“Yeah, we’re having sex but we’re a couple, so…


… it’s okay. See, it’s not like I’m hooking up with someone different every weekend. We’ve been together like   (fill in the blank) . So, yeah, … it’s fine.”

A lot of people see hooking up or friends with benefits or casual sex—however you define those terms—as something entirely different, and definitely way worse, than having sex in a steady relationship.

“We’re together. We’re a couple. We’re in a committed relationship.”

That’s good. Awesome. Terrific.

Be together. Go steady or be exclusive (or whatever you want to call it). I’m all for nurturing a connection. Especially in today’s hook-up culture, you’ll find me cheering for intentional relationship building. Just leave sex out of it.

“Oh, come on….”

I’m dead serious. No wedding rings, no sex.

Okay, I’ll admit, I can kind of understand the we’re-a-couple-so-its-okay line of thinking.

You have an actual relationship. You’re getting to know each other. Making time to be together. What you have bears no resemblance to a one night stand. And you’d never do that kind of thing anyway. That’s just wrong.

I understand that thinking, sort of, a little, but still I have to say no, no, no.

And here’s why.

courtesty of MorgueFile by taliesin

courtesty of MorgueFile by taliesin

Sex is such a major thing—it’s so big—that simply being together isn’t enough of a reason (or excuse) for two people to delve into physical intimacy. It’s way too personal, too soul-baring—even for established couples. For any couple who hasn’t reached the ‘til-death-do-us-part level of commitment in their relationship, sex will complicate things like you can’t imagine.

“But it’s consensual—we both want this. So why not?”

Indeed. Why not do… whatever you want.

You like this person, you have a great time together. There’s chemistry and sparks and enough sexual tension to burn down a city block. So, why not just do it?

Because sex will change you as individuals. And mess with your “being together.” Nothing will be the same once the relationship crosses into experiences meant for couples who’ve pledged their lives to one another. And that goes for the “other stuff” that may or may not, in your mind, qualify as actual sex. Doing everything else, except for actual intercourse? You’re not protecting yourself from STDs or from the feelings and emotions that can’t be separated from sexual acts.

Not only does sex come with risks like pregnancy and STDs, there’s the emotional baggage. Sex is so much more than two bodies coming together. Heart, mind, soul and body—all are hugely impacted by sex.

“You just don’t want us to have any fun.”

file0001093530419 (1)

courtesty of MorgueFile by dieraecherin

I promise you that’s not what this is about. Cross my heart. In fact, someday, in a love-filled, committed marriage I hope you enjoy the most incredible sex.

Want to really mess with the probability that you’ll have great married sex in the future? Sleep around now when you’re single. Whether it’s random hook-ups OR sex in a couple (or more) relationships, you’ll regret it. The memories from those encounters will flood your mind at the most inopportune times. And then there’s the expectations … that will lead to comparisons. And even though you really won’t want them to, those comparisons will affect how satisfying you find sex with your spouse.

Hooking-up completely removes the relationship from sex. Or tries to, you know, so you won’t have to deal with a painful “break-up” at some point. The lamest excuse I’ve ever heard. But that’s just it. Sex and relationships will forever be intertwined—that’s how GOD designed it. That’s why hooking up leaves a trail of brokenness and discontentment in its wake.

All sex outside of marriage shows a disregard for the sacredness of sex and for the bonding that comes naturally with the physical joining of two persons into one. Hearts not joined in holy matrimony should not bond physically.

“Well, it’s too late for us now.”

Never too late concept

It’s never too late to make smarter, healthier decisions—to say “NO” to sex outside of marriage. I won’t try to convince you that ending the sexual part of your relationship will be easy. It will be tough to put a lid on the hormones you’ve allowed to run free. Might even be the toughest thing you’ve ever done, but it will be so worth it.

Instead of focusing on the physical part of your relationship, concentrate on getting to know each other on a deeper, more emotionally intimate level. Which will reveal if there’s marriage potential in this relationship. If you stop having sex and the connection fizzles, you’ll have your answer. Don’t let your past make your future’s decisions.

When you make the choice to save sex or any more sexual experiences for marriage, you’re investing in your future relationships. And you are worth it. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You are worth waiting for.

Share your thoughts in a comment (under the title) or shoot me an email at waitingmatters@gmail.com 

“Don’t worry about us, we don’t go all the way, we just…

…do everything else.”

Countless couples pat themselves on the back because, unlike many of their friends, they are not having sex. Not “regular” sex anyway. They fool around a lot, but they’re saving actual sex for … well, later. Maybe later as in marriage or maybe not that long. Just later.

“We’re still virgins,” they exclaim. “Isn’t that the point?”

