Today it hit major headlines: Tim Tebow lost his supermodel girlfriend because he refused to have pre-marital sex.
As I was scrolling through some of the headlines, I was admittedly appalled at media’s response. Phrases like, “Tim Tebow still can’t find the endzone”, and “Apparently the NFL job isn’t the only thing Tim Tebow can’t hold onto”, littered the internet degrading his choice.
Instead of receiving praise for holding strong to his convictions and beliefs about abstinence – he got mocked! I mean, really?! How backwards and upside-down has our society become?
Instead of praising a young man for respecting a woman and respecting himself, we bash him. And then we sit back and wonder in despair why the men in our culture end up sex-crazed and the women end up feeling objectified. It’s because we, as a society, promote it. We ask for it. We groom our young men and women to get to that place.
As I process through this dilemma, I believe it’s important to add to this conversation. Tim Tebow is one of hundreds and thousands of people who believe that sex is sacred and that abstinence important. As a Professional Counselor, I would agree that there are both spiritual AND psychological benefits to saving sex for marriage.
If you’re dating someone who is pushing your limits or pressuring you to move into sexual territory you’re not comfortable with, here’s what I want you to know:
Real Love Is Selfless NOT Selfish:
I hear from so many men and women struggling through this concept, because they’re dating someone who is slowly pushing them to have sex. And after getting pushed, and pushed, and pushed, it’s not uncommon for a person to start questioning what they believe. Is it really that big of a deal? Am I being unrealistic? Maybe I’m the only one who cares about waiting until marriage?
Friend, let me tell you….you are NOT alone in your desire to wait until marriage. If you’re anything like I was when I was single, you’re waiting out of a desire to obey God, but you’re also waiting out of your belief that this is the best for your life. Don’t allow someone to cause you to question what you know is best for you. Someone who would go as far as to manipulate or pressure you to change your convictions, is someone who is not worth holding on to. In any other aspect of life and in any other topic or belief, we would consider that kind of a relationship to be selfish and unhealthy. The SAME applies with regard to sex before marriage. Someone who can’t respect your wishes before marriage is most definitely someone who will not respect your wishes after marriage. Learn to see beyond the moment, and realize that this kind of a relationship isn’t worth holding on to.
Don’t Let ANYONE Decide Your Value, But You:
By deciding to wait to have sex until marriage, you are declaring that you believe sex to be valuable, and that you believe you are worth waiting for. That is a beautiful, beautiful declaration. It’s a declaration I hope and pray more and more young people begin to make in this generation.
The truth is, you ARE valuable, and not simply because of your “purity” status or lackthereof, but because of a God who declares you to be valuable in His eyes. Honor that value, believe in that value, and live out that value by believing that you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. The choices you make during dating (click here to learn MUCH more about that!) will absolutely mold you, change you, transform you, and even dictate the course of your life and future. Choose to value yourself every single step of the way – sex life included.
The Best Sex Happens in God’s Way, and in God’s Time:
Often times in having this conversation about abstinence and waiting until marriage, we lose track of the big picture. Waiting for sex isn’t about rules, religion, or shame. It isn’t because we hate sex, fear sex, or don’t wait sex. It isn’t out of prudeness, or shame, or even guilt.
On the contrary. It’s because we believe in sex. We know it’s sacred, we know it’s intimate, we know it’s powerful, and we know it’s good. In fact, anyone who is waiting for the right reasons knows this: sex is an amazing thing….made by a great God for our pleasure and enjoyment. But there’s a way to do it right – a way that will build us up through our sexual relationships instead of tearing us down. It’s because we believe that sex done in God’s way, and in God’s time, has the power to join two people physically, emotionally, and spiritually in a way that nothing else ever could. And ultimately, it’s because we believe in a God who knows what’s best for our lives.
At the end of the day, you either live your life FULLY believing that truth — or you don’t.
Anyone can tell you how you SHOULD live your life, but it’s up to you to decide how you’re actually going to live it. For that, I will be the first to commend Tim Tebow for going against the grain and being a man who doesn’t just talk the talk, but lives it out.
May God give us all the courage to live out the convictions He’s put in our hearts no matter what anyone else tells us to do. May we be a people that seeks to please God before we worry about pleasing our fellow man. And may we be a generation who chooses to praise those who do, rather than mock them. I can only imagine what could happen in this next generation if we actually learned to change our tune…
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, and 21 Days to JumpStart Your Love Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!