"What? You believe in abstinence?"
said one high school student to another with a condescending
air. Her face was a picture of disbelief. The attitude
that sex is a natural part of relationships is prevalent
in high school and college these days. And in high
school there's the added pressure of feeling the need
to belong. Maintaining your virginity seems to be
just one more thing that makes you different from
And yet, this difference is significant and wonderful.
Having a sense of sexual morality, safeguarding your
integrity, and valuing purity are actually more rewarding
than sexual looseness or immorality. And you're not
as different or as alone as you may think. More and
more young people are waiting until they get married
before entering into a sexual relationship.
What are the rewards of morality? Well, let's look
at a good example:
He was a handsome man. And she was making advances
on him, consistently. No one had to know. He could
have easily reasoned that she could help his career.
She was the wife of a powerful man, an officer of
the king, his boss's wife. She was rich and desirable.
But each time Potiphar's wife asked Joseph to sleep
with her, he refused -- adamantly:
"Look, with me here, my master doesn't give
a second thought to anything that goes on here --
he's put me in charge of everything he owns. He
treats me as an equal. The only thing he hasn't
turned over to me is you. You're his wife, after
all! How could I violate his trust and sin against
God?" The Message Gen. 39:8
Finally, she caught him alone one day when the house
was empty -- a great opportunity. Joseph did not yield
to the temptation. Instead, he spun out of his coat
as she was grabbing it, and he fled.
So what did Joseph get for being moral? Well, the
immediate consequence was not too favorable. Potiphar's
wife felt so jilted that she landed him in prison
by lying to her husband, claiming that Joseph made
advances on her. Joseph was in prison for several
years. It looked like he was being punished for refusing
to sleep with Potiphar's wife, for taking a stand
for purity and principle.
But throughout everything that happened to him, Joseph
maintained his integrity and trusted in God's ability
to protect him and to guide his life. And this made
all the difference. The prison keeper saw that Joseph
was a good and virtuous man and put him in charge of
the prisoners. Eventually, Joseph was called upon by
Pharoah to interpret his dreams. As a result, Joseph
was essentially made the ruler of Egypt, second only
to Pharoah. This enabled him to save not only the Egyptians
during a time of great famine, but also his own family
and people. In the end, the rewards for being moral
outweighed whatever Potiphar's wife could have offered
him and benefited him far more than anyone could have
What gave Joseph the ability to take a stand for
principle and not waver, regardless of the possible
benefits and in spite of the potential downside? He
loved God too much to sin against Him. He respected
himself too much to compromise his integrity. As discussed
articles about relationships, our relationship
with God determines all other relationships. If we
compromise our relationship with God, and in Joseph's
word, "sin against God," then we compromise
our relationships with others. And, we lose our own
sense of self-worth. Losing respect for ourselves
affects everything we do.
It's possible that no one else would ever find out
that you slept with someone else. But you know. And
you have to live with your actions, your thoughts,
your conscience. So maintaining your purity is critical
to maintaining your dignity, identity, and sense of
peace. It also speaks volumes about your integrity
-- your sense of your self as worthy of the highest
respect and regard. If you are willing to compromise
your integrity, why shouldn't others treat you the
same way? When we cherish ourselves -- love ourselves
as God loves us, see ourselves as God sees us -- and
radiate that sense of respect to others, then respect
and love come back to us.
The benefits (both short and long term) of sexual
morality -- virginity, abstinence, purity, chastity
-- truly outweigh any sense of pleasure that the moment
- You get to know the person, his or her likes,
dislikes, desires, goals, interests, dreams.
- You get to build a friendship with that person.
And friendship is the basis of good relationships.
- You or your partner won't get pregnant. You won't
have to become a single parent. You can have a relationship
free from this worry.
- You won't get any STDs; you don't have to worry
about them or the consequences.
- You know that the person likes you for who you
are and not for your body or for how you can gratify
his or her sexual desires.
- You can make the distinction between love and
lust. Sex clouds your judgment.
- You won't have any regrets about wishing you wouldn't
have slept with a person, realizing he or she was
just taking advantage of you, or feeling ashamed.
- You can make decisions clearly. If this is not
a person with whom you want to spend the rest of
your life or even the next month, you don't have
the sex issue involved. It's easier to break up.
And if you are with the right person, you'll have
plenty of time the rest of your life to develop
a tender and passionate sexual life.
- When you do make love with your husband or wife,
it will be beautiful and natural.
- You have a sense of peace.
- You're honoring God.
- You maintain your sense of self-worth and dignity.
- You won't have to deal with shame, guilt, or sensuality.
- You're maintaining your integrity, which is one
of the most important aspects of your character.
- You are setting a standard for others to follow.
- Your commitment to morality may help someone else.
- You may find rewards as great as Joseph's.
If your romantic partner loves you, he or she will
respect your desire to maintain your purity. If s/he
turns it on you and claims that if you really love
him/her you'd have sex, then you know that the issue
is sex, not love, and that s/he values sex more than
your feelings or your sense of self-worth. And you
may want to remember:
- A girl can get pregnant even when she has her
- The failure rates of the most common contraceptives
(considering typical use) range from 2% - 21%. A
percentage rate cannot protect you from pregnancy.
Love and sex are not the same thing. The desire to
make love to someone you love is natural. And it is
beautiful when protected in the context of a committed
and loving marriage where it's okay if you get pregnant
because you have the framework to give children the
necessary support they deserve. Children deserve much
more then they often receive. You deserve the best.
You deserve the gift of purity. As Jesus tells us,
"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall
see God" (Matt. 5:8).
And if you've already had sex, it's not too late
to reclaim your purity. There was a woman whom the
scribes and Pharisees wanted to stone because they
caught her committing adultery. But Jesus had compassion
on her. And after the men left without killing her,
he asked her:
Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no
man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And
Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee:
go, and sin no more. John 8:10-11
The woman was healed. She gained a new sense of purity
and identity, and her nature was transformed.
The more pertinent question to ask should be: "Why
in the world would I want to compromise my integrity,
lose my virginity, and open myself to a load of problems
that I may not even be able to handle just for that
passionate feeling which doesn't actually last that
It may be hard to resist the passion, the infatuation,
the feelings, and to wait for marriage. But, you're