Sort of, yes. But mostly, no.

Say what?

It’s lIMG_4274ike this:  yes, saving sex for marriage means no sexual intercourse before the “I do’s”. But it’s more than that. What saving sex for marriage really means is saving yourself—your body, your mind, your heart—for the person you commit to spending the rest of your life with.

It means purposefully guarding your heart and mind and body from the heartache, the memories, the scars, the baggage that sex outside of a marriage commitment often leaves behind.

If you’re playing the anything-except-that-last-step game, that’s not really saving sex for marriage.

Well, maybe “technically” it is. But in the deepest sense of what saving yourself really means, it’s not.

I know what you’re going to say…

“But I’m waiting to do it…”

“Oh, yes it is! We are saving sex for the wedding night!”

“As long as his… doesn’t go into her… it is not sex.”

Then I guess you’d be cool with your future husband or wife messing around with whomever, whenever—as long as it’s not actual intercourse. Right…?

Hmm. Maybe not.

couple under umbrellaSaving sex for marriage does not mean fooling around all you want, doing anything and everything except actual sex. While you may “technically” be a virgin, by the physical definition, your mind and your heart have crossed the line. Whether it’s in a dating relationship OR with your intended future spouse, you’ve shared a sexual experience that was intended for marriage.

Maybe all the attention placed on “virginity” gives people the impression that the other stuff is okay. The “stay a virgin” and “don’t do it” messages should really come with the advice to “steer clear of anything even remotely sexual.”

YES, that final step is huge. But all the stuff leading up to sexual intercourse is a big deal too. Physical intimacy is meant to create a deep and lasting bond between a husband and wife. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that this other stuff, when it culminates in orgasm, won’t also create a bond. Those experiences will complicate the relationship/situation and can unleash a host of other problems. See “Why wait? It’s all about the bonding…” for the science behind the incredible way sex works.

STD imageIf you think you’re protecting yourself from STDs by “only” fooling around, think again. Oral sex and/or stopping just short of intercourse can also expose you to STDs. Virgins can contract AND spread sexually transmitted diseases. See “Myths about STDs that can hurt YOU”.

A lot of you are thinking things like…

“I’ve already done a lot of stuff… why stop now?”

“But I’ve had sex so it’s too late for me.”

“Are you seriously suggesting I change now?”

You bet I am!Past and Future - Two-Way Street Sign

Don’t beat yourself up about the past. You can’t change it, but you sure as heck don’t have to repeat it. Take a stand and vow not to let your past make your future choices.

It’s never too late to make wiser, healthier choices.Regardless of what you’ve already done, from today on, commit to saving yourself—body, mind and heart—for the intimacy of marriage.

Don’t let anyone talk you into settling for technicalities.

It does matter. YOU matter.

Your questions, concerns, thoughts and comments are always welcome. Share in a comment OR shoot me an email at waiting matters@gmail.com

Saving Sex for Marriage in a “50 Shades of Grey” World

It’s tough to maintain sexual purity in our sex-crazed culture. And just when traditional values could really use a shot in the arm, what do we get instead? A massive assault on society’s morals.

The premiere of the movie “50 Shades of Grey” is garnering a ghastly amount of attention this Valentine’s Day weekend. Variety reports—

“The film, which began rolling out internationally on Wednesday, opened No. 1 in 56 of its 57 territories, including the U.K., France, Germany and Russia. It grossed $38 million on Friday for an early total of $66 million.”

heartsNever mind, apparently, that Valentine’s is supposed to celebrate  the love and romance in relationships, not the dominant, manipulative, and yes, even painful sexual experiences of characters who, of course, are not married. Be assured, theirs is not a story of genuine, authentic romance despite it being linked with the love/romance, hearts/candy holiday.

It’s bad enough that sex before the wedding ring is being treated as the “norm”, but that’s the least of the damage this tawdry story inflicts. Early in their relationship, Christian introduces Ana to his “Red Room of Pain” – a sort of horror chamber complete with whips and chains and other “accessories” used in the type of dominant/submissive sexual exploits he appears to live for.

It’s beyond sad—it’s absolutely heart-wrenching—that millions of people are willingly subjecting their hearts and minds to the pornographic images and scenes in this so-called romance.

I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that GOD—the one who created sex—did not intend the coming together of two bodies to be about domination, control or pain. What HE created to be an act of love, bonding and commitment bears no resemblance to the sadistic relationship on display in this erotic film.

Men, do not take your cues about how to treat women from Christian Grey. Don’t allow his warped view of GOD’s gift of 50 shadessex to influence your approach to love and romance.  Relationships should not be about power and control.

