“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” -Romans 6:12
This is one of the hardest parts to write.
Warning: I do talk about sex in this post.
For my 16th birthday my mom bought me a blue topaz ring telling me it was my “virginity ring”. It was a sign of purity and dedication in waiting for marriage to have sex. It was a very pretty ring and many people said, “I really like that ring. Where did you get it?” I’d tell them it was given to me as a virginity ring and they would begin to tease me. I didn’t mind though. A big problem for me was that I started to shove my virginity in their faces as if I were better than them. A girl in the gym locker room said, “Hey ‘Virgin Vicki’, guess if I’m a virgin or not?” Because this one girl believed in God and was one of the 5 people who showed up at the Christian club where I first met Rob, I guessed that she was a virgin, only to find out she wasn’t. She proceeded to tell me when she lost her virginity, where, and with whom! I had guessed many people to be virgins because I was hoping they were trying to be pure.
Other people wanted me to guess if they were virgins when we were in gym class. One said, “Guess for Rob!” This was long before we were dating & when we were just starting to get to know each other. Because I knew he was a Christian, I said, “He is!” but he looked up at me and said, “I’m sorry. I’m not. That was before I became a Christian though.” I was heartbroken. It was my dream to marry someone who shared the same passion for waiting to have sex in marriage. I was so curious to learn about his past but after that I didn’t know if that would be such a good idea. I was just glad that he was letting me know he was planning on remaining pure since becoming a Christian.
As Rob and I spent more and more time as a couple together, there was not a day that we didn’t see each other. In the beginning I would go home after school and talk to him on the computer or on the phone all night. Sometimes he’d take me to his job because he wanted me with him all the time (we still hate being apart, as weird as that sounds to people). We’d always spend weekends together going to shows. As time went by I’d go to his house after school most nights. On Sunday nights I would see him at youth group. Once the summer came after he graduated high school, I saw him constantly other than when we worked at our jobs, in which some nights he’d pick me up so we could go out to eat at our favorite diner.
We didn’t make-out so much at all, which helped keep us out of trouble, but when we did, it started to lead us to other things. By August (2001), we had become far too involved physically, doing most everything other than have sexual intercourse (We shouldn’t have done a thing). The problem was we were alone together too often. I started to compete against his past and wanted to be much better and memorable than everything he had ever done, though I didn’t want to have sex. We didn’t go on group dates unless we went to shows with other couples. That month we almost broke up because it was getting to be too much on us being so sexual all the time (I was only ever taught that actual intercourse before marriage was wrong, but not all the stuff before that). Rob started to talk to his fantasy-based- ex again and was very close to breaking up with me. It was so hard to stay away from doing anything. I ended up chopping off all my hair because I thought that he liked short hair best (his last few exes had shorter hair) and thought that would help keep him around (dumb girl).
In early September of 2001 (right before 9/11’s occurrences) we had a very good talk in his bedroom letting out everything. We cried. It felt good, like “old” times. He was so real with me and really sweet. We realized that we needed to cool off a bit with the sexuality because it was driving us apart. While walking around a Renaissance Faire, Rob said to me, “I really want to marry you. I don’t think I can ever spend my life without you. Let’s get some rings to promise we’ll be devoted and committed together.” I was in shock that he suggested it but it was really adorable and I definitely was all for marriage. We found plain sterling silver bands in our ring sizes that were $10 a piece, sat on a rock, and he said, “This is to vow that one day I will be your husband, and you my wife.” Because we were only 18 and 17 years old, we knew that we couldn’t consider this an actual engagement, even though in reality it was, so we became “pre-engaged”.
