The Top 11 Awesome Benefits of Waiting Until MarriageJune 24th, 2011 by Mike
#1. A Chip On Your Shoulder About Changing The World
Every kid wants to grow up and be a hero. Some kids even want to change the world. As they get older, most people lose this youthful idealism, and focus on just living as well as possible in the world.
When you wait until marriage to have sex, you preserve some of your innocence — there’s a whole world of experience that you can still look forward to — and as a result you carry more of your idealism into your adult life. When you take that extra idealism — that heroic vision for who you can be and what you can achieve — and combine it with your grown-up ability to execute and comprehend, you can do truly great things (if you don’t let the voices of convention talk you into giving up first).
But there’s a catch: This desire to do great things with your life — your ravishing hunger for depth and meaning — is a burden as much as it is a blessing. You will carry it around with you at all times, like a chip on your shoulder. It will make you unhappy fast if you’re not doing something fulfilling. It will tear you down. It will tell you that you should be better…that you should be more. And the only way to make that voice leave you alone is to give it what it wants: go out there and do it; change your own little piece of the world, and that little voice will cheer you on.
#2. Laser Focus
Take away a child’s favorite toy and put it on a high shelf, where he can see it but not reach it. Don’t tell him how to get it back. For the next phase of that child’s life, he will do everything in his power to get you to give him that toy back. First he may scream and misbehave. Ignore him. Then he will try being extra good. Move the toy slightly closer to his level every time does something nice. Once he realizes the connection between doing good and the toy moving closer, you will have the most well-behaved and obedient child on earth (so long as the toy stays important to him).
Now think of that child as a young adult, and that toy as true love. Think of what people will do when they are suddenly deprived of the person they love. They will cross oceans, conquer nations, and work their fingers to the bone. And all the while, they think of nothing else…they are wholly, ruthlessly focused on re-acquiring the love that they’ve been deprived of, and nothing will stand in their way.
When you decide to wait until marriage to have sex, you are willingly becoming the obedient child, the lovelorn conquerer. The difference is, the “parent” you are obeying is either God (if you’re a theist) or your own inner vision for what you want your life to be…and those are very powerful, healthy, productive masters.
When you start to get distracted, you will remember this great thing that you are missing — this favorite toy that you’ve willfully set high on a shelf — and you will refocus yourself, and drive ahead harder and harder…until one day you win it. And it’s everything you thought it would be.
#3. An Indestructible Spirit
Picture your heart as a container for your values and self identity. Feel it beating in your chest. Picture yourself filling your heart with everything you love, everything you deeply care about, all your hopes and dreams, all your uniquness — all the qualities that make you special. Picture all those things contained in your heart….
Now, how are you going to protect those things?
Some people don’t protect them at all; they go out into the world and their still-developing values get crushed by the first mild pressure they encounter. Some people become self-destructive and actively try to rip out, destroy, and starve-to-death each and every last piece of goodness and nobility within them.
Some people hold tight to their values, one by one, and defend them individually against outside pressures. Some values make it through the battles. Others are weakened or killed.
People that wait until marriage take a different approach. They make a vow to themselves that represents the bulk of their core values, and then they reinforce that vow every single day of their life.
Waiting till marriage starts out as just a decision about sex. But it becomes so much more. If you choose this path, it becomes the unspoken core and protector of everything you hold dear in yourself. As long as you maintain your virginity (original or re-claimed) the values and character that come with it will remain alive as well, because every day that you — consciously or not — reaffirm your status as waiting, you reaffirm your values as well. Most people do not do this daily re-affirmation of their values; for those that wait it is built-in, and that’s what makes them so strong.
You may destroy and remake the rest of yourself a dozen times during your journey though young-adulthood, but this piece of you…held deep down…stays intact. And this is one of the greatest benefits of waiting till marriage: you will keep the important parts of yourself alive even as you destroy or change everything else.
#4. Pureness of Heart
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the idea of waiting till marriage for sex. Lots of people will try to argue you out of it. But for all the people that will tell you that you’re being naive or that you’re making too big a deal out of sex, or that you’re being stupid — none of them will say that waiting isn’t hard, and none of them will say that waiting isn’t noble.
And that defines the type person who waits: Somebody that is willing to do a hard thing for a noble reason, other peoples’ opinions be damned.
