[Please note that this post contains a frank discussion of sexuality. If such things offend you or you are not mature enough to handle these things, please do not read further]
The “first time” is often surrounded by a lot of misconception and mystery for the Christian. If we listen to the world, many fears and doubts can arise, since the world asks, “Is there passion? Is there an immediate connection? Can he/she bring you satisfaction?” – and it is assumed that if intimacy isn’t an incredible experience the first time, these two people just weren’t right for each other. The success of the immediate, intimate connection becomes the yard stick by which the compatibility of that relationship is measured.
And while the church and godly parents should be able to easily counter these fears with the beautiful truth – they, too often, say nothing in response.
This leaves the one waiting until marriage with many questions: Shouldn’t it just work if we love each other? What if the first time isn’t great? Will I have made a mistake? Shouldn’t I just try it first?
The world (and the church, actually) romanticizes the “first time” – which often leaves the waiting bride and groom with fears and doubt. He must be able to go the distance. She needs to reach climax. The outfit must be just right. The atmosphere has to be perfect. It has to be amazing, fire-works-explodingly good. After all, you love each other so it’s just going to be great, right? Have the honeymoon go wrong and you’re pretty much doomed, right?
Even though Christian girls (and boys) should have parents and older men and women in their lives teaching them the truth about these things, unfortunately I’ve talked to so many girls who have had these kinds of misconceptions.
And it’s sad – because the truth sets you free. In God’s plan, you don’t have to get it all “right” the first time.
Don’t get me wrong, the wedding night is wonderful, exciting, and an event that you can (and should) eagerly look forward to. But here’s the thing: Intimacy gets better with time. On your honeymoon everything is new, fun, and exciting – but it’s not great. I’ll be honest. Even if you think it is great, you’ll look back in a few year’s time and realise that it definitely wasn’t the best. That’s because intimacy gets better with practice.
I once had someone explain it to me (in my unwedded, virgin state) this way: “The honeymoon is fun because everything is new and exciting. Later sex is fun because you’re actually good at it.”
Look, despite what you might have been told, your honeymoon won’t be the best sex you’ll ever have. It might not be fantastic. It might even be very bad. That’s okay. The comfort you have is that once you are married, you have many years to make it work. You have years to learn each other and enjoy this intimate relationship. Sometimes it will be mind-blowingly amazing. Sometimes you’ll cry or be frustrated. Other times you’ll have to laugh at yourselves because it just doesn’t seem to be working and you’ll just have to try again tomorrow night.
But that’s the beauty of intimacy within the context of a committed relationship. This isn’t a one-strike-you’re-out-one-night stand. God created this union so that you could be fused together with another soul on this earth so intimately that you wouldn’t want to be parted – when we make it only about performance and pleasure, we lose the beautiful purpose of this union: unity. In a loving relationship, there’s no pressure to perform and get it right every time – just two people dedicated to learning how to love each other in the most intimate way.
This gives hope both for the virgin and the one who’s not, because nothing hinges on what you are now. No matter what you have or haven’t done in the past, marriage is all about two imperfect souls striving to become perfect for the souls they join themselves to and freely giving grace for every imperfection.
We need to trust Him. God didn’t ask you to save yourself for something that would be less satisfactory than what the world has. You don’t have to worry about what the world around you is saying about it, because God’s plan is the best – every single time.
He doesn’t give things in halves. He wants you to enjoy this union – but sometimes this takes practice. How beautiful that He gave us that in His design for our relationship by teaching us how to be committed and full of grace, desiring to meet the needs of those we love.
There should be no area of life in which those in the world have less fear and doubt than we do – and that includes our intimacy.
Trust Him, pursue His way. If you are waiting, prepare your mind with grace, love, and a desire to pursue and fulfill the needs of another. If you are married, give grace and keep working at it. Enjoy what you have, laugh a lot, and keep extending grace as you grow together.