All of Me: 3 Reasons Why I’m Waiting for Marriage

I’m 29 and a virgin.

No, I don’t have some incurable alien disease that causes people to shutter at the sight of me. No, I don’t have the sex drive of a grandma (unless it’s my grandma who had 11 kids). And, no, I’m not Tim Tebow’s girlfriend.

In my past I was a former model, volleyball player, and valedictorian who wanted to be an actress. God had better plans, though, and now I am a full-time traveling worship leader and speaker who wants to spread the message of God’s love around the world like an STD on a college campus (which means 1 in every 4 will get it). Ironic, huh?

In 8th grade I made the decision to wait ‘til marriage to have sex. Back then it used to be about saying “no” to sex. Now that I’m older and wiser (hopefully), it’s less about saying “no” to the consequences of pre-marital sex and more about saying “yes” to heaven, my future husband, my future children, and the welfare of my body and soul.

Here are 3 big reasons I’m waiting until marriage to have sex.

1. I WANT TO GET TO HEAVEN

Anyone who says a life of chastity is easy is either lying or has the libido of a rock. Why is it so difficult? Because our sexual desires are powerful. Without them, you and I would not be here. Our sexual desires are also good because God created them. Like any of the passions, though, they can either be used for holiness or sin, good or evil, heaven or hell. We can either be a master over our passions or be dominated by them. The root word of the word “disciple” is “discipline.” Someone once said, “Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most.”

For me, heaven is what I want most. I would give up anything to get to heaven. I would give up having a husband, a family, my friends, my ministry, etc.

Those are all good things! But as a disciple, while I may be called to sacrifice good things to get to heaven, it’s essential that I renounce a life of slavery to sin. “For freedom Christ set us free, so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

Does this mean if we sin we can’t get to heaven? Nope! The saints weren’t perfect, but they were persistent — every time they sinned, they got up and tried again, having the mercy and grace of the Sacraments as their strength. The saints knew that the everlasting joys of heaven far outweigh the fleeting pleasures of this world. You can’t get to the ecstasy of heaven without the agony of the cross.

That’s why chastity is difficult. The desires in our body for sex, which are good, must be purified and disciplined. And most of us hate discipline.

But if we want to get to heaven, we must be pure and holy in our bodies. In fact, scripture tells us that those who are impure or immoral in their flesh will “not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21), but that “blessed are those who are pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

We must acknowledge that our sexual desires are good, they are for a purpose, and they need to be purified by God’s grace. We must frequent the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist to give us strength, and we must be firm in making a commitment to holiness out of love for God with our whole “heart, mind, soul, and strength.” St. Paul encourages us on in this kind of holiness when he says,

“I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2).

2. MY FUTURE SPOUSE AND I DESERVE THE BEST

Stop for a moment and picture your future spouse. What do you want him or her doing with their boyfriend or girlfriend right now? You’re probably getting all the sass of Bon Qui Qui and yelling at the computer, “Breaking up! That’s what I want them to be doing!” Why do we get so annoyed at the thought of our future spouse having sex with someone other than us? Because built within our very being, we know that we deserve 100% of our spouse, not just 50%. We don’t want the “leftovers.” So my question is to you: if you don’t want your future spouse doing that with their boyfriend or girlfriend, why is it okay for you to do that with your boyfriend or girlfriend?

Every time we are sexually active with someone who is not our spouse, we give him/her a piece of our body, heart, and soul. What we do with our bodies, we do with our souls. We are not bodies without souls (animals) or souls without bodies (angels). On the contrary, we are human beings who have a body and a soul. Thus, St. Paul says to the Corinthians,

“Do you not know that anyone who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For ‘the two,’ it says, ‘will become one flesh . . . Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? . . . Therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:16-20).

It might be a shock to our culture, but God created us male and female to give ourselves in sexual union with one person freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully. In fact, these are the four vows we make when we get married. Inherently we know that we were made for a love that lasts forever, rather than a lust that lasts for a moment.

That’s why it’s devastating when someone breaks up with us. And, to the extent that we gave that person our body, heart, or soul, the harder it is to get over the relationship or be healed from the wounds. Why do we feel so bonded to our ex? Because what we do with our body, we do with our soul.

There is a chemical in our body called Oxytocin that is released during sexual activity. This chemical is like a glue that bonds two people for life. The more partners you have, the less “sticky” the glue. This is why the Catechism lists pornography, masturbation, adultery, and pre-marital sex as offenses against chastity (2331-2400).

Pornography re-wires your brain to bond you to a computer screen, masturbation bonds you to a self-destructive behavior, and adultery and pre-marital sex bond you to someone who is not your spouse. I want to give my husband all of me. That means that I need to reclaim all the pieces of myself I have given away to others before my husband. Through frequent Confession and daily Mass, I have been allowing God to heal my body, heart, and soul so that on the day of my wedding I can say to my husband, “I give you all of me!”

