A young girl enrolled in a Christian middle school gave voice to the great loneliness many of us feel in our quest for purity. She said:
I think that at my school, having sex is normal. Everybody has either had sex or they are really close to it. That is something I struggle with a lot. I wonder if I am going to wait. It is all about the moment for me. I struggle with waiting.
An overwhelming number of young women admitted they felt lonely in their quest to live a pure life. It’s easy to dwell on the loneliness when you are trying to honor the gift of sex and wait until marriage. But, I (Dannah) know that the worst loneliness lies in the aftermath of compromise. When I was fifteen, I was attending a Christian high school. I was active in my youth group and was even earmarked as a leader and invited to teach the three-to-four-year-old Sunday school class at my church. I was in a dating relationship in which there was great pressure to be sexual. Oh, not to have “sex.” But to be sexual. And with each secret act of sin I convinced myself that it “wasn’t really sex.” I just knew that could never happen to me. After all, I was a Christian girl who believed in purity.
The pressure increased, and things escalated. I knew I needed to break up with this guy, but I couldn’t get myself to do it. In crept the lie that “I could not endure the loneliness of purity.” So, I gave away the gift that God meant me to give to my husband on my wedding night.
I can’t even begin to tell you how lonely my life became. Eventually, I broke up with that guy, but I didn’t think there was a single person I could talk to about what had happened—what I had done. Everyone in church seemed so picture perfect. Certainly they never knew the depths of sin that I had. I didn’t tell anyone for ten years.
I know what loneliness is.
Maybe you do too.
I’m happy to say that by God’s grace I fully confessed my sin, and in time the Lord graciously healed up my heart. He gave me a great Christian husband who was a virgin on our wedding night and has extended much forgiveness to me. No, he’s lavished forgiveness on me. Just like my Savior. And today God is using me to encourage young women like you to choose the pathway of purity. (Our God is so merciful and creative in His restoration of our broken hearts.) If you have known this loneliness, I want you to see the healing in my life and know that God wants this for you too.
Yes, a commitment to purity challenges you to safeguard your heart it until it is the right time to “awaken” love. Yes, this often feels painful and even lonely, but the pain of self-denial is far better than the pain of self-destruction.
Trust God! Trust him with this difficult task of self-control and self-denial and waiting. We are told in the Proverbs 3:5-6 to trust Him with our whole heart. One of the hardest things to trust Him with is our love lives, but even this belongs to Him.
I (Nancy) want to add a word for those who struggle with the thought, What if God doesn’t ever give me a husband? Having lived as a single woman until my late fifties (when God totally surprised me by bringing an amazing husband into my life), I can assure you that if God’s plan is for you to remain single longer than you expected—or even for a lifetime—your life can be as meaningful and blessed as that of any married woman. Yes, there will be challenges (as every married woman faces), but He really will give you daily grace for whatever you may encounter.
The fact is, loneliness is an inescapable reality in a fallen, broken world—whether you’re single or married! But if you will set your heart to seek God and His will above anything and anyone else, we can promise that you will never be truly alone, and you will never lack true joy.
Can we encourage you to press into trusting God with your purity and future marriage?
If this resonated with you, join us this fall for a nine-week study through the content of Lies Young Women Believe! Hosted by Dannah Gresh and Erin Davis, this study will help you identify lies the Enemy is telling you, and replace them with the Truth. For more information or to register, click HERE.