If you haven’t seen or heard, there is woman named Brelyn Bowman who presented her father with a certificate of virginity, signed by her doctor, on her wedding day stating that her hymen was intact. As odd as I found this, we all have or will sanction a ritual/custom to bring deeper meaning to a significant time or rite of passage at some point. Read on…
At another time in a different write-up, I can address the black churches problem with preaching virginity as purity to young women and not men in the context that doing so will get you a husband or prepare you for marriage. As if you should only aspire to be married, or, remaining a virgin (which seems to exclude other forms of sexual conduct that some virgins engage in) equals value and worth. As if the epitome of a life well-lived is becoming a wife. The problem with this, aside from the fact that everyone will not get married, is that we should aspire to be pure in thought, motive, finances, speech, intention, and deed. These are places where we’ll miss the mark no matter how hard we try. Be clear: The ability to remain a virgin is an awesome gift, but being a virgin is a “type of purity.” It does not equal purity. While thinking of Bree, I was reminded of my former reality.
I am a Christian, and I was not a virgin (by medical definition) on my wedding day. I’ll admit, when I first read the article, I had to ask God and my sista friends if I was being a “hater” or if I was just mad because I had bussed it down a couple, a few, hella times prior to becoming a wife…I wasn’t. I’ve been married long enough to know that in moments where your vows are challenging you to be patient, kind, forgiving, compromising, QUIET, or submissive, having been a virgin is not necessarily going to carry you through.
I am a product of the “true love waits” church culture. Growing up, I can remember my elders telling me to wait to have sex, but other than hell, nobody could really say why. Unfortunately, hell is not enough to stop the most guilt-ridden, apprehensive teenager when your body’s calling and his/hers picks up the phone. HELLO. As I got older I began to understand “energy transfer”, the spiritual depth of sex, it’s consequences, and became extremely conscious of the fact that I wasn’t a virgin. It became a daily, all-consuming battle. The regret, the crying, and wishing I could go back. Post engagement, I became fearful that my marriage would be second-class or lacking in some way because I had not waited. There was additional regret after I’d met the person I wish I would’ve waited for. I was envious. I was hurt. Why didn’t God stop me? I desperately wanted to be a virgin again. My virginity was on a pedestal and I couldn’t believe I was forgiven, free, or new.
You may as well. So what do you do? You make a choice to live and think differently.
My husband and I chose to wait to have sex until we got married after coming to the conclusion that we wanted to begin our marriage as new as possible. We still have enough past experiences, heartache, and pain to sort through as it is, and did not want to undermine it with sex at the time. We did not move through our wait perfectly, but we had a desire to press toward our goal in spite of our stumbles. We learned how to see God in our failures instead of ourselves. We understand each other a lot better, and will be able to tell our kids that waiting until marriage with someone you love and are deeply physically attracted to, is possible. WIN. Thanks to bomb mentors and pre-marital counseling, we began to understand that we will have more opportunities to love each other than we will, to have sex.
In context, sex is a small piece of fullest human existence. Within marriage, there can be awkward, hurtful, painful, and amazing experiences that accompany having sex, but the purpose of being married or “waiting” is not to have sex. After the orgasm, we should seek for marriage to edify, exalt, and exude UNCONDITIONAL love at all times. How is your spouse, family, and community, better as a result of you being with this person? How are your strengths and talents together combating the evil in this world? Where is your heart if your spouse all of a sudden suffers a medical, emotional, or mental deficit and is not able to have sex? How do you respond when you set financial goals and someone goes on a shopping spree? How do you respond when you discover secrets they haven’t told you? How do you respond when they pick activities, habits, and ways of thinking that you don’t like? It’s not going to be sex. It should be love and understanding.
So where is “purity” found?
Purity, in my opinion, is found in God. Period. It is something we receive when we exchange our occasional successes and failures for his constant perfection. It is humbly admitting that you are not and cannot be perfect no matter what you do. It is a belief that you fight for. Purity is something that you become over time; it is not your hymen or something you do. I am pushed toward purity because of how much I am loved, accepted, and forgiven by Christ and my husband. I do not live with regret, or feel like I missed out because I did not wait. In fact, the ability to see myself as new, clean, and worthy of unconditional love in spite of not waiting is a life victory. Furthermore, it would be a victory whether I was married or not.
So I agree, true love waits.
“It” waits for you to grow and is patient.
“It” waits for you to humble yourself and pursues your heart.
“It” waits for you to ditch your “guy/girl checklist”, and is there in the end
“It” waits for you to stop condemning yourself and affirms you
“It” waits for you to heal and prays for you in the meantime
“It” waits for you to be happy and attempts to make you laugh
“It” waits to listen to you and seeks to understand and deliver
“It” waits for you to be vulnerable enough to share without forcing
“It” waits on you, hand and foot at times 😉
“It” waits through your most embarrassing/foolish moments
“It” waits as you set and meet goals
“It” waits because we all are on a journey that only grace and compassion from those who love us will bring meaning and completion.
and it’s never too late.
Baby, thank you for, in all things, being my “it”.
God thank you, for teaching me purity your way. Remove the arrogance from those who have waited/are waiting & give them your strength and humility. Remind us of what purity is and give us the compassion necessary to be there for each other. Liberate us all from trying to “do things” in order to gain status or acceptance from society. Your endless love and bottomless affection are available to us all, no matter what we’ve done, are doing, or will do. You the prototype.
Now bussing it down guilt-free,