You will find over the course of your journey that this attitude — this desire to pursue the most noble course of action — will start manifesting in other areas of your life. It will make you focused on improving yourself at all costs. It will push you to grow, to mature, to better yourself every day of your life…and to constantly monitor your reasons and intentions.
These are the qualities of a nice person, a kind person, a loving person. Somebody with a big, strong heart that will stay untainted even as the hearts of those around them are poisoned.
People don’t necessarily acquire this kind of a heart by waiting till marriage for sex; they usually have it to begin with. They decide to wait as a symptom of having a big, genuine heart. It’s kind of like the Chicken and the Egg dilemma (which came first?): People who have big hearts wait until marriage, and people that wait until marriage have big hearts. One will usually cause the other.
However you get there, when you wait until marriage you will become (if you are not already) a deeply caring person, who is (often obsessively) concerned with doing the rightest, truest thing that you can think of at all times.
#5. The Ability to Dodge Bullets
As you grow older, you will live to see people get shot down in flames. You will see friends catch awful sexually-transmitted diseases, and you will sense their sudden, inescapable devastation, as if they’ve been branded for life — and they have. You will see friends get pregnant accidentally, far too young; and watch as it totally stalls and redirects the course of their young life. You will know somebody who got an abortion, and you’ll see how inconsolably guilt-ridden they are about it.
You will see a friend give herself fully to a relationship and be destroyed beyond all repair when the guy turns out to be a shallow jackass, and it was all for nothing. You will watch as a friend stays trapped in a doomed relationship far past its expiration date — holding him/herself back from moving on and growing — just for the sex. And you will hear a thousand times the lamentation “I really wish I hadn’t slept with him/her”.
All of these pains and more are things that you will bear close witness to in others, but never have to endure yourself. You will be in many ways immune to them, above them, outside of their reach. You will pass through them like Moses walking calmly across the dry ground of the red sea, walls of water looming on either side.
#6. Meaningful Relationships
At the heart of waiting till marriage is a yearning for greater meaning in all things, most of all marriage.
The end-goal of waiting is achieving a more meaningful marriage, but this ambition will trickle down into the friendship and dating relationships you enter into before marriage as well. People who wait till marriage tend to prioritize meaningfulness in all relationships much more than other people.
One night stands, casual flings, superficial friendships — these will be entirely foreign (and appalling) concepts to you. You pursue closeness and meaning in every relationship you have — platonic or otherwise. Now, this doesn’t mean that you will get deep meaning out of every relationship…just that you will try to get it. You will rarely be comfortable with a friendship or a dating relationship in which you don’t get to know the person very well.
You will get the maximum potential out of every relationship. Sometimes that won’t amount to much. Sometimes it will amount to everything.
And that’s the good news: when you aim for depth and meaning, you will frequently get it. Or you will move on until you do. Yours will be a life shared with the many wonderful people you’ve come to love — one most of all.
#7. An Incredible Wedding Day and Night
Most people do not wait until marriage to have sex. However, when those people reach their wedding day, many often suddenly wish that they had waited. You’ll hear guys reporting this of their fiancées several times over your life: “Yeah, she got a little emotional because she suddenly wished we had waited till marriage for sex.”
With some couples, one person (usually the girl) will cut off sex a few months before the wedding, so they can “wait” until the big day and then start having sex again. Again, the guys will gripe about this: “Dude! She’s making me wait now! She says no more sex until the wedding. Ugh.”
If you ask one of these people to explain why they wanted to cut off sex before the wedding (or why they feel pangs of regret about the fact that they didn’t wait in the first place) they will give you this answer: “Because I want our wedding day to be special.”
Why wouldn’t it be special anyways? You’re committing yourself fully to the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with! That’s a special day under any circumstance, right? Why do you need to cut off sex until the wedding to make it feel “special?” Why doesn’t it feel special enough already?
I’ll tell you why it doesn’t feel special enough.
Because they’ve already committed themselves fully to the person they’re marrying. They’ve been in love, having sex, and (usually) living together for years now.
The wedding day is beautiful, but except legalities, it doesn’t change anything. It does not mark the end of one era (as separate people) and beginning of another (as one) as clearly as it’s supposed to. It’s just a fancy solidification of the lifestyle that they’re already living. After the wedding, they don’t go back to a new life — they go back to the exact same life.
