Today my husband and I celebrate 33 years married! One of the best decisions we made when we were dating all those years ago was to wait. To wait until our wedding night for sex. To wait until we were married for all sexual contact. To wait until after we were married to live together. By the Grace of God we made it! Thirty three years ago we stopped waiting, and to quote Elisabeth Elliot in Passion and Purity, “it was unspeakably worth the wait.”
We hadn’t waited so we could brag on our self control. We hadn’t waited so that in years to come we could feel superior to anyone who didn’t. We certainly hadn’t waited because of a lack of desire, believe me there was plenty of desire! We didn’t even wait because our parents told us to, Bruce and I were both adults who had each been living on our own. We waited because God’s word calls sex between those not married fornication. And that is sin. (Not that we hadn’t sinned, mind you. I was a new Christian and had a record of plenty of sin.) We waited simply to obey God. And in the doing of that we honored each other and built our relationship on getting to know each other. On talking and reading together. On me as a new believer learning God’s word. On love and respect, not on emotions and desire. Desire wanes when the hard parts of life come your way, and physical beauty very quickly fades.
Some have asked us “what is the secret to a long and happy marriage?” My answer is to build your relationship on love and respect. If you are not married, love and respect each other enough to wait. Get to know each other. And if you didn’t wait, there is plenty of grace for that. (I Tim 1:15) Begin today to love and respect each other. Begin now to write a story with your life that you’ll be glad to tell your grandchildren.
And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get busy celebrating!
Bruce & Sara, January 21, 1984