3. IT’S LOGICAL

Even in 8th grade (when I heard my first chastity talk), it made perfect sense: if you’re not ready to have a baby, you’re not ready to have sex. It always boggles me when people get so mad that they’re pregnant, when they are participating in the ONE thing that makes babies.

When someone gets pregnant, it’s not that something went wrong, but that something went right! God made sex for two purposes: for the procreation of children and for the bonding of spouses. If sex weren’t for procreation, then why would people use contraception? Just for funsies? Nope! In our selfishness, we want the pleasure of sex without the consequences.

Besides the spiritual consequences of sex outside of marriage (it’s a grave sin) and the emotional consequences (it bonds us to someone), there are the physical consequences of a promiscuous lifestyle. Even when people promote “safe sex,” who is it safe for? Birth control pills don’t protect you from STDs. Condoms don’t fully protect you either. The fail rate for pregnancy is 12% for pills and 15% for condoms.

The only “safe sex” is abstinence. People might say, “But if you don’t have sex, you’ll die!” Really? Well, I’m 29 and a virgin and I haven’t spontaneously combusted yet.

“So, that’s great Jackie that you are a virgin, but what about those of us who have already given ourselves away?”

First, know that you are not “damaged goods” or “too far gone.” Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery and said, “Go and sin no more.” Thus, go to confession and be made new. We really believe as Catholic Christians that through God’s mercy and grace we are made “new creations.”

Secondly, it is possible to reclaim your virginity and recommit yourself to a life of chastity. My fiancé’s life is a living testament to that. (Read his story here.)

(This blog was originally published on LifeTeen.com and was used with permission.)

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jackiefrancoisJackie is a full-time traveling speaker, singer/songwriter, and worship leader from Orange County, CA. In 2006, she became an artist with OCP/SpiritandSong.com with whom she has released two albums. She has been involved in youth ministry since she graduated high school, and she now travels the globe speaking to young people about God’s love and leading worship for various events and ministries

11 Comments

  1. This was a great read, thanks!
    I find in my discussions about sex and chastity with friends, that they often think that those of us who have chosen chastity know nothing about sex or human sexuality and that we lack or squish down any sexual desire. It was awesome how you put it that we are totally normal humans, experiencing sexual desire, but always maintaining the endpoint and goal of our life in view.
    This is a great resourse to refer them to now.

    By Sophia | 3 years ago Reply
  2. Jackie, lovely piece…. God bless you and your marriage!

    By Peter Odoh | 3 years ago Reply
  3. I’m so glad that God and the Blessed Mother has helped me all these years to remain a virgin at the of 32. It is true, being chaste is very hard especially now, with all the pressures and the idea of living your life as you please. Thanks to this article because this is a great reminder for everyone that sex is something good that God created for man and women BUT something that shouldn’t be done out of marriage. I pray for everyone who wishes to remain chaste for their future spouses to have the courage and the strength to resist all the temptations.

    By Maria | 3 years ago Reply
  4. I’m 16 years old and have chosen to wait for marriage-I have a pretty ring and everything! All of my friends are supportive, but some have made it clear that they think I’m crazy for actually believing that this day in age someone can wait for marriage. Thank you for being such a great example of chastity and proof that someone can wait and be all the better for it. Inspiring. <3

    By Melissa | 3 years ago Reply
  5. Just want to share my story as someone who reclaimed their virginity. It’s never too late to make that change.

    I was a promiscuous teen but all along I kept hearing an inner voice that told me that I deserved better. As I matured I gave up the multiple partners and entered into a long term relationship with my then fiancé with whom I was sexually active. I couldn’t put my finger on it then but something just didn’t feel right about sex anymore and I felt myself pulling away from the relationship in this regard. The relationship eventually became strained because of this. Strangely enough, that little voice came back even stronger last year. I can look back now and see that voice as the work of the Holy Spirit. I’ve since ended my relationship with my fiancé and more importantly have renewed my relationship with God. The beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation was my turning point.
     
    So now here I am a single 30 year old gal. Thanks to God I have been chaste for a year and life is so much clearer now. The journey hasn’t been easy and I’m sure the hardest days are yet to come. In the mean time I keep my eyes on Him and pray for the will to continue on this journey until I am blessed with my future husband.

    By Rae | 3 years ago Reply
  6. I feel you Rae. I went through sexual abuse since I was 4 throughout my entire childhood. I was so lost as an adult and gave myself away sexually. It only left me feeling more empty. It was until I received the sacrament of confirmation at 24, I finally turned my life to Jesus and the Catholic faith. God bless those who wait on the Lord. Thank you for this inspiring post! !

