I’ve been struggling all morning, trying to write this post about the importance of preparing for the expression of sexuality in marriage. Every sentence seemed stiff and strangely defensive. There is just so much I want to say, and yet the saying of it comes at a cost. Why is that?

I’ve felt as if I’m navigating a minefield.  Each step is dangerous, full of hidden misunderstandings and potential pain. And in all this precarious tiptoeing I’ve lost sight of the goal— to point the way for all these young women I love.

And so I’ve deleted all my carefully chosen and boringly diplomatic words. I’m just going to write as if you were all my daughters. I never worried one bit if they were going to get mad at me— because my yearning for the best possible marriages for them overruled all that anxiety about what-if-I-say-the-wrong-thing.

And so, dear daughters of my heart, I speak to you today as Mom.

When I married Phil I was a virgin. As in, really a virgin. No man had ever seen me or touched me in any sort of intimate way. I came into my marriage fresh and without any sort of angst.

Just as God intended for every one of us, I’d been well protected by my father who put sort of an invisible guard rail around his daughter. I was never molested or misused in any way. And I thank God for that rare blessing every day.  Because of all that good care I carried no baggage from my past.

And because my mother painted such an enticingly beautiful picture for me of sexuality within marriage, I measured my growing sexual awareness as a delight to be anticipated.

And yet, I was by no means pure. I brought with me images both real and imagined; fantasies with which I’d indulged my mind, more kissing than I wish I’d allowed in a previous relationship, and a ridiculous bunch of make-believe about romance and passion and how it all works.

And while some of you may laugh at my innocence, I believe that every single indulgence in impurity negatively impacts the explosively dynamic sexual bonding that God designed for each of us to experience in marriage.

And that, my dear daughters is the real reason to guard your purity jealously.

Not because someone says so, not because you might get an STD, or find yourself pregnant (all pretty good reasons, I might add), but because you don’t want to do anything that will in any way keep you from having a fiery love affair with your husband for the rest of you life!

And that is the goal. Because there is no better way to bond a husband and wife together, no better way to overcome differences, no better way to become intimate down deep… than being naked and unashamed and one in the fullest sense of God’s plan.

And now some of you are cringing. You are no longer a virgin. You gave yourself away a long time ago. Or someone stole it from you in a perverted act of selfishness.

Your mind is messed up and your soul is ravaged and I ache for all you’ve lost.

But before you let the enemy do his whole blaming, shaming spiel on you, listen up. You may not be a virgin, but you can become pure again.

That’s what redemption is all about. Your past is covered by the beautiful, life-giving, soul cleansing blood of Jesus. He died knowing about your mess-ups. When you confessed your sins and chose to follow Him, you left all that behind. (read more here)

And if you’ve given in again since you gave your life to Him, His forgiveness is just one confession away.

And now you can begin the hard work of becoming pure.

And so my dear daughters, will you listen to a few words of motherly wisdom?

  1. This past of yours will not go away just because you bury it down deep. In fact, it is guaranteed to rise up and bite you right about the time you are embarking on the whole mysteriously fabulous journey of marriage.
  2. If you haven’t already, gather a couple of closely trusted, fully safe friends who walk with Jesus and confess your past to them. Bring it up to the surface and tell them what happened.
  3. Then allow the Spirit of God to wash over you with His grace. And keep seeking that grace until you feel forgiven. That’s right, your feelings really do matter. This process of feeling forgiven may take a very long time.
  4. Remember, you’ve got an enemy out there who is going to fire all sorts of darts at you. Open up to Ephesians 6. Study exactly what you’re supposed to do with those fiery darts. Then be diligent to win this battle for your mind.
  5. If you’ve been molested or misused get help. Real help, like an older woman or a counselor who knows how that kind of horror can mess with your mind. Do not deceive yourself into thinking that you’ve “dealt with it”. I honestly don’t think that’s possible all by yourself. And I’ve sat in too many marriage counseling sessions trying to get to the bottom of the conflicts only to find unhealed molestations in the wife’s past.
  6. Be strict with yourself about purity. Is a romantic comedy on t.v. arousing once again your craving to be fully loved? Turn it off. Does that magazine at the salon that details all the ways to have fantastic sex beckon for your attention? Don't go there. Are you allowing your mind to imagine what it would be like to loved by that man? Confess it for what it is: lust.
  7. If your boyfriend is pushing for more physical involvement than affection - dump him! And here's why: if you give in you'll resent him for the rest of your life. And even if you don't, you'll always wonder if he's going to have the manliness to stay faithful to you.
  8. While you wait for God to bring you to your husband, create beauty every where you go. Sexual sins before marriage leave women feeling ugly and miserable. Go on a campaign for beauty. Make yourself beautiful. Make your apartment appealing and your car smell good! After all, you want people who step into your space to experience just a tantalizing taste of the beauty you offer. And what you have to offer is far better than the in-your-face sensuality this world seems so enamored with.

I think that this could be an incredibly enlightening conversation between you and your Jesus following friends. Cheer each other on, hold each other accountable, call each other out when you see each other slipping. Above all else, remind each other why you want to be pure.

If these words I’ve poured onto the page are resonating with you, will you write a response? I think we need to stop hiding behind shame and start championing the purification of our sexuality. If you’re with me, will you say so?

From the heart of a mom,


P.S.   With just Matt at home now, our house is regularly invaded by a group of young men who are the most zealously committed men of God I have ever known.

They all seem to cram into Matt’s little electronics stuffed room when they want to talk about g-i-r-l-s. And believe me, those guys talk about you females all the time!

And so next week I want to leave you with a list (I do love lists) of what I hear from the other side of the story…

EtcIntentional Parents