Is it selfish to want to marry a virgin?
Every Monday I like to post a Reader Question and take a stab at answering it. Today I’ve actually asked a friend of mine, Danielle Tate from Thrive Ministries, to try to handle this one. Danielle’s written before for me about soul ties when we have sex with someone, and I thought she’d be a great person to give this one to.
And since we talked so much about the purity culture last week, I thought this one was a good follow-up to tackle today!
The purity movement has nobly attempted to keep young men and woman from engaging in sexual activity before marriage with a heightened awareness that sexual behavior before the blessed union is morally and biblically wrong. While parts this culture of purity are right and biblical truth cannot be ignored, the purity movement has, in many ways, fallen short of equipping our youth to deal with real-life situations.
A college-age male reader recently wrote into Sheila with the following question:
During my teenage years I rejected sex several times believing deep down from my heart it was wrong to do it before marriage……….I feel discouraged to eventually find a possible partner. I cannot date a non-virgin woman without feeling it’s completely wrong. I read several of your guides trying to find an answer. On “why you should wait for sex until marriage” I agree with all your views but at the same time it fueled my determination to not date a non-virgin (because we won’t bond, etc) Do you think is healthy to discard partners based on their virginity? What can I do?
Let’s dissect this today!
What great determination you had in your teen years! Those are the most difficult times to withstand the temptation of sexual behavior. Now that you’re in college, as you see, things begin to get a little complicated.
If we lived in a black and white world I’d tell you to only marry a virgin. I’d also say that the best way to stop a truck-load of bagging from entering your marriage is to marry a virgin:
- Who has never watched, read or listened to non-Christian media
- Whose family line has never seen a divorce
- Whose parents, grandparent and great grandparents never had premarital sex
- Whose family generations never struggled with addictive or abusive behavior
- Who has never said a swear word
- Who hasn’t gotten mad at her mother, father or siblings
- Who isn’t the least bit selfish
Basically, I’d tell you to marry someone who is perfect.
The problem with this, and it’s a big one, is that we do not live in a perfect world. It’s not even close. There is nothing wrong with setting standards for yourself deciding who you want to marry, but they must be standards based on what God has laid on your heart, not what man, Christian or not, has determined to be right or wrong.
“What if I Can’t Bond With My Non-Virgin Spouse?”
Bonding in the terms of a life-long relationship comes in three forms: physical, emotional and spiritual.
And what if you can’t bond with your virgin spouse?!? There’s no guarantee that two virgins getting married will find themselves in a world of marital bliss. Ask anyone who is married and they will tell you that even the most sheltered of individuals find themselves in a relationship where hurts happen and bonding is difficult.
Many couples feel they are totally compatible before marriage but they find themselves in a world of adjustments, negations, hurts and healings as they begin to do life together.
Virginity is no guarantee of a perfectly bonded marriage.
The bottom line is this: bonding in marriage takes work. Sure, you’ll physically bond when you have a sexual encounter, but the emotional and spiritual bonding takes time and effort.
“But they had sex, how do I get past that?”
If the Lord puts before you someone to love, that someone is never going to be perfect and may indeed have a sexual history. Perhaps you are part of their healing journey! Premarital sexual acts are unwise practice because it leads to unhealthy bonds and baggage that will carry into a marriage if not properly dealt with.
For many, there lies the hesitation in marrying someone who has sexual experiences. Thankfully we serve a Jehovah Rophe, The Lord who heals. In fact, in the Bible God speaks of himself as Jehovah who heals in Exodus 15:26. There is nothing too shameful or sinful that God cannot bring healing and restoration.
I would encourage you to gain an understanding of the ever-lasting effects of sexual activity. Understand that someone does not have to be bound to their past. If they are ready to receive healing from the soul ties created in unhealthy relationships you can help them by being knowledgeable about breaking soul ties. One’s virginity and “purity” might be lost in man’s eyes, but God our healer and restore can make all things new!
If all you can see when you look at someone is their sexual past, then dare I say: you are not looking with the love of Christ. Where will you draw the line? What if you marry someone who thinks they were a virgin and later it comes out in counseling or a family scandal that they were sexually abused a child? What if they were raped?
God didn’t highlight sexual sin because it was unforgivable, but because He knew just how deep the roots of would grow. These roots grow if the sin was willful or at the hands of another.
If you want to get past their past, you have to give them the grace God has given you in every sin you’ve committed. We’re told not to look at the plank in someone else’s eye before removing the speck from our own.
I would also add, are you concerned more with their sexual indiscretions or the fact that it would make you look bad to marry someone who is not a virgin?
What Factors Are You Looking At In A Potential Spouse?
If someone catches your eye or you feel a little connection between the two of you, when are you asking the ultimate Virgin Question? Are you getting to know them, spending time with them first?
A solid relationship is more than your sexual experiences, and if you are focusing only on their virgin card you may be missing the forest for the trees. Even if you’ve written a detailed Wife List (or Husband List for the ladies), you may find the one God is leading you to marry does not match every single thing you wanted in a spouse.
If you have not written a Wife List I would encourage you to write one. What does a biblical woman look like to you? If marrying someone who is a virgin is non-negotiable for you, that’s okay–but please don’t make that your sole factor in finding a spouse.
Ultimately, it is up to you and God if you should consider dating or marrying a non-virgin. So examine your heart and decide if this is God’s desire for you, or if it’s just a religious mindset.
Thanks so much, Danielle! And I agree–it can be a real disappointment when we have saved ourselves for marriage to realize the person we love has not. But I love what Danielle said: what if we are part of their healing journey? So examine your heart and see why you’re saying no. Make sure it’s for a legitimate reason! And then, if you do go ahead and proceed towards marriage with someone who isn’t a virgin, make sure that you can truly put their sexual past behind you before you get married. If you decide to marry, then you also decide to let it be.
Now let me know in the comments: What do you think? Is it hard to marry someone who isn’t a virgin (if you are one?)