Waiting for the Wedding Night, Getting Married Right

Opinion   |   Sharon Barrett   |   Sep 21, 2012   |   3:59PM   |   Washington, DC

Among the articles streaming through my Facebook news feed last week, one essay caught some wind resistance. In this opinion piece, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder describes why “Waiting till the wedding night – getting married the right way” is worth it.

When a friend of mine shared the link to Crowder’s piece, several of her Facebook friends reacted in disbelief. One young man questioned the wisdom of waiting: “What if you find out you’re sexually incompatible, or one partner has a weird kink that ruins the marriage?”

When I joined the conversation to point out that “kinks” and quirks shouldn’t undermine one’s commitment to a spouse, another young man responded by comparing marriage to a (very costly) consumer decision: “Does it make sense to buy a car without a test drive?” A third suggested Mr. Crowder may be excused for his opinion, as he is understandably a bit euphoric after his wedding night (for of course, with no previous sexual experience, he needn’t be taken seriously). All agreed that, like Mr. Crowder and his new bride, my friend and I are naïve.

But are we naïve? Are we, the young men and women who choose chastity over short-term pleasure and hold out for lifelong marriage over one-night flings, waiting for naught?

My colleague at MARRI, Maria Reig Teetor, had a chance to test this hypothesis recently, when a date asked her the now-common question (“Your place or mine?”). But she didn’t. “No, thank you,” she replied. “I don’t do that.”

Astonished, the man called her later, trying to figure out why she had said no. Hadn’t she had a nice time? Weren’t they getting along?

Of course they were; but as Maria explains, she had many reasons not to go home with him. Sleeping with a stranger creates a false emotional bond. Building a relationship on sex short-circuits a couple’s communication and their ability to fix problems in the relationship. Without the dignity of a marriage commitment, human sexuality – meant to be an expression of self-giving – is reduced to an animal act.



For these reasons, Maria is confident in her choice to wait:

“No, I will not sleep with you, as my sexuality is not there to give, just out of mutual understanding, affection or desire. But to preserve for one person who is going to acknowledge it for its final purpose, the surrender and the total self-giving out of love and for love.”

Who is naïve – Maria, or her date who was puzzled by her refusal to sleep with him because he expected every girl to do so? My friend and I, or her friends who see a spouse as an investment like a new Ford or Chevy? Steven Crowder, or the world that mocked him for waiting till the wedding night to share intimacy with his bride and her alone? You decide.

LifeNews Note: Sharon Barrett writes for the Family Research Council