[alert style=”info”] Ed. Note: Today’s guest post is from Ally Vesterfelt. She is a writer extraordinaire and the editor-in-chief at Prodigal. You can follow her on Twitter and scroll below for the chance to win a copy of her new book! [/alert]
I used to think that being single was awesome because I didn’t have to worry about anyone but me.
In some ways, I was right.
Then I met Darrell. We started dating. And really quickly I began to realize that it isn’t really fair to say that my single life was all about me. In fact, the decisions I made before I met him affected someone other than me, someone who I didn’t even know existed at the time was was making them.
There are some decisions I made as a single woman that I wish I wouldn’t have made so flippantly. I wish I would have realized that the decisions I was making in my single life were decisions that would one day impact my husband.
I grew up in church and heard the messages about “Waiting for Marriage” from the time I was young. I was part of the “True Love Waits” generation and read books like I Kissed Dating Goodbye and When God Writes Your Love Story.
I even went on a retreat with my youth group where I started writing letters to my future husband. Between the ages of 15 & 18 I wrote a few hundred letters and kept them in a box under my bed.
During late high school and college I decided I didn’t really want anything to do with God anymore. I was sick of all the rules I had to follow and I just wanted to hang out and have fun.
It was a slow change at first. I would kiss guys and make out with them, that sort of thing. What I was doing wasn’t that big of a deal (or so I told myself) It was just kissing. Right?
When I got to college I started drinking and that changed everything. I never made good decisions while I was drinking but at least I got to use alcohol as an excuse. I partied and hooked up with guys.
I acted like I was having fun living the “college life” but it never made me feel as good as I thought it would. Especially after the fact.
Here’s the thing. My story doesn’t get any “worse” from there. No stories of rape or pregnancy or STDs. Pretty typical “college girl” type things as far as the world is concerned, right?
I was just really, really broken and lonely.
I started dating a guy who said he loved me, and pretty soon we were having sex too. I figured it was okay because we were in love; and love was what I had been missing before.
But when that relationship went down in flames, I felt as awful as I did before, the morning after a college party, hungover and used.
“How had I ended up here?” I wondered.
I had grown up in church. I had a box full of letters promising myself to my future husband. And I had been told since I was a little girl that I was “worth waiting for.”
I would read the Bible or hear a pastor talk about “sexual immorality” and cringe a little because I knew I wanted to do things God’s way again but I didn’t know how. I couldn’t even explain why I felt that way. It just felt right.
So I re-committed myself to purity. I wasn’t really sure I deserved it and I wasn’t sure how to do it but I knew I wanted to.
It didn’t come naturally.
I would set rules and boundaries for myself, cross them, and get disappointed and depressed. After making mistakes, I would set stricter boundaries to safeguard myself.
Even strict boundaries were no match for the insecurity and loneliness I felt. I would do just about anything I could to get attention. I kept messing up again and again and again.
Finally, I gave up. I isolated myself. I turned down dates when they came my way. I was friends with guys, but rarely more than that, because I knew that if I let it go beyond friendship I was in danger of making the same mistakes again.
I thought I was doing a pretty good job of being faithful to my future husband.
But looking back I realize how much I was just managing my sin.
Here’s the thing. I know I’m not alone. I’m not the only one who wants to honor God with my actions, but can’t figure out how to do it. I know I’m not the only one asking, “Why are we waiting anyway?” “What’s the point?” “Is there hope for me?” and “Is it worth it?”
I’m not the only one who needs the answer to “Why should I wait for marriage to have sex?” to be more than just, “Because the Bible says so.”
That wasn’t enough for me. I needed there to be more.
And instead of fighting silently, I want to start the conversation.
So I wrote a book called Asking All The Wrong Questions: Why Christians Are Waiting for Marriage for Sex. It talks honestly about my journey, my struggle, and the answers I’ve found to the questions I’ve asked. It also admits that there aren’t answers to every question. It highlights the nature of God, and how that helps us fill in the blank spaces.
If you want to commit yourself to purity, but you’re not sure how, or you aren’t sure it’s even practical, this book is for you. I hope it helps you in your process.
Do you want a free copy of Ally’s new book, Asking All The Wrong Questions: Why Christians Are Waiting for Marriage for Sex? We are giving away one copy of Asking All The Wrong Questions to a random Twitter follower on December 1st!
Make sure you’re following us here and then tell us why purity is important to you for another entry (tweet to @QuarterlifeMan or use the hashtag #QuarterlifeQuestion).
Allison Vesterfelt is a writer and thinker who is becoming brave enough to live and tell the truth. She loves her job as the Editor-in-Chief of Prodigal Magazine where she gets to help people live and tell good stories. She has one foot in Portland, OR, and one in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can keep up with her by following her on Twitter, Facebook and her blog.
(Full Disclosure: The link to Ally’s book is an affiliate link, which means that she/they receive a commission if you choose to purchase her book (or anything) at that link. Quarterlife Corporation does not explicitly endorse this link, so if you really feel horrible about helping their cause–––and we’re not sure why you would–––you can buy the book here.)