03 November 2012

35 Year Old Virgin

Can I just admit something? Being a 35 year old virgin sucks!! Who made up these rules about pre-marital sex? Oh yeah, never mind (Mat 15:18-20).  Well, I still don't like it. Recently, I've thought about all the pros about not having sex before marriage, but it's hard to come up with anything. You would think after all these years I'd have it figured out, but whatever.
Still trying to keep this in my wallet.

Why am I talking to you about this? Because I want more people to make fun of me. Actually, I want to squash any myths about how special being a virgin is. And, maybe my experience and struggles will help some poor dude out there who's trying to do the same.

It's been really difficult being a guy and staying "pure." Frankly, girls just don't get it. From what little I know, y'all just don't have the drive that men do. And, don't give me this, "We want sex just as much as guys...blah blah blah." Anyone who needs that much time and attention just to get sexually aroused doesn't have anywhere near the passion men have. And, it's not what females think about for 23 hours and 59 seconds in a day either (or something close to that).

The only real reason I haven't gone all the way is because I feared what would happen (1 Cor 6:9-11). Honestly, fearing bad results are the only reason I did anything "right." If I didn't have the fear of God, I had the fear of Mom. I just couldn't bear letting either one down.

Also, when things got out of hand or too close for comfort, thoughts of what others would think, say, or do would creep in. I've seen how the church treated people who sin and I didn't want the same thing happening to me (the stares, looks of disappointment, the words spoken under their breath, and the embarrassment you were to your friends and family are just a few).

I even remember this poor dude who was busted for having sex on a church youth trip. They actually encouraged him to stand up in front of the whole congregation and apologize. Really? Because that's exactly what Jesus would do, right? Honestly, I don't think most churches know the God I do (John 8:1-11). This really didn't help anyone. All it did was cause more people to ask more questions. People who were clueless about the situation (like me) were so confused and it only allowed more rumors to spread like a virus. Now that I think about it, I don't ever recall a single pastor/elder/deacon/leader ever confessing his most recent lustful thoughts or actions from the pulpit (Mat 5:27-30).

As I was growing up, I was taught that having sex before marriage was probably the worst thing you could do, next to murder. It was clearly "against the Law" and if you were the slightest sexually immoral, then you were backsliding and hell bound. The only way to escape this threat was to try harder and ask God for forgiveness and mercy. And, if you had bad thoughts or ever dreamed of being with a woman, then you better ask for forgiveness again and again. Do you see how this leads to a spiral of spiritual death?

Even though I'm still a virgin, I'm not trying to make myself out to be some saint. Trust me, I've done my fair share of falling into temptation. I don't want to get into any details, but let's just say that I've pushed the limits as far as you could go without actually having intercourse. Sorry mom.

I thought every time I masturbated or went too far with a girl, God was going to withhold his love and blessings from my life. This is what we're taught in church - do good or God's going to make you pay.

For a man, one does not simply say "Don't have sex."

It didn't matter how many boundaries I set, I would eventually give in (Rom 7:14-25). There's only so much will-power you have before the walls start crumbling down. Did I pray about it? Of course. Did I reach out to God in the middle of everything going on? As if my life depended on it. But, it never seemed to work flawlessly. Then, when all was said and done, the guilt would drop like a bomb. I felt horrible. I beat myself up so badly. I saw myself as a male whore and I just knew that God was so disappointed in me. But, the self-inflicted punishment didn't stop there. Next, I was reminded that I was the spiritual leader responsible for making someone else fall short (Rom 3:23-24). I hoped no one would find out what I'd done. You can try all you want to do what's right, but one day you're going to fail (one way or another).

Being a virgin is not what it's cracked up to be. There is no special blessing or Jesus badge for hanging in there. Actually, it's quite the opposite. You get to miss out on one of the greatest pleasures known to man and you're basically denying the single most natural desire a person has (Gen 1:28). If anything, the only real positives are you don't get STDs and no one gets pregnant. Dudes don't even get to wear a pretty white dress on their wedding day.

If you decide that you want to remain a virgin until you marry, know ahead of time what decision you're going to make when things get to a certain point. It also helps to date someone you absolutely trust. This made it much easier for me. Also, do it because you want to and not because your minister told you so. This is between you and God, only. You and Jesus hash it out and decide what's best for you. I base my decisions on what God thinks and not what others impose on me (Rom 8:9-11).
You could put all the virgins in Alabama in a minivan.