And they know that if they wait on sex, even for a small amount of time, it will make the wedding more special because it will make the wedding feel like it marks a change for the better. It will mean the end of their (brief) time physically apart, and the renewal of their time physically together, and send their marriage off to a more romantic and sexier start. It will make the day more significant.
Most couples that cut off sex a few months before the wedding report afterward that they’re glad they did it. Even the guys will begrudgingly admit “Yeah, it was frustrating, but it definitely did make the wedding night and honeymoon a little more special.”
As you can imagine, if stopping sex for a few months leading up to the wedding makes the wedding noticeably more special and meaningful, then waiting your whole life without having sex until the wedding night makes the wedding spectacularly more special and meaningful — totally off-the-charts specialness.
For you, the person who waits, your wedding day and night will be everything every Hallmark card, every romance novel, every poem, every religious text, and every little girl’s fantasy says a wedding should be. All of the symbolism — turning from two lives into one, owning each other in every way, making a commitment with body and soul — will be physically real to you and present throughout your wedding day and night.
Others will reach their wedding day and find themselves thinking “Sigh…I kind of wish we had waited”. You will reach your wedding day and think “I’m so glad we waited!”
#8. A Sex-Filled Marriage
Many non-waiting people report that sex declines in frequency after the honeymoon. This is so common that it’s become a cliché; a joke that married men perpetuate. They will say things like “Yeah, we had sex all the time back when we were dating, but once you’re married…forget about it.”
If you gathered together all of the world’s stand-up comedians and said to them “no more jokes about married men not getting any sex,” you would leave many with a serious want for material, because half their act was jokes about married men not getting any sex.
So, why does this happen? Why are so many married people sexually unsatisfied? Why does sex slow down or stop after marriage in so many cases? Many couples therapists will say that married couples (after a while) simply fail to treat sex as important. They take sex for granted.
When you wait until marriage to have sex, you spend your whole young life treating sex as extremely important. During your single years, this view that sex is highly important will strengthen your resolve. It will be the reason why you do not just toss away your virginity (original or re-claimed) lightly at the first opportunity or pressure. Because sex is important to you, you will stay the course until marriage.
Then, when you get married, this view of sex as being important starts to work very much in your favor, because sex stays important. You have years of hard waiting behind you serving as a constant reminder that what you have earned — this loving relationship and the physical intimacy that comes with it — is nothing to be taken for granted, especially not the physical part that you’ve waited so long for.
Plus, sex will be a whole new thing to you! When most people get married, they’ve already been having sex for a decade or more. Sex is old hat by the time they get married. They’ve done it all a thousand times over — with several different partners — before they even get to their honeymoon and the lifelong marriage that follows. So keeping things original and exciting in the bedroom can be a challenge at times. This is why the magazine racks at your local grocery store are peppered with promises to give you tips on how to “spice up” your sex life by adding new things.
For you, the person who waited till marriage, your kinkiness and “spiciness” tolerance will be laughably low. The act of having sex at all will be plenty “spicy” for you for a long time. You’ve never tried the basics before. You are a long, fun way off from having to reach for that magazine rack. Put simply: When you get married, you’ve got a whole lot of awesome sex that you haven’t ever had yet. And now you get to spend the first decade of your marriage catching up, instead of just burning out.
#9. A Deeper, More Committed Bond with Your Spouse
At the heart of sex is a sense of ownership. When you have sex with someone, you give them a little piece of yourself that they will forever own. But here’s the catch: You only have so many pieces to give away in this fashion, before you grow numb to the process; the pieces stop feeling as important.
Waiting till marriage means that you do not dilute this piece of yourself by giving it to a lot of people. You give it to one person; the person that earns your heart along with it. And for this they will forever own you, all of your pieces, in total. This is not just some symbolic fantasy — you will feel owned by them in the same way that they will feel owned by you (if they waited too).
Plus, you’ve spent your whole life living under the notion that there is one person out there who will complete you more than any other. Most people, waiting or not, have this notion. But you spent your whole life backing it up with action (i.e., not having sex until you found him/her).
Divorce and multiple marriages are not in your brain. They are so far removed from the waiting-till-marriage mindset that they exist only as a “wouldn’t that be horrible” scenario — not as any kind of viable option for consideration. You will think that because you waited, you will be a little exempt from the statistics (50% divorce rate) because you have so much more invested and will fight much harder to defend your investment. And you will probably be right.
