Please God, Don’t Let Me Die a Virgin!

In the Friends episode, “The One that Could Have Been,” Fat Monica is sitting at her kitchen table with Chandler upset that her boyfriend ran out on their date because of work. In her frustration, she blurts out, “Chandler, I’m going to die a virgin!” As if such a fate was actually worse than death.

Monica’s disappointment and embarrassment about being a thirty-year-old virgin reflects how our society views those who are sexually abstinent in adulthood whether by choice or lack of opportunity.

I can’t speak for society, but I can speak for myself. I laughed at that scene not because I thought it was funny, but because I identified with Monica. In fact, I exclaimed, “Me too!”

Now sex in and of itself would be a horrible reason to get married. So let me be clear, that is not the only reason I would like to be married one day.

I know marriage is more than sex and that marriage is beautiful and hard and all that. I know it doesn’t complete me. I know marriage will not make me happier. I get it.

But sometimes I fall prey to the belief that in our society, it would be easier to be married and Christian than single and Christian.

If I were a married Christian lady, nobody would think twice about me staying faithful to my husband. If I did sleep around, the world would actually look down on me.

Case in point: In that same Friends episode, Rachel has the opportunity to cheat on her husband with Joey Tribbiani, the Soap Opera star, but she doesn’t. She feels overwhelmed with guilt for even entertaining the idea because cheating on her husband would make her a horrible person.

However, as a single Christian lady, I still believe the only man I should sleep with is my husband. God just hasn’t revealed the identity of that lucky man yet. The world thinks I’m crazy for wanting to be faithful to a man who may very well not even exist.

I’ll be 29 this year, and I can count on one hand the amount of dates I’ve been on in my life. I’ve never been on a date with a man where I’ve enjoyed myself and wanted to continue the relationship. They’ve all been awkward, and then I had to do the whole “I don’t really like you that way. Let’s pretend like we’re going to stay friends, but I’m actually going to avoid you like the plague from here on out because I feel guilty for possibly hurting your feelings” thing.

Let me share with you a list of some situations I’d rather not go through again:

  • Being told by a guy I like he’s not that interested in me
  • Telling a guy I’m not that interested in him
  • Kidney stones

So after one painfully awkward date, I told God I would prefer not to be asked out at all than to be asked out by a man whom I’d have to reject.

God is faithful, and I have not been asked out since August 2012.

I’m telling you this because I need you to know I’m not some super holy person who has resisted so much temptation in an effort to stay faithful to my future husband; I’ve had no opportunity to be unfaithful. (At least not physically–emotionally unfaithful? Well that’s a story for another day.)

I’m just a girl who somedays feels like the biggest loser in the world and who sometimes believes no man will ever find her beautiful or love her. A girl who struggles with loneliness and feeling unwanted.

But those are my feelings; they are not my reality.

My reality is a Father who has beautifully protected me from the pain and destruction of sexual sin thus far in my life, but whose affection is not contingent upon my perfection. I am loved.

My reality is a Savior who loved me at my worst and who continues to recklessly pursue my heart. I am wanted.

My reality is a Great Comforter who guides and guards me as I navigate the trials and joys of this world. I am never alone.

Feelings often take awhile to catch up to God’s truth. They also forget easily. I have to remind my heart daily of the truth, so my feelings can be rooted in God’s Word and not fear.

My fear of being single forever and dying a virgin finds its root in the fear of being an outsider and misunderstood and ridiculed. Ironically enough, God’s Word promises exactly those things for those who follow Christ.

We were never meant to “fit in” in this world; we were meant to change it. And in our weakness and struggles, God shines brightest.

“…I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ might rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, ESV

I’m not implying that the single life is all calamity and hardship. For the most part, I’ve greatly enjoyed my twenties and God has taken me on many adventures that would not have been possible if I was married. Marriage would have provided its own set of hardships.

But singleness does provide a unique opportunity to live counter culturally and proclaim that God’s way is better–even if in my weakness, I still feel a tinge of embarrassment when asked about my abstinence.

Will living a chaste life while single change the world? Maybe not.

But living in obedience to God in every area of my life–big and small–certainly will.

I may very well die a virgin, but please, God, don’t let me die without changing the world.

 

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27 thoughts on “Please God, Don’t Let Me Die a Virgin!

  1. mariposa06 says:

    Amen! Thank you for this Sarah! Speaks to me where I am right now, actually. I appreciate your candidness! Though I also yearn to be married, I’m also overwhelmingly thankful for the adventures God has (and continues to give me) in my singleness, including protection from the pain of serial relationships.

      • Ryan says:

        Thanks for having the courage to put that out there. I could have written it nearly word for word as a 39yo man who’s been praying for a wife since college. And who are we to argue with God who has never made a mistake? Lol in the midst of frustration it is impossible at times if that babble makes any sense. The pithy phrase “the struggle is real” rings true in this area like nothing else in my life. Anyways like I said thank you again for being so courageous to put something as vulnerable as that out there. Liked the humor too :). God bless you.

