Why should I choose abstinence?
If this is a question you're asking, here are a few things to think about.
Abstinence is the only 100%-effective way to prevent pregnancy. Birth control pills and other forms of contraception are not guaranteed to prevent pregnancy, most having failure rates of 8-25%. Even condoms have a relatively high failure rate because they are often used incorrectly, resulting in a failure rate of nearly 15%. Abstinence is the most reliable option when it comes to contraception.
Abstinence also prevents sexually transmitted diseases. In America today, 1 out of every 5 people are infected with a viral STD. Other STDs such as chlamydia, HPV (Human Papillomavirus) and syphilis can cause serious health issues for both men and women. Another growing problem is the AIDS crisis. HIV/AIDS is a deadly STD that weakens the immune system and is almost always fatal.
Merely abstaining from sexual intercourse does not prevent these diseases. HIV, herpes, HPV, chancroid, intestinal parasites, gonorrhea, syphilis and Hepatitis A and B can all be contracted through oral sex. In fact, any kind of sexual contact puts you at risk for some type of STD. Practicing abstinence is an effective way to prevent potentially deadly sexually transmitted diseases.
Abstinence also provides protection of another kind. Premarital sex provides no assurance of security, love or commitment from your partner. A secure marriage, however, will provide all these things! It will also assure you that you are with the right person for more than just a single night. Premarital sex may also eventually bring guilt and regret. It would be great for your future spouse to know that you saved yourself for marriage. Abstinence does not mean giving up sex forever; it means choosing to wait until marriage. Think about how much more enjoyable things are when you wait for them!
If you already have had premarital sex and regret your decision, there is an option for you: secondary virginity. Secondary virginity is the decision to abstain from sexual activity if you have participated in it in the past. This is an excellent way to prevent pregnancy and protect yourself from STDs.
Four Stages of Building Healthy Relationships
Once you have chosen abstinence, there are steps you can take to grow a strong, lasting and meaningful relationship.
Stage One-Exploring Similarities
In this initial stage of the relationship, the man and woman focus upon their similarities and generally do not see imperfections in each other or potential areas of incompatibility.
Stage Two-Exploring Differences
In this stage, differences in interests, perceptions, and goals may arise. Also, it is a time when weaknesses in the other person become apparent. If positive steps are not taken to address and negotiate these issues, there is a good chance that the relationship will not advance to the next stage.
Stage Three-Dealing with Similarities and Differences
At this stage, the couple must engage in a serious assessment of their relationship to determine whether it should lead to marriage. A solid foundation for marriage requires that difficult issues be resolved before the marriage, not afterwards.
Stage Four-Life-long Commitment
Marriage requires a lifelong commitment. Without a high degree of commitment, the relationship will encounter problems and may not last.