I’m going to speak to you as a woman who – with her husband – saved herself for marriage. Certainly, there are a lot of false promises people make to encourage couples to wait for marriage. There’s this tendency to idolize virginity, as if virginity were the virtue we are called to rather than to chastity.
What is chastity? It is the simple ability to govern your own sexual choices rather than to be enslaved by your sexual passions.
What we long for is to be desired and loved. But desire and love aren’t the same thing. Desire is being wanted. To be loved, is more rooted in our freedom than desire. To merely be desired can turn you into an object. You become useful in satisfying that desire. To be loved means not just that I desire you, but that I will what is good for you. I don’t make it all about me.
I won’t promise you that expectations of your sexual life won’t be disappointed once you’re married. A lot can complicate things in the marriage bedroom, but I don’t believe for one second that premarital sex saves you from that. There are plenty of people who complain that things changed in the bedroom, that they used to be sexually compatible but now their bedrooms are dead. This is quite common.
Waiting for marriage won’t save you from that, but the virtue of chastity – lived out in its day-by-day experience even in marriage (chastity isn’t abstinence. It is simply the ability to willfully choose the most loving action rather than being dominated by sexual passion) – helps. I won’t even say that being chaste ten years ago will grant you a superman ability to practice the virtue ten years from now.
What I can say is that as exciting and alluring as it may be to have sex during the honeymoon stage of a relationship, the reality is that sex makes babies. Regardless of what the odds are of that happening on a particular occasion, we need to appreciate that and really ensure that we fully appreciate that. It is best to commit first and then surrender to having children than to try to change the nature of the sexual act in order to go after the thrill.
And really, that’s all it is . . . a thrill. It doesn’t tell you a whole lot about compatibility in my opinion. Things change throughout the course of a lifelong marriage. Love is a choice.