Eric and I decided to do something a little different with today’s post. The couples who go through our pre-engagement counseling program are given an assignment of exploring and writing on the topic of why they want to be married. Recently, we came across an essay written by one of our clients that touched me deeply and so we are going to share an excerpt with you today. Our client was gracious to allow us to anonymously use the essay for this post.
… During this jobless time, my habits and activities began to change, as I had time to consider what I was doing and how I was spending my time. I started to get more involved with the church that I was already attending. I joined a men’s Bible study and began meeting with a group of young adults at the church. Although it was not my primary objective, it did not take very long before I found my first girlfriend. Our relationship only lasted three short months, but it was long enough for me to learn many things about myself and relationships, gain feelings of attachment, and experience the horrible feelings of lost love in the end.
After losing my first girlfriend, I realized I did not have the gift of singleness. At that point, I felt more alone than I had at any prior time in my life. I cried; I even wept. I wanted so badly to repair the relationship, but in it all, I also prayed that God’s will would be done over my own. No matter what I tried to do to put the relationship back together, it failed in the end. Eventually, I had to move on, but that did not happen until I had spent more months trying to fix the relationship than I had actually spent in the relationship.
As more time passed, I felt an ever-present loneliness and longing for a woman’s companionship, but I was not seeking the next few things I found in my relationships with women. There were a few who just did not seem as interested in me as I did in them. There was one who was offered and accepted a job far away just as our relationship was beginning. And then, there was one shallow, different, and perplexing.
It began as an ordinary night out on the town with my friend, his girlfriend, and some of her lady friends. My friend suggested I invite a girl from church to come along with me. I invited two and neither could make it, but I went anyway. I didn’t really have anything else to do that evening and he really wanted me to come out with him. I ended up making more than a few mistakes that evening. My first mistake was having too much to drink. That left me in a position where, after riding the bus from downtown back to my friend’s girlfriend’s apartment, the safest decision seemed to be sleeping there rather than driving myself home. Normally, even that would have been fine – but not this time.
One of her lady friends was also staying the night and the sleeping arrangements put the two of us together out in the living room of her apartment. As one bad decision led to another, we went from her chastely telling me, “I don’t want to kiss you because I like you and I don’t want to mess things up” to me supportively responding, “That’s really good,” to the two of us kissing just minutes later, to clothes coming off, and finally, to me losing my virginity. That was certainly not what I thought would happen when I left my apartment to hang out with my friend that evening. I wish I could say that it ended there and that I learned my lesson, but that is not what happened.
Instead, I found myself carrying on a casual, hollow, sexually-oriented relationship with this woman (not even a girlfriend) who did not share my values or beliefs for over a month. At some point during this “relationship,” I realized that I was trapped in a pattern, that I wanted out, and that I had no idea how to get out. So I did the only thing that I knew to do in such a situation: I cried out to God for forgiveness and deliverance.
Deliver me, He did. I had come to the sad point where I did not know how to say, “No,” to having sex with her, even though I knew and felt I was involved in something terribly wrong at a very core level. So to deliver me, God had her call me up and end things. I was grateful that God provided a way out, just as He promises to do in 1 Corinthians 10:13.
But even while I was making terrible mistakes, God was working. What the Enemy meant for my harm, God was able to use for my good. This experience allowed me to see and know firsthand that the misuse of sex would leave me feeling empty and unsatisfied. I realized that sex outside of a marriage relationship was emotionally and spiritually damaging, rather than fulfilling. I knew that I wanted my sex life to be fulfilling and free of guilt, sin, and emptiness. I learned that this would not be possible if I chose to live a single life. While I could say it would have been nice to learn this lesson another way, there is something special about witnessing the redemptive power of Jesus in the midst of moral and spiritual darkness.
Before I move on to the reasons I would like to get married, let me sum up my reasons for wanting to leave the single life behind. First of all, I realized that as a single man, I obviously would not be able to accomplish my life-long goals to have a wife, lead a family, and raise children. Secondly, I came to feel from within myself a deep longing for companionship that I had not noticed earlier in my life: a companionship that could not be quenched as a single man. Finally, I learned the hard way that if I wanted to experience the fullness of a satisfying sexual relationship, which God created for mankind to experience, I would have to do it God’s way, through marriage, instead of the fool’s way, through promiscuity. ….