    By Janique | 3 years ago Reply
  7. Nice article Jackie. I’m a 25 year old virgin that recently decided to wait until marriage. Its hard to find women like you nowadays. In our culture dating includes sex, so it can be hard to stay chaste while searching for a spouse. However, I know it will be worth it in the end.

    By Ryan | 3 years ago Reply
  8. Thanks for sharing your wonderful testimony!! May God Bless you!

    By sue | 3 years ago Reply
  9. How beautiful to read, Jackie! I’m a 24-year-old woman who is also deciding to wait and boy can it be difficult. Not difficult for me, but for others to hear. Everything that you said rings true to my life and it’s so comforting to hear that you now have a successful marriage. Thanks so much for sharing your words!

    By Ashley | 3 years ago Reply
  10. I am a 23 year old guy and has sex with one person my girlfriend. I wanna learn a share lifestyle and I become more fistful but it’s hard I need moral help and support. I’m very alone and still with my gf but yeah…

    By Jason | 3 years ago Reply
  11. I prayed for a man who would look at me not with lust, but with gratitude to God for His beautiful creation. ( I was also being laughed at and mocked because of my decision to stay pure until marriage.)

    That prayer has been answered…in such a way far beyond my imagination.

    I was scanning my prayer journal, unaware of the pair of beautiful eyes which were looking at me with utter admiration. Oh how can I forget that fateful day in December 17, 2014? I was at my lowest point. I went through sudden tragic deaths of my loved-ones & it was when I gave up a promising career to pursue my love for writing. Everything felt wrong. I didn’t know when, how, & where to start. As I recalled how God has been faithful to me in the past, I decided to utter a bold prayer: “Lord, I know You called me to be Your writer. Now Lord, give me a mentor”

    I opened my eyes & there in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I saw the man who owns the pair of beautiful eyes which were looking at me intently without me even noticing. I saw him did the sign of the cross as he touched the mirror protecting the Holy Eucharist. There was nothing strange about him, except the resounding voice of God that said: “He is the one”

    I panicked, my heart was pounding heavily as I asked God: “God, do you mean ‘the one’ as my mentor or…You know…’the one’ I’ve been waiting for?”

    Before I could discern God’s answer, the man approached me. To my surprise, he gave me his calling card. He said something but I didn’t understand even a single word as I was too shocked. I accepted the calling card & inserted it in my prayer journal. I couldn’t understand why my heart was racing. With trembling hands, I took out the card with words written: “Hi. I’m a Catholic missionary & author from NZ…” I couldn’t read the words written anymore as my tears blurred my already impaired vision. The flood gates of tears in my eyes opened. I was so amazed at how God answered my prayer for a mentor right after uttering the prayer. I texted the man right away & we shared our first meal together at Max’s restaurant where we chatted for 3 hours like long lost friends.

    Everything started from there. We would always attend Mass together at St.Francis Church from which Adoration Chapel we first met. We had a morning routine of running together at 6 in the morning then we would share our reflections from the Gospel. That deepened our friendship until we became bestfriends. He was the one who comforted me & wiped my tears with his shirt when I was crying for a man I thought I loved. He listened to the cries of my heart. Since then, he has always been with me in my ups & downs.

    Our friendship blossomed & gave birth to our co-authored book “Worth The Chase (Finding Love God’s Way)”. Our book’s message is of great love, the beauty of chastity, forgiveness, and healing of the broken-hearted. It offers great hope that God loves us no matter what, that He is calling us to turn to Him totally and that we can once again seek and obtain a pure heart no matter our past. This was God’s awesome miracle as we both love to write on topics about purity & following Christ.

    Everything wasn’t smooth sailing though. He had to go back to NZ due to his brother’s sudden death. I realized that distance really makes the heart grow fonder. Our feelings developed when we were away from each other.

    On May 20, 2015, he popped up the question that will forever change our lives: “Will you be my girlfriend?”

    I was stunned.
    I told him to hold on as I wanted to get confirmation from God first. (I had been single for 5 years since my last failed relationship with a man who couldn’t accept my decision of staying pure until marriage, then after that I fell in love with a man who came into my life just as quick as he left) I vowed to myself that I would be very careful to whom I give my heart. I asked two powerful questions: “Is he a man after God’s own heart?”
    “Is he into purity?”

    The answers to my questions are both big YES so I gave him my YES.
    He then proposed to me on November 20, 2015 and we got married on April 21, 2015 at the same Church where we first met.

    I found love God’s way.

    Brendan pursued me God’s way.

    We are not perfect. We are imperfect lovers who are loved perfectly by a perfect God.

    True love exists and it’s worth the wait. No, true love isn’t just a fairy tale. True love is for two people who are brave enough to choose to forgive and love each other every single day.
    May our love story inspire you to believe that we were made by God beautifully and wonderfully for a love that lasts forever, rather than a lust that lasts for a moment.

    By Elly Roberts | 3 years ago Reply

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