why we waited

People wonder why we waited until marriage to have sex, and people are even more amazed that we saved our first kiss for the wedding. Why? Why would we do this? Wasn't it hard to resist the urge to just give in and make love? Of course it was hard. We wanted to kiss each other all the time and could hardly wait for everything else, but there are several reasons why we waited until the rings were on our fingers. Some say it was for religious reasons, but that makes it sound like we were just following some rule, when in reality it's much more about how we relate to God and how He wants us to relate to each other. God is relational, and He designed us to relate to Him and to each other in specific ways.

First of all, God is pure, and He expects us to be pure. God is light, and there is no darkness in Him. God is truth and He never lies. He is 100% holy, just, true, and many other things. He is not 99% light and 1% darkness, He is pure light. What does that have to do with marriage? Everything. If I love my wife 99% of the time and I occasionally kiss another girl 1% of the time, how do you think my wife would feel. She would consider me unfaithful. My love would not be pure, 100%. When we made our wedding vows they were for each other and no one else. So what would it have been like if I had had 10 other girlfriends that I slept with before I married my wife? She would have likely forgiven me and we would have moved on, but she would always feel like maybe I was not 100% committed to her. How could she know that I wouldn't leave her like I left all my girlfriends? I could reassure her, but there would never be a purity to our marriage. There could be forgiveness, but not complete assurance.

Purity is closely tied to faithfulness, being true to what you say and commit to. If God says that He is never going to leave me or forsake me, I know that He never will because He is perfectly, 100% faithful. If God is totally faithful, then He is pure in His love toward me, for His love will never fail or grow cold.

Second, we wanted a relationship that was based on true love (the kind that puts the other first) and friendship, not on physical desires and selfish lust. We knew each other for about 2 years before we got married, and we never kissed on the lips or got into bed together. We built a friendship that turned into a committed relationship that was based on sharing life together and doing normal things together. Because of this we knew that we had a strong connection and enjoyed being together even if there was no sex in the relationship.

Third, we wanted our marriage to mean something and to be different than being single. When I was still single I knew someone who got married to a girl he had been living with and sleeping with, and I asked him how marriage was. His response was, "Pretty much the same." It gave me a sinking feeling, like that was the saddest thing I had heard in a while, even though he didn't mean it that way. I've been looking forward to finding someone to love and marry for years, and the idea that marriage would be just a formality, like it's just a piece of paper, was never what I had in mind. I had a completely different life before getting married. I lived in an apartment with two other guys, and we would hang out, play video games, have friends over and watch movies, etc. It was a great time in my life and I enjoyed spending time with friends, but I went to bed alone and the place didn't feel like home. Once I got married my life changed. My wife is almost always there when I'm home, we have dinner together, we do things together, we share a bedroom and sleep in the same bed, yet we still give each other time to do our own thing; she enjoys reading and doing art, I enjoy music, photography and various things on my computer.

We can look at our life together while we were dating and engaged, and it was a totally different time in our lives. All of our experiences in marriage are unique to marriage and that makes them special. Sex is more special because it's one of the many new experiences that resides completely within the commitment of our marriage. Because we waited and saved kissing and sex for when we were married it makes those things pure and special. We don't feel guilty or shameful, like we're doing something we probably shouldn't, hoping we don't get caught. Everyone joined us in celebrating our wedding and our vows, and we know that in marriage we are committed to each other and that our love is for each other and no one else.

If you are interested in the idea of waiting for marriage there is a wonderful Facebook page that you should like. We didn't make it, but it has some good stuff and the people are very encouraging.

Abstinence Until Marriage


  1. Hi there.
    I just read about your story in a Norwegian newspaper, complete with a video where you are joyfully embracing each other after having been joined in marriage.
    I don't usually pry into other people's intimacy, but the angle of this story, your story, was one of ridicule, which I thought was sad.

