Our movies, music, and society are full of lust and on-demand sex, and unfortunately, we are left with many confusing messages and expectations when it comes to how to deal with our sexuality.
Decades ago, it was considered normal to date a man for a long period of time before accepting his marriage proposal and then enjoying sex for the first time on their wedding night. This protected women from uncommitted pregnancy and venereal diseases, as well as protecting her from prowling men who wanted to take and not give. But somewhere along the way, we were told the lie that this approach to sexuality was “limiting” “sexist” “and derogatory” to women. But the interesting thing is, high divorce rates, STD’s, abortions, lower commitment rates (marriage), and loveless relationships have all become so commonplace that it’s now “normal” in our society to experience all of the above. Maybe boundaries and rules weren't so sexist after all...
Our culture has drastically changed the traditions of our grandparents and replaced it with instant sex. As modern-day "professionals" like to tell us, “We are sexual beings from birth. Sexuality is something we can't run away from, and to do so is unhealthy.” With this mentality, the sexual revolution was birthed, and our sexual boundaries were left confused and broken.
Surprisingly, many people are bringing the “old-fashioned” ideas of abstinence back because (spoiler alert) they discovered that just because an idea is new it does not mean it works better than what we already had. "Abstinence" is the term our grandparents used, and we still use today, to describe people who want to take control of our sexuality and set clear and healthy boundaries.
There are many reasons people choose abstinence, but in this post, we are going to cover 5 reasons abstinence works.
Abstinence Guarantees No Pregnancies And No STDs
In a world where the W.H.O. says, “Each year, there are an estimated 376 million new sexually transmitted infections,” a girl (or guy) can’t be too careful. STD’s can be life long battles that permanently destroy or complicate your relationships. The only way to 100% avoid them is abstinence.
The same is true for pregnancy. If sperm does not enter the vagina, a woman cannot conceive. Birth control and condoms do have fail rates. According to Brit+Co: A surprising number of women get pregnant while on the pill. As of 2008, between two and eight percent of women taking birth control got pregnant. These percentages are small, but when you consider that about 12 million women were taking the pill at that time, on the high end we’re looking at 960,000 accidental pregnancies every year.
Abstinence is the best form a birth control, and the best news is there are no side effects!
Abstinence Gives You A Chance To Know Someone Before Committing Intimately
Sex is a very powerful bonding agent, thanks to the happy hormone 'oxycodone.' Have you ever had a friend who was in a toxic, unequal relationship but they couldn’t seem to walk away from it? Chances are, sex was the only thing keeping them together. Yes, it is that powerful.
If you commit too soon to the wrong person, you can waste lots of time trying to un-commit. Instead, abstinence teaches the importance of getting to know your romantic partner’s heart, their dreams, their desire, their goals, and their ability to respect your boundaries before you become emotionally bonded.
And don't worry, there are many things to do to pursue a relationship without involving sex.
-sharing your life experiences and having discussions
-talking and listening to each other
-going on adventures like hikes or canoeing
-spending quality time
-try each other’s hobbies
After all, if this person is "the one," you will spend the rest of your life (or a good portion of it) with them. You might as well ensure you enjoy each other’s company and the same interests because sex alone won’t sustain you, but friendship and mutual respect will.
Abstinence Is A Test To See If The Other Person Truly Loves You
Often we think that if we sleep with a person, they will automatically want to commit to us. But there is a problem with that: lust and love are not the same things. The reason people don’t commit after a night’s fling is that lust isn’t self-sustainable. But love, on the other hand, is sustainable.
The tricky part is, how do you know if someone truly loves you?
The answer is: if a person values your boundaries and respects them and does not put their desires before you, then this is a person you can respect, trust, and love back.
True love is a choice, not a feeling.
However, if a person gets frustrated and angry at your boundaries and is constantly trying to manipulate you to change them, you might need to reevaluate their true feelings for you. Are they operating on lust or on love?
Abstinence Is An Act Of Love
When a person decides to practice abstinence, it can be out of respect to their partner’s future. That person might not become your spouse, and you don’t want to leave them with emotional scars and connections they take into their “forever relationship” one day. That is an act of love. Abstinence sets the tone for fostering real love from the very beginning. If you start out with love and friendship, you are setting yourself up for relationship success.
Our society confuses a “good night” as the same equivalent to love. But in fact, love is not an emotion. It is a choice. A choice to care for that person’s wellbeing over your own. Love is to sacrifice. Love is respect and admiration.
A “good night”, on the other hand, is just lust. Physical attraction is very important to sexuality, but two people cannot live on lust forever. Love is what keeps people together, even when you feel no emotions towards them. Respect for a person’s ideologies, morals, dreams, and goals will carry you through life’s storms. And during those life storms, lust is nowhere to be found.
Sexual boundaries are an act of true love.
Abstinence Is Emotionally Healthy
Besides not getting pregnant with an uncommitted partner, or contracting a disease, setting up boundaries in your sexual life is also emotionally healthy.
In an article from the Atlantic, they write, “Contrary to conventional wisdom, when it comes to sex, less experience is better, at least for the marriage,” said W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist and senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies (and an Atlantic contributor). In an earlier analysis, Wolfinger found that women with zero or one previous sex partners before marriage were also least likely to divorce, while those with 10 or more were most likely. These divorce-proof brides are an exclusive crew: By the 2010s, he writes, just 5 percent of new brides were virgins. And just 6 percent of their marriages dissolved within five years, compared with 20 percent for most people.”
Even sociology agrees that society has gotten it wrong. Less sex is better if you desire happiness and a divorce free marriage.
God cares about your emotions and your mental health. That's why he gave us rules, so we can achieve mental peace. When men and women have multiple partners, it results in a lack of confidence, a sense of feeling lost and feeling rejected when a sexual partner doesn’t want to commit to a serious relationship.
Many women report that the “Sex and the City” lifestyle left them feeling used and alone--the lifestyle was not sustainable for happiness, and sadly, they discovered this after they had passed their prime.
Humans, and particularly, women, need lasting relationships. We are social and relational creatures. We do crave security! Physiologically, we need commitment. If sex is the only element to a woman’s relationship, it can wreak all kinds of havoc on her emotions and feelings of security. God wants us to feel secure and to pursue one sexual relationship.
But remember that God is bigger than a statistic. If you have had many sexual partners and you feel lost or unhappy, it is not too late to make powerful changes in your life today and find the happiness God designed for you! The Bible says in Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” While God does have rules, He is full of mercy to forgive and heal as you fulfill your relationship with Him.