      • Jen says:

        You rock! Thanks for putting into words what I feel. Don’t let me die a virgin! Although I’ve had to deal with the pain of having guys hurt me and tell me they aren’t interested in pursuing me. Trust me, you aren’t missing anything, lol. Dating is worldly and cold—cutting people off suddenly with no consideration. I think courtship is what God intended. Guys just don’t want to make the effort. They enjoy shopping online for women like they’re looking for car parts 🙂

  2. Lisa says:

    LOVE this! And, we have almost the same story as far as guys/dating except I have a handful more years’ experience being single. I hit the mid-30s at the end of last year. At times, it’s depressing to still be single, but overall it is good and I’d rather wait on God’s timing. Thank you for sharing this Sarah. Like you said, it’s nice to know you’re not alone.

  3. Ok so I came across your post through the “reblog” on I Am Second’s fb. This post is like I wrote it myself…so weird! I have been wrestling with exactly everything you talk about for the last few months (the struggles and the joys!) in particular, perhaps putting pressure on myself that isn’t necessary. I am blessed with a group of single friends but do have the fear that in the end I’ll be the one “left behind”. Out of nowhere and totally unexpectedly God lead me to this post & I am reminded that He’s got this, whatever will be. And so I will continue to enjoy the blessings of single life & let go of the uncertainty. Thank you! From a friend from Ireland. 🙂

  4. TJ says:

    Just read the blog post from I Am Second on Facebook and I identified with so much of what you had to say and was so deeply encouraged. Although, my story is slightly different, I gave myself to a man who did not love me and ended up using my only for sex (or so it seemed). I cannot tell you that even though this was years ago, I still am disheartened that I let myself go there and that he didn’t love me back. I am proud of you for waiting, it will mean so much more with the right person God has for you. Thanks for the encouragement.

  5. SteveC says:

    Sarah, I read your article on I Am Second and posted it on a young adults Bible conference group page on Facebook. Then I came to your blog. Your writing is excellent– expressive and frank, insightful and passionate. And it’s happy! Please keep writing. God’s blessings to you in your daily work as well as in your ministry here.

  6. Margaret says:

    Sarah, I enjoyed reading your article. On a lighter note though you wouldn’t be the only one to die a virgin. My Grandpa Virgin didn’t mind dying a Virgin…yep there are families with the last name Virgin so you wouldn’t be alone 🙂

  7. Wow thank you so much for this Sarah! I struggle with this so much and it is so comforting to not be alone. And like you it’s not even like I’ve chosen to live this chaste holy life, that’s just kinda the way things have happened for me. And when I talk to other single women most of them have gone on dates or have had boyfriends and I feel like even though they are “single” they haven’t experienced the extremity of loneliness and hopelessness that those of us who have never really dated anyone have. May we be filled with the truth of God’s perfect and pleasing will whether we get married or not. I still hope for the day that God leads me to a man who is more than I could ever imagine, but if not I know that God is glorifying Himself exactly how he wants to. I love your last line about it’s ok to die a virgin but not ok to die without changing the world. Let’s change the world!

  8. Ian says:

    I had a life very much like this. The only difference being I had chosen to forget God. In His great mercy and wisdom He stopped me from sleeping with any woman until I met my wife. And believe me I tried! But no He knew what was right for me.

    I came to choose Him again and more than I have before in my life. I’m rebaptised. I am now with the only woman I ever dated and/or slept with.

    I’m so, so, so, thankful to our Father for being there for me and helping my life.

    You can see He is there for you too. Stay faithful to Him, and you will be blessed in His time and for His glory.

  9. Drew T says:

    As a single Christian man, this can easily be flipped to a male perspective and be just as powerful. I have often felt alone and like know one understood my situation as a single Christian…and you literally stole many of my thoughts and feelings (with very similar humor). Thank you for captioning the emotions and beliefs that so many of us live with! God bless you, and please keep writing!

  10. Jaye says:

    Sarah, you are amazing!

    Seriously, thank you so much for sharing your various feelings and story and journey with us. And I LOVE that you turn to God, constantly turning the entire story back to God, and acknowledging Him and recognizing Him, and giving sincere gratitude and thanks to Him. That is so important, and so great.

    Keep using your gifts/talents for good (including this writing). You are definitely a wonderful instrument in the Lord’s hands, and I believe you are impacting for good more people than you may ever know.

  11. Can I offer some thoughts I’ve been mulling over lately? And this is just thinking out loud–I’m journeying through the same internal discussion you’re having. So, we’re navigating the question of how in the world you can pursue a relationship without anyone getting burned (a question that I’ve wrestled with for a long time). I’ve begun to evolve an opinion that maybe this isn’t the question we should be asking. I think we market it as a question about pursuing holiness, when really it’s a question about self-preservation.

    Getting married was so much less complicated in biblical times. Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac from his extended family. Jacob worked for Rachel because he found her attractive and fell in love with her. People got married because it was financially beneficial to their families. We spend time scouring Scripture for this perfect algorithm, and it just doesn’t exist. There are so many approaches people in the Bible took toward courtship, and there is very little that the Bible communicates regarding specific strategies for this process. And I think there’s a good reason for that.

