I don’t wait anymore.

When I was 16, I got a purity ring.

And when I was 25, I took it off.

I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it — it wasn’t a statement or an emotional thing. I just slipped it off my finger that day and, before tucking it away in a box, ran my finger around the words on the familiar gold band.

“True Love Waits.” Waits.

What’s it “waiting” for, anyway?

*****

I had my reasons for deciding not to wear it anymore. Other people might have other reasons. It’s a graveyard of hearts, this place where single church girls crash into their late 20s and early 30s. Churches see the symptoms. They scramble to reach out to the ever-growing young adult singles crowd who feels alienated by family-oriented services.

But there’s something bigger behind it than that.

Much bigger.

There are a lot of girls out there who don’t know who God is anymore – the God of their youth group years just isn’t working out. Back then, that God said to wait for sex until they are married, until He brings the right man along for a husband. They signed a card and put it on the altar and pledged to wait.

And wait they did.

*****

And waited and waited and waited.

Some of them have prayed their whole lives for a husband, and he hasn’t shown up. They’ve heard the advice to “be the woman God made you to be, focus on that, and then the husband will come.” They’ve read “Lady in Waiting,” gotten super involved in church and honed their domestic skills.

And still they wait.

More than a decade ago, a youth leader handed them a photocopied poem in Sunday School written to them from “God” that said, “The reason you don’t have anyone yet is because you’re not fully satisfied in Me. You have to be satisfied with Me and then when you least expect it, I’ll bring you the person I meant for you.”

And the girls see it posted on their bulletin boards from time to time.

“You’re right, God,” they say. “We’re not satisfied in you yet. We will put you first and then you can bring us a husband in your timing.”

But many of them – if they’re honest – will tell you that time has passed, and it’s wrecking their view of God.

If this is who God’s supposed to be, then He’s tragically late.

So some decide to chuck “Lady in Waiting” out the window … and possibly their virginity with it. Church goes next. God might go next, too. If He doesn’t answer these prayers after they’ve held up their end of the bargain, why would He answer any others?

Whether it was the fault of the leaders, the fault of us girls, or both, a tragedy happened back then.

A lot of girls were sold on a deal and not on a Savior.

*****

I had that poem on my bulletin board all through high school – the one where “God” was telling me to fall in love with Him first and then I would be able to fall in love with a husband later.

Who wrote that poem anyway?

Pretty sure it wasn’t God.

When Jesus was here on the earth, the crowds would follow Him because they saw He gave good things. But that’s not what He wanted. He wanted their hearts for Himself. So He would turn to them and say things like, “If you don’t love Me so much that every other relationship in your life looks like hate by comparison, you can’t follow Me.” (Matthew 10:34-39, paraphrase)

That sounds a lot different from the poem.

Christ is the source of everything we need and the giver of all good gifts … but in telling people about Him, it’s possible we’ve sold them on a solution for life’s problems and not life itself.

What if we as girls had learned early on that having Him was everything, not a means to the life we think He would want us to have.

If we had learned we don’t abstain from sex because we’re “waiting.” We abstain because we love Him.

If I’d had on my bulletin board, “Fall in love with Jesus.” That’s it. Bottom line. That’s everything you need to know, to work toward, to put your hope in.

If I’d learned who He is, what He wants, how to give Him everything, not “wait” so that one day I could give my everything to someone else.

If I’d learned that it’s not bad to pray for a husband, but that my greater prayer should be for Him to spend my life as He chooses for His glory.

If we as believers make that our message, things could be drastically different for a lot of girls wondering why the God they think they learned to follow doesn’t compute. It doesn’t necessarily stop the desire for a husband or end all feelings of loneliness, but it does show a God who provides, loves and gives infinite purpose even to our singleness rather than a God who categorically denies some who pray for husbands while seemingly giving freely to others.

It shows that while marriage is good, He is the greater goal.

*****

Don’t think I’ve done this perfectly.

I’d be deceiving you if you thought that. I’ve had relationships where I made major mistakes. I’ve gone through angst-ridden phases where I met with friends to plead together with God to bring us husbands. I’ve planned major life decisions around possibilities.

I lived like I was waiting for something.

And that’s why I slipped off my ring that day. It wasn’t that I wanted to sleep with people – I haven’t. It wasn’t a slap to True Love Waits, or to anyone who wears a purity ring – saving sex for marriage is good and is His design.

I just didn’t want to wait anymore – didn’t want to live like I was waiting on anyone to get here.

