When I was young I was not as pure as I should have been. I kept my virginity until I was 21 as opposed to waiting until I was married. I only had sex with one man other than my husband and I was manic when I did it, but that is one man too many. With other boyfriends I may not have had sex, but I was too physical with some of them too.

I want better for my daughter. I want her to be a virgin when she gets married, and I don’t want her giving away pieces of herself to men that are not Mr. Right. Mr. Right Now should not get something as precious as my daughter’s purity. I want her to value premarital chastity as something important to God, and as a gift she can give her husband.

I want her to value herself and not give herself away cheaply. Consequence free sex does not exist. Our heavenly Father knows what we do when the lights go out. It grieves Him to see unmarried people having sex. Not to mention, there are emotional and physical costs to sex. With the risk of pregnancy and the risk of STDs, and with the emotional baggage that premature sex can bring I definitely think it is necessary to teach my daughter that sex belongs within marriage and only within marriage.

If we want a culture where women are respected women first need to respect themselves. That means chastity and modesty. Don’t cast your pearls before swine.  Respect your body and keep it private for your spouse. So many girls these days walk around dressed like strippers and passing out their sexual favors like the free lollipops you get at the bank, and then wonder why they are not getting respect from men. If you want other people to respect you you have to respect yourself first. I look back on my youth and I definitely did not have enough self-respect. I also did not have enough accountability and self-control. I needed more of both. I see these girls with their butt cheeks hanging out of their shorts and I honestly feel sorry for them because I have been there. I know what it’s like to feel that desperation for male attention and male approval. I think it is so hard for any woman in our culture to feel like she is enough without showing everything, and it puts a lot of pressure on young women to dress and behave in ways that are inappropriate.

In retrospect, I wish I had not gone beyond kissing any of the men I was with before my husband. That is what I want for my daughter. I don’t want her to make the same mistakes I did, and sex outside marriage is always a mistake. For this reason I am considering getting Angelica a purity ring when she gets older, something beautiful to remind her of her commitment to God and herself. And I will definitely encourage more of a courtship style dating rather than traditional dating with no accountability for sexual behavior.

Purity rings and courtship certainly put me in the minority for our culture, but as a Christian I am called to be in this world and not of it. I cannot stress to my daughter enough that although magazines and television and even the local schools will tell her that anything goes, she needs to love God and herself enough to wait. Note that when I say courtship, I am not suggesting that I should pick who she marries. In some families that practice courtship the parents become too involved. She should still choose who she has relationships with, but they should only be people that are eligible marriage material, at an age where she’s ready to get married, and I want her to feel free to come to me for accountability with her purity during the dating or courtship process.

Of course, once she is grown and out of the house I do not have any say-so over what she does. But I hope by the time she reaches that point she will be married and/or mature enough to realize the wisdom in what her parents have taught her and follow our teachings. Sexual purity is such a gift, and the virtues that come with it (faith, self control, chastity) are more valuable than gold. Isn’t that I don’t want my daughter to have a sex life but that I want her to have the best sex life possible, and God designed sex for marriage. She will be happiest if she follows God’s design for sex and for her life in general.

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