Spiritual Virginity by Mary Edwards

A guest article contributed by Minister Mary Edwards of Leaves of Gold Consulting, LLC

Recently, a young lady shared with me that she was experiencing some sexual tension from her boyfriend. He asked her, “What are you saving it for?”

This question, “What are you saving it for,” caused me to travel back down memory lane, back to the days when I was a 13-year-old honor roll student.

“What are you saving it for?” is the question that got me in a lot of trouble. And, because I didn’t have the right answer, the very first time I experimented with sex, I got pregnant. Even though I was an honor roll student, when I should have said “no” I said “yes.” I gave the wrong answer.

Today, I’m nearly 70 years old with a 56-year-old son, and 12-year-old great grandson. History has a way of repeating itself. Worse than that, “What the parents do in moderation, the children do in excess.” (Bill Gothard)

Let me emphatically say this: “There are some things worth saving.”

Your virginity is, indeed, worth saving. Do you one day hope to wear the traditional “white wedding gown?” Can you wear it in good conscious? You see, a white wedding gown is more than tradition. White is symbolic of purity.

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory? For the wedding of his Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given to her to wear”(Rev. 19:7-8).

Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints. And we are referred to in the Bible as “The Bride of Christ.”

Some of you reading this may not have lost your virginity the way that I did. But, nevertheless, you lost it prematurely. You lost it prior to taking your marriage vows.

Scripture tells us that marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Heb. 13:4NIV)

If your conscience is being pricked at this point, let me relieve you of some of your anxiety. All is not lost.

Consider becoming a spiritual virgin. Let me tell you about my friend Patty. (She has given me permission to use her name.)

About 15 years ago, I was the director of Camden House, the family life center of Joy of Jesus Ministries, a ministry my late husband and I founded in 1976. We worked with families in the Ravendale Community on the east side of Detroit near City Airport. We received the “107th Point of Light Award” from former President Geogre H. W. Bush.

Patty was the head of the household for one of the families that we worked with at Camden House. We called them “fragile families.” The world calls them “dysfunctional.”

One day Patty’s sister called Camden House. She was very concerned about her sister. Patty had been in the bed for days and wouldn’t get up, not to shower or even to eat. The only time she left the bedroom was to go to the bathroom. As a single parent, Patty was struggling to care for her eight children, including a set of four-month-old twins.

My assistant director, Mrs. Dessie Morgan, and I went to her home, pulled her out of bed, stripped the sheets, and discarded them, along with Patty’s dirty gown. We put her in the tub and scrubbed her within an inch of her ribs. While my assistant watched Patty, I went to K-Mart’s and bought new linens and gowns for Patty. When I returned, we changed the furniture in the room completely around, put her in the bed and prayed over her until she went to sleep.

I would like to be able to say that things began to get better at that point, but instead they got worse. Patty ended up in a shelter run by Faith Clinic Church of God in Christ in Detroit. This church was directly across the street from Joy of Jesus Ministries. Many of our families were referred to Faith Clinic where Pastor Zachary Hicks is the overseer.

Patty stayed at Faith Clinic for a while and, although she attended church, she hadn’t surrendered her life to the Lord. It wasn’t until she had open heart surgery that Patty began to see the light and get serious about serving the Lord.

When I saw Patty at a Christian concert, she looked radiant. I was overjoyed to hear that she was engaged to be married. Her fiancé’ was with her, along with another lady whom she introduced as her chaperone. A chaperone? Patty was 48-years old!

Nevertheless, Patty shared with me a most beautiful and profound piece of information. She said, “This is my chaperone. My fiancé’ and I don’t go anywhere together without her.” At this point, Patty had been celibate for five years. (Some women can get by this way just with the Holy Ghost. But, praise the Lord anyhow! You do what you have to do. If you need a chaperone, get one!)

I attended Patty\’s wedding. As she strolled down the aisle in her beautiful white wedding dress, I cried with each step she took. I believe with all of my heart that she had earned the right to wear it. After she turned her life over to Jesus Christ, she kept herself pure and undefiled. She became the bride of Christ and a spiritual virgin fit for both her natural husband, as well as her spiritual Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. She came to the realization that she had something worth saving. And she saved it.

Later I found out that Patty’s bridegroom was the most eligible bachelor in the church. He had been watching her for two years to see if she was “living the life (of Christ).”

As Patty strolled down the aisle, her bridegroom sang in a deep baritone voice, “Isn’t She Lovely?” The look of love was in his eyes, as he sang to his beautiful bride.Every woman there envied Patty. The pastor’s wife told me something amazing. That song was the first time they had ever heard him sing! Patty put a song in his heart and a smile on God’s face.

Patty had something worth saving. And her bridegroom thought she was lovely enough not to steal it away. If you ask Patty how she kept herself pure until her wedding night, she will tell you, “It wasn’t easy, but God kept me. If I had compromised my values, I would have missed the beautiful husband God had for me.”

If you are a young girl reading this, let me close with a quote from the 22-year -old former Miss America Erika Harold. Upon winning the Miss America crown, Harold says her platform for abstinence was already developed. “When I share my views on sexual abstinence, (with junior high school and high school students) quite often they say that I am the first person to tell them that they have a choice.” (Gospel Today, March/April 2003. “There She Is…,” pgs. 32-36)

Ladies, can you see yourself in this picture? You, too, have a choice.

Minister Mary Edwards is the founder of His Lovely Wife Ministries, Widows With Wisdom and The Called and Ready Writers. She can be reached at (313)492-0149 or (313)341-2191 or leavesofgold.llc@gmail.com. Her autobiography is titled “Born Grown.” It can be ordered on her website: www.leavesofgoldconsulting.com.

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