Every Date Was a Battle
For 7 years, my boyfriend and I struggled to keep our hands off of each other. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to get married, but we never consciously used that as an excuse to act on our lustful desires. Having grown up in a Christian background, I knew purity was important, but I didn’t think it would be so difficult.
Every date was a battle. Every moment we locked eyes, our flesh was fighting our spirit.
Whenever we did allow ourselves to go “too far”, there was immediate regret.
“I knew I shouldn’t have come over.”
“This can’t happen again.”
“We need to get out of here.”
“Let’s talk to someone.”
The first time we “went too far”, I cried. I couldn’t stand to think that my sexual brokenness from my previous relationship had carried over into my “godly” one. I reached out to a friend and told her we were struggling to remain pure. I asked her to “keep me accountable”. Looking back now, I realize that I expected her to be the solution to our problem, but that was not the case.
Weeks later, the battle continued. The fight for purity in our relationship only got more difficult. Not to mention the fact that we struggled with purity individually. I was exposed to porn at a very young age and had struggled with masturbation ever since. His childhood followed a similar trajectory. This was not a one-sided problem. Satan had a foothold from multiple angles of both of our lives.
I wanted to be perfect. I didn't want to 'sin' anymore. But that's not realistic.
Over the years, I questioned the genuineness of my faith.
“If I’m really a Christian, I wouldn’t struggle like this. It shouldn’t be this difficult.”
“We should be able to control ourselves by now.”
I wanted to be perfect. I didn’t want to ‘sin’ anymore. But, that’s not realistic. I’m human, and for as long as I’m alive, I have to accept that struggle is part of life.
A couple of years had passed of the same old cycle. We’d “fall”, ask God for forgiveness, ask a friend to keep us accountable, then fall again. It seemed like marriage would be the only ”solution” but marriage seemed so distant. I had always joked, “The only way my parents are going to let me get married is if I get pregnant.”
Somewhere around year 5, I remember telling my parents I wanted to get married because there was temptation. “Why is there temptation? Don’t have temptation”, my parents said.
It was over seven years of fighting ourselves, of wanting to know each other more but always feeling like being together only led to hurting God.
He, too, told his parents that the temptation was difficult. “Always pray”, is what his parents said.
Well, year 7 came along and after countless battles between our lustful desires and our fear of God, we went too too far. We told our community, and we got married.
When I look back, I am exhausted. I relive the pain and struggle for purity that I felt every single day. It was over seven years of fighting ourselves, of wanting to know each other more but always feeling like being together only led to hurting God.
When we told our community, I wonder what went through people’s heads when other people said the words “they had sex before marriage”. I wanted to know who else struggled with purity and thought to themselves “well, at least it wasn’t me that got caught”.
I wish I had someone I could talk to that actually understood what we were going through, people who wouldn’t just tell me to “stop” but would walk through it with me, be present, and listen without judgement. Maybe it would have been easier that way.
From my perspective, the solution is being surrounded by a community and being able to have open conversations with people. There is a real freedom when you can talk to someone you trust about your struggles.
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