Jesus Freak: Abstinence Is The Worst Reason To Rush Into Marriage

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Jesus Freak: I am a Christian mom who was raised in a fundamental Christian home. I have questioned my beliefs and have come to love myself and God on my own terms. I’m raising my kids the same way. 

I used to be a believer in abstinence until marriage. In fact, I was “saving myself” as a virgin until marriage, until I re-met my husband at the age of 24. While I technically have only been with one man, my husband, we decided to rapidly switch gears and live together in sin two years prior to getting married. One reason was because my husband was already divorced at the age of 24, a marriage he rushed into because of the abstinence doctrine.

My husband and I were best friends in high school. Even back then, we knew that we had eerily similar upbringings (although I promise we are not related). Growing up, my family was very, very religious; as a young child, my parents were missionaries, and my dad was a pastor for a time. My husband grew up as a pastor’s kid almost his entire life. My father-in-law still preaches part-time.

So, it’s pretty clear that we were both taught abstinence as part of fundamental Christianity, along with the fact that sex is bad, bad, bad. My husband’s ex-wife was his high school girlfriend, who he met at church. Funnily enough, she and I never met each other back then because she didn’t go to our high school.

I moved away after high school, and my husband got married. She actually proposed to him because she wanted to live with him—but didn’t want to live in sin, I assume. My husband told me that he would have been happy living with her back then, but he knew that his parents would have disapproved. I can’t blame the abstinence doctrine directly, but I know that if my husband and his ex-wife had felt more comfortable living together, then maybe he wouldn’t have had to wade through a complicated divorce for several years following their three-year marriage.

As a side note, I’d like to point out that I am now glad my husband is divorced. When we first got together, I was very, very insecure about it, as most young, twenty-somethings are. But in his situation, he learned so much from his crash-and-burn marriage. He had a lot to bring to the table in our marriage and has made me better for it.

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