Set Apart: Why Wait? by Meghan Gates


We are told to wait.  We are encouraged to wait it out and remain pure until marriage, to abstain from physical intimacy.  The Bible says to wait.  It’s outlined in plain text multiple times that sex is reserved for husband and wife.  Sometimes (if we’re lucky), we get a little glimpse into why we wait and are usually told that the act is honoring God as well as our husbands.  We want to make sure we are clean and pure for our wedding night; no one wants something “spoiled."  You might as well consider yourself damaged goods if you have already crossed that line.  It is a disappointment that so much talk about purity has been motivated by shaming girls, instead of teaching them the "why" behind the "wait." 

I am very curious and always a little cautious when someone tells me to do something.  I always want to know the “why” behind it.  What is the driving force?  What is the ultimate goal?  How is this helping me get to that goal?  If I had to speculate, I’d suppose that many other women feel this same way about purity.  Why do we wait to be intimate until marriage?  Yes, God commands us to.  Yes, it’s honoring God and your husband.  But there are also so many layers to this beautiful gift of intimacy that the Lord has given to us.  Read through 1 Corinthians 6:14-20 in the Message translation:

“God honored the Master’s body by raising it from the grave. He’ll treat yours with the same resurrection power.  Until that time, remember your bodies are created with the same dignity as the Master’s body.  You wouldn’t take the Master’s body off to a whorehouse, would you?  I should hope not.  There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin.  Sex is as much a spiritual mystery as physical fact.  As written in Scripture, “The two shall become one.”  Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever – the kind of sex that can never “become one.”  There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others.  In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another.  Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit?  Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for?  The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you.  God owns the whole works.  So let people see God in and through your body.”

Mic drop.

Ok, now go back and read it again.  Seriously, I cannot write or teach better than the Word and it’s all there! 

This is our “why."  These are the reasons we wait for physical intimacy.  It is so much less about making sure we are virgins for our future husbands and so much more about realizing our own worth that God has given us.  We are created in His image and with the same dignity that Jesus was created with.  Let that sink in for a moment.  Our bodies are not ours to do whatsoever we wish with; they are a beautiful gift from God to house our spirits and the Holy Spirit while we are here on earth.  Therefore, honoring God with our bodies (eating right, remaining pure, dressing modestly, exercising, etc.) should be on the forefront of our brains continuously.

The act of physical intimacy – and I’m not just talking about sex – is intended for marriage because that is the closest relationship we can have on earth.  Sex functions within a marriage, and functions extremely well!  When we misuse sex (outside of marriage), it is dysfunctional.  Our spirit gets confused because we are participating in an act with someone that isn’t our spouse.  Our spirit wants to become one with the other person’s spirit because that is what sex was designed for.  But the spirits can’t mesh because the individuals are not married. Sex outside of marriage can never become one and sex was designed to create one flesh from two people.  This causes loneliness, confusion, distress, shame, and a conflict that arises within our spirits. 

Sex is a beautiful and wondrous thing when it is done on God’s terms.  He created it to be that way!  God doesn’t call us to wait for our husbands because He wants to ruin our fun; He commands us to wait because:

1.) He wants to protect us from the spiritual and emotional damage premarital sex can cause. 

2.) He wants us to know how incredible sex within the marriage bedroom is.  When we give in to temptation and partake in premarital intimacy, our idea of sex is skewed.  The only sex we know is one outside of marriage, and that is nowhere near what it was made for.  When we sin against ourselves, we are creating damage in our own lives, and we’re better than that.

You are worth so much more than the repercussions of premarital sex.  You are God’s final touch of creation; woman was the last thing God created before He sat back and thought “now it’s complete."  You are worthy.  You are enough.  Our bodies are sacred temples; some translations even refer to them as tabernacles because the Holy Spirit resides inside of us.  It’s our responsibility to tend for our bodies and our spirits just the same.  Remaining pure until marriage not only honors God, but keeps yourself from heartache and a dysfunctional idea of what sex is. 

I have been there.  I had sex before marriage and didn’t date purely until I started dating my now husband.  I thought that it was too late and I was already worthless and dirty, but God redeemed me and my sins were washed white as snow because I had the privilege of repentance.  Jesus died so that we GET to repent and become free from any shame.  I can’t tell you how many times I read 1 Corinthians 6:14-20 while Cody and I were dating to remind myself of the “why."  I had to allow the Holy Spirit to guide me through the healing process of my past mistakes, but it was worth it.  Sex outside of marriage was destructive in my life.  Sex within marriage has created prosperity.  Sex outside of marriage tore me down and told me I wasn’t good enough.  Sex within marriage has told me how cherished and precious I am.  Sex outside of marriage created confusing soul ties with men that weren’t my husband.  Sex within marriage has created one flesh between my husband and I.  Sex outside of marriage was not blessed.  Sex within marriage has been abundantly blessed. 

There is never a point that is too late, never a past too messy, and never an individual too far gone to receive God’s grace and turn around.  Always remember your “why” and always remember your worth.