I fell in love with Daniel when I was 16. He was 19. I would have married him right away, but I realized that I was way too young. Everybody in our youth group knew how we felt about each other, and Daniel was as much in love as I was but we were just so young. In our circle, early marriages are not recommended. Relationships arent encouraged either unless two people want to see if they really could work together as life partners.
But at that age, how could I know if Daniel was the right one? I was so in love, the issue obsessed me, but we only actually saw each other at youth group get-togethers and vacation camps. I decided that the best way to deal with my uncertainty was to maintain a certain amount of distance from him. And I did that until I was 19. Then we had a serious crisis: Daniel said he couldnt stand my ambivalence anymore. I decided I would trust in God to show me the way. He knows whats best for us. If Daniel was the right one, God would bring us back together.
Three years went by and I couldnt get Daniel out of my head. We saw each other occasionally in church, but usually avoided each other. I prayed a lot, and one day it suddenly came to me I needed to get things going. And I did something thats unusual for women: I made the first move. I wrote Daniel an e-mail and asked if we could meet up. He was reserved at first, but after a while the old trust came back. We started meeting, mostly in groups, and talked. A lot. We wanted to find out if we would make good life partners.
Avoiding unpleasant surprises
When do people who believe in sex before marriage start to think of themselves as being in a relationship? After the first kiss? After the first time they have sex? When theyre publically considered a couple? For people who share our belief in chastity, its when two people decide to seriously figure out if they would work as a married couple. And that means intense discussions. It amazes me when I see how little other couples discuss their plans for the future. A friend of mine just split up with a guy shes been with for eight years for the first time, she brought up the issue of kids, and it turns out he doesnt want any. She was heartbroken. I feel really bad for her shes 33, and now she has to find somebody else and build a relationship all over again. At the same time, I cant wrap my brain around the idea that two people could be together that long and never have faced a key question like that.
Some people think that approaching a relationship the way we do is heavy, unromantic. But it does mean you can save yourself some unpleasant surprises. Daniel and I talked about everything kids, where we wanted to live. He wanted to live in the countryside. I wanted to be in the city. So we compromised on a community thats just on the outskirts.
The thing about abstinence is that its a kind of protection for both body and soul. You give so much of yourself when you have sex, that wasting it on somebody you dont have a future with hurts. Thats why I really believe you shouldnt have sex before marriage. If more people believed that, there would be fewer problems STDs including AIDS, unwanted pregnancies.
A Sleeping Beauty kind of situation
But of course theres a lot of temptation, so you have to figure out ways to avoid situations where sex could happen. In short: you minimize risk. Dont spend the night at each others place. Dont go on vacation together unless its with a group where the women room together and the guys room together. It was very tough sometimes.
Every couple has their own chastity definition. We stopped at kissing. I think it must have been harder for Daniel: he had had girlfriends before, although he hadnt slept with any of them. But I trusted him; hes very solid. And since I didnt know what I was missing, I didnt have physical cravings. It was a Sleeping Beauty kind of situation. Also, I was doing it voluntarily because I wanted to please God. The Bible says its immoral to sleep with somebody outside marriage. Its important, though, for both men and women to respect this not just women.
And after a two-and-a-half-year courtship, when Ester G. finally did lose her virginity?
I was able to enjoy it, because there was absolute trust. I knew my husband, and I love him. Its about spirit, soul and body. I really liked my husbands spirit and soul, so I just assumed Id like his body too.
Read the original story in German
Photo - mark sebastian