Women, do not allow Anastasia Steele’s apparent acceptance of her abusive and violent relationship to form your expectations about how men should treat you. Intimacy and sex are gifts to be treasured. Being in love should not involve dominance and pain.

Guys and gals, please, oh please, do not subject your heart and mind to the ideas and images this explicit story will etch into your being. Have nothing to do with it. And urge your friends and family to steer clear as well.  

With all the hype, you might be curious as to how explicit the movie’s scenes are or if it’s really as violent and abusive as you’ve heard. Or maybe you’re tempted to watch the movie or read the book so you have first-hand knowledge and can intelligently discuss the pros and cons. Please don’t. Just don’t.

This is all you need to know about “50 Shades of Grey”—

  • It is undeniably pornography.
  • What it promotes bears no resemblance to GOD’s design for sex.
  • No one is strong or mature enough to read or watch it without a negative impact.

If you’ve already been pulled into this so-called romantic tale, walk away. Fast. There is nothing innocent, harmless or beneficial about involvement in the “50 Shades” story.

true love MGD©It’s never been easy to keep a commitment to save sex for marriage. And the mass following the “50 Shades” empire enjoys tell me that’s not likely to change. In fact it will probably get harder.

You see, the more accustomed people become to graphic sexual scenarios in print or on the screen, the less strength they’ll have to battle sexual temptations in their own life. The blurrier the lines between right and wrong will become.

Premarital sex? Why not?

Hook-ups, multiple partners? Go for it!

An affair? No big deal.

But sex is a big deal. It will always be a big deal because that’s how GOD designed it to be.

Make no apologies when it comes to a commitment to abstinence. Be assured our sex-crazed world won’t make it easy on you, though. That’s why accountability and mentoring and boundaries are necessary. That why the tabs at the top of this page point out books and articles, organizations and groups that will support and encourage sexual purity. That’s why I welcome your questions and concerns as you navigate the often choppy waters of abstinence or renewed abstinence.

We’re in this together. And I believe in you.

Shoot me an email waitingmatters@gmail.com OR share a comment (COMMENTS under the title).

Will you pursue saving sex for marriage in 2015?

fireworks 2015

Welcome to 2015!

By now, 11 days into this brand new year, it’s probably business as usual.

The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are behind us. Work schedules are back to normal. School has resumed or will in a day or two.

You’ve mastered writing or typing the CORRECT year… you know, 2015 not 2014.

I have to stop here and confess.  Every year it takes me longer to get on the same page as the new year. To me, 2014 still feels “new”.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I do like the blank slate that greets me each year on January 1. Kind of like the fresh newness of a blanket of sparkling white snow. My part of the country received  snow this week leaving us with beautiful scenes like this…

5five DSC_0159 (1) winter snow scene

Snow is so fresh and white and sparkly when it first falls.

Much like the 354 remaining days of 2015.

Some of you are excited–super excited–to be rid of 2014. You’re psyched for the clean slate before you and  have already plunged into 2015 with high expectations, grasping tightly to the chance for a better year. Way to go! Good for you.

Other’s of you plan to slide the successes of 2014 right into 2015. You’re betting on even bigger and better things in the new year. A high-five to you!Happy-New-Year graphic

Whether you’re the resolution-making type or not, when the calendar flips to a new year, almost everyone spends at least a bit of time reflecting on where you’ve been and looking forward to where you’re headed. A wise and practical, beneficial and purposeful–not to mention mature–way to go about life.

As you do, I hope you’ll consider where you stand on a commitment to save sex or any more sexual experiences for marriage.

The freshness of a new year is the perfect time to …

make a serious commitment to save sex for marriage

… make a determined commitment to “renewed abstinence” if you’ve already had sex

… consider how to strengthen and affirm the commitment you’ve already made to abstinence

… choose to champion saving sex for marriage among your friends

Wherever you are on the journey to wait for sex, make 2015 the year you will do two things. First, find a mentor/accountability partner. Nothing says “I’m serious about saving sex for marriage” as strongly as does entering into such a relationship.

Choose someone who is not only WILLING but will take the job SERIOUSLY. Someone who —

... you trust and respect and will listen to

… is the same gender as you

… is married OR further along in his/her abstinence journey than you

…will be brutally honest with you

If you’re file0002125880724in a relationship, encourage your boyfriend/girlfriend to find someone to hold him/her accountable. A married couple whom you both know well and trust makes a great choice.

Second, pledge to lead by example. Even if you’re new to this abstinence journey, you can still be a positive example. Be open and honest with your friends about your choice to WAIT. Tell them WHY you’ve chosen to not have sex.

Are you serious???

You bet I am.


