Dating and purity
I viewed young men and women who “had to have a boyfriend or girlfriend” as weak.I became hyper focused on my virginity because I thought it was all I had left to give.I was finally ready to “kiss dating goodbye.” I was convinced that I was bad at dating, that I was a horrible girlfriend, that I was difficult, that I was tempted by sexual sin too easily, and that I had to beat my weakness into submission for the sake of my ministerial calling and love for Jesus.I reasoned that God was pleased with me now that I was walking in “sexual purity.” I stayed pure and barely dated all through college. My mom gave me the book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” by Joshua Harris. That same year my mom asked me if I wanted a purity ring. Christian leaders, authors and ministers locally and afar, all had an opinion on how to help teens to fight for “sexual purity.” The truth is that I, being a perfectionist, internalized all of the information and placed a substantial amount of pressure on myself. Yet, after time, kissing him became my most favorite pastime. My parents did not put an unreasonable amount of pressure on me, but we as a family were embedded in the evangelical purity culture.Christians would praise me for maintaining my virginity and I would eat it up.Unbelievers would make fun of me and I honestly believed they were just jealous.
I didn’t come from a legalistic family and my parents were egalitarian Christians, so I did not believe I was responsible for the lust of boys. We dreamed of him becoming a professional baseball player someday and buying me gucci jeans (lol, makes me laugh now).
I met my now husband in 2007 and fell head over heels fast. I feared my heart would break again and I would find myself sobbing in the bath tub, naked, with my heart wounds wide open.
It should have been the most blissful time of my life, and many aspects were, but it was also filled with extreme inner turmoil. Not only this, but after my husband and I did get married, I believed we would have a next-to-perfect sex life because we both saved sexual intercourse for our wedding night.
Almost immediately we began to struggle with “sexual purity” and I became an emotional disaster. Our sex life has always been good, but because I believed it should be close to perfect, it never seemed good enough.
All of the guilt, shame, and condemnation that I had swept under the carpet 5 years prior rose to the surface like a whirlwind of uncontrollable dust. I will say this, my husband and I do have a unique emotional bond due to having sex only with one another, for which we can probably thank the evangelical purity culture, but I have decided to walk away from the idea of “sexual purity” forever. It felt gross having someone’s tongue down my throat. All joking aside, I loved Jesus very much and I wanted to be pure for Him. I picked out a gold ring with a rose on it and made a commitment to stay pure until marriage.