As a senior in high school, used to being around Rob in those hallways, but not having him around at all any longer; I became very lonely and sheltered myself off a bit from everyone else (I was pretty kind to all people in different “cliques/groups” and had friends from each). I wanted to quit school but my mom told me how ridiculous that was (and told me I’d have to move out if I dropped out), so I continued and actually had my best academic year since fifth grade. There were many people who would ask, “You miss Rob in school, don’t you?” They would often say afterwards, “Where’s your virgin ring?” I’d lift my hand to show them that I still had it on. A lot of these people were pretty encouraging that I keep that ring on. It was really sweet of them that they were hoping life would work out for me in that way. They saw I wore a new ring and said, “Is that a wedding band?” Word eventually got around that I was pre-engaged. My peers didn’t really think it would last since they had suffered from many break-ups, but they hoped it would.
By the time December came near, it became hard again to push away sexual desires that Rob and I had. We both would try to instead comfort one another while holding each other and talking, but really we should not have been alone with each other at all. My mom had a rule to keep my door open at all times when Rob was there but that didn’t keep us from doing things we shouldn’t have been doing at all.
Hebrews 13:4 says “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
After a few more months of fighting temptation off, I told Rob, “I really can’t do this anymore; this waiting.” He tried to encourage me to not give up, but I was starting to allow him to become an idol in my life. Everything was about him and our time together. There wasn’t much room for God. My intimacy with God was fading faster and faster, and that was the biggest mistake I could ever make.
In late spring of 2002 (he was 19, I was 18), while we were clothed, I was straddling Rob and kissing him on the floor of my bedroom with my own mother napping downstairs, I told him I wanted to have sex and was ready (what a lie!). He looked so lovingly at my face and said, “Are you sure? You need to be really sure? I don’t think you are sure.”
He rubbed my arms gently and I said, “We’re going to get married anyway, right?”
He said, “Yes we are.”
“I’m tired of being a virgin.”
There was little fight for the first time in our sexual relationship. We let our passions and temptations take a hold of us. We were smiling in relief because we knew what was happening, and it felt very satisfactory. I felt like I finally beat his past relationships. Most girls I talked to always made it sound like sex was so painful, bloody, or boring. I ran with a smile and a tear dripping down my eye as I got to the bathroom to wash up a little. I looked in the mirror and smiled, though I was forcing it. I was very red in the face and sweaty and thought, “It’s done.” Then I looked at myself again and decided to not cry. I saw my eyes had darkened. The brightness of purity was completely shattered. It seemed there was nothing left that I had not done.
I ran back to Rob. He knew how my emotions worked. He took my face in his hands and looked me in the eyes. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
I was trying to convince myself, “Yes, of course. I’m very happy that it is done with.”
Rob felt so badly and was really angry at himself. He looked at me and said, “I really love you a lot. You know that right? You are the only one who matters to me.” He kissed me to try to ease my pain that he knew I was hiding.
The day after we had sex, I went to school and went pee so often. It hurt a lot. I went to the nurse who asked me if I was sexually active. I was in denial and felt I wasn’t sexually active. I only had sex once and had my pride to think of, so I told her, “no.” She called my mom who talked to me on the phone. When I explained it to my mom she said, “Oh. Okay. Well I’ll buy some raspberry juice for you. Are you okay?” I thought this was odd of my mom to bring up. When the nurse talked to me she informed me I had a urinary tract infection and how it can happen usually when there is a lot of sexual activity involved but that there are other ways too. She gave me a note to show teachers for whenever I had to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water because I needed to get better.
A day later while my mom was driving me to and from my job (I couldn’t afford my own car’s insurance yet so I had to take rides), she asked, “You had sex, didn’t you?” I was in shock. She said that my attitude changed and I was more aggressive than I had been in a while with how I talked to her. She didn’t like how I was acting and told me that when she lost her virginity she had a urinary tract infection too. She said that was the biggest clue. I admitted to her that I did indeed have sex. She cried and cried telling me she failed as a mother. She said, “You don’t understand the guilt you just put on yourself and the emotions you are exposing yourself to!” I said, “I don’t have guilt. I’m going to marry Rob.” But she responded, “I thought I would marry my boyfriend too and that didn’t happen.” I let her know that Rob and I were not the same and that I was not her. As time went on Rob and I went full throttle into sex (though I had lied many times to my mom because I hated hurting her, so she thought for a long time I only had sex a couple times and never in her home before marriage).
