I’m so very proud and happy to welcome to the Song of Virginity blog the first female guest blogger; Heather Davis from Running the race. Personally I couldn’t resist her “about” words, so I’ll let those speak for themselves:
Disciple of Christ, adorer of God, often wayward or distracted student of the Holy Spirit, dedicated wife, homeschool mom of three, and sometime freelance writer and photographer, inquisitive nature lover, hiker, dog owner, and word nerd all bundled into about 5″1′ of physical space
My wedding was one of the most thrilling days of my life, but it was nothing compared to the wedding night. All through the ceremony, my new husband and I had eyes only for each other as we looked forward to the night ahead. Both of us were intoxicated with the anticipation of coming together as man and wife and exploring the as-yet unknown territory of physical love. That night, we would consummate our commitment to one another, and for the rest of our lives we would have one another’s bodies to explore and enjoy without shame or fear of disease.
On our wedding night, I gave my husband a gift that was precious and priceless because it could be only given once; I gave him my virginity. All the months of self-control, of delayed gratification and increasing sexual attraction were finally unleashed in a physical expression of our love. We were now united in a concrete way, giving us a beautiful glimpse of what God meant when He said a man and his wife shall become one flesh.
At least, that’s how I wish my story went.
Instead, I did not treasure virginity as a young woman, and so at the age of 19 I gave it away for a poorly sung song. Pathetically, that ‘song’ was nothing more thrilling than insincere flattery from an older, somewhat disturbed man – and not even a particularly attractive one.
I wish I could say I gave it up for love.
I even wish I could say it was for lust, but the truth is nothing so noble as either of these. I discarded my virginity away out of shame.
In my teens, I struggled with body image issues. Despite a 24-inch waistline and other evidence to the contrary, I was convinced that I was fat, unattractive, and entirely undesirable. Somehow, in some twisted way, I thought having sex would bolster my confidence, perhaps make me feel more sophisticated or some such thing.
However, because I naively believed the hook-up culture lie that sex was an act as casual and easily forgotten as a handshake, I was wholly unprepared for the emotional onslaught that followed.
And you could say that emotional onslaughts were not exactly my forte at the time.
Worst of all, once the deed was done, instead of feeling the security of being wanted and loved that I craved, I only felt more shame. This cycle continued for years: shame fueling poor choices which increased my shame… and so on, and so on. Sometimes there were brief interludes of fun, but mostly it was horrid. The aftermath was always horrid.
Fortunately for me, there is a God who saw me, who saw past my terrible choices to my broken heart. He knew the reason for my recklessness, knew the poor self-image I carried and the weight of guilt that dragged me further into the muck with each step.
In His compassion, He allowed me to reap the consequences of my careless sexual behavior – consequences that culminated in pregnancy. That got my attention.
Now that I was finally listening, He revealed the Savior who carried my shame to the cross and there paid the price of my sin with His own life, lending me His garment of righteousness to cover my shame.
Blessed be His name, He forgave me and set me free from the destructive cycle of guilt. And what’s more, by His grace, the father of the child did not flee (as so many do) but became my husband and has loved and supported our family ever since.
However, although now forgiven and free, I still have deep regret that I was unable to come to my marriage bed in purity. For my husband and me, our wedding night was just a night like so many others; there was nothing sacred or special or even particularly noteworthy about it. Something that could have been beautiful and memorable was merely commonplace.
Wishing it were not so changes nothing, but perhaps telling you my story will.
Perhaps this tale will give you something to think about, particularly in those moments where temptation or even shame erode your resolve. Hang in there!
And if you have already caved in and hanging in there is not an option, there’s still hope in Christ. He makes all things new, even our soiled and broken hearts.