I'm getting married next month. #omigosh
I always thought that if I could carry my chaste relationship into an engagement, then the rest would be smooth sailing. "The light at the end of the chastity tunnel." All we need to do is make it to marriage, then it'll be a sexual free-for-all. Just kidding. Kind of. No.
Marriage was my end zone for chastity. My engagement the checkered flag. And I think that's how most people view it. But then marriage prep happened and we found our hearts so called to the world of Natural Family Planning. A lifetime of chastity. Well shit.
Sure, through our engagement I've had some concerns toward the future. What are we going to do with all of this money that we don't have? Do I have to change my Twitter handle to reflect my new last name? The important stuff. I think it's natural and healthy to carefully consider your relationship with your future spouse; how you will rear your children, how you will deal with conflicts that inevitably arise. With every thought that has spun through my mind, the biggest one missing is the fear of my future husband ever stepping outside of our marriage.
In a world of sex, lust, compulsion, and sin, the statistics regarding infidelity in marriages are heartbreaking. It's estimated that nearly 30-60% of married individuals in the United States will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage. Even though these statistics portray the majority of marriages, it has never brought me unease. Over the past few years, my future husband has proven to me that he will only have sex with a woman that is his wife.
Sex does not prove your love for one's soul, it demonstrates your desire for their body. In a marriage, "two flesh become one." This intimacy through our bodies is beautiful. Divine. But if we allow ourselves to unite our flesh with an individual who is not our spouse, can we fully trust that we or they will never submit to this again? We should certainly be able to! But jealousy and trust are hairy things; no matter how much we fight against or fight for them, they are not always easy to accomplish. A chaste relationship does not equal more love than an unchaste relationship, but I whole-heartedly believe that we can most greatly prove our love for our partner through chastity. That takes some serious strength. Seriously.
I'm not saying that people who have sex before their wedding are unfaithful in their marriages. Simply, chastity is the realest way to experience this sincere, full trust in your spouse. Learning to love your husband as a brother. Putting his soul before his body.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit nervous for a lifestyle of Natural Family Planning. It won't be as easy to plan a family as taking a pill or getting a shot. But I look forward to a lifetime of knowing that I will never be "Wife: An object of my sexual desires." My body will never be seen as anything less than life-giving, and so much more than a source of gratification.
I have been so fortunate to never need to deal with jealousy or a lack of trust in my relationship, and I find so much joy in knowing I will find that same luxury in my marriage. I have to dedicate all of the trust, security, and confidence in my relationship to our decision to fight for chastity. It has not been easy, but none of the best things in life ever are.
I’m serious. Stop calling yourself gay. Or straight. Or lesbian, transgender, bisexual. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be proud of who you are; in fact, I’m saying the opposite.
Who are you? To your core, what defines you? I am so happy that people who struggle in understanding their sexuality no longer have to feel completely alone in the battle; we’ve taken leaps in these past several years. Embrace the things that make you you. But don’t let your sexuality define who you are as a person. And don’t dismiss another human as worthy of love based solely on their own sexuality.
We define our love, our relationships, the very core of who we are by our sexuality. Of course, sexuality is very important. But it’s only one facet of who you are as a person. Self-identifying with phraseology like straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender isn’t helping us discern who we are, it’s holding us back from how great we could be. Putting our sexuality on a pedestal and crowning it as the delineating point in who we are is preventing us from living the life that God intended for us.
God created us to be many things; he also created us differently, which is what makes this world so beautiful. But I don’t think that His intention was for us to overlook all of the amazing things that we could be by allowing our sexual preferences to cloud the more meaningful qualities that make us so incredibly special.
Instead of self-identifying with terms like gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, think of all the other terms that we could self-identify with; terms like father, mother, brother, sister, friend, and most importantly, beloved sons and daughters of Christ. We are people. We are more than sexual beings.
We’re living in a culture in which we’re told that in order to discover who we are, we have to give ourselves away. If we don’t experiment sexually, then how will we understand sex? How will we know love? If we don’t label ourselves by our sexual preferences, then how will people understand who we are?
BE PROUD. Be proud of who you are. Be proud of the quirks and gifts that make you different. Be proud of the fact that you were made in the image and likeness of God.
You are so much more than your sexuality.
How do you define yourself? Let's start a conversation. Please comment below or share! To your core, what defines you? How are you more than your sexuality?