Disclaimer: I understand that a post with a title like this one may raise some eyebrows, especially since it’s coming from a Christian blogger. Please read it through and if you choose to comment, please do so kindly. Thanks, friends!
If you’re a Christian woman, chances are that someone, at some point, told you to save yourself for your future husband. This is a phrase we love to throw around in the church. It’s got a lot of analogies that go along with it too…
“Sweetie, imagine yourself as a glass of water. Right now, you’re so clean and pure, but every time you give your body away to man who isn’t your husband, you add dirt to your glass. Don’t you think you owe it to your future husband to not muddy up your water so you can give him a clean glass of water one day?”
“Imagine that your sexuality is a piece of packing tape. If you have sex with someone who isn’t your husband, that’s like sticking your piece of packing tape to his arm. When your relationship implodes, you’ll have rip the packing tape off his arm and it’ll hurt. Also, then your piece of tape will be dirty and less able to stick to the man you’ll marry one day. Wouldn’t you much rather be able to stick a clean piece of packing tape on your husband’s arm and never have to rip it off?”
I could cringe. Below, I’ll discuss three reasons I will never tell my daughter to save herself for her future husband.
THE LORD MAY CALL HER TO SINGLENESS
The Lord does not call all of His people to marriage (1 Corinthians 7:8). Marriage is a wonderful thing and there are many beautiful and unique blessings that accompany it, but it is not the end-all. Honoring God is the end-all, and there are God-honoring ways to be married and God-honoring ways to single.
The reality is that the Lord may well call my daughter to singleness. I don’t want to drill ideas about her “future husband” into her head from the time she hits puberty and then leave her experiencing feelings of confusion and confliction when she’s 22 years old and feels more called to the mission field than to marriage.
AN ENGAGEMENT RING IS NOT A FREE PASS
By telling girls to save themselves for their future husbands, we make it sound like all moral bets are off once she’s found him, and this simply isn’t true. Once my daughter has an engagement ring on her finger, she could make the point that she’s found her “future husband” and is now free to do whatever she pleases…right? Wrong. Scripture makes it clear that sex is intended for marriage and marriage alone (Hebrews 13:4). May I never trivialize the Lord’s precept by merely telling my daughter to save herself for her future husband.
IT’S NOT ABOUT HIM
The church may mean well when telling girls to save themselves for their future husbands, but the truth is, it isn’t about these future husbands at all.
It is about God Almighty, who formed the first female from Adam’s rib and calls every woman (and man, of course) to honor Him with her sexuality (Genesis 2:22-24). It is about Jesus Christ, who died to forgive our every sin (sexual and otherwise) and rose again to give us newness of life (2 Corinthians 5:17-19a). It is about the Holy Spirit, who dwells within every believer, making our bodies His temples (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
That’s why we save sex for marriage…not to be “pure” for some other sinful human being, but because our Creator and Redeemer commands us to. I will make it clear to my daughter that there is to be no sexual intimacy apart from the covenant of marriage, and with the Lord’s help, I will do that without exalting her future husband to a place of honor where only God should be.
It’s not about him. It’s about God. …So I will never tell my daughter to save herself for her future husband. Rather, I will encourage her to delight in the law of the Lord, who called her out of darkness and into marvelous light (Psalm 119:35). I will never make her young life’s work about saving herself for a man. Rather, I will make it about spending every ounce of who she is on the good works prepared in advance by her Heavenly Father for her to do (Ephesians 2:10).