Just share why waiting makes sense to you. Encourage them to at least think about it. Don’t badger. Simply lead by example. How cool would it be if a bunch of you at school or work decided to pursue abstinence together? Pretty cool indeed.

So in 2015, find a mentor/accountability partner AND be a positive example.

file301313070945I’d love to promise you that waiting for sex will be easy in 2015–easier than in 2014. But you already know it won’t be. Because you’re smart. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t make it impossible. Saving sex for marriage is possible. And  so worthwhile.

I believe in you. You’ve got this.

Follow this blog (see the right column) for honest support and encouragement. Check out the tabs across the top of this page for Facebook groups and  organizations as well as fiction and non-fiction that will guide your abstinence journey.

Lots of relevant topics and discussions are on tap for 2015 here on “Waiting Matters…Because YOU Matter” so stay tuned.

I’d love to hear how YOU plan to make 2015 your best year in a comment (comment link is under the post title) OR via email at waitingmatters@gmail.com


Thanks for a great year!

It’s been a great year here at Waiting Matters…  People all over the world have “tuned in”. That tells mOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAe a lot of people are interested in saving sex for marriage and that excites me! 

The most viewed posts were:

But if we wait, how will I know…

Why wait? It’s all about the bonding

WHY save sex for marriage?

FINALLY… the HOW of saving sex for marriage

The “WHERE” of saving sex for marriage

Click on the fireworks picture below to see the report.

I hope you’ve been encouraged and empowered to pursue abstinence or renewed abstinence as together we’ve navigated the often choppy waters of a commitment to save sex for marriage. 

I hope to hear from MANY of you in the days ahead with questions, comments, insights, concerns, suggestions, ideas. I WANT to know what you want to chat about so drop me a note at waitingmatters@gmail.com 

Here’s to a 2015 full of promise and purpose, commitment and dedication, renewed strength and encouragement, AND love, joy and peace.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

“But if we wait, how will I know…

… if she’ll like sex after we get married?”

I appreciate the honesty in this question sent to me recently by a young man. I assured him he’s not the only person questioning this–a lot of guys and girls alike have the same concern.

It’s natural to be curious and wonder what sex will be like. Almost everyone does. And it’s totally normal.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But the problem is society has so messed with what sex was created to be. Too often it doesn’t even resemble the act of love and commitment GOD created to bond a husband and wife. Somehow it’s become more about getting than giving. More about satisfying oneself than seeking to mutually give pleasure to another.

So, people rationalize premarital sex with the “test drive” theory. An analogy I hate, by the way. It goes like this. Who would buy a CAR without first test driving it? Almost no one. And that logic makes total sense when you’re buying a CAR.

But it makes no sense when it comes to SEX. Because buying a car and having sex aren’t even remotely similar.

Still, the “test drive” analogy has weaseled it’s way into the thought processes about sex and is now considered an acceptable rationalization for premarital sex. It’s the whole “we HAVE to do it, otherwise how will we know we’re compatible/like the same things/getting what we expect?” argument.

file3101279076812No, honest young man and all the rest of you:  you do NOT have to “do it” to know if you’ll like sex after the wedding. Curiosity and mild concern are normal. But If the major relationship issue becomes “what if the sex isn’t good?” then something’s not right with that relationship. It’s certainly not ready for the life-long commitment of marriage.

Paul Masek, coordinator for the REAP team explains it so well…

“…although sex is an important part of a healthy marriage, there are many things far more important, including spirituality, communication, shared values & interests, enjoying your spouse’s company, and the ability to laugh and have fun together. These are the kinds of compatibility that should be tested during the dating phase of a relationship. If you have these essential components of a healthy marriage in place before the wedding day, you won’t have to worry about sexual compatibility – it will naturally flow from all of these other components of a good marriage.  And, having all of the other essentials in place actually helps in the bedroom, where they are all necessary…”

Yes, yes and yes.

If you marry the person with whom, over time, you’ve developed a deep, personal, committed relationship, if you love this person with every fiber of your being, if you’re in love with and physically attracted to this person, then any issues that may arise when you make love can be resolved.

The first time is often not the fireworks producing encounters you read about in romance novels. Sometimes sex takes practice to be really awesome for both partners.

If a married couple’s first time is less than incredible, it’s not the end of the world. They’ve committed their lives to each other, they’re together for more than sex. There’s already a promise of tomorrow… a whole lot of tomorrows, in fact. And chances are very, very good that the next day things will go better. But if not, it’s pretty easy to get a little instruction; easy, worthwhile, and yes, even normal.

But for the sake of argument, let’s consider the”test drive” theory for just a minute.