    It is sad that we are supposed to accept teenage girls who pretend to be the hottest prostitute on the block in the various and sundry "reality shows" (and it is nothing wrong with being a prostitute - but it probably is not a lot of fun for the woman who has not other means to sustain herself than by sale of her body), without batting an eyelid, but we are supposed to react, like Pavlovian dogs, and laugh at two people who out of profoundly held values and beliefs, have restrained their passions until the moment is right.
    In Jewish ethical thought, a strong person is one who can control his or her passions ( Pirke Avot, Psalms 119:99).

    I personally would not have had the strength you two have, and have therefore, as a result had mature relations before getting married. I am not ashamed by them, and they do not haunt me. But in marriage, and before that, when realizing that this relationship was the right one, I take great care to not dress or act in a way that can arouse other persons passions or attention. What I have with my husband is particular and precious, with the ups and downs that a mature relationship demands of each one of us.

    I will watch your video now, but with deep appreciation and sharing your joy. Not by laughing at you.

    Yours sincerely and with the warmest wishes for your life together. Lechaim!
    Hannah Y.

    1. Thank you for looking at our story in a respectful way, it helps to know there are people who are positive about what we shared. We shouldn't be judgmental of others, especially when we don't even know them. May your marriage be blessed. To life!

  2. I'm not good at the use of big words, but I can say with an honest heart that I share all the same thoughts and meanings Hannah did here, except that I'm twenty and not yet married, but in a relationship whereof marriage is desirable and a blessing we both wish for, together.
    I found the same newspaper, from Norway as well, and I'm ashamed over how people treat loving and good people like you. You should be awarded some kind of prize for showing how relationships to yourself, each other and to other people should be.

    The best wishes for your future.
    Yours sincerely
    Katrine S.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Katrine. Always remember why you live your life the way you do and make the decisions you make, and don't worry about what other people say. We're so glad we waited and we feel that it has made our marriage stronger and more meaningful. God bless you.

  3. Hi there I saw you guys on the virgin diaries show and thought you two are cute. I came across your website and read your story and I really admire you guys. I'm from Canada 27 years old and I am also saving myself for marriage and a virgin too. Some of my friends just don't understand why I'm saving myself but they are not christians and I am and I am willing to do that for God and to save myself for my future husband. I pray that you and Shanna have a long and happy marriage and God bless you!

    sincerely, Becky

  4. Ryan and Shanna,
    I am so happy for the both of you. Really it doesn't matter what other people say or think. What matters is what is in your heart and your love for our Lord and Savior. If you make him first always, your relationship will overcome, obviously this is something that both of you you already knew! :)

    I have respect for you and Shanna because I know how difficult it is to resist temptation. Especially when you feel true love for the other person. I am not a virgin, but I am in a relationship with a good hearted Christian man that recognizes the value of abstinance. We too have decided to wait for marriage to share physical relations. I can just imagine that when that time finally arrives, it will have been worth the wait. I wish you both many blessings and hope that you will keep this site updated with news of blessings that God has in store for your future!

    Take care,


  5. Hey Shanna and Ryan!
    I just stumbled onto your story on Yahoo and I found it so incredibly heartwarming. I'm seventeen and a Christian. I'm also staying pure until marriage. I just wanted to thank you both for sharing your story and putting on a brave face for a world that doesn't understand that, "no sex before marriage is actually okay."


    P.S. I noticed that your one-year anniversary was this month. Congratulations :)

  6. Hi Ryan and Shanna,

    Almost 10 years ago I married the man that God had for me. We were 22 and 23 respectively and we had waited until we got married to be intimate as well. I have to say that the fact that we -with the help of God- were pure until then has helped us be a stronger couple. I will never forget, after our wedding night,we looked at each other and laughed just because we felt free to be together, no shame, no worries of whether I could get pregnant or not, and we knew that what we had was precious -with no competition , no baggage attached-.
    I hope that God continues to bless your marriage!


  7. How did you wait? I'm 18 and have had many close calls to losing my virginity and I honestly want to get it over and done with. Obviously I am not religious,but i did go to a Catholic school, where many of the girls were pregnant already. I apologize but it boggles my mind. But anyway congratulations to both of you and many happy and healthy years ahead!