Holding Out: A Pep Talk From A Twenty-Three Year Old Virgin

writing in bed

I’m tired of the narrative that is fed to me by society. “You’re not a man until you have sex,” is what is often said, and if I don’t talk about “hitting that” then they’ll call me gay. For one not to take a woman home with them after a night out with friends is commonly deemed “a failed evening.” There’s no conquest, no early morning shuffle to leave before she wakes up, no awkward exchange of “I’ll text you later,” and then you never hear from them again. It’s a societal norm to often hook up when you’re in college or in your twenties. That’s the time you learn the ropes. It’s spoon fed to us through the entertainment industry. But what would it look like if more men tried being abstinent while they held out for their wife? What if that was the more popular trend to follow? I’m not sure if it ever will be, but that doesn’t mean I have to conform to the world around me.

I’m twenty-three years old and I’m still holding out for my future wife. (Yes, you read that right. I’m still a virgin.) Before you get the imagine painted in your head that I’m some “perfect little angel” and that I never made a mistake before with women; I want you to stop. I’m not perfect by any means and I’ll be the first one to tell you that. I’ve got battle scars from lessons learned and although you can’t see them, I carry them with me. It took a pivotal break up in college for me to realize that I was chasing after a relationship that wasn’t Christ centered. I wanted all of the relationship with the woman, but none of the relationship with God.

While I was dating this girl, I pushed physical boundaries and came close to giving up my covenant with my future wife because of lustful desires and selfishness. When I came to the realization that I was in over my head, I panicked and broke things off in the most middle school way possible—a text message. (It wasn’t my finest moment and it’s something I still regret, but stay with me here. I promise this story will get better.) After the break up, I fell into a pretty deep depression. I would walk across the bridge at the university I was attending and thought about jumping off on a daily basis for months. I’d have my foot on the brake at a stoplight and would often think about just drifting into traffic as a semi approached from a nearby street. But something kept bringing me back. Something always saved my life.

What saved me at the time was imagining my future wife and kids. It was imagining the better days to come. It was imagining popcorn bowls getting knocked over and kernels covering the carpet during a movie night with her. Date nights with nothing else to do but to drive around and listen to the radio while eating DQ Blizzards. Sunday mornings in church pews belting out the lyrics and having intimate conversations together about our faith. Our wedding day as she came down the aisle in a white dress with the biggest grin on her face like she just got away with stealing the last cookie out of the cookie jar. Our first house together and all of the problems that we’d have to conquer together (but let’s be real, we’d probably call our parents to come over and help). It was imagining the first steps, the video camera memories and Little League games. It was those things that kept me alive. I needed to keep myself going. It was this imagination that kept me going long enough that I was able to begin to pursue a relationship with God first.

Even if it feels like light years away for you right now, we’ve all probably had the vision of us getting married someday. (Admit it, even you wild stallions that’ll “never” settle down. You’ve still thought about it.) When you’re single, that’s the best time for you to pursue a relationship with the Lord. Don’t say, “I’ll get right when she comes along. She’ll turn me into a better man.” By then it’s too late!

“If you don’t work on your singleness, you’ll be frustrated in your marriage.” - Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church,