I already have Him … and He is everything.

“Follow Christ for His own sake, if you follow Him at all.” – J.C. Ryle

i dont wait anymore

(I Don’t Wait Anymore (the book), now available.)

1,768 Comments on “I don’t wait anymore.

  1. This is such an awesome message, thank you for posting. I will be sharing it with my teen girls and our teen ministry.

  2. Oh, what a sweet word. What a sweet message! Though I am recently married, this rings so true in the part of me that was single for so long. I think Yahweh for the gift of my husband, but what a testament that Jesus is/should be my EVERYTHING. Wow.

  3. So this sounds like nothing different from having a purity ring, other than trying to fool one self in to believing they don’t need sex or that even longing for it is unnecessary. Or to fool one self into giving up hope for a husband/intimate partner… These are instinctual and biological needs of women/people, marginalizing them isn’t healthy.

    • @anon @ 8:27pm, I should like to interject and purpose you are confusing wants with needs. Sex is NOT a need. Nope. It’s not. Some might be gasping here. But it’s NOT a need. One desires sex. Some more than others and others not at all. Some marrieds have issues because one finds they don’t much care for the actual physical act of sex whereas they really just liked the romantical idea of wooing, courtship, marriage, snuggles etc but when it comes to actual sex, they’re pretty non impressed. I know such people. My cousin is one and yet she is on her THIRD marriage. Then there are those who find themselves WANTING {not needing} sex way more often – and liking it a lot more as well. Of course one’s desire, not need, of sex can vary based on hormones, worldview, overstimulation thanks to silly romance novels {Christian AND secular}, porn, movies, depression, stress etc.

      Not everyone who is married should be and not everyone who is single wants to be. But yes, there are those who are given the GIFT of singleness and if they find themselves with a desire for sex, they will be just fine without it, especially when they go about their work for Christ, loving Him with their WHOLE HEART. No one ever died or withered into pathetic nothingness from non use of their genitals. I’m just sayin’.

      Note: I’m not trying to negate the fact that hormones {or simple biology} can give one a desire for sex – or even take that desire away or greatly diminish it, but I’d challenge those who find themselves continuously struggling with “burning passions” to look closely at their thought life and what they’re reading, watching etc. “Awakening” desires is a problem many bring on themselves when they indulge in the world’s cultural thinking and offerings, which in turn leads to one feeling they NEED sex and MUST*HAVE*IT*NOW.

      Singles, you have it made. You really do. I’m a married mom of six who barely has time to shower, let alone eat or breathe. Oh, to sit at the feet of Jesus or find and develop my talents to serve Him and the body.

      And of course I feel SO blessed, I adore these kids. And most days I like my husband {haha} but how incredibly divided I feel. I struggle with making my kids idols and the feeling that I’m not really doing anything for the kingdom because my the entire whole of my days are working, cleaning, cooking, repeat.

      And yes, I realize many with the desire for a family must be saying, “but that’s what I want! It’s easy for you to say my singleness is a gift because you HAVE the family.”

      Ahh. Isn’t life funny like that? To God be the glory. May I constantly seek to have no idols and remember only Christ can ever be the love of my life.

      • No, life isn’t actually funny at all. There’s absolutely nothing funny-strange or funny-haha about those who desperately desire marriage being shut out in the freezing cold. You got it right. You have the family, and that’s the way the cookie crumbles. And during those times when you’re sleep-deprived but still so deeply satisfied, remember those who are starving for kinship they’ll never have. And do try to be a bit less cavalier about your good fortune and blessings.

  4. I didn’t do anything right. Now, today in fact, we celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.
    As for dating/waiting, I say to people … “Be a person worth finding.”

  5. The “deal” applies to many, many different situations. If I love God better then I’ll be financially stable…my kids will be saved…my ministry will be better/be revealed/thrive. If If I can just love God a little better, my ex-wife will come back and love me again. And forgive me. And life will be awesome then. No. “Fall in love with Jesus.” Period. Find awesome now. With God.

  6. SO SO SO many souls need to hear this message that you share, including myself :) Thank you for depending on the Spirit to proclaim this gospel truth! God is so glorified when our hearts are being fulfilled in Christ !!

  7. Fantastic Blog! Thanks for Writing!
    really liked ” we don’t abstain from sex because we’re “waiting.” We abstain because we love Him.”

