Christina Sizemore is a real life example of how abstinence can work and how it is a good thing. At the age of 14 through the prompting of her church, her youth group, her family, and a commitment through Teen Mania, Christina made a commitment to herself and to God to abstain from sex until marriage. She was able to keep this commitment through junior high, high school, college, and even through a marriage engagement that was called off.
Christina is now married to a wonderful man, who honored that commitment with her. She shares her testimony, “There are guys that have that same commitment, but just because you have that same commitment doesn’t mean it is easy.” She admits that being in a relationship with someone that has that same commitment helps, because it makes it easier in times when you are weak.
“There are times when it is not easy,” and just saying, “I won’t put myself in that position,” doesn’t always work. Christina suggests that having this commitment in your heart, prayer, and other things besides just ‘not putting yourself into the place’ is what she has used to help her through the abstinence years. She assures all, “Waiting is worth it.”
Abstinence can become a commitment even if you have had sex. One of Chris’ friend’s husbands told his wife, “Had I known you were going to be my wife, I would have waited for you.” The gift of sex is a wonderful gift to give your husband or wife. The idea that your future husband or wife is very special, sharing this specialness by waiting can help you when you are trying to abstain.
It is easy to say, “But we are getting married,” and try to justify premarital sex, but Christina explains her situation. “I was engaged to another man, I had a dress, I had a venue, we were going through marriage counseling when I called off the wedding. That happens to real people. I didn’t sleep with him and I am glad I didn’t because he was not my husband. It doesn’t matter if you are engaged or planning on getting married,” Chris states, “You are not married until you are married. My virginity is something that I am giving up to someone who does not deserve it, if they are not my husband.”
Christina’s mom, Bridgette Mongeon encouraged and expected the commitment from Christina. When she would tell others what her daughter was trying to do many, many people thought the idea was ludicrous. One person said that they believed they their son you should “try on the shoe.” “I was livid,” states Bridgette. “My daughter is not a shoe. She is an incredible, precious woman. It bothered me even more that this was a woman who was the mother of a boy my daughter was dating. What values had she instilled in her son?”
Boundaries can’t be pushed. Each time you let down one boundary you get closer to what you don’t want to do. And Chris says there were people she was accountable to, and people who were praying for them as a couple. “I’m not sure they were praying ‘don’t let them have sex,’ but I know people were praying for us.” Bridgette assures her daughter, “Yes, we were praying don’t let them have sex, sometimes when I knew you were alone, I would pray that you would feel uncomfortable, or I would pray one would be strong when the other was weak.” She also let her daughter’s betrothed know what her expectations were of him. “There was no mincing words, they knew what I expected of her, they were sure to know that I understood her commitment and that if the betrothed respected their relationship, and a future relationship, he would respect that commitment as well.”
As a couple there were times when one person would have to be strong when the other was tempted or weak. “That is why it is important to have someone who has made that same commitment,” states Christina. When you have someone who is just waiting because you are waiting, they figure maybe you have changed your mind, and then they don’t help you through your weakness.” Helping with your partners abstinence is a loving and honoring thing to do for one another, it demonstrates character. She does state, “There is an end to the wait. If you wait until after you are married, you can have all of the sex you want. It is worth the wait.”
But people don’t believe that she had not had sex. It is not a common thing and she had to try to convince some people who have asked.
Bridgette states, “We are numb to it, premarital sex is expected and it is accepted.” But she suggests that parents change their minds, gain some courage, and tell their children, “I expect you not to have sex.” Give them something to live up to. Be open about the topic of sex, let them talk about it and encourage open communication, but let them know what you expect of them.
Christina agrees that having parents that are open to talk about sex is imperative. “Don’t let it be an uncomfortable experience. Talk about the biology, your own experiences, and it is important for kids to know it is important to talk about it.” She also assures us that 14 was not too young to discuss such things. Some kids are having sex as young as in the 6th grade.
It is our biological nature to want to reproduce. It is almost unnatural for us to not have sex, and kids need to know that. But Bridgette suggests that dating couples should also discuss their feelings that go with abstinence. A man may feel like he is less of a man, if he does not pursue sex, a women may wake up one morning and feel like she is less desirable. There is a psychological assurance that must go along with abstinence. Communication will help to make it easier.
What if you are having sex in a relationship and decide that is not how you want the relationship to continue? Christina suggests accountability and if your partner is not willing to hear what your heart’s desire is for abstinence, perhaps you should think twice about staying with that person. They might just not be the one for you. The commitment has to be between the two of you with God. An individual commitment as well as one made together. Abstinence is not easy, but it is also not impossible, and it can make a relationship stronger. In Chris’ opinion, “It is so worth it.”