oh, the longer the waiting, the sweeter the kiss.
it's better my darling, I promise you this.
will you wait for me, darling?
Waiting. It's not a word any of us care for. Waiting is not popular in this culture. In an age of fast microwaves, fast cars, fast internet, and fast food... we don't like waiting. In fact, if you really stop and notice - we all tend to get very irritated when we must wait longer than we'd like: when the line at Starbucks takes forever, when we're stranded in turtle-slow traffic, when the poor waiter at the restaurant is having a rough day, or when somebody is late to meet us. Over the years, I've noticed how clearly I dislike the times things do not fit into my perfectly-planned timetable. How annoyed and downright discontent I tend to become when things don't happen when I want them to.
Yet, I've also come to see - as time passes and seasons change over and over again - how beautiful waiting can be. And I want to remind you of this beauty today.
You see, it's kind of like Christmas (it's the best illustration I can think of...and besides, around June/July I start missing Christmas like crazy so let's just throw this in here for good measure.) I believe certain things must be anticipated and waited for. And one of these things is sex. Though not everyone agrees, I firmly believe it must be waited for. It's worth waiting for. And here's why:
Imagine with me... a child waking up on Christmas morning to a messy, cold house. There's no fire in the fireplace, no cheery Christmas lights. A tree from last year stands in the living room, it's ornaments fallen off and broken, lights gone dim. The presents under the tree were ripped open weeks ago, torn wrapping paper strewn about with dust settling on it from ashes in the fireplace. No candles lit, no happy Christmas music playing - because the iPod died after being played over and over the last few weeks. You see, this family celebrated Christmas right after Thanksgiving. They wanted Christmas to come so badly this year, they decided not to wait. As gifts were bought, they were immediately unwrapped right after. The special Christmas breakfast food was eaten soon after purchase at the grocery store. The coffee had been drunk, only used grounds sitting in the stale coffee maker. The rocking horse given to the child broke about a week ago in a frenzy of mid-day play one bored afternoon. Christmas had already been celebrated. But not in a big, much-anticipated, excitement-filled event that had been saved up for - presents wrapped and tucked carefully under a beautiful tree.... food bought and dutifully prepared, carefully placed in wrappings in the refrigerator, waiting to be prepared on this very day. The Christmas tree was not thoughtfully set up, ready for the big unveiling: lights and ornaments placed just so. No wood stacked up and set beside the fireplace, ready to be burned as it's flames send warmth into the celebratory room. No gifts to savor opening, no pretty shiny paper taped precisely and carefully for little hands to happily unwrap. No iPod all charged up, playing the special yearly album that is saved for one day and one day alone each year. No camera batteries charged, no lenses cleaned and ready to snap precious pictures. No Christmas pajamas to be worn, no soft new fleece to sink into as stockings are opened. No Christmas meal to eat.
Because, you see - it's already been done.
Yeah, opening the gifts as they came was fun...in it's own way. But it was fleeting and now it's over. There is no big, special event. And the family is regretting it very much. Everything's over, done, tarnished even. Dusty, used, broken. The fun's been had. Not in an exciting culmination of - "I can't take it anymore but it's FINALLY the day!!" - that comes when something is prepared for, carefully readied, longed-for, anticipated.
The anticipation is half the fun. This is how I feel when I look at the majority of couples who "rip into" the beauty and fun of sex and marriage from day one. When they're "hooking up" with an almost-stranger on a first date, having the most intimate experience - physically, emotionally and spiritually - one can share with anyone, there is soon nothing new. Oh, you don't really know each other. That takes way more time. But the beautiful gift from God called sex is forced open, like a bud - it's petals torn off before their time, forever stunting the flower's growth. Instead of carefully gazing at the precious bud in wonder, watching as the days pass and soon the petals slowly yet surely open - and the flower blooms into something beautiful, natural, spectacular even. Instead, the bud is forced open. Yes, the petals are still there and still semi-intact. The flower is still a lovely color. Yet, it didn't ever really bloom, did it? It was stunted and forced...and that is not blooming. Blooming takes time. And you cannot really see it happening. Only over hours, days, weeks...nurturing, tending, and watching over it - giving the bud proper light, water, food....but mostly, time and space to bloom. A bud is just like a relationship between a man and a woman. It takes time and space to get to know one another, to establish a relationship. It takes waiting and patience - you must be still for a spell. And at the right time, it will surely bloom. A relationship will be ready for marriage, and it will bloom into something that takes your breath away.
My dear readers, this is why I am waiting for my future husband. This is why I am abstaining from sex at this time, while I am unmarried. It might be fun in the moment, but that would take away from the beauty of the later - the full bloom. It would steal from the fun of looking forward. I don't want to wake up on the "Christmas morning" of my future relationship with my man and realize we've already ripped into the gifts. I don't want to realize that the fun of a long-awaited day finally arriving, the traditions and music and food and gifts of our "Christmas" are already used up. I don't want to realize, "Oh man! We used up all the wood for a fire last Tuesday... the tree died a month ago... last week we ate all the food, and the week before that? We took all the garland off the mantel and the lights off the house and threw them away, because they wore out, faded, and got dusty." I don't want to realize we've stolen all the long-lasting beauty of the bloom just because we were too impatient to anticipate the beauty of waiting.
Purity is a funny thing. It grows more beautiful with time. Like fine wine: the longer it is in a cellar, stored away in the coolness and darkness, the better it will be in the future. Like a pearl: with more waiting, chafing and time, it becomes shiner and finer.
There is such beauty in purity. Such joy at the end of waiting. Yes, it is hard. It's not easy to wait. It's not always very fun. Honestly, at times it seems as though it may be best to just rip into those pretty "Christmas presents" and have the fun now - forget the holiday! But, in the end, I know it is better to wait. Because after waiting ... especially after waiting for what seems like forever, it is oh so worth it.
Sex is a gift. It is sacred and special. It is made by God. It is meant for marriage. And oh how beautiful, safe, protected, and sweet it is - where it is supposed to be. Darling friends, wait for it. For those of you who are still waiting like I am - be encouraged. You are not alone. Stay strong and resist the constant temptations that try to tear down and distract our faithful hearts. When you fall at times, get back up bravely and move on. If you are one who has already opened your "gifts" - it's not too late. You can recycle them, you can start afresh today - you can wait from this point on and receive the sweet redemption, renewal and forgiveness the Lord offers.
And for you already married ones, the ones who are already celebrating their long-awaited "Christmas" - you are our inspiration. Please share, in the comments below, how worth the wait was. 'Cause I know it was - some of y'all have already told me!
And dears, perhaps your "waiting" looks different than this.
Perhaps your waiting is...