  8. LOVE this! Perfectly put. For Oklahoma, I got married late (29). I heard every bit of unencouraging encouragment about focusing on God and when I wasn’t looking…

    So, today, I give NO dating advice.

  9. This is really good! We are a girls/ladies Bible Reading Blog. We just started John 1. I encourage anyone who wants to read with us! Love this post!

  10. Thanks for writing this. I have had a very similar journey to the one you described. I am SO EXCITED to love God, whatever that means in my life right now and am not at all hoping that loving God now will turn into some sort of “reward” later – some how, some people don’t always seem to get that. It’s encouraging to know that you do!! Thanks!!

  11. I feel sorry for those who don’t appreciate this article. You will never understand what true love is without knowing its Creator. This message is not just for single people; it’s for married couples as well. For if we don’t make Jesus the center of our marriage, we will all too soon learn to live as two together (yet separate) instead of one in Him with a common goal.

    • Feeling sorry for people can imply coming from a place of superiority…maybe try to walk with people instead of writing them off?

  12. this sort of thing isn’t just for the ladies, men need to find their female counterparts as well and have just as urgent a desire for it. i have felt it within myself and some of my friends feel it as well. i’ve made mistakes that i can never change but i still love Jesus fiercely and make an effort to live my life with a sense of honour that comes from that. guys hurt too, we just tend to try to hide it out of fear.

  13. So good. Thank you for opening eyes!

    “If I’d learned who He is, what He wants, how to give Him everything, not “wait” so that one day I could give my everything to someone else.”

  14. This is so great. It covers a huge issue. We do tell girls to “wait” as a church. Then, we tell boys to “go”. They aren’t men if they aren’t serving in foreign countries and discipiling inner city youth. If they even look at a girl it’s “lustful”. So if we’re teaching our young men to seek out a girl who never makes them stumble and young women to wait for a guy to pop out of thin air….what are we doing?

    I didn’t hear that message, what I heard as a youth was, “If you still want a husband you don’t love GOD enough.” Which didn’t at all validate the desire that HE placed in my heart, knowing that one day I’d be married to my husband. Which I wouldn’t be, if HE hadn’t made me want to be married.

  15. Such an awesome post! I wish I could hug you because I love this truth! I am married, but I have single Christian lady friends who have longed for husbands. I recall when I was ‘waiting for a husband.’ I had been in a few bad relationships and was so tired of having my heart broken. I decided that, ‘that was it, I have to live my life instead of living it in waiting.’ It was when I started to make plans living my life out single that I met my husband and the first time I met him, I tried to get rid of him but he pursued me still. It was through him that I became a Christian, he was an answer to prayer in that God sent someone to share with me, the gospel (as I had never grown up in a Christian home and never heard the gospel before) when just 2 weeks prior I was on my knees in my bedroom in tears telling a God I didn’t know existed how much a terrible, sinful person I was – and I asked Him if there was any way for me to go to heaven (because I knew I was that wretched.) I told Him I’d do anything. Imagine finding out for the first time that Someone already did EVERYTHING! Anyway, while I was an unbeliever, my would-be husband and I only saw each other on weekends – when I became a Christian six months later … well, we went to seeing each other every day – a year after that, he proposed.

    The point I am making is that I had not been living a Christian life – I did not in any way ‘earn’ a husband. I didn’t ‘deserve’ a man like my husband (and am convinced that I still don’t – but the man loves me.) As you said, loving God does not equal (necessarily) getting a husband. I think sometimes in my life (having been a Christian now for 20 years) that ‘things are just the way the are’ sometimes. We can learn from things that happen or don’t happen in our lives, but living the Christian life doesn’t have an ‘earn points for rewards’ system. Never has. Our lives our meant to glorify God and enjoy Him forever no matter what happens in our lives.

    And He is enough. He was enough before my husband proposed and I was even bent that if the relationship didn’t work with the man who would be my husband, I would remain single and I was totally okay with that. I had other plans. God’s plan for my life was different – and I love it. Embrace the mere fact that He gave you life … not just physical life but for believers, also spiritual life … as you said, why stand in waiting?? There is living to be done!! <3

    • Rizae I was touched by your message and what you said really resonated with me. Thank you for sharing your story!!

  16. Well said. The reason I took off my ring was very similar. It was an enlightening experience to understand why I should have really worn the ring. But at that point, I no longer needed it.

  17. Reblogged this on Primitive Christian and commented:
    This is a great, great commentary on what we need to teach our young — not that Christ is an end to something but that He is both Beginning and End.

