Due to recent events in my life, I have been thinking a lot about relationships, particularly those of the romantic variety. I have never dated anyone seriously outside of my husband. Of course I realize this is a rarity. In today’s world it is not uncommon for a person to have between five and ten “serious” relationships and that amount of sexual partners. And as you all know, that number can be considered tame by many.
As both a believer and a child with a strict mother I grew up on the principle that one was not supposed to have sex before marriage. While plenty of Christians find themselves unable to follow that command, for the first time I saw it clearly and understood why God would set it. To me, every person you have a sexual relationship with you also have an intimate relationship, whether you want to or not. Each time you give yourself to another person, you are connecting with them on some level and putting some of your hopes into them.
What do we do in a relationship? We share our fears, we talk about our past. Each of us has baggage, which just grows bigger with each sexual partner that we have—each relationship that we have, really. And every time it doesn’t work out, that is something else that we—or the man or woman we will one day call our spouse—will have to help us overcome.
Though I came into my relationship with my husband a virgin, I still had plenty of emotional baggage from my childhood. He had the same, plus baggage from a previous relationship. The more you weigh yourself down with relationship baggage the more you have to overcome. Now, I am definitely not advising that everyone become celibate, or avoid relationships. I am simply saying that we should be careful, and guard our hearts, protecting them as much as we can for the person who truly deserves to have it.