You may think I'm only talking about sex or physical purity. But I'm not. There's a lot more you can save for your spouse, if that's what you choose.

I used to struggle with the idea of saving sex for my spouse. I knew it was the right thing to do, but I couldn't help but think I was missing out. I was, but it would have been only a temporary sacrifice that would have turned into a priceless investment.

Saving sex for your spouse is not the only thing that will pay great dividends. Though sex is a very special and sacred experience between a man and woman who love each other and have committed to each other by marriage, it is not the be all and end all of the male/female relationship. It's just one important part of several areas that are found in a healthy marriage.

What if the mindset of a single was not just "I'll save sex for marriage," but "I'll save myself" for my future spouse?

How Do You Save Yourself?

Saving yourself, as I define it, means that you save more than just sex. You save other special things like kisses, touches, and "I love you's." It may sound far-fetched or even very old-fashioned, but can you imagine the feeling of joy and love you'd have if you knew that your spouse had not even kissed another person? Ever? Or if the first time he/she ever said, "I love you," it was to you!

Imagine the privilege and honor of having a spouse who didn't just save sex for you, but saved absolutely everything! You can take this as far as you choose. Maybe you don't even want to hold another person's hand before you hold the hand of the one who commits to you for life. Or maybe saving just sex is enough for you. I can't make your decision. I can't even speak from the successful "saving" of myself. But I can speak from the experience of being married and being part of an organization that has worked with nearly 100,000 married couples.

I can tell you that if more couples saved everything for each other, many marriage-harming issues would not exist in their relationship. There wouldn't be haunting memories of past sexual encounters. There wouldn't be feelings of jealousy towards those who had physical experiences with someone's husband or wife. There wouldn't be the mindset that says, "Since I've had sex with someone else, what's the harm in doing it with another someone else?" Or, "Since she's had sex with someone else, what does it matter if I do, too?"

Perhaps the best part would be the sense of sacredness that saving oneself completely brings to a marriage. She doesn't have to share him with anyone—past, present or future. And neither does he.

Trust me, people don't leave marriages like that. Why would they?

I'm not saying it will be easy. In fact, I imagine it will be extremely difficult. But on your marriage night, when you give yourself to your spouse without bringing someone else's memory with you, you'll probably consider it to be your greatest accomplishment in life.

If you haven't saved yourself, start today. Wouldn't it be great to be able to say that you committed to your spouse even before you met him or her? Or decided to marry? Save as much of yourself as you can.

Remember this rule: The more you save for your spouse, the more you'll have to give and the more you are able to receive.  It's worth it. Trust me.



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Lee Wilson is a ministry consultant at Family Dynamics Institute, a marriage and family ministry that works with churches and concerned Christians to build strong, healthy marriages. You can visit their Web site at
www.familydynamics.net or call them at 1-800-650-9995.

**This article first published on February 14, 2005.