Guest Post: “Christians, Stop Staying Pure Till Marriage”

This is a guest post from a young lady by the name Sarah.  This article was passed to me by a father, a husband, and a man of God raising two children.  He knows the heart and passion Kerry and I have for teaching parents and families to stop raising kids and begin raising adults, so he knew that we would appreciate this post…and guess what, we did!

I‘m waiting till I’m married to have sex.

That’s probably not the first thing you were expecting to read when you bashfully looked over both shoulders and clicked on this link, but it’s true.

Why then would I write an article with a headline that implies otherwise?

Because I’m waiting till I’m married, but I’m not staying pure till I’m married.

Samantha has caused me to see things this way.

You see, Samantha is the author of a blog that went viral several months ago titled: “Why I Waited Till My Wedding Night to Lose My Virginity and Wish I Hadn’t.” In the article, Samantha shares the gut-wrenching story of how she grew up in the 90’s Christian purity movement, making a commitment to stay chaste till marriage, and the emotional disaster that followed on her wedding night.

A lot of progressive thinkers stood up and applauded Samantha’s stance, agreeing that the church’s ideas are both legalistic and old fashioned, but what most of them failed to look at, was the prerogative from which she was coming from.

Samantha had been raised to believe sex was something vile and dirty, that it was a shameful act to be kept in secrecy and never openly discussed. It’s no wonder she struggled so much when she finally got married. How can you expect a girl to be told something is bad her entire life, then magically expect her to think it’s good the moment she says “I do”?

We as the church tend to have a weak theology when it comes to sexuality, but more on that later…

Samantha went on to say that her struggle to enjoy being with her husband caused her to seek professional counseling. It was during one of her sessions that she was faced with a crucial option: she could either be spiritual, or she could be sexual. As if the two could somehow ever be separated), she ended up choosing the latter.

To me, and so many other young ladies who are waiting (or those of you who have waited), this whole ordeal broke my heart. Hearing this woman, who has so clearly been burned the aforementioned weak theology, try to convince other young ladies that their choice to wait is a mistake, made me unspeakably angry.

We have a problem here. A problem that causes me great deal of frustration when it comes to the more legalistic arguments involved in the modern day purity movement.

The phrase “staying pure until marriage” echo’s like nails on a chalkboard to me.

If your goal is staying pure UNTIL marriage, you’re going to walk into a marriage highly dissatisfied. That’s because you were never meant to lose your purity. In fact, it’s not something that CAN be lost. It’s a lifestyle, not a state of being. Something either you walk in or you don’t. In accepting the exchange of Jesus, you can’t separate yourself from it. It goes with you to both the grocery store AND to the sanctuary, to the doctor’s office AND to the kitchen to make a sandwich.

It also goes with you to your bedroom.

It goes with you, because you go with Christ.

Purity isn’t lost in the moment, it’s an essential key to a happy (and lasting) marriage. It’s what keeps you connected to both God and each other, it’s what helps you stay strong and faithful to one another, it’s what helps you to build trust and affection.

And yes, blushing elders. It’s one of the most important ingredients in having GREAT sex.

See, we often confuse purity for virginity. One is lost, while the other is lived.

And honestly—side rant—what’s with the whole “losing your virginity” thing anyway? To lose something is to imply that said thing is of no more worth than a forgotten stick of gum in the pocket of your pants.

Sex is precious. It’s one of the most beautiful and mysterious gifts God gave mankind (next to coffee and dark chocolate and peanut butter—completely different blogs.) It’s the emotional connection, the physical glue, and the spiritual hemming of two bodies becoming one soul in complete selflessness till a call from eternity separates them indefinitely.

Marriage is the vow such intimacy lends itself to, the covenant it was created for. How terrible to understand the context of its power and think of it as something simply to be lost.

Call me crazy, but I don’t want to lose it. I want to give it away. I want to place it in the hands of the one whom I know will carry it with him. Because something freely given away isn’t something that’s recklessly abandoned. It’s held close, it’s treasured, it’s preserved with every smile, remembered in every kiss, and honored with every touch. It’s what makes every moment afterwards new again. It’s scary. It’s never safe. And it’s incredibly worth the risk.

Maybe if this was the message we as the church taught more often, we’d have far less broken and bitter Samantha’s telling girls to experiment if only to have the freedom to give themselves away to whomever they please.

Look, this isn’t me thrashing the entire movement. Been there, done that, and have the purity ring to prove it. As the millennial generation arises, there are A LOT of awesome people calling for a revolution in how we as Christians approach sex, those who agree that it’s far time we got messy and real with the one thing we find it so hard to talk about from the pulpit. I’m beyond glad to see such issues coming into the light (I’m all for good sex, remember?)

