To Those Struggling to Wait

From the Team: An updated version of Lies Young Women Believe (the book that launched this blog!) recently released. To celebrate, we’re passing along five days of devos taken from the pages of the book. (It’s like getting some of the book’s very best content delivered to your screen for free!) Be sure to hop back on the blog tomorrow for more wisdom from the pages of the new Lies Young Women Believe.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Prov. 3:5–6).

A young girl enrolled in a Christian middle school gave voice to the great loneliness many of us feel in our quest for purity. She said:

I think that at my school, having sex is normal. Everybody has either had sex or they are really close to it. That is something I struggle with a lot. I wonder if I am going to wait. It is all about the moment for me. I struggle with waiting.

“I know what loneliness is.”

An overwhelming number of young women admitted they felt lonely in their quest to live a pure life. It’s easy to dwell on the loneliness when you are trying to honor the gift of sex and wait until marriage. But I (Dannah) know that the worst loneliness lies in the aftermath of compromise.

When I was fifteen, I was attending a Christian high school. I was active in my youth group and was even earmarked as a leader and invited to teach the three-to-four-year-old Sunday school class at my church. I was in a dating relationship in which there was great pressure to be sexual. Oh, not to have “sex.” But to be sexual. And with each secret act of sin, I convinced myself that it “wasn’t really sex.” I just knew that could never happen to me. After all, I was a Christian girl who believed in purity.

The pressure increased, and things escalated. I knew I needed to break up with this guy, but I couldn’t get myself to do it. In crept the lie that “I could not endure the loneliness of purity.” So I gave away the gift that God meant me to give to my husband on my wedding night.

I can’t even begin to tell you how lonely my life became. Eventually, I broke up with that guy, but I didn’t think there was a single person I could talk to about what had happened—what I had done. Everyone in church seemed so picture perfect. Certainly they never knew the depths of sin that I had. I didn’t tell anyone for ten years.

I know what loneliness is.

Maybe you do, too.

I’m happy to say that by God’s grace I fully confessed my sin, and in time the Lord graciously healed up my heart. He gave me a great Christian husband who was a virgin on our wedding night and has extended much forgiveness to me. No, he’s lavished forgiveness on me. Just like my Savior. And today God is using me to encourage young women like you to choose the pathway of purity. (Our God is so merciful and creative in His restoration of our broken hearts.) If you have known this loneliness, I want you to see the healing in my life and know that God wants this for you, too.
Yes, a commitment to purity challenges you to safeguard your heart until it is the right time to “awaken” love. Yes, this often feels painful and even lonely, but the pain of self-denial is far better than the pain of self-destruction.

Learning To Trust

Trust God! Trust him with this difficult task of self-control and self-denial and waiting. We are told in the Proverbs 3:5–6 to trust Him with our whole heart. One of the hardest things to trust Him with is our love lives, but even this belongs to Him.

I (Nancy) want to add a word for those who struggle with the thought, What if God doesn’t ever give me a husband? Having lived as a single woman until my late fifties (when God totally surprised me by bringing an amazing husband into my life), I can assure you that if God’s plan is for you to remain single longer than you expected—or even for a lifetime—your life can be as meaningful and blessed as that of any married woman. Yes, there will be challenges (as every married woman faces), but He really will give you daily grace for whatever you may encounter.

The fact is, loneliness is an inescapable reality in a fallen, broken world—whether you’re single or married! But if you will set your heart to seek God and His will above anything and anyone else, we can promise that you will never be truly alone, and you will never lack true joy.

Can we encourage you to press into trusting God with your purity and future marriage?

It’s Your Turn

Do you ever feel lonely in your stand for purity?

What words of encouragement can you pass along to other girls who are waiting to help them know they are not alone?

Leave us a comment below with your answers.

And keep reading the blog all week for more wisdom from Lies Young Women Believe, written by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Dannah Gresh.

About Author

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh is completely in love with her chocolate labradoodle, Stormie. (But just for the record, she doesn't like dog kisses.) She's been married to Bob for over twenty years and loves that he brings her "freshly sharpened bouquets of pencils." She's the mom to Lexi, Autumn, and Rob. Oh, and she co-wrote Lies Young Women Believe with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth!

