By Caitlin Chodakowsky

Worth the wait

Caitlin and Will
Caitlin and Will on their wedding day

As I planned to celebrate the first Valentine’s Day with my newlywed husband a thought struck me and I think it’s worth sharing with other young couples…

Why do girls idolise a man of vintage values? Amidst teen fervour for the Twilight film saga, the idealisation of Edward Cullen's character is unusual considering his unpopular values in today's society.

Immortal since 1918, Edward embodied values that have long since been deemed outdated, undesirable and old fashioned. Even in the film and books Bella mocks him for insisting on marriage before sleeping with her.

Yet isn't it interesting that unlike most of the other romantic films being produced at the time, girls were going gaga over Edward?

Virginity is often seen as an undesirable thing in our western culture, as if something is wrong with you if you haven't slept with anyone by the time you are in your 20s.

Australia's first large-scale national survey of sexual behaviour and attitudes, the Australian Study of Health and Relationships, found that Australians are having sex at a younger age and with more partners than their parents.

I recently heard of two year six students caught having sex in a school classroom. That news hit me hard.

Why are kids in primary school even thinking about such things?

The results of the 2002 National Survey of Australian Secondary Students, HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health reported that 12.6% of high-school kids experienced unwanted sex because they were pressured by their partner.

Rather than dwelling on these things, I wanted to write to encourage young people out there to see the good in choosing to wait for marriage before having sex.

I was 22 before I had my first boyfriend. He became my husband last April. Before that time I had never held a boy's hand, never been kissed and never had a valentine.

While I often wondered if something was wrong with me, I also wondered if I was being too picky and pondered if I would ever get the chance to say 'I do', I can tell you now it was worth the patient wait.

And you know what? My husband patiently waited for me. I was impressed that at age 26 he had never slept with anyone either.

Looking back now, both of us agree that choosing not to have sex outside of marriage gave us the best start to married life possible. We have no regrets, no guilt, no emotional baggage, no insecurities over comparisons with other ex-partners, no unwanted pregnancies or STDs, and most importantly, as Christians we honoured God.

I think deep down we all know it is not old fashioned and outdated to want the best for yourself: a secure relationship based on commitment and sincere vows that last "till death do us part".

For those who have made mistakes and learnt the hard way, this is by no means meant to make you feel bad. In fact God says He is quick to forgive and wash away all our history books.

Some of my single friends have experienced the freedom of Jesus' forgiveness and it is the most amazing thing to see them waiting patiently and standing strong against temptation.

If it is true love, it can and will wait till vows of commitment are made. Don't be pressured to give in, because God wants the absolute best for you. Your love story is in the making!

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