Best wedding gift ever…How saving sex for marriage has strengthened our union

Hammond

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No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:11

I had never before received such a gift. Nor had I ever given it. Neither had my Michael.

And we are so very sorry for that, repenting and receiving God’s forgiveness and cleansing with deep remorse and many tears.

Castle Dungeon

During the years of darkness when we each lived in dungeons of our own sinfulness, we didn’t love God enough {or truly understand how much He loves us} to choose to wait in a romantic relationship. To choose to obey.

We didn’t really understand the power of sex for creating intimacy between a man and a woman, and the destructive results when we don’t follow God’s way.

We didn’t trust Him enough to let Him do the picking. And we littered a trail with broken hearts — our own and others — and bits and pieces of ourselves scattered about. Our past is not a pretty story.

But this time was different.

We were older and wiser, having learned our lessons the awfully hard way. We had lost so much in our lives that we finally grasped the truth that the way to gain God’s blessings was not the broken road of sin, but the high road of humble obedience and relying on God’s grace.

So we put our trust completely in Him and asked if we might have the mate we were made for. We prayed for another chance to get it right. We each sought someone with whom we could follow hard after God all the days of our lives.

And He provided as only He can provide, and in a storybook kind of way perfect for two writers.

A long time before meeting my Michael, I had once mentioned to the Lord how lovely it must be to fall in love through letters, where untoward passions are restrained and purity reigns. The Author of our love story heard my heart’s desire.

Thousands of words were exchanged via email the first week we met, becoming acquainted online at a Christian dating site.

 And it was then that we began to fall for each other as our words gave evidence of the love we shared for our Lord Jesus.

When we met face to face on a bridge hung high over the Hudson River it was like coming home after an arduous and exhausting journey. My Michael held me in his arms for a long minute without saying a word.

And then we started talking.

And the words tumbled out as we criss-crossed the Walkway for eight hours on a sunny day in early June. Michael was determined that we share our stories in brutal honesty and I agreed. Not your typical first date!

We poured out the past with all the unpleasant details of how badly we had messed up, how foolishly we had disobeyed God, how much we had been hurt and hurt others, how intense was the pain and how determined we were to do it all His way or no way if there was ever to be a marriage again.

We made a commitment to pursue purity in our relationship, saving God’s gift of lovemaking for an undefiled marriage bed. Like a knight in armor, Michael lead the way in protecting me and our relationship from any misplaced inclinations, making sure proper boundaries were always securely in place.

And by doing so, establishing a bedrock foundation to build our union upon.

HAMMOND BEDROOM

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My Michael made a promise to Father God that he wouldn’t touch His daughter until the wedding night. And he promised each of my sons that he would not be intimate with me outside of marriage.

And he kept his word.

I had never been so honored. I had never felt more loved or desired by a man. And my respect for my beloved increased the longer I knew him and witnessed first hand his unwavering commitment to God and to me.

With each other, and only with each other, we gifted our marriage with sexual purity, redeemed and restored and then saved for our heart’s one true love.

  • By doing so we forged a bond of increased respect for one another.
  • We never had to wonder if sex had been a deciding factor in wanting to marry.
  • We showed each other that we were reliable and that we meant what we said.
  • We enjoyed greater communication and stability in our relationship.
  • Keeping ourselves on ice prior to exchanging our wedding vows increased our trust in the other in a world full of temptation.
  • As we honored God during our courtship and now in our marriage, He blesses us with sexual and soul healing, and uninhibited pleasure without the stain of premarital sexual sin. {For those of us — like my Michael and me in our earlier relationships — who did not save sex for marriage, my next post will focus on how God can tenderly restore our hearts and purify and reinforce our marital bond, proving that it is never too late to do things His way and receive the joy of restoration.}
  • And our obedience blesses our Lord and makes Him smile!

When the hard moments came in these first two years of marriage, in these early days of learning to love and adapt and live with one other in understanding ways mutually submitted to Christ, Michael’s honoring me sexually — and me helping him by conducting myself in an pure and modest way before marriage — has made it easier for me to respect and trust him as the head of our family.

And God has brought and continues bringing beauty from our ashes, restoring what we hand fed the locusts.