Rob was the most respectable person in our relationship. He would always resist and tell me that we needed to seriously stop doing what we were doing completely. I said, “You mean nothing at all?” And he said, “Yes, nothing. I don’t want us to have any sexual contact!” He did right in wanting this relationship to work out. He told me that I needed more of God and that he was weak-willed and I knew I had power over him and that he knew I was weak-willed and that he had power over me, so it was getting hopeless. We were making idols of each other. We often tried to excuse our action for “getting married one day” or “people used to make their vows by having sex” but it was all a bunch of lies from Satan and the sinfulness we were putting into our lives.Guilt was everywhere around me. My virgin ring was still being worn, though I turned it over many times on my hand when I would look at it and feel like the biggest hypocrite ever (because I was). I often took it off only to put it back on again right afterwards. After a few months it started to have a horrible bend in it that I finally took it off for good. I cried myself to sleep some nights because of how dreadful I felt. I would also get scared of Rob leaving me, though I really didn’t have a reason to doubt his commitment any longer.
When I graduated high school, Rob asked his dad for advice about when he had known that he wanted to marry his mom. His dad told him it was when he couldn’t imagine life without her and that any time at all spent away from her caused him to miss her deeply. Rob knew of many reasons why he wanted to marry me, but his dad’s advice made him positive that he had to marry me.
In August, Rob came over to ask my parents for permission for my hand in marriage (definitely a noble thing to do). It was the sweetest thing (I was present). I cried for joy. We couldn’t find a ring that day, and we were poor because we spent all our money on movies instead of saving it up. It was really sad. Rob told me that his mom let him know of a ring company that was a mixture of real and fake diamond material. I picked out one that I thought looked nice on the website and ordered it with my money (he paid me back. Isn’t that hilarious?)
On September 16, 2002, when I got home from work Rob met me at my house. Every Thursday night we would go to the diner and he’d order some fettuccine alfredo and I’d have some salmon. First I would go home to change because I cleaned dog kennels for a living and smelled of puppy diarrhea. After I changed my clothes Rob was staring at my desk. “What?” I didn’t see what he was looking at and asked him a couple times “What?” Then I saw a little black box. The ring was inside and Rob said, “Victoria Grace, will you spend the rest of your life with me?” Of course I said, “Yes!” and put it on. It was huge and gaudy. It looked real though. We went out to dinner and I was staring at it with a huge smile the entire time. A woman from the next table over smiled saying, “Congratulations!” I guess I made it too obvious.
We were not the typical couple. I was easy to please (a cheap date), and thankfully so was Rob. Most of our time that year was spent playing a multi-player video game together, watching movies, and trying our best to not have sex with each other (which never seemed to work out). I hated Rob not being with me. He hated being at his home for many reasons. My parents let him spend as many nights as he wanted to in the guest room next to mine. Bad idea, Mom and Dad! If you aren’t married, you should not be sleeping under the same roof together. It made things that much more difficult.
One morning I went to wake up Rob and we were both clothed and cuddled in the bed together. Unfortunately my dad had to get something from that room and he walked in not knowing Rob had slept over and he saw us in bed. He said, “Oh sorry!” then walked out. He should have said, “Get out of that bed, young lady!” but he didn’t. I called my mom and explained it all to her because I was afraid that she would hear about it from my dad. I said, “Before dad tells you, I want to let you know that he walked in on me and Rob in bed, but we were fully clothed and I promise we weren’t doing anything with each other!” She said, “Okay. Thank you for telling me.” Really, I was trying to convince myself because I wanted to do things in bed with him and at the same time I did just want to cuddle. I shouldn’t have been in bed with him at all.
