A Letter to a Friend: "Hold Out for Chastity"
by Pat Driscoll
Pat Driscoll was the founder and director of Womanity, an organization dedicated to promoting Chastity.
[Ed. NOTE: The term Womanity has been taken over online and on Facebook by other groups NOT associated with the concept of Chastity.]
Having sex has become a form of entertainment, or the "payment" a boyfriend expects at the end of a date. many of out teens are being pressured into having sex when they are the ones who have to live with the consequences.
Recently I received a letter from a young lady who wanted help in dealing with her boyfriend. She wrote: "Could you send me all of your pamphlets? I'm in a bad situation and I need to show these to my boyfriend who really wants to do it, but I keep refusing. I would really appreciate it."
The following is my response to her, and to all who need help in fending off the pressure to give in.
Thank you for writing Womanity requesting our pamphlets so you will have some good reasons to give your boyfriend who is pressuring you to have sex. Yours is a very common situation.
Many girls give in, beaten down by the arguments of the boyfriend:
"We love each other so we should express it physically."
"Everybody's doing it."
"It's OK if we use birth control."
"We're going to get married eventually, so it's all right."
Many girls give in because they get so turned on with kissing, hugging, caressing. They keep going — a little further in petting each time until they go all the way. Often drinking and/or drugs give the final push to going all the way because they reduce natural inhibitions.
You have a decision to make: give in, or hold out.
The Consequences of Giving In
Let's say you decide to say yes to your boyfriend. In exchange for a few hours (or minutes) of physical excitement and pleasure, you get the following:
*** You lose your virginity. This gift you can only give once; it's the ONE GIFT you should want to save, not for a boyfriend who says he loves you, but for the husband who has "gone all the way to total commitment" (marriage) with you.
*** You lose your freedom. Now you can become hooked on the desire to have sex, or become concerned to keep on having sex so you won't "lose" your boyfriend. You can start worrying about getting pregnant or diseased. (If he wants to have sex with you, how many others has he had sex with?
Remember, if you have sex with him, you are opening yourself to diseases his former sex partners might have had, even if they didn't know they were diseased.) [When you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone that person has ever had sex with…]
*** You weaken your self-respect. Down deep you will feel guilty, if you've been taught that sex belongs in marriage, no matter how many other girls may be doing it with boyfriends. Doubt and disappointment can also bother you. Once a guy has had you, you'll always wonder if he loves you for yourself or because he likes the sex.
*** You weaken his character. When a girl lets a guy relieve his sexual desire on her body — even if the experience is pleasurable to both of them — she is contributing to his selfishness – reducing his self-control. She is teaching him that he can get what he wants even though it is not what is best for the girl (or for him). Surely putting her at risk of pregnancy and the other consequences is not good for either one of them.
*** Secretly, guys respect girls who respect themselves enough to save sex for marriage. They'll pressure a girlfriend for sex, but down deep they want a girl who'll be a faithful wife. If a girl says NO to pre-marital sex and sticks to it, a guy has good evidence that he can trust her.
*** You endanger your future marriage. If you go all the way with your boyfriend now, maybe you two will marry, but the odds are that you won't. Many times a couple will have a satisfactory sex relationship and the genital bonding that sex is designed to produce will cause the to believe they are made for each other. They get all involved in the powerful sexual experience and get so caught up in the passion and pleasure that often they are fooled into marrying. When the passion has cooled, they find out that they are not compatible intellectually, emotionally, socially, or in other ways.
The consequences of getting into sex too soon are many, but now you know some of the reasons why smart people choose to wait.
The Advantages of Holding Out
Now let's look at some of the advantages of holding out.
*** You keep your virginity. This will be the very special gift you can give to your husband.
*** You stay FREE. You are free physically from pregnancy out-of-wedlock, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, the bother and danger [and chemical pollution] of the pill and other contraceptives. You are FREE from having to choose a hurry-up wedding, abortion, or adopting out your child. You stay free from exploitation by others.
You are FREE from guilt, doubt, disappointment, and the loss of reputation. You stay FREE socially to develop many friendships and really learn who will be a good spouse.
*** You enhance your self-respect. By having a clear standard (sex belongs in marriage) and sticking to it, you are increasing your self-esteem. Your example of withstanding pressure and overcoming temptation helps others.
We all want to be good, noble, respected, beautiful. When we act as we should, we are increasing our respectability and our beauty of character, which is the only beauty that does not fade.
The Meaning of Sex
Intercourse is body language that says "we two belong to each other totally".
Human sexual intercourse (unlike animal mating, which is only physical) has other dimensions — emotional, psychological, spiritual, and intellectual.
The act of coitus, the physiolo
gical purpose of which is pro-creative, also is designed as a sign or symbol of union, to express the oneness of husband and wife.
What Can You Say to Your Boyfriend?
When your boyfriend wants you to give in, you can say:
I do not want to get into sex with you. I'm saving sex for marriage — not for friend, not for fiance, but for husband.
I will not indulge in arousal behavior (anything that gets onr or both of us turned on so we want to go all the way).
We will express our affection in non-genital ways.
No booze or drugs.
We will practice being friends, in getting to know each other as persons, not as objects of sexual pleasure.
We will be intimate in exploring and sharing ideas, goals, dreams and hopes, values, problems; but the intimate bodily sharing of "making out" or petting or "foreplay" is part of sexual intercourse and is absolutely reserved for marriage.
If we end up as husband and wife, our marriage will be the stronger for we will have proven trustworthy to each other.
I want sex to mean we belong totally, completely to each other until death.
I want sex to mean two in one.
I want sex to be wonderful. No worries, no fear, no doubts, no guilt… no regrets.
For me to give myself totally to you, I have to feel secure, trusting and confident that you've cared enough to dedicate yourself to me publicly, and intend this to be for your lifetime.
True love is willing to wait.
[Womanity's pamphlets and books are available through www.ccli.org and www.hh76.com. This article was reprinted by CCL Family Foundation with permission from Living World, 1991. It is still timeless…]
[Ed. Update — http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_030.pdf — just released study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the period 2006-2008 shows that 58% of girls and 57% of boys aged 15-19 have never had sexual relationships. Many others have only had sex one time. Many have committed to "Renewed/Secondary Virginity" until Marriage, realizing they want to abstain to avoid the pain — all the negative physical and emotional consequences of sexual activity outside committed Marriage.]
NO REGRETS — ABSTINENCE UNTIL MARRIAGE … MARITAL FIDELITY
Trust, Respect, Security, Responsibility, Strong Relationships