But for the love of God, PLEASE stop talking about ‘staying pure until marriage.’

I plan to strive for purity now as much I will when I’m on my honeymoon. The only thing different will be my last name and my address. I’ll still seek to honor my God with every ounce of determination I have in me, only then, I’ll be seeking Him with a man by my side who is striving ardently to do the same thing—failures and all.

Because even after sex, I’ll still belong to Jesus… and so will you.

What Advice Can You Share??

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No, we are not running out of topics. Believe us, there is PLENTY left to discuss about parenting and marriage, including sexual intimacy. There are a myriad of challenges and ways to attend to this particular aspect of the family and marital relationship. The secular world continues to toss out their wrong ideas about discipline, parenting, marriage as well as intimacy which need to be addressed.

However, we wanted to kick off 2015 with the opportunity to hear back from you.  I will tell you now, that unless you give us permission, your names will not be used. We just feel that since we began posting these past years, we have heard back from so many on how much they appreciate our approach to seeking His truth in our families and marriages. As our web page states, we are seeking to Redeem the White Space! Yet we know that there is so much to glean from all of you and what you could share would help so many as well.

And now, we are simply going to ask that you all open up and either post the comments below or email us at rtwsmarriage@gmail.com. Here’s the question at hand that we want you to answer for us and the readers:

What one piece of advice have you received that has made a positive difference in your parenting, marriage or sex life?

It can be something gleaned from the Bible, from a good friend or family member, from a book or blog, from your doctor or counselor, or any other resource. It can speak to the whole of family/marriage or some specific topic or technique.

We will be gathering up your advice and sharing it in other ways throughout the year. God bless you and have a blessed and wonderful 2015!

Joe and Kerry

How Can I Strengthen My Marriage? Let’s start with these 21…

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It has come to our attention that many will be making New Year Resolutions this coming week. Some will have to do with their health, their attitudes, and many even having to do with family interaction.  Those are all well and good. For some, those are necessary resolutions for one to strive for.

Kerry and I just would like to propose another resolution. Start in 2015 to strengthen your marriage. If you are reading this and feel that your marriage is already strong and this resolution is not needed, then you are exactly who should be reading this. We all can strive to strengthen and grow our marriages each and every day.

So here is our list, not in any particular order…

1. Have more SEX, but make sure you’re ONLY having it with each other!
2. Don’t keep secrets from each other. COMMUNICATE about everything.
3. Argue less. Cuddle more.
4. Don’t get deep in debt and if you’re already there, work together to get out of it!
5. Pray together, find a healthy church and make FAITH a foundation for your life together.
6. Turn off your phones. Talking with each other is better than texting with someone else!
7. Pull the car over and make out more often.
8. Leave LOVE NOTES for each other.
9. Send flowers on unexpected days, not just holidays.
10. Don’t ignore problems in your relationship. Deal with them quickly and aggressively.
11. Be quick to remember each other’s positive traits and quick to forget each other’s flaws.
12. Don’t hold grudges. Forgive and seek FORGIVENESS when you’ve wronged each other.
13. Don’t waste time or energy comparing your lives to anyone else’s. God’s plan for you is masterfully unique.
14. Go on long walks and HOLD HANDS.
15. Make “DATE NIGHT” a priority! Time alone together is vital for your continued growth and health.
16. Give COMPLIMENTS constantly, and never give insults.
17. When you’re happy, laugh together. When you’re sad, cry together. Whatever you do, do it together!
18. Show LOVE and RESPECT to each other even in those moments when you don’t feel like it.
19. Keep dreaming new dreams and making big plans together. Don’t get stuck in a predictable rut.
20. ENCOURAGE each other. Build each other up so much that nothing in the world can tear you down.
21. NEVER give up on each other!

Holiday Date Night Ideas….Merry Christmas!

This list comes from the web page, Happy Wives Club.  We loved the list and had to share.

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7 Fun Holiday Date Night Traditions

1. Bask in the Glory of Holiday Lights. Christmas lights are a holiday tradition dating back to Thomas Edison and became an official holiday tradition in 1895. Holiday lights are beautiful and fill us with a sense of awe. Take some time to enjoy the hard work of your neighbors. Hop in the car with your sweetheart and take a drive around the neighborhood to appreciate the magic a simple strand of lights can bring.

2. Drink Cocoa by the Tree. If you celebrate the holidays by decorating the tree, you know how much work this can be. But, once the work is done, do you take the time to appreciate your efforts? Warm up a cup of cocoa, top it with some mini marshmallows and cuddle by the tree. Take in the smell, reminisce, and relax. Don’t let your efforts only be enjoyed on Christmas Day.