Another time Rob and I took a shower together and my mom came home early and walked by the bathroom. I then heard her storming downstairs in a rush of anger. I said, “Not good!” Rob felt really badly. Once we were dressed I went to my mom and said, “Hi. I’m sorry.” She said, “Were you in bathing suits at least?” I said, “No, Mom, we weren’t, but we weren’t doing anything either.” She didn’t believe me. She said, “Your father and I wouldn’t be able to shower together without doing anything, so I doubt that to be true.” I said, “It is true.” If she didn’t come home as early as she did it might have been as she thought though.
Sometimes I would blame Rob for “making me who I was”. I would tell him that if he were a virgin like me before we had sex I wouldn’t have had sex with him. He didn’t believe that. He would tell me that he knew what I was going through emotionally since he was going through it with me too. I had always wanted to be better than his ex-girlfriends so I thought being sexual with him would make him love me more. I didn’t realize that I didn’t need to use my body to do that at all. The person I had been long before we actually had sex is what reigned over his exes in his book.
I longed for the love and devotion I once had for God. I hated that Rob was my idol. I knew that God was what really mattered. I needed to transform my life again but I kept falling back into sin. Would God really forgive me? Could I really change? I knew the truth. I could, but I wouldn’t. Although Rob and I had a rough time cutting sex completely from our lives, we could never last more than a couple months without giving in. It was very sad that we didn’t continue pursuing God and thought more about what we wanted instead. What selfish children. This cycle was constant, up even until we finally did marry. We never fixed our wrongs before we wed, like we should have.
I wrote this to Jesus on January 13, 2003: I need your strength to make it through and control my actions. I am tired of the guilt; tired of going back and forth with the same things all the time. I need your help. It is so hard to make it without you. Please be my strength! Please help me! I just want to be able to conquer something for once! This really is tearing me apart. Give me the strength to defeat this. I love you and just want you to hold me and protect me. I want to be able to make it through and make you proud of me as your child. I don’t want to feel so torn any longer. I am tired of thinking my sin is okay when we both know that it is against Your word and commands. I don’t want to go against you anymore. Hold me. Love me. Be there for me. Help me through. I need you so badly, Lord. I have been so far away for too long and I don’t want to be lost anymore.
Following Jesus and wanting to live your own way should be a wrestle, yet so many people tend to give up and ignore Jesus completely saying, “Sorry Lord, but I found something better than You.” That is what I was doing. People who are young seem scared to speak up against sexual activity. Adults might laugh at them because these young people seem to be simple-minded children. I tell you that if you stand up in defense of purity, you will be pleasing God! That is so much more important. “Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” -1 Timothy 4:11
I am a poor example of purity. I do not want people to go through what I did, so I wanted to share with you the deep struggle that it was. I hope that you can try to not make the same mistakes I did. If you for some reason still go down that road, be very afraid, for you are getting yourself into a trap. You might know people who make it seem like everything is hunky-dory in their life because they stopped resisting sin and seemed to come out okay on their own, so you don’t need to do it God’s way, then that’s another lie (and there are probably a lot of things that person has gone through that you can’t see). If Jesus warned you, if I warned you because I went through it, and if others around you seem to be crying and having emotional scars from relationships that they gave into sexually, then who should you believe? Always look towards people who will try to teach you the truth even if it is not what you want. We can’t create our own ideals of God when His word is living truth. This is the Creator we’re talking about who saw everything and the loads of destruction on the earth that we do to ourselves many times.
The world is truly trying to trick you into believing that sex is filled with colorful candy worlds and permanent sunshine. They are forms of fantasy that don’t really exist. Made up stories always seem better than reality because it’s not real and you have to face that. You can either decide to make your idols of sex or you can turn away and find the true peace that passes all understanding. Sexual sins are a great form of modern-day idolatry. “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” I suffered from idolatry. What a terrible mess I made! I have seen many couples who are more concerned about living life as they please instead of clinging to the bloody cross of Christ screaming, “Save me!” I was one of those people who crucified Jesus over and over again. Thankfully His grace truly did cover me. I needed to be saved so badly but instead of giving up on my sin, I gave into my idol of sex.