Finally, don't listen to these amateur Christian leaders preach about virginity or the struggles of being single. They really don't have a clue. If they were a virgin, most likely they wedded when they were 18-20 years old. In other words, they didn't go without for very long. And, to be even more honest, most of them are too chicken to share their personal sexual struggles. They can't risk telling the truth for fear of losing the precious religious organization they worked so hard to build. So, we'll just let them go play with the blocks in their church nursery while us big boys and girls make a real difference.

Take it from a pro, whenever you do fall short (because you will), don't beat yourself up. Jesus doesn't beat you up and neither should you. Simpy forget your past and don't look back (Phi 3:13-14). All God wants you to do is trust him and trust that what he did was enough. Don't worry about what others think. The only ones that accuse or condemn are Satan and Christians (Rom 8:1). Avoid them both.

Again, there aren't many benefits to being a virgin. It may save you from having to deal with diseases and unexpected children. It may keep you from relationship drama too. However, it honestly benefits a woman more than a man.

I'll remain a virgin until married simply because I've already come so far.


Daniel Botwin said...

Good stuff, love the honesty. The fear based religion just makes you feel like scum for being human anytime you're not the perfect little christian.

The beauty of your this post is it could be talking about a lot of things people struggle with. Anything that is considered no-no's in church. The church is so oh we're not perfect we mess up you're forgiven, but if you screw up and do anything worse than get a speeding ticket oh my, we need to pray for you.

Beth Botwin said...

I imagine it does suck. I imagine its frustrating.

I think the main con to having sex outside of marriage other than those you mentioned is the emotional aspect. If you give a very private part of yourself away to someone and then break up you almost feel like they take part of you with them. I should know; I lost mine at 17 to an idiot. Just sayin.

That said, I love you like a fat kid loves cake. You're one of my best and most trusted friends and the only one I know with the balls to write something like this. Well done.

kyle ewer said...

Good stuff dude

Emily Beach said...

You're right- there doesn't seem to be a lot of blessing for being a virgin when you're single. But it all makes sense to me now, 3 months into my marriage. The blessing comes within your marriage. I can't even explain it. I now share something with my husband that no one else can claim. It's truly beautiful. And I thank God for it often. And interestingly enough, there is also a sense of struggle that comes with my husband not being a virgin. I don't know..something to think about. Don't give up! Towards the end, my only reason could have been summed up in "i've come this far, why give in now?". Whatever gets you through. But you can do it!

Allison said...

Loved this! I'll be honest and tell you that I did not wait until I was married, but I did marry the only man I have ever been with. That is something I'm pretty proud of and I still feel its the best gift I could ever give to Travis. It meant I was truly his and he captured not only my heart but my body and soul too. I'm a hopeless romantic, and I am happy with the way our sexual life has turned out! We are best friends. For me, it was never about waiting until marriage, it was about waiting until I knew for absolute 100% certainty that this was the man I was going to marry, that he was the one. We met and I knew the day I met him that my life was going to change. I didn't know how dramatically but the instant I met Travis I knew. I eventually felt God telling me you are made for this man and he for you. :) I'm proud of you Dathan, this was a deeply personal blog and as always its inspiring in so many ways with your honesty and openness. You never know, I still say one day you are going to be somewhere and around the corner the girl you are meant for will walk right into you! :) Love and Hugs to you for a very brave endeavor here.

Anonymous said...

I've remained a virgin for many reasons. It has been a struggle but I dont pat myself on the back for it. It's only by Gods power that I havent. I didnt not do it because of fear that God would stop loving me. I did it WITH God's help because I wanted to please him. I'm not going to say that was the only reason. Yes, I wanted to wait because I wanted to prove that it could be done. I wanted to be able to talk to middle school and high school girls and tell them that with God ALL things are possible but it's impossible to do it without him. Men fool themselves into thinking they're the only people that really struggle with sexual temptation and that's just not true. Take it from a 30 year old virgin at her sexual peak who is praying that through Christ she can wait until her wedding day. I dont judge others regarding it and dont think that I am above that failure. I do think that it IS a big deal and that when you love Christ, you want to please him and you want to obey his word. We cant do it without him though.

Dathan Ellis said...

@Daniel It is something that you can use for any no-no. I see how so many Christians remove people from leadership based on their ability to follow the rules carefully (not committing "big" sins).

@Beth Haha! I love you too. I do see your point about the emotional baggage of getting too intimate. Trust me I know. And, I'm proud of you for admitting what you just did.

@Kyle Thanks bro! Comment anytime.

@Emily I def won't give up. I'm on a mission and I honestly have something to prove. I wonder how your husband feels about it. It's next to impossible to find another girl who's a virgin and if they happen to be then they're probably really weird. ~;-)

@Lana(Anonymous) You mentioned a couple of times that you wanted to please Christ by remaining abstinent. So, if you do have sex before marriage, it sounds like you're saying God won't be pleased with you? This is a fear-based concept. You seem to be concerned about falling short. A person never needs to think about not pleasing their Father, but only spending time with him and naturally letting his goodness rub off (you are who you hang out with). Also, I honestly just hear "blah blah blah" when girls think they have anywhere near the drive men do. I also think that remaining a virgin benefits women much more than men physically and emotionally. I don't care if my wife's not a virgin either. I'm confident enough to know she's gonna love her experiences with me more.

Dathan Ellis said...

@Allison You should be ashamed for not waiting for marriage!! You're going to hell for that you know. ~:-P I just love that fact that you knew he was your man for life. You're not married when you go through some religious ritual or sign some legal document. That's just formalities. You're truly married the moment you and your husband decide to spend your lives together. Anyway, thanks for believing in me! You know I'll always be honest and open. It can't really be any other way. Love you too!!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, Dathan. I personally believe the references to abstaining from premarital sex was conveniently put into the Bible (like many other scriptures) as a means to control ”the followers”... Just a personal belief - take it with a grain of salt. I'm very much an evolutionist when you're talking about functions of the human body. I find no spiritual enlightenment to denying yourself basic human instinct. But hey, that's me... I personally believe the Bible should have been condensed to just a simple sentence - LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.

Sandy said...

Keep strong bud! I held out till 25 on my wedding night and yes it was the fear of mom for many years. :) I did some research years ago and there is one big benefit of a couple obtaining in their premarital relationship... Divorce rate is only like 10%. This has nothing to do with being a virgin, but rather having a pure relationship with the one you end up marrying. That should bring encouragement to anyone who says "I messed up... No point in being pure in the future". Anyway, don't know If that 10% is still true, but it makes sense. When the physical slows down or goes away, you have to have something more. I think the physical gets in the way of seeing if you are really compatible and love a person's character. Anyway, I could go on... But I won't! :)

Jane Gary said...

Although I agree with you that it is much harder for a man to resist having sex, it is much harder for a woman to get over it once she has fallen into temptation. Girls create a strong emotional attachment during sex, where as for most men...as you said "it's just sex." I don't think you considered the emotional damage that can happen because of sex when you list your only two positives for avoiding it...STD's and pregnancy. When you engage in intercourse, I believe it is spiritual. Each of you takes something from the other. The consequences can go beyond what can be seen with the eye, that's why you might now understand this now.

Dathan Ellis said...

@Anonymous I couldn't agree more with you about the love your neighbor as yourself comment. I mean, he clearly states that's everything he wants. The rules/commands were set for those that didn't want a relationship with God. Moses was the only one who had a real relationship among millions of God's people. The rest just wanted to be told what to do.

@Sandy You're right about the physical getting in the way of things. Instead of spending time truly getting to know someone's heart, you get to know them in other ways. I guess we eventually figure it out though.

@Jane It is spiritual like you said. I'll definitely not understand what emotional/spiritual aspect there is until that day. Guys can get emotionally attached, but I think it's different. It's taken me a longer time to get over certain girls when I've gone so far so this has to be true. There's a lot of missing them that goes on.

Alyse Hudson said...

Found something that reminded me of your post. Hope you enjoy it.


Dathan Ellis said...

@Alyse I tried posting a reply to the link you put on the fb page, but the power went out. I'm just now getting around to writing you back. I know what I write below sounds rough, but I always come across that way online. ~;-)

We definitely see eye to eye on the spilling it all out and letting people know our heart. This used to be a major problem for me, but not anymore. The animals guy: I think he's very wrong about encouraging people to ask God for forgiveness. He mentions grace, but he doesn't have a grasp on it quite yet. Jesus forgave everyone 2000 years ago. Asking God for something you already have is religion and it's silly. You only have to ask for forgiveness from someone who hasn't forgiven you. People choose not to extend the forgiveness they already have from Jesus to others. As for the boy: If I met the love of my life and she told me she had been fighting hard to save herself, I'd feel sorry for her. She needs to know that she had me from hello. I don't love my wife just for what she does. I love her just because. I love her just because she's mine. All Love wants is for you to receive more of what he has to offer and just keeps giving. And, God's already won the war and we have victory because of him. Maybe this author should start telling people to rest in God's love and peace. To trust God to change them from the inside out. Maybe one day he'll realize he already has all Love in him and extend it to others he comes in contact with.