3. Watch a Holiday Movie. Take some time to snuggle on the couch, put your feet up and share a blanket while you watch one of the many holiday classics. From the funny to the heartfelt, there is an endless array of movies to choose from. Take some time to unwind together and laugh or cry your way through your favorite holiday film.  You can never go wrong with Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life.

4. Play Hooky. One of my very favorite things to do is to play hooky from work with my husband. There is something delicious about leaving work early sometimes to spend some time with my sweetie. Take a day away from the usual grind to spend it enjoying some quality time while getting in some last minute shopping. Hold hands and stroll through the mall, pick up a holiday flavored coffee, and check everyone off your list. Fighting the crowds is way more fun if you have someone you love standing next to you.

5. Build a Gingerbread House. I know this tradition is usually reserved for the kids, but why is that? Shouldn’t the grown ups have fun too? You can make one from scratch, or take the easy route and pick up a pre-made house at the store. Design a house that represents each of you by adding icing and your favorite candies.   Display it proud for everyone to see. Each time you walk by you won’t be able to help but smile at what you created together.

6. Have a Sweetheart Christmas. Let’s face it, Christmas day can be hectic and exhausting. Opening gifts can be a whirlwind of tissue and paper and watching the clock to make sure you are on time to the next event.

One thing that my husband and I have done since we were teenagers, is have our own separate Sweetheart Christmas. On the night of the 25th, after all the hustle of the day has past and the kids are asleep, hubby and I light a fire, warm some cocoa and meet by the tree. It is only then that we exchange our gifts for each other.

This time has become a very special tradition for us. It gives us the ability to take our time opening each others gifts. It gives us time to breathe in the peace and gratitude that the holiday season brings. It gives us time to express our love and appreciation without feeling rushed. These are precious moments for us. Celebrating Christmas together this way is the perfect way to wrap up the holidays.

7. Give Back. No matter where you live, you do not have to look far to find someone in need. The holidays are a time for giving, so what better way to give than to reach out to someone who could use a helping hand? Take some time to look beyond your own needs and stress and devote some of that attention to someone who could use some kindness.

Whether it be donating gifts, making a meal, or donating your time, make this a holiday project you and your sweetie do together. There is tremendous joy to be found in doing something kind for others.

Whatever you decide to do, take some time to enjoy the season together. Cuddle, take in the sights and smells, listen to music, and start some new traditions. It only comes by once a year so don’t let this special time fly by without taking a few moments to relax and enjoy it together.

The Top 10 from Redeeming The White Space

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It has been an amazing year for us. We have been blessed to encounter and counsel many couples.  We have witnessed God’s hand in the healing and restoration of 9 couples. We have also been blessed to journey with many others as they chose to Redeem the White Space in their marriages and families. We wanted to share with you our Top 10 posts from 2014. The top 3 were viewed/visited by over 10,000!  Know that our prayer is to come alongside individuals and journey with them as we all encounter God’s love and commands. To be obedient to His word and seek Him first in all we think, say and do. To live out John 3:21.

Here are our top ten posts from 2014.

10. Start the Day Focused

9. A Simple Bar of Soap: 3 Ways to Serve Your Spouse

8. Your kid’s an All Star? Wow! Someday he’ll be average like the rest of us.

7. U Pick ‘Em Date Night…

6. Adulterous Affairs Don’t Begin with Sleeping Together; They Begin with Inappropriate Friendships

5. 10 Marriage Tips Every WIFE Needs to Hear

4. Yes, Porn is a Big Deal: A Response to Elite Daily from guest author Ella Hutchinson

3. 10 Things I Hope Sam and Baylee Have Learned From Our Marriage

2. 3 Basic Rules to Follow in Your Marriage In Regards to Social Media

1. Wives, Take Note of This: “3 Reasons Your Husband Likes It When You Climax” by Kerry Vivian

Romancing Your Wife – 20 Ideas

Here is a great reminder for all husbands. Even as I went over the list again, and I wrote it, I realize I could do so much more to romance Kerry.

Redeeming the White Space

It seems that during this crazy and fast paced life we all live as husband and wife, and especially as the years increase in our marriages, we forget to romance our spouses. We forget how we treated them when we were dating. They were all we could think of.  We spent many an hour coming up with ways we could show them we love them…then comes children, then comes careers, then comes life…
I was surprised by 5 large, red, Mylar heart balloons today from Kerry. When I asked her what they were for, she replied, “I just wanted you to know how much I love you.” She went out of her way to “romance” me. Yes, we will serve each other as we go throughout the daily routine; however, she went out and did something above and beyond, yet very simple, to just say, “I love you.”
It got…

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