To be sure the sex will be awesome, do it once–maybe a couple times, just to make sure both parties are happy. Because in case it doesn’t work out, at least you found out before you said “I do”.

If the sex is great for both, push ahead toward marriage. But if it’s not, then what? Would you really walk away because of less than ideal sex?

Uh… no pressure there.

Does anyone else see what’s wrong with this picture???

I’m hoping there’s a sea of hands raised, waving firmly to say, “Yes, I get it!”if you marry...

At some point this whole saving sex for marriage or renewed abstinence business may get a lot harder than you ever thought it would. And suddenly  the “test drive” theory makes a little more sense. Don’t be swayed. Don’t buy the lie that a “test drive” is crucial, necessary, important or even a good idea. Instead of deepening your physical connection, focus on the depth of communication and companionship in your relationship because those will pay off in the bedroom after the “I do’s”.

Keep the questions, thoughts, concerns coming! I love hearing from you. Share in a comment or send me an email:  waitingmatters@gmail.com

Where do you hang out? Because yes, it matters…

I know I’m not your mom. Nor am I trying to fill the parental roles in your life.

I hear that collective sigh of relief…       Thank goodness for that.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m just the abstinence/renewed abstinence cheerleader who kind a invited myself along on your journey, to be supportive and encouraging and cheer you on. OR if you’re still riding the fence about the matter of saving sex or further sexual experiences for marriage, I’m here to nudge, prod, insist, and yes, even plead, with you to wait. My mission is to convince you that saving sex for marriage MATTERS.

So, back to the issue of where you hang out. Let’s be very clear.

Where you go—as in locations, events, or structural buildings including

bedrooms or empty houses—matters a lot.

We covered that in “The WHERE of Saving Sex for Marriage.” The list of places that can get a couple in trouble is looooong. And what’s going on at those places matters too because “safety in numbers” isn’t a sure bet. But you get all that.


 Now I want you to think about a different kind of hanging out… like I bet you spend a percentage of each day online, chatting and making connections on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or Instagram…. Or any number of other online hang outs. I love the opportunities afforded by the super age of technology that surrounds our daily lives. In an instant I can connect with someone tens of thousands of miles away. With the click of a few keys, I’m privy to the very latest in medical science breakthroughs. Pretty cool.

Chances are high that music holds a fairly significant place in your life. Whether you’re a fan of YouTube or Spotify or Sirius or Zuneimage (1) or iTunes or get your music fix from the trusty, old standby the radio, getting your fill of exactly the style, the rhythm, the beat you love is easy. Music can relax the body, clear the mind and sooth the soul. Ah, the gift of music…


And then there’s T_DSC2023V. Or Netflix. Or Hulu. Or Amazon Prime Instant video. Or Redbox. So many choices! A far cry from the 3 TV stations available where my brothers and I grew up, 4 if we counted PBS which we didn’t. When I was a teenager, a local FOX station upped our viewing options to 4 / 5. Wow… Although I don’t watch much TV now, I like having access to LOTS of choices. And recording our favorites to watch anytime we want—awesome.

Access to limitless knowledge. Amazing

So many listening and viewing options. Cool.

Almost endless possibilities thanks to technology. Awesome.

Yes, amazing, cool AND awesome as long you and I understand a couple critical things.

All of these oh-so-cool“hang out” options have the power to impact lives in a HUGE way.

Every “place” we choose to spend time will influence and mold our character and values, shape our thinking and decision making skills and impact our morals and values. The mindset of our favorite “hang-outs” can’t help but seep into our very hearts and souls.

That whole power/influence/seeping can propel us where we want to go OR lead us in the opposite direction…fast.

The choice is yours.

No one makes you visit inappropriate websites. No one forces you to listen to suggestive music. No one threatens your life if you skip the sexual-innuendo-laden movies and dramas.

Those choices belong to you alone.DSC_0390_Iván_Melenchón_Serrano_MorgueFile

And don’t for one second argue “that stuff doesn’t affect me.” That’s hogwash, pure and simple. It affects everyone to some degree. You really wanna give it a shot just to see how much it messes with you? I sure hope not.

Your brain has the incredible ability to record, remember and dwell on things. Don’t fill it with stuff that contradicts the way you want to live your life.

Choose to hang out where the power, influence and seeping effect will strengthen your values, your character, and yes, your commitment to wait for sex.

Yeah, places like that exists. Are you surprised? Check out this really cool YouTube video with a young man’s very honest response to the lies our culture spews to get you to think waiting for sex has no purpose. It does matter.