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • genesis herrera

    You have no idea how much I needed to hear this. I’ve been struggling with wanting to stay pure, but I’ve been thinking “Is that even possible?” It’s seems as if I can’t control myself when alone, so how can I control myself if I ever get into a relationship? Plus forgiveness is hard for me to except and extend onto myself. When I last liked a guy, I lost so much of myself in games and mind tricks and traded all of myself to have him chose me over every other girl. To the point of where even my body was option put on the table. If God wouldn’t have broken my heart so badly, I would’ve lost and been hurt so much more if I did sleep with this guy. I just can’t believe that I was willing to go that far for love. The forgiveness doesn’t seem real for me in this situation and I don’t know how to fully forgive myself either. I”m just to ashamed of how far I was willing to go for a guy who would’ve never picked me in the first place.

  • Transformed4More

    Such a great post!

  • lolo-rose

    I really needed this. This is definitely something I’ve been struggling with. Its so easy to get caught up in the moment and be all like ‘no body will find out’. But I really think if i went all the way i would never be able to forgive myself. Its something that once its gone can never be taken back and I don’t think i fully realized the weight of that until I was put in the situation.

  • Paige

    This was encouraging. Thanks for reminding us all of the truth!

  • This was such an encouraging post, Dannah! Thank you so much for writing and sharing some of your story. It has really helped me in my walk to be completely pure!

  • Mary

    God Would write you lovestory. He don’t Need our help. In the Time If we live in the Purity Can Be hard But at the end we Would me happier that Jesus had found our husband.

  • Jackie

    Wow, This is exactly what i have been going through for the past month. I confessed my sin too, I had sex with a boy who doesn’t even go to church anymore, and says I”m a liar. Growing up in a christian family and knowing that what I did was sin, i often struggle with my thoughts, because I start thinking “well now that I have done this, should I settle for a “less godly” man?” or ” a godly man won’t want me because I’m not as pure as I should” and all that. Honestly, the healing process is hard, and slow. but Thank God for his mercies and for sending us godly pople to help us get through. I pray that God help each and every girl going through the same. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
    Love y’all with the love of our Savior Jesus.

  • J

    Is maintaining purity a means for getting a “godly husband?” Or is it a command we must obey because the One who made the body designed sex to be a spiritual behavior? For a believer, your body is a temple– a temple in which the Holy Spirit (God) dwells. When we participate in defilement of the body ( sex outside of marriage), we are desecrating God’s temple. Read the prophets in OT to see how God responded to acts of defilement in His physical temple (1st temple). When Paul says the body of is the temple of God. This means that God lives in each one of us. Our concern shouldn’t be what guy to settle for, or whether or not God has a husband for you (nowhere in scripture are husbands or wives promised). Aiming to present every aspect of our lives in purity before God through faith in Jesus who has all power to strengthen each of us should be the desire of believers. We can’t manipulate God. When we disobey God, we should feel guilt, because it’s in our guilt we get to truly the scope of His love– His faithfulness to do what no man, woman or child can ever do, that is, to love us so much that He is willing for forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness (1John 9). I love what verse 1 John 9:10 says, if we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar. This means that no sin is a surprise to God, we cannot earn His love by not sinning– that’s impossible. What is possible is by desiring His ways more than anything, we will be made holy and pure through sancrification. May you all find great strength in our Lord, Jesus.

  • XboxGurl 360

    I’m 20 going to be 21 in June and I’m staying pure till marriage. I always had that plan and made that promise in life. I wasnt allowed to date till I was 18 as my dad and ma told me so, and I obeyed. Here I am 20 turning 21 and I have never dated or been in a relationship yet. My cousin who is married, 26, and is not a Christian woman asks me “are you even interested in guys? Are you seeing someone or even interested? When are you going to have that experience?” Yes that was awkward and put me on the spot and made me feel like something was wrong with me after all or that I needed to be on the lookout now for a guy. But im in college and it’s just me and my ma that are trying to survive. Once I got home I told my ma and realized that was the world talking and coming from a non Christian women’s point of view. But her words and questions still left a thorn in my side, my “flesh” side. Yes I feel lonely at times but I know what’s right and what’s wrong. I catch myself reading things I shouldn’t and compare myself and life to others that are not in my situation or have to go through with what I go through. My dad passed away when I was 14 and one of last things he said to me was “stay true”. I said “okay- I will”. Which meant I made a promise to him to Saturday true to myself, and to stay pure. I’m keeping that promise to him no matter what. I also made that promise to my ma, myself and to God. I can’t and won’t break that promise even though I may falter at times.