  18. amen. AMEN. i took off my purity ring at the age of 16 for the same reason. Because He is enough, and I ought to be bound to nothing other than seeking His face and working for His glory.

  19. This was the right decision. Absolutely. It can be a man, a career, a “calling” — and you wait and wait and wait. It’s not about THAT. It’s about Him. It’s about drawing near to Him to make you into who and what He wants. Congratulations!

  20. Thank you! This article is so true and often we forget the true message of “True Love Waits.” With celebrities endorsing this now it seems even more commercialized and something “to do” but not taken seriously. Or when popular christian authors spout this same message (FYI-I personally like the Ludy’s. They actually bring up the subject of singleness). I’m 24 and never had a boyfriend; maybe God wants me to get married or maybe He doesn’t. It gets especially hard when people in your church start asking you “So…is there anyone special in your life?” I know they mean well but we should be encouraging our young men and women by asking questions like “What’s God doing in your life?”. I to have worried on life changing decisions wondering how God can bring a husband into my life if I do this. I’m learning to start asking God how I can serve Him better. This is the message girls should here today.

  21. I would love to know how you came to this decision, so that we can share it with everyone who is waiting for something, not necessarily a husband. Maybe a job or to have children of their own or another dream. Everyone needs to know how to put Jesus first.

  22. I really appreciate your story here. I care very deeply about the message we’re sending young girls that marriage is ultimate and they should plan their lives around that. Seems to me it’s so much more important to give them a bigger purpose to their lives whether they marry or not. One book that’s drastically changed my views on this and more is “Growing Strong Daughters” by Lisa McMinn. You might love her books! Also, Carolyn James is a superb resource on our calling as women.
    Thanks for writing!

  23. This is my first article I’ve read on your blog and I highly agree with you! I do agree with the “True Love Waits” intention – sex is for marriage – but I feel as though the verbiage misguided me as a teen and still is a bit off. I AM one of those Christian girls who got married right out of college and I have been blessed beyond my imagining by my husband and kids, but they do NOT “fufill” me. Sometimes I feel as though our teaching in youth ministries and True Love Waits stuff romanticizes marriage as much as a Disney movie and it does cause our teens, college age girls, and myself to have a “wait for it” attitude and a thought that marriage means you have “arrived” or will make things easier. A husband can NEVER satisfy or fulfill a person – no matter how much they love Jesus or their family – they are human and WILL fail and will be a jerk sometimes:) The best advice in premarital counseling we received was that we both have to love God more than we love each other or our lives and marriage will never be what it could be. My marriage and motherhood has revealed different aspects of God to me and refined me in many ways because they are both difficult tasks. Sometimes I talk to my single girlfriends and I see the way that God is teaching them and drawing them closer and I get a little jealous. It’s different from how I’m being taught but both are extremely valuable and reveal different ways that God sustains us and teaches us to love people. From reading in Genesis I do see that men and women are designed to work as a team in marriage, but then I read Paul’s stuff and he writes that being single has its benefits too. I believe I have a great deal to learn from my single girlfriends as they are on a different journey and have learned very different things than I have as well as they can learn things from my experiences also.

    So, I just retyped everything you wrote about because I liked it so much! I’m sending it to a couple friends of mine.

    • I love what you wrote, its so true: “A husband can NEVER satisfy or fulfill a person – no matter how much they love Jesus or their family – they are human and WILL fail and will be a jerk sometimes:)” … God is the fulfiller of our souls and lives. I learned too that human beings will always fail you – we all sin, we all do the ‘wrong’ thing according to someone – to put faith and expectations of perfection or what another person can do for you is wrong … and it will just break your heart in the end – maybe even theirs as well.

    • The original blog was a tremendous truth, but Marlene’s statement says it all . . . WAIT, I SAY ON THE LORD!

  24. I needed to read this today! I am a single, female, 30 year old believer. I have waited, and waited, and waited for who God would bring into my life…I even started to doubt that God wanted me to get married. It is a good reminder to not sit and barter with God, but to simply give him all of me…and that will be enough. Then in his timing, if someone comes along…I won’t be reliant on any man…but continue to seek my savior. Thank you

  25. This is the best word I have ever read on singleness. I am almost 28 and have been single all these years but in a relationship that I believe is headed toward marriage. This is a lesson I’ve been learning over and over again – and I’m going to share your blog with everyone I know. I work with college girls and think it is the freshest perspective I’ve read in a long time. THANK YOU for listening to Him, for writing, for living like He calls us to live. Your writing is anointed!

