Anyone who has remained chaste until marriage will tell you it’s not easy.
As humans, we are constantly bombarded with the temptation to throw chastity out the window and do whatever we need to acquire the sexual pleasure we want. American society certainly puts these things on our plate daily through the media, trickling down into our day-to-day life.
In other words, there are pretty girls everywhere and they dress pretty and carry themselves pretty and talk pretty and smile pretty and there aren’t a lot of factors in society telling me to not try to have sex with them. Is that direct enough?
So, why haven’t I had sex yet? Well, there have been several factors that have made this decision not only attainable, but easy (relatively speaking).
It was described to me early on in life that maintaining my virginity for the future Mrs. Nelko would be one of the best gifts I could offer. Holding on to that special gift to give to one and only one person would be the greatest thing I could offer. Think about it, though. How many things or acts can you suggest are given to only one person? If we receive a gift that is only received by one person, this allows us to feel like the most special person in his or her life.
Also, I believe in a God who is bigger than I am. This isn’t the most “practical” reason, but it’s certainly the backbone of why I’ve made this life decision. I am a Christian and believe in loving God and others above myself. The best way for me to love God through my sexual life is by not putting sex above Him. When we choose to have sex outside marriage, we choose to selfishly fulfill our desires. I say “we” because I am certainly a twenty-something man who has deviated sexually on my own, as almost every man has. When we do this, it’s an act of choosing ourselves above God.
In the same vein, I believe in loving others above myself. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about seeking my own pleasure from relationships of any kind with females, it’s that we, as men, are called to protect the hearts of our sisters by loving them as sisters. Sex outside of marriage creates a certain confusion through selfishness. Connecting with someone on a sexual level is a connection that is not shared often (I’d hope) and, therefore, is a special connection not to be taken lightly. Sharing sex with someone outside of a committed relationship shows a lack of care for the feelings and heart of the other person through this confusion of feelings and emotions.
As a result of these things, here is my practical response: I do my best to avoid situations where I may be tempted sexually. With the guidance of a mentor at my campus ministry in college, I laid out some ground rules for myself that I follow with lady friends. I generally don’t kiss girls with whom I am not in a relationship. I don’t hold hands with girls I’m not dating. I avoid spending one-on-one time with a girl after midnight. I don’t touch girls areas normally covered by bathing suits or see them naked. I avoid the gray areas, so the temptation to progress further can be avoided.
I also keep people around who will keep me accountable. I am a pretty open book and wear my heart on my sleeve, so it’s difficult for me to hide the truth when asked. I keep strong Christian men around me who will ask difficult questions and make sure that I’m treating women with the love and respect they deserve as God’s children. If we aren’t asked challenging questions and, instead, are left to our own devices, we certainly will make decisions that benefit ourselves and no one else.
These reasons may or may not resonate with you, but they’re my reasons. Chastity has been easy because I’ve made good, selfless decisions. I’ve made plenty of little mistakes, but the Lord has provided the strength and guidance needed, as well as the support around me, to make sure this has been possible.
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About the blogger: Jake Nelko, 27, lives in Tacoma, WA, while his heart resides in Pittsburgh, PA. He makes a living as a Career Development Specialist at the University of Washington Tacoma and spends his free time covering new music for Ear to the Ground Music, writing for his own personal blog, and playing drums for the gangster folk band Michelle from the Club.