JD and I have been asked the question a lot since he proposed, most recently by the template to our wedding website. It’s so exciting to share the details of this season in our lives and so humbling to see how genuinely happy our friends and family have been for us. Truly, we are so blessed in our relationships.
We’re choosing to make the answer to that question private for the time being (a combination my love for secrets, JD’s patient grace, and the fact that we keep going back and forth on options). However, while thinking along those lines the other day, I found the following thoughts starting to take shape in my mind (and later, they answered that “honeymoon” question on our website):
Both JD and Chrystal made the decision at a young age to remain virgins until marriage, and–by the manifest grace and protection of God in our lives–both of us have held true to this commitment. As the weeks continue to count down to our wedding day, we remain so thankful that God has helped us guard this gift we offer to each other. While it has not always been easy to guard purity in the sensually-charged world in which we live, it is a great joy for us to know that there will be no third-party in our marriage. Neither of us regrets waiting.
To any young person who has stumbled across this page, we would like to encourage you to say “no” to the pressure that often surfaces in casual relationships. Sometimes, this also means guarding your eye and ear gates–rejecting certain movies and music that would be a deterrent to purity. Job 31:1 remains a challenge and an inspiration to both of us–we renew a covenant with our eyes on a daily basis, and we are dedicated to protecting one another from seeing or hearing things that would plant destructive thoughts. For Chrystal, knowing that men are visual, this is often as simple as drawing JD’s eyes to herself or something else when walking through the underwear department or by the magazines at the checkout aisle in WalMart. For JD, knowing that Chrystal has remained sheltered through personal convictions and upbringing, this means diverting conversations or at times covering her ears. We are not naive. We just choose to honor one another.
God created your frame to have dignity and to house His Spirit. This body of yours–which cannot contain gripping a live power line without convulsing–is the temple of the eternal, almighty Holy Spirit. His glory was so powerful in the Old Testament that the high priest could only approach the Holy of Holies once a year, and then had to try to get enough incense between himself and God so that the glory would not kill him. Through the precious sacrifice of Jesus, God has chosen your body as the resting place for that same glory. You are His royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). Unfortunately, casual hookups (especially in women) most often lead to a spiral of self-hatred, eating disorders, cutting, inability to trust, and even suicide. You were made for better.