    My advice is, don’t date or even think about dating till your 18, because you will have a better mind set and awareness at that age. Any younger than that is too young and gullible. My older sister proved that when she was allowed to date at 14… my father realised that only AFTER it was too late. That’s why he didn’t let the same mistake happen with me. Also don’t compare yourself and your life to others, especially on social media.

    But I’m still struggling. I struggle with coming across readings that turn out to be sexual in books and I try to convince myself that it’s not bad or a sin, but I know it is. Then I still struggle with the belief that i am not the “marrying” type. I’m not good enough or the kind of woman that a man is looking for or wants. So I’ve accepted the fact that I will be single and stay single the rest of my life. So, please pray for me and my struggles, as well as my guilt and for strength to stop and overcome these bad habits and thoughts.

    • genesis herrera

      I relate so much!! I will totally pray for you. I go through the same things 🙂

  • Kh Mu

    The hardest part for me was observing hot, handsome guys, and struggling to maintain pure thoughts. Even now, married to a very good-looking guy, I STILL have trouble averting my eyes from others.

    I used to look up softcore porn pics of unclothed men when I was a teenager. This was very exciting to the flesh, and I thought it was ok to lust after men because it’s not directly addressed in the Bible. I’ve since learned that hardly anyone thinks women get visually stimulated, that hardly any other women view porn to look at men — and when I looked for support and found two seeming support groups for women and pornography, they were all centered around abuse instead. The women there had no concept of lusting after men visually and physically.

    Why is this my great burden in life? I don’t know. All I know is I probably struggle with this problem more than any other woman in human history. I’ve met only a few other women who have dared to admit they have similar thoughts, but I don’t think ANY fight against it to the extent I have. It’s not my only trial in life, but it’s been by far the biggest.

    • genesis herrera

      while I’m not necessarily a woman (I’m a teenager) I can somewhat relate in a way. I would watch movies that had sex scenes and my mind would store them away until I could no longer fight of the temptation of masterbation. I know what it’s like to feel like you have NO ONE to turn too. No one to understand. And even though some people may experience the same things as you, you still feel like they don’t get it to your extent. I thought masterbation was okay because the Bible never talked about it, but now it’s something I want so badly to get rid of, but am too weak to say no to. What’s worse is that it’s becoming easier to mess up and the guilt is fading as well. Even having help from a best friend doesn’t always help. It’s my big struggle. And I hope it doesn’t grow bigger into becoming sexually active, looking a porn (which I’ve been highly tempted to try many times), or anything else. I hope my story that was hard to share gave you some hope that your not alone. Even if you feel like it. Women do struggle with porn. It’s not just a guy thing.

      • Masturbation is often fueled by lust which is a sin (Mt. 5:27-28). You have keyed in on a very important thing, Genesis, and that is the knowledge that your lust is fueled by what you look at. So we encourage you to avoid movies that have sexual scenes, books that are sexually explicit or anything else that arouses you.

        You are not alone in your struggle, Genesis! God sees and knows all that you are going through. He will give you the strength to fight this battle. We are glad that you have shared with a friend. We encourage you to continue to do so when the battle is difficult. She can pray for you, encourage you and point you to Jesus. We are praying for you today!

        “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil. 4:8)

        • genesis herrera

          Thank you 🙂 it’s nice to know that there are people cheering me on in this war. Thank you so much. 🙂

  • Nikki

    So I’m 20 years old and never been in a relationship with a guy or even had my first kiss…it can be hard seeing everyone around me going out on dates or getting married and I’m just over here like “Uh, God, did you forget about me?” even though I know he hasn’t. But I know from seeing things in my life that waiting until marriage and committing to purity is the way I want to go, but I’m wondering if my FH will also have those same commitments and values. It’s hard to know what to do sometimes in these situations. I’ve always liked the wrong type of men ( jerks and guys that are self absorbed) and I don’t want to choose that type of man in my future hubby. I’m letting go and trusting God to provide the right fella for me in His timing.

  • medan

    Waiting for God;s timing beyond the age you believed you would be married can be tough, but its a daily step of faith, trust and standing on His Word. its all about allowing yourself to be defined by what God’s Word says rather than the opinions of men, especially you.