I’ve uncovered a myriad of web-based resources that passionately support and encourage a commitment to abstinence or renewed abstinence. Lots of Facebook groups and several blogs and organizations—all dedicated to energizing commitments to save sex for marriage with unflinching honesty and practical day-to-day tips for a real shot in the arm.

Check out the tabs/pages listed across the top of this blog.  AWESOME ORGANIZATIONS! notes organizations that champion a commitment to abstinence and offer support via resources and connections. CHECK OUT THESE GROUPS links you to lots of Facebook groups that rally around waiting for sex. Hang out here for instant connections to others committed to saving sex or additional sexual experiences for marriage. On the ADVICE FOR THE JOURNEY page, you’ll find links to great non-fiction books and articles. And remember the WAITING MATTERS READS page I wrote about in my last post that promotes abstinence-friendly fiction.

Surround yourself wifile3571273353222th like-minded people. Fill your heart and mind with truth and inspiration.

You CAN win the battle for purity. Arm yourself for victory with every available weapon. Take advantage of every person, place and thing that can help you. Because saving sex for marriage matters.

So… what does reading fiction have to do with saving sex for marriage?

I read a lot. Have at least one book going at all times, sometimes more than one, and I finish several each month. Just ask my husband who, out of necessity, has learned to fall asleep and stay asleep with the lamp on my nightstand burning brightly every night. Honestly, I doubt his body would know how to enter a state of slumber in complete darkness. He is not so convinced of this…yet.

Kindle on the beach

Me on vacation, reading on the beach in North Carolina. Finished 3 books that week!

Anyway, I read a lot of young adult (YA) fiction and some new adult (NA) fiction, the relatively new genre geared toward the college-aged and twenty-something  people out there. I not only like and read YA and NA, I also write YA fiction. And since I plan to publish my YA series next year, I’m digging into what’s popular in both these genres. Of course, all things fantasy, speculative and dystopian have a huge following. Think Hunger Games, Divergent and the more recent Safe Lands series by Jill Williamson. I appreciate the vast creativity in these unique, other-worldly stories. But my likes lean toward present-day, real world novels brimming with relationships and intriguing characters.

My favorite genres are romance, contemporary, and coming-of-age novels—the more realistic the better. I don’t go for syrupy-sweetness, perfect characters, or predictable story lines. Other people look specifically for the “sweet” stuff and that’s great, for them. But give me the nitty-gritty stuff of real life, and I’ll be a happy camper… er, reader.

Back to my research. Wanna venture a guess as to what’s big in contemporary and even more so in romantic YA and NA? Three guesses but the first two don’t count. Because I bet you already know the answer. Teenagers and co-eds falling into bed with someone of the opposite sex, almost always without the benefit of marriage, most often so early in a relationship, everything they know about the other person could fit into one, maybe two, neatly-written paragraphs. If that wasn’t bad enough—promoting pre-marital sex as normal, earth shatteringly awesome and fulfilling in sand heart at the beach, Nikon D5100every way—the details of these sexual encounters are painstakingly played out in vivid color. When did romance and sex become one and the same?  Help us all.

Give me tough growing up circumstances, mega relationship complications, disasters—natural and otherwise, issues with drugs and alcohol, and yes, hormonal and emotional longings for sexual involvement, even the reality that many lose the battle for abstinence or don’t even try. All of this, absolutely. That’s the stuff of real life. These issues need to be written about. But don’t leave out the real-life consequences.  Addiction. Broken homes. STDs. Smashed dreams. Heart ache. Pregnancy. Loneliness. Just please, draw the line on the explicit details and stop promoting the false, unhealthy assumption that romance only happens after the clothes come off.  

We’ve established, repeatedly, that sex was created for the commitment of marriage and nothing less. I want us to also go on record with a firm stand on this: Sex is meant to happen in private, behinTwo Wedding Rings Resting On A  Bible Paged closed doors. It’s not a spectator sport.

A story can allude to the fact that a physical connection is occurring off screen. A play-by-play is not necessary. Especially one that majors only on the “awesomeness”, conveniently bypassing the less-than-romantic or embarrassing or awkward things that are sometimes a part of physical intimacy.

So, what does reading fiction have to do with abstinence? A lot more than you may realize.

If you’re committed to saving your first time for the wedding night or if you’re pursuing a renewed commitment to abstinence, you have no business exposing your mind to the details of fictional characters’ sexual escapades. Believe me, you don’t need the vivid pictures those fictional encounters will brand on your brain. When the temptation to abandon your commitment rages—and you know it will at some point—those images parading through your mind will shoot huge holes in your determination to wait. Why would you want to make it more difficult than it already is? Anything at all that undermines your efforts, that makes it harder to walk away from the allure of sex should be abandoned and fast.