CASTLE SEA

The gift of sexual purity, like a king’s princess daughter kept in a castle strong overlooking the sea, is precious and worth protecting.

And to paraphrase Elizabeth Elliot, one of my favorite writers, the waiting was unutterably worth it!

~sheila

The enchanting photos in this post were taken at Hammond Castle in Gloucester, Mass., on Cape Ann where we return each year to celebrate our anniversary. In the sweet way that God does things, a banana split unexpectedly lead us here the evening of our anniversary {more on the banana split connection in another post soon} and we enjoyed a romantic, candlelit tour of a medieval style castle! Our tour guide and museum curator, John, was filled with interesting tidbits about the man who built Hammond Castle — while securing more than 400 patents for such things as television and stereo systems — as a wedding gift for his bride. Well worth a visit if you are ever out that way!

 

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LINKING WITH:  Jolene at Alabaster Jar; Laura at The Wellspring; Ruth at GraceLaced Mondays; Fay at Happy Wives Club; Naomi at What Joy is Mine, Monday Musings; Kendra at A Proverbs 31 Wife; Elizabeth at Marriage Mondays; Kathy at Cornerstone Confessions, Titus 2 Tuesday; Lauren at Mercy Ink Blog; Beth at Messy Marriage; Rosalind at A Little R&R; Kate at Teaching What is Good, Women Helping Women; Jennifer at Tell His Story; Tracy at My Daily Walk in His Grace, Winsome Wednesday; Shell at Intentional.Me, Thought Provoking Thursday.

 

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14 thoughts on “Best wedding gift ever…How saving sex for marriage has strengthened our union

  1. Gorgeously written and expressed. It can be so hard to explain and understand the benefits of waiting to a world that says ‘why not now?’ but there is so much richness, trust and depth to be found when we do. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful words Sheila.

    • Oh Ali, thank you for taking the time to share yours! I pray this post reaches many and helps others to choose wisely early on. But, regardless of what we do or don’t do, God is always forgiving when we repent and He gives us hope and grace to make things new. Thanks for stopping by! My love to you, my friend.

  2. What a beautiful testimony in the power of waiting for the sweet gift of marriage. Thanks for sharing this and encouraging others that it is truly worth the wait!!

  3. Psalm 84:11–what a wonderful promise! Your choosing to walk uprightly has wrought a beautiful relationship that has blessed you and Michael as well as many others through your writing. It so glorifies God! Thanks, girlfriend.

    • Thank you, my dear friend. And if I had a dollar for every time you gave me that scripture through the years he and I would be off to Bequia next 🙂 I thought of you as I included the verse. Thanks for faithfully reminding me! xo

  4. Oh dear what a lovely story. I am so glad to know I am on the right track. Thank you so much for writing such encouraging words.

  5. Praise God and thank you for sharing such an intimate detail. How important it is to follow God’s plan, He makes it all worth it.

    Wonderful testimony! Keep it up and thanks for the beautiful pics!!!

    • You’re very welcome, TC. In sharing our stories we help others…and it’s also been said that we are only as sick as our secrets. God knows it all and we are made righteous by His blood, Praise His Name. Thanks, TC.

  6. What a beautiful story of God’s redemption, Sheila. So many in our culture feel that we must “test the waters” to see if we’re compatible, all the while we are really muddying the waters. There are so many blessings in the waiting and the trust and faithfulness that is developed as you wait is priceless. Great topic and so glad you kept your relationship pure while dating!

    • We are too, Beth. And that is testimony to God’s grace and His faithfulness to our every effort no matter how small or large. He. Is. Good! Many times in the past two years I have said to Michael, “Thank you so much for treating me so honorably during our courtship.” Thanks, Beth. And I always look forward to seeing your face in my comments, too 🙂

  7. Sheila, what an amazing gift of friendship, love, anticipation, and intimacy that the Lord has built for you – and as you said – on a solid rock foundation that will stand the test of time. Thank you for the wisdom that I hope many will read and ponder as they make choices in relationships. Thank you for stopping by my place today. I’m so glad I stopped in to read this beautiful post. Kim