  26. This is very well said! A message all single believers need to hear. I really appreciate your perspective. Christ is enough. He has to be whether we are single or married.

  27. I start a series on Song of Solomon Sunday PM for Millennials. I could not agree with you more. I was in “Singles Ministry” for 7 years, and found it tragic. People get tired of “waiting” and start a string of marriages/divorces and actually tell their pastor “God just wants me to be happy” Tragic!

  28. I have a teenage son with a disability and I’ve wondered what his chances are of ever getting married. I would like to tell him to “wait for marriage,” but I also have wondered if this is realistic if he will never get married. I have struggled with these thoughts, even though I believe in purity and have practiced it myself. I think the real secret is for him to love Jesus so much that all else takes second place…I can only pray for that.

    • Yeah. Sounds like an excuse from someone who isn’t big enough to make her own choices.

      • I’m curious what you mean when you say the author “isn’t big enough to make her own choices.” From what I read, she is doing exactly that: making her own choices. In fact, she is choosing a lifestyle that is dramatically different from what is typical in this culture (having sex outside marriage), and also different from that of many Christians (“waiting” for sex because they expect to find a spouse).

        Considering how different her choices are from those around her, it seems to me that they could not be more her own.

    • Huh?? Why do you think it’s a terrible article?
      I appreciate Grace’s courage and insight to share her heart. While the True Love Waits message was /is valuable we missed the mark in explaining that Jesus is our All in All. We don’t love Him for what we can get. We love Him for Who He is. I confess that as a parent I should have emphasized that more than I did.

  29. A good message….never waste time waiting, live your God given life now….in the present with God leading and guiding. Whatever He has for you will come in His time, and if it’s being single, when you are in His will, you will be happy and fulfilled because your doing what He has for you to do.

  30. “…but in telling people about Him, it’s possible we’ve sold them on a solution for life’s problems and not life itself.”

    I think this is true for all aspects of Christianity.

  31. Thank you.

    Thank you for making an effort to communicate this to young women. I grew up around highly-educated women involved in great careers and projects. They existed with and without husbands or children. They didn’t base every second of their lives on other fallible human beings. They worked, they learned, they loved, they lived, and grew. It breaks my heart when girls arrange their lives around somebody that might not show up and then spend years grieving their lost time. Please tell more women that their lives don’t have to be this way, that they can peruse God for themselves, a career, passions and interests.

    Keep up the good work.

    • This is a great message for all young women. Maybe if we taught young ladies that it isn’t about waiting it is about just loving God, with all our hearts, souls, and minds, they would not only be content with being single, but they would not go into marriage thinking all their dreams are coming true. No man can ever fill our need to be loved, because it is a spritual need for love that only the Spirit can fill.

  32. I would have to say I disagree in some points. The idea for the poem and the purity ring is a promise you make to God because you love Him! I was one who waited for the right one God has for me, yes you need to be careful you aren’t just doing it for a man, but because you love God and He is to be your focus (the point of the poem). As someone who is happily married and am very glad to save my physical purity for my husband! If your dependence is on God then He will do whatever His will is for your life in His timing (rather it’s marriage or not). So not so much a bargain, but a promise made to God out of love.

    • May I ask how old you were when you got married? I think this is really geared towards later 20’s & early 30’s -which is really an entirely different experience than getting married in your early or even mid-20’s.. I also think this is coming from the perspective of someone who is *still* single.. While all of the advice & thoughts from married women are fantastic, we are all going to look at this in a different way. I say all of this, because I think the areas you mention are actually along the same lines as what she’s saying – it’s just the perspective is different.

  33. Very good. I have wrestled thru these things. I’m 28 and still not married. I remember for many years thinking my life wouldn’t start until I got a husband, and that yeah, I needed to be satsified with God before I’d be given one. I still w
    wrestle with some questions about these things but thankfully somewhere along the line I realized I AM living my life NOW and that I am not “missing” anything, because I have who I was created for in the first place: God. I still do though fall into “waiting until I am married to ‘start life’ ” attitudes that tend to stall me out in the present. Any way, thanks for sharing! It’s a very real thing that’s happening in the hearts of many, many young women!

  34. I don’t even know you and I wish I could give you the BIGGEST hug. Thank you for this honesty. YES and AMEN sister…

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