I’m happy to report I’ve uncovered some great reads that do not fit the above sex-filled description. Novels that deal with tough real-life issues. Definitely not sporting a cast of perfect people boasting  perfect pasts who will continue to make perfect decisions in the future. But rather real people living real life, often dealing with the very topics we chat about here. Books that will inspire your pursuit of purity rather than drag you and your impressionable mind through the mud.

I’m excited to point you to a new tab above:  WAITING MATTERS READS. Here I’ve listed some novels that get my seal of approval for NOT leading readers astray as you pursue abstinence or renewed abstinence. Rather these stories will encourage and strengthen and inspire the pursuit of saving sex–or any further sexual experiences–for marriage. Check back often as I hope to add new titles on a regular basis.

In an email to waitingmatters@gmail.com, or comment, send me the title of books you’ve come across that fit the above description. I’ll check them out.

I want to hear from you—your thoughts, questions, insights—you name it about this important topic of saving sex for marriage. Contact me via email or in a comment.

Why One Young Man is Saving Sex for Marriage

This week I came across this awesome post that seems a very fitting end to the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, HOW andunanswered questions - brainstorming concept WHY of saving sex for marriage series on this blog. 

I have to admit I was intrigued by the title then literally thrilled when I saw that a guy wrote the post. In a world that still falls for the damaging double standard that declares men should be sexually experienced, it’s totally awesome and cool and soooo refreshing to hear such honest heart-felt  words of wisdom from a young man.

By the time I read to the end, I was barely able to contain myself my exuberance.

Brett Shoemaker, you’ve got the right idea.

Why I Won’t Have Sex With You


I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to be. I’m not innocent and I don’t try to act like it. I’m not pure but I am fighting for it. There are a few things in this world that I am passionate about: Jesus, chocolate chip cookies, and waiting on sex. So whether you’re my long-time girlfriend or someone I met downtown last night, this is why I won’t have sex with you.

Waiting on sex shows the value I have for my future spouse

When I work to limit who I have had sexual interactions with, it shows that I have been thinking about my wife before she was my wife. Sex is one of the only things that show up in a marriage that I have control of now, and waiting shows I have been fighting for my wife before I ever met her.

Waiting on sex keeps it special

I have quite a few friends who struggle finding intimacy with their lovers because of their long sexual history. Each time we have sex, not only is there the physical bond, but it creates an emotional and spiritual bond as well.

Don’t get me wrong, sex will always be special and when done the right way, sex will always be good. But there is a difference when I have shared an experience with 50 people and when I have shared an experience with one. I am fighting to limit my sexual encounters as much as I can until the day I say “I do,” because it is going to make sex with my spouse that much more special.


Sex creates a deep connection

Obviously, there is the shared physical pleasure that comes with sex which creates a bond in and of itself. However, as I said earlier, there is a deep emotional connection that occurs as well. Every time a couple has sex, a chemical called oxytocin, often called “the love hormone,” is released in the brain which is shown to increase trust, bonding, and romantic intimacy.  When I commit myself to that kind of connection when there is a chance that it may not last, I am putting my heart in a vulnerable position. Now I recognize that getting married doesn’t eliminate the possibility of splitting up, but you are a lot more likely to end a relationship than you are to get divorced within a marriage.

The “wait” helps me understand the “why”

Waiting on sex teaches me to understand why I love you other than just because “it feels good.” When sex isn’t going on, it allows me to focus on your personality, intellect, and character rather than how good or bad our time in the sheets was.

The value of the battle is found in your willingness to wait. If I can control my sexual appetite before marriage, I will be able to control it after marriage. I know I am part of the “microwave generation,” I tend to want things and want them right now. But I am holding out now to learn how to curb my sexual appetite for the future.

Indiscreet camera

I’m sorry I had to write this. Unfortunately, I am bizarre for wanting to wait on sex. Our generation is less surprised by someone who has sex on the first date than they are by someone who chooses to wait until they are married.

If you do end up being dissatisfied with my willingness to wait, that is okay because it helps me understand what you’re looking for in relationship, which is something I’m not interested in. Just because I am not having sex with you doesn’t mean I don’t love you, I just have other ways of showing affection for you than just taking you clothes off. Just remember,

sex is suppose to be the icing on the cake, not the foundation on which everything else is built.

I understand you may not be like me nor am I asking you to be. You can do with your life whatever your heart leads you to do. I hope this gave you an understanding of some of the reasons people choose to wait. I hope now you can understand why I won’t have sex with you.

I understand, Brett. I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for boldly sharing your views.

So… what’s ahead? Many more chats about the realities of saving sex for marriage and reclaiming/recommitting to abstinence.

