Christian Missionary Shares the Lessons She Learned After 3 Years of Celibacy

This month marks my third year of abstinence. That’s right, I’ve had zero sex for three whole years, and I couldn’t be happier.

When I initially became chaste, it wasn’t a deliberate decision. In fact, it was almost forced upon me when I decided to serve as a missionary for six months with a team of seven other women. During my time as a missionary, I had a lot of time to reflect upon my life and talk to God in between my 60-hour missionary service commitments and sleeping.

Relationships were a category I talked about with God frequently. I had been pretty sexually active after high school and throughout college, and I bought into the lie that having sex with a variety of partners wasn’t a big deal. However, it wasn’t until I sat down with God and studied the Word that I realized how distorted my view of healthy relationships had become.

As I dug into the Word, I learned about God’s vision for marriage and sex. I saw that God’s heart was for a marriage to be a sweet and loving partnership, and that sex was to be the ultimate manifestation of the love between a husband and wife (Ephesians 5:31).

After a series of unfulfilling sexual relationships with men who didn’t love God and didn’t truly love me, I decided to make a change. Instead of dating the way culture told me to date, I made the decision to date God’s way and save sex for marriage.

Shortly after I decided to really commit to abstinence, I met my now-fiancé. We have been together for more than two years, and have both seen the benefits of holding out in our relationship. Here are three things I’ve learned after three years of chastity:

DON’T BELIEVE THE CULTURAL LIES ABOUT SEX.

When I was in college, I used hookups with guys to make me feel prettier and empowered, and I believed that sex within my dating relationships was a reflection of how healthy my relationships were. I was naive and thought that sex was simply a physical act that felt good, and that having sex with men to whom I was attracted would make me feel good.

It wasn’t until several years later that I realized how much my drunken hookups and sex with guys I dated had both hurt my heart and persuaded me to stay in unhealthy relationships. I had given a part of myself to men who didn’t truly love me and I hadn’t respected myself enough to realize I deserved better because my body is God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Though our society says that sex outside of marriage is freeing, the reality is that the baggage from my sexual relationships followed me for years, long after the relationships ended.

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SOURCE: Relevant Magazine