    Relationships are messy–unavoidably so–because people are involved. If single Christians of our generation want to get married, I think getting hurt and hurting with other people when we hurt them is something we have to accept. You spend time with someone, and you draw closer together. And then sometimes God leads you apart, and it hurts. And then you get close to someone else. There’s nothing unbiblical about any of that. It’s just part of being HUMAN. Even if you get married, your spouse can die. Then you might fall in love again. There’s nothing morally superior about dating only one person, getting married, and staying with them for the rest of your life. That’s just being lucky. It’s not what’s “supposed” to happen. It’s just what happens occasionally, for some people. Others of us have different stories, and they’re all good.

    But we can’t know whether the person across the table from us is our soul mate if it’s the first time we’ve met them. The only good rule I can think of for myself is this: If I know she loves the Lord, there will almost always be a second date. And probably a third. Doesn’t matter if I find her physically attractive–my perception will change if I start to love her heart. Doesn’t matter if she was in a bad mood–I can have grace, and I can’t know the difference between a bad day and a character flaw based on the first date. Disagree on politics? On theology? On Mexican food vs. Thai? How do I know if those are things that can be worked through if I don’t allow us both the opportunity to develop a more nuanced perspective? If you’re falling for each other right off the bat, that’s a little red-flaggy to someone like me.

    Just something to throw into your system as you roll stuff around in your mind: is it possible that fear of pain–yours or a man’s–is unconsciously influencing how deep you’re willing to get with someone? How risky you’re willing to get? Could that be a spiritual thing to address?

    I mean, I just want you to know that you’re not responsible for keeping a guy from being sad. Adults are responsible for managing their own emotions and expectations. Not leading someone on means honest communication. It isn’t about helping someone avoid pain. It’s about allowing them to feel an accurate sense of what you’re feeling. You can be real, nonchalant, carrying so much faith in God’s goodness and sovereignty that you know everything is going to be okay, and then you just talk, and it all comes out naturally and honestly. And that’s cool. It’s even cool if it’s awkward, because, hey, it’s only the first time you’ve met. First impressions shouldn’t mean anything to Christians. Plus, there are mature guys out there who would be thrilled to go on a date, get turned down for a second, and just be friends.

    If you hurt someone inadvertently, if you didn’t communicate perfectly, there’s still plenty of opportunity to clarify or make qualifying statements. Relationships–whether they last for one date or for a lifetime–are all about grace. So give some grace to the person across the table from you, and give yourself some grace, too. 🙂

    You don’t have to be scared of pain–yours or anyone else’s. Pain is a natural part of life, and it can be beautiful, not only for what it teaches us, but in and of itself. Maybe we can stop seeing pain as darkness and start seeing it like looking into the sun. If a sovereign God is ultimately responsible for all of this (gestures dramatically at the world), then somehow, pain fits under the umbrella of the goodness of His character.

    It’s so refreshing to see a woman with the kind of maturity and devotion to God that you have. And with your transparent authenticity. Somebody who just GETS it. You don’t find that in churches; seminaries; ANYWHERE.

    Your astounding coolness being the case, for realzies, if you’re ever in the Dallas area and wanting some no-strings-attached, spontaneous fun with a brother and fellow journeyer, hit me up, and I will show you where to get the absolute best tacos on the planet. You’ve definitely impressed at least one eligible dude. 🙂

  12. “My fear of being single forever and dying a virgin finds its root in the fear of being an outsider and misunderstood and ridiculed.”

    I can so relate with the above sentence. But over the last few years, I have realized that the world ridicule you in every state. You can be as happy and content as possible and still the ‘world’ will find something very wrong with you. So what’s the solution? Ignore it.

    There will always be something missing. No life is perfect. But it’s completely up to you if you let the world get to you or not. Surround yourself with great friends and people who love you. The few who don’t, just don’t deserve to be in your life. 🙂

  13. Susan says:

    Love love love your blog! It’s like a letter I’d write to myself. Thanks for putting down what a lot of us are going through. Coming home after work with tears streaming down my face is something I’m familiar with. God bless you and grant you (and me!) the strength to keep believing, keep smiling, keep being tender in our hearts and keeping loving people around us.

  14. Thank you for writing this blog post. We live in a complicated age, but we must take heart for He has overcome!

    I was recently called “a unicorn” (a way of saying very rare) for being a virgin…and I’m not even 24 yet. Yep, that’s our world today.

    Keep being amazing and strong.

  15. I would not base my self worth on whether or not a man will ever find you beautiful or love you or even marry you. Being in a right relationship with Christ is much more important. We live in a culture that idolizes marriage and family. Everything for the good ot the children is the motto for our age. However, God never promised us marriage or children. Christ himself never married. So instead of asking ourselves who God has waiting for us out there, the question should probably be is it God’s will for us to be married in the first place. I’d rather die a virgin than live the rest of my life with the regret of knowing I gave away something of myself that should have been saved for my wife or saved for the kingdom of heaven. Yes, I am one, and twice your age. There is no stopwatch on chastity.

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