I’d love to hear from you! Comment OR drop me a line at waitingmatters@gmail.com about topics you’d like to see discussed on this blog.

Why wait? It’s all about the bonding…

You know how we already talked about the bonding that happens when two people have sex? About how one of the primary purposes of sex is to create a strong and lasting BOND? You know, the til-death-do-us-part kind of connection.

In case you think it’s just us religious kinds who go on about the bond that happens with sex, science has proven such a thingfile0002007289645 really does happen. Here’s how it works.

During physical contact, a woman’s brain releases the hormone oxytocin—sometimes called the “cuddle hormone”—which produces feelings of closeness, trust and yes, bonding. During sex oxytocin floods the brain causing the desire for this intimate experience to happen again. This same hormone is present at the onset of labor and when breastfeeding, again, to create a bond—this time between a mother and her newborn baby.

Close contact and physical intimacy cause a man’s brain to secrete the hormone vasopressin—known as the “monogamy hormone”–as in committed to one person. It triggers a feeling of attachment to the woman he’s intimately involved with and later also aids in bonding a father to his children.

Both men and women’s brains produce addictive doses of the pleasure hormone dopamine during physical intimacy. Known as the “feel good” or “reward” hormone, dopamine rages through the brain with an intense sensation of energy and exhilaration. It initiates a need and/or desire to repeat the pleasurable, exciting sexual experiences.

Closeness. Trust. Attachment.file1241238519356 Totally awesome, even crucial, in a marriage relationship. No question about it, these are key ingredients to a strong marriage.

But maybe not so great in a dating relationship. Because if this hormone induced trust and attachment happens to soon—before a person’s priorities and goals, values and beliefs are uncovered—these strong ties can cloud judgment, often keeping people in a relationship that needs to end. Wise decision making flies out the window in favor of feeding the desire for intimate closeness.

And if we’re talking a casual hook-up or one-night stand, wow. A flood of bonding hormones is a really, really bad idea.

The thing you have to understand is this: these amazingly awesome hormones can’t distinguish between a hook-up and a lifelong soul mate. Triggered by any physical intimacy, they get down to business regardless of the realities of the relationship—even if there’s not a relationship at all.

file0002081215668This whole chemical process creates an adhesive effect, kind of like glue. Again, an amazing thing in a marriage. Those bonds knit together by hormones raging through the brain are meant to keep  a couple together through thick and thin, the good times and the really rotten stuff. Through years of sharing a life. If that doesn’t convince you the very design for sex was intended for the lifelong commitment of marriage—and nothing less—then … what will convince you?

But rip these glued persons apart when they go their separate ways in a couple weeks, months or years, and we’re talking major pain and devastation. Deeply emotional, gut-wrenching pain. Repeated bonding and ripping apart messes with the brain’s ability to create lasting connections. Which completely blows holes in the I’ll-settle-down-when-I’m-done-having-fun theory. Treating sex with such a casual attitude doesn’t make it a casual experience. It was never intended to be the no-strings-attached experience so many treat it as.


Don’t beat yourself up about it. You can’t change the past. But you can learn from it. And you sure as heck don’t have to repeat it.

Now that you understand the whole brain sex connection, I hope you’ll be convinced to stop the bonding of hearts and bodies with anyone to whom you’re not committed to in marriage.

Stop buying the lies thatPast and Future - Two-Way Street Sign sex equals love. Or that everyone is doing it.

That you can’t change. Or that it really doesn’t matter anymore.

That you don’t deserve more and better.

Because you do deserve better. Your choices about sex matter. They matter sooooooooooo very much.

If bonding and breaking up—whether it be once or fifty times—has left you scarred and hurting, wondering where to go from here, stop and take a deep breath. Distance yourself from all physically intimate relationships then take some time to evaluate your life. But don’t go it alone. Seek the support of a friend, parent, teacher, pastor, coach—someone with whom you can share honestly. Someone who will walk along this new path with you.

Premarital sex often leaves baggage in the form of low self-esteem, confusion, depression and a host of other mental and emotional issues. If past choices are interfering with living your life, seek professional help from a counselor, a nurse, a doctor, a minister. If the thought of suicide even whispers through your brain, tell someone immediately. You don’t have to let past mistakes rob you of a promising future.

Right now, vow to save all or any additional sexual experience for your future spouse. Save those amazing bonding hormones for the right time and place–marriage. Because you are worth waiting for.

Drop me a line at waitingmatters@gmail.com OR post a comment on your thoughts about saving sex for marriage OR what you’d like to see discussed on this blog. I’d love to hear from YOU!


For more information on the brain/sex connection, check out this book –

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