In terms of marriage, you’re not sticking you’re toe in the water, ready to bail out at a moment’s difficulty — you’re diving in head-first with no thought of turning back. And when you do encounter trouble, you will do everything in your power to overcome it. You will stay the course much longer than many others, because you have more of yourself invested, and because that’s what you’ve prepared yourself for during all those years of waiting on this.
That deeper bond and heightened sense of mutual ownership that your waiting-till-marriage earned you will work in your favor. It will keep you both gravitating back towards each other. It will make you feel more like one person, which is a much harder thing to split.
#10. A Great Example Your kids.
Most parents get stuck on this dilemma: How do I make them do what I say, and not what I did when I was their age? Parents had their youth. They had their teenage sex and their pot smoking and all the trouble. Then they grew up, had kids, and suddenly got serious about morals and values.
But here’s the problem: You can tell your kids what you think they should do, but ultimately what you did is going to show through. You cannot escape the decisions of your own past and how they shaped your personality. It is that personality —and every decision attached to it — that’s going to rub off on your kids whether you like it or not.
The mom who sleeps around in her youth, then as an adult sticks her kids in church and espouses the virtues of waiting till marriage will most likely end up with one of those church kids who has sex in the bathroom in between youth group sessions (i.e., a holier-than-thou hypocrite that every rational kid hates).
Plus, if you’re trying to tell your child not to do something, they can instantly destroy the credibility of your point with this question: What did you do when you were my age?
What kind of answers will you have when your kids start asking those questions? What will rub off on your kids as far as relationships and sex goes?
If you wait until marriage to have sex, and you focus on having an obviously great relationship with your husband/wife, you will have a lot of solid ground to stand on when your kids start approaching that age. You want to be able to say “I saved everything for your father/mother. That’s partially why we still have such a great relationship, and why all of your friends’ parents are divorced.”
But again, it won’t matter much what you say. It’s what you did that will rub off. And in your case that will work in your favor.
A True-Story Example
My friend’s parents, who we’ll call Bob and Susie, grew up in a small, highly-religious community (we’re talking near-Amish, from what I understand). When Bob and Susie fell in love and decided to get married, they had to follow the traditions of the town before their marriage could be condoned. First, they had to spend a year apart from each other without any communication whatsoever.
When they reunited a year later, they had to re-assess whether they still wanted to get married. They did. Then they had to stand naked in front of each other, to make sure they were physically OK with what they were getting into. They were. Then they were allowed to marry.
This was waiting-till-marriage to the extreme. Today, thirty years later, they’re one of the closest married couples I’ve ever known. Everything they do is as a team. And they seem to still have so much love for each other.
They are very calm, rational people. I’m close with their son, and there are no stories about them being over-bearing about religious behavior or anything like that. Looking at them, you’d never know that they had such structured religious upbringing.
Now, their kids: two girls and a boy. Both of the girls waited until marriage, and are two of the sweetest, most beautiful girls I have ever met. They are the kind of people that it’s impossible not to like because they are so unrelentingly kind-natured and caring. As smart, beautiful, and successful as each of the daughters are…they are also very, very good people.
The son didn’t wait till marriage. He rebelled for a little bit, as oldest sons often do. But you can still see those tight family values in him. He ended up marrying a girl who was waiting till marriage (he waited with her for six years while they dated). He worked harder at that relationship than I’ve ever seen somebody in their 20’s work at anything.
So you can see how having parents who waited can positively affect the relationships that their kids have throughout their life.
When you wait until marriage, you will pass your preference for committed, meaningful relationships on to your kids, and that’s a very wonderful gift to give them.
#11. Breaking the Mold
Einstein said that the definition of insanity was “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Think of all the things in this age that are the same: Most people have sex before marriage. For most people, the divorce rate is above 50%. Most people complain of frigid, bland marriages that are sad, neutered versions of their pre-marriage relationships. Most people follow the rules and the norms of everyone around them, and as a consequence are carried through similar paths and predictable milestones, both good and bad. But not you.
You have stepped outside the conventions of world and said “No. I’m going to be different.”
Whatever else you do in your life, you have made one choice that sets you vastly apart from the crowd. You have made a statement to the world that you will ignore conventions if you believe it right to do so; if there is glory in it. You will be forever unique, for better and for worse.
And above all, you have done something different. You have broken the mold. And that is sure to bring you unexpected and different results. Enjoy your adventure.