the small things in your life and you will find bigger temptations easier to resist.
But whenever it gets hard remember Philippians 4:13:
Christ is the one who gives me the strength I need to do whatever I must do. – Philippians 4:13 (ERV)
God will always give you the strength to do the right thing.
Waiting for marriage can seem extra hard in today’s world for a variety of reasons.
By reading the tips in this post, we can all learn how we can navigate those reasons and make waiting a little bit easier.