Set Apart: Restore by Molly Stevens

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Throughout this blog post, I promise that I am going to be completely honest and real. I truly believe that purity and intimacy is something that is not talked about enough and if we want to teach people about it and see hearts transformed, we need to be open about it and allow for honest conversations. Whenever I used to hear about purity or “waiting until marriage,” I thought it was just some outdated idea that only super strict Christians believed in. It wasn’t because I was against purity, but I had simply never been told what the Bible said about it, or why it was important. Shane (my husband) on the other hand had learned what the Bible said about purity but had strayed away from it as he grew older.

Honest moment, neither Shane or I stayed pure UNTIL we met each other. We both had pasts covered in mistakes and pain resulting from the choices we made. But here is where God is SO faithful. Prior to us even meeting, God had already begun to work on our hearts individually and we had both decided we would stay pure until we were married. For me, I had a pretty serious relationship in college that ended in heartbreak, and after that I finally listened to what the Holy Spirit had been telling me all along and decided I wanted to stay pure until marriage from that point out. And around the same time Shane was walking through some things and had also decided to stay pure until marriage. It was not easy by any means, and I entered into a few relationships between that time and meeting Shane that weren’t God’s best for me. I learned (the hard way) that even if you’re not sleeping with someone, a relationship can still be unpure and NOT a God thing.

Before we had met or started dating, I truly believe our prayers for our future spouses had already begun to shape our hearts (1 John 5:14-15). So, when we began talking, one of the first things we established was that yes, we both had less than perfect pasts, but that we were determined to honor each other and God and wait to be intimate until we were married. If you are entering into a relationship, or are wanting to, I really encourage you to protect your heart and to have this conversation early on. And if you’re feeling shame because you have had sex in past relationships (I struggled with this too!) God wants to redeem that, and He can restore purity, so don’t believe the lie that it is too late for you to change your future.

As our relationship grew and we began to talk about marriage more seriously, denying our flesh became harder. We both had already awoken love before its time (Song of Solomon 2:7) and to be honest, it was a struggle to wait. It was especially hard once we were engaged and knew we would be spending our lives together. Some practical things we did to help ourselves not be in a situation where we were tempted included; not spending the night together, spending time with family and friends, reading our Bible together, and of course PRAYER. We also decided to get married within about a year of when we first started dating, because once we knew that we were supposed to get married, why wait and make the temptation worse?!  Another obstacle we faced (which I didn’t quite expect) was some people judging our decision to wait. I came across people who questioned why we were, and almost seemed concerned with, “How would we know we were a good match if we didn’t sleep together before we were married?” I understood their concerns, because that is how I used think about it. But it almost just fueled my fire to stay pure, and to walk out what I knew God was asking me to do, and lead by example.

As we have now been married for almost 5 months, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that waiting until marriage was the best decision we made in our dating relationship. 1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” This really outlines that when we are operating in God’s will (His will is that he wants us to remain pure until marriage and to keep the marriage bed sacred (Hebrews 13:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8) that He will hear our prayers and answer them. I know from personal experience that when you are walking in purity while dating, that you will have a clearer perspective on the relationship, that you will feel closer to God and that your relationship with your man will be strengthened. Now, whenever we look back on our relationship we remember how we struggled to stay pure, but how God helped us through it, and it encourages us to this day!  It is not easy, but when God asks you to do something, He will give you the strength and the willpower to do it.

To all the ladies (and possibly gentlemen) reading this, if you’re considering waiting until marriage, do it. Walk the narrow path that God is asking you to, and you will be blessed for it.