A Letter to a High School Girl

Girl sitting on bed

Dear High School Girl,

You don’t know me, but I know you. It was nine years ago that I too grappled with the decisions you are facing: Boys. Sex. How far is too far? Should God get a say in what you do with your body? Will the decisions you make about boys and sex in high school affect your future? I want you to know that what you do with your body will stay with you even into marriage. It’s never just physical, and compromising with one guy ensures easier compromise with the next. But you’ve probably heard all of this before, right? Today, I simply want to ask you to listen to a simple story about my life to offer some perspective. Perspective, I hope, changes your life.

I’m on Kiawah island with my husband’s family. I sat on a picturesque beach yesterday morning and my body shivered as I remembered sitting on the exact same beach 9 years ago. I made a monumental decision that summer when I came to Kiawah Island with my friends. I was 17 years old.

We were out for adventure–which as you can imagine included drinking and boys–and one night we met a group of “super hot” guys on the beach (or maybe at the liquor store, I can’t remember). I’d never received a ton of attention from capital H Hot guys, but that night a boy named Pete seemed interested. He flirted with me, let me take a sip from his red solo cup (don’t EVER do this), and even told me I was ‘gorgeous’. I was over the moon with excitement.

After we’d had our fill of the beach, we hopped in SUV’s and headed to a house on the island. One of the guys we just met was painting the interior of the house and gave his cherished keys to a friend to ‘get the party started’. The house was perched right above the beach and enormous oak trees draped in Spanish Moss hung over the long driveway. “This is going to kick ass”, I whispered to my friend, the word ‘ass’ sounding strange exiting my mouth. I was desperate for acceptance.

Pete was in another car and I anxiously re-applied lip gloss and tugged at my frayed jean skirt wondering if he’d find someone else. The music blared  and a group was doing shots at the oversized island in the kitchen. We were greeted warmly, drinks thrust in our hands, and so the night continued. I eyed Pete convinced he would pursue the tall blonde or the petite cheerleader that yelled, “I love this song” at the beginning of every new tune and promptly forget my existence. But he stayed next to me and asked me questions about college next year, my parents, sports, and then stated, “You aren’t going to tell me about some boyfriend and break my heart, are you?” I sheepishly laughed and responded, “Nah, I don’t want to be tied down in college” (a popular thing to say at the time). He smiled and his grey blue eyes seemed to make my heart want to leap from my chest.

As Pete got me more and more drinks, my inhibitions slowly went out the oak door we entered the party through just hours earlier. He kissed me. He told me I was beautiful. And then we were alone and he wanted to sleep with me. I was a virgin and had made a commitment to save sex for my husband. But Pete was Hot, charming, and after all does it really matter if I experiment with one guy I’ll never see again?   No one will ever know and I don’t want to be the ‘good girl’ forever. What happens in Kiawah stays in Kiawah, right? Couldn’t I just throw my cares to the wind and the intimacy would stay in that bedroom—never to be discussed again? Do I really want to go to college a virgin? What’s the big deal?!

In the dark room, my head spinning from the Bacardi shots, I made the decision. I had a relationship with God and believe He spoke for me at that moment, “Pete, I’m sorry, but I’m going to leave now. I don’t want to do anything I’ll regret in the morning.” The darkness assuredly hid his dropped jaw, and I slid on my shoes and left the room. As I crawled in bed later that night, I honestly wasn’t sure I’d made the right decision.

I could never have known the trajectory that one decision would have on my life—but I do know now. It’s never just one person, one night, one moment to be forgotten. The decisions you make sexually will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Last week, I celebrated one year of marriage with my husband. We’re here in Kiawah, the same beach from nine years ago, with his family. I can’t help but think back to that summer. 9 years ago. One decision.

I’ve not spent this week running from memories of my past, but instead growing in love with my husband. I can’t imagine the pain of walking the same beach I was if I’d chosen to lose my virginity here. If I’d believed the lie that sex is just physical and followed the mantra, “What happens in (Kaiwah) stays in (Kiawah). My decision to wait prepared me for a lifetime of intimacy with my wonderful husband—and I’ve never looked back and wished I’d experimented more.

Dear sister, what will your decision be? I do hope you choose purity. One day in your husband’s embrace will think back to how different your life might have been if you’d chosen a different path. For purity always paves the way for intimacy.

For those of you who have already gone down the wrong path–I want you to know God always recalculates and always redeems. He is a good Dad. 

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Comments
8 Responses to “A Letter to a High School Girl”
  1. Laura says:

    This is a beautiful story and I’m so glad you shared your story with detail.

  2. Person says:

    As a person who has had sex with multiple partners I can tell you that it doesn’t stay with you. It seems you think alot more about the sex you didn’t have than a normal person thinks about the sex they do have. Christians always say that the thing that is so bad about sex is that “it stays with you” really? Is that all you have? Where in the bible does it say that one should not have sex before marriage? It never does.

  3. Charlotte says:

    Thank for sharing your life story to me.but am sad because i broke my virginity at the age of 22 .What should i do since it was a disaster that befall me?

  4. Lauren says:

    Hi Ruthie!

    I am a highschool senior, and often face the same dilemma. There really aren’t many friends of mine, that are complete virgins. It seems like all of my girlfriends will hook up kinda soon after dating. It is hard to say no, if your dating an amazing guy, and your getting serious. So when is the cuttoff when your dating a guy, being realistic?

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Hi Lauren! Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad you found my blog! I remember