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. According the US Center for
Disease Control, “The surest way to protect yourself against STDs is to not have sex. That means
not having any vaginal, anal, or oral sex (“abstinence”).”
Birth control pills and other forms of contraception are not guaranteed to prevent pregnancy; most have failure rates of 6-24%. Even condoms have a relatively high failure rate because they are often used incorrectly, resulting in a failure rate of 18%.
Abstinence also prevents sexually transmitted diseases. STDs are diseases that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. There are 20 million new infections reported each year in the US and 110 million Americans with an STD at any given time. These include chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Many of these STDs do not show symptoms for a long time. Even without symptoms, they can still be harmful and passed on during sex. Chlamydia, HPV, and syphilis can cause serious health issues for both men and women. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome more commonly know as AIDS is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by HIV.
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. On the other hand, a healthy marriage will provide all these things! It will also provide assurance that you are with the right person for more than just a single night. Wouldn’t it be great for your future spouse to know that you saved yourself for them in marriage? Abstinence does not mean giving up sex forever; it means choosing to wait until marriage. The best things in life are much more satisfying when we wait for them!
If you already have had premarital sex and regret your decision, there is an option for you. Making a commitment to abstain from sexual activity is an excellent way to safeguard your heart, prevent pregnancy, and protect yourself from STDs!
https://www.cdc.gov • https://www.cdc.gov/std/life-stages-populations/stdfact-teens.htm • https://www.arhp.org/Publications-and-Resources/Quick-Reference-Guide-for- Clinicians/choosing/failure-rates-table
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.