This post has been long in coming for me. I have had this conversation with many people through the years, but most recently it was on an airplane sitting next to a Swedish guy.
Before I was married I would tell you that sexual purity was important because it's what God asked of us. I would have told you that I understood that there were consequences to everyone's actions, but that being sexually pure really only applied to people who had committed their lives to Christ and that it was only important because it was a way of honoring Him and our future spouse.
Boy was I naïve. In the almost 6 years that I have been married I have come to understand God and His commandments so much better. What I understand now that I didn't then is this: God only has our best interest at heart. Every single command in the Bible is there because it is what is best for us.
Jason and I waited to have sex until we were married. I came to the marriage a virgin even though Jason did not. Regardless of whether or not you are a virgin or if you are currently sleeping with your significant other you will be blessed by staying pure. Let me tell you why.
In my opinion, the number one thing that waiting gives a couple is trust. When you are young and in love it's all you can do to stay apart. It's all your bodies can do to not be together. Jason and I had some close calls. There were nights he walked out of my house without saying a word. He would call me later and just tell me he had to get out of there. It was all we could do to keep our heads on straight, but do you know what we learned about each other? We learned that we could keep our heads on straight. God has blessed us over and over and over again by allowing us to watch the other flee temptation. As Jason and I are in our 5th year of marriage, our 4th year of spending many more nights apart than together, the greatest gift God has given me is the ability to trust Jason because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has the ability and willingness to flee sexual immorality because I've seen him do it. I can't put into words the blessing this gift has been in our marriage.
Now that we are married I have also learned many other things. One of them is my tolerance level for sex scenes in movies and on TV. I have learned that my tolerance is very low. I can handle the cursing and the violence, but what I can't handle is the stuff regarding sex and strippers and really anything like that. It bothers me to the point that I start believing that every guy is like the one on TV lusting after the girl, including my husband, and it causes me to pick fights that aren't even there. It's detrimental to the peace in our marriage. Secondly, it effects my self-esteem. I worry about the fact that I don't look like that naked and that I probably don't move like that or sound like that and I start imaging all the things wrong with me. This is also detrimental to our marriage. An insecure girl is not fun for a man. A frumpy girl who wears a potato sack with confidence is more fun in the bedroom than an insecure Victoria's Secret model. Lastly, is that it makes me hate pretty girls because I think they are more desirable than myself. This is stupid, and not fair to pretty girls. When I avoid the sex scenes in movies and on TV I don't judge the girls around me based on their looks. I am open to friendships and loving them for who they are and I don't worry about bringing them around my husband.
Here is another thing. The Swedish guy told me that he is glad his wife slept around so that she wouldn't wonder what else was out there. I think he's crazy! I didn't say that, but I did explain that when we were first married I was very insecure wondering if I measured up to Jason's past girls. Jason has nothing to worry about because he's all I know. A lot of people, even Christians, argue that they can't imagine not sleeping with someone before they get married for compatibility's sake. I just want to say that if you trust God to bring you the right person, but don't trust that that person will satisfy you sexually, then no matter what you tell yourself, you are not trusting God. God will not lead you to your perfect match only to give you a lifetime of incompatibility. When you click with a person, YOU CLICK WITH A PERSON, even if once you are married it takes a little practice to make perfect.
To anyone worried about being inexperienced because you've worked to stay sexually pure and keep your mind pure, I would like to tell you that watching sex scenes (even the ones on cable TV) and reading about sex in magazines will only stifle creativity in the bedroom because you will believe that what you've seen and read is how it's supposed to be. In reality, it's supposed to be whatever you want it to be. If you are worried about your skill level ask a mentor (who is your same sex, happily married and comfortable in this area) to guide you. I am VERY comfortable, ask me. There are people who can give you suggestions without making you feel silly or inadequate or like you are doing something wrong.
Lastly: Trust God. He tells us to remain sexually pure because He knows that it is the surest way to guarantee us the most fulfilling sex lives. Listen to Him. He knows you and loves you and wants what's best for you.