|Ada and Les Brownell 1953|
By Ada Brownell
Excerpt from Imagine the Future You
When my husband and I were married, couples took blood tests to check for Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
When a virgin discovered she was set to marry someone affected with a disease, there was time to call off the wedding. Of course, my husband and I had nothing to worry about, and the testa came out negative
I would guess in my day most of us were virgins, and I knew my beautiful white satin gown testified to that fact.
According to Kelsey McIntyre in From Times Past, white has been accepted as the preferred wedding dress color since Queen Victoria married her cousin Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840. Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1849 reported, “Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood and the unsullied heart she now submits to the chosen one.”
A wedding gown probably is the most beautiful dress most women wear in their lives. Even the least expensive are exquisite.
Young men, too, probably will never be more handsome than the day they stand all dressed up at the altar waiting the beautiful bride.
Children often like to play “bride and bridegroom,” and during their growing years, many girls dream of the day when they walk down the church aisle, dressed in white, as the wedding march fills the sanctuary.
When we married In 1953, about half of all women were married by age twenty, and half of all men by age twenty-two. In 2002, the average age for the bride was twenty-five and bridegroom age twenty-seven.
Today, thousands of couples are living together without being married, and multitudes of young women give birth to babies without being married. In addition, more than fifty million babies have been killed by abortion in the United States since abortion became legal in 1973.
Something happened. A large number of young men don’t bend a knee and extend a tiny box containing a diamond and ask their beloved to marry them. Instead, many just want to rush the girls off to bed somewhere and perhaps live together.
Some folks blame the lack of finances and needing to wait to earn a college education as the reason to delay marriage, but it doesn’t make sense. You can get a marriage license for a few bucks. A pastor will marry you for free, but it’s customary to pay him one hundred dollars or so. A couple can live cheaper than two single people, and you can get your education after marriage. I did. Thousands of people earn their degrees later, and most of the people did from generations before us.
But there is something else—and it’s huge. Young women and men are giving away their virginity as if they are dropping a penny on the sidewalk and leaving it there. Guys who already have a sexual relationship with a woman won’t hurry to get married. A woman who gives away her virginity before marriage risks never being married—especially to him!
With throwing away virginity goes the dream of walking down the church aisle in a white wedding gown or a tuxedo as a virgin, pure and unblemished. Maybe the bride will wear white, but it won’t mean anything—especially to the couple.
In addition, sex before marriage causes emotional consequences. Physicians Joe S. McIlhaney and Freda McKissic Bush, authors of the book Hooked, say neuroscience has discovered sexual activity releases a chemical that impacts the brains of developing adolescents and young adults. These chemicals cause an emotional bond between partners, and when this bond is broken, the youth suffers depression and difficulty with bonding in future relationships.
In contrast, when the bride is a virgin and her man loved her enough to control his own urges for his wedding day, there is suspense, excitement, electricity, and sparks that go way beyond the fireworks of the wedding. When they bow their knees together and pray with the minister’s hands on their heads, they are serious about this commitment. They recite their vows to God, concluding with tears in their eyes, “Until death do us part,” and they intend to keep their vow. If they continue to follow Him, God will help them through the better or worse, thick or thin, hair or baldness, sickness or health, poorer or richer.
Staying pure until the wedding night is the way God dreams of life for young couples.
Sure, God knows about sex. He invented it. Here’s what God’s Word says: “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4.
In contrast, sex before marriage exposes a person to sin that could jeopardize an eternal future; to a multitude of horrific diseases; pregnancy that not only affects both sex partners but also a baby, and impacts emotional and spiritual health.
Don’t believe it if Satan tries to make you believe the sexual experience will be worth anything you pay for it. In a moment of passion, people do believe that. In reality, it often is over within a few seconds or minutes. Some counselors say single men seldom find sex outside of marriage as satisfactory as married sex, and women almost never are satisfied with early sexual encounters.
IMAGINE REACHING YOUR GOALS
Many young people are ruining their health, future, and their lives by having sex before marriage.
All over America, however, are youth who respect themselves enough to wait until they get married. These young women and men—and there are larger numbers of them than you would think—aren’t concerned about being “sexy” or whether they have a date for the weekend. The girls have lots of girlfriends and friends who are boys. The boys enjoy friends of both sexes, too. Many go places in groups but usually don’t pair off with the opposite sex. Others date, but sex is off-limits.
These young people have principles they believe in and goals in life they plan to reach.
Wise young people keep their eyes on goals they want to pursue and stand firm in not allowing Satan to snatch their future. Even some who aren’t dedicated to God know they’ll never reach their goals if they take that beer, smoke that pot, use that drug, or engage in premarital sex. They don’t want to be stuck with an addiction or a disease, a baby to support, or a hysterical person in love with him or her at this point in life.
Young people who are committed to God have those and much deeper reasons for resisting temptation. It’s not because parents and pastors get up and yell and warn them about the dangers of premarital sex, although the warnings should be heeded.
It’s because they made a commitment to the Lord, who loves them more than anyone, and they want to please God and obey His Word.
 Moody Publishers, 2008.
Copyright Ada Brownell 2014
SUMMARY OF IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU
IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU
By Ada Brownell
Will you be the person you dream of being—or someone from your nightmares?
You don’t need a fortune teller to reveal your future. You are the person who determines who you will be, what your life will be like, and how your hopes and dreams will be fulfilled.
This book will show how to make the right connections, how to grow your talents, and how to begin believing in yourself and things greater than yourself—for a wonderful Future You!
A Bible study available in paper or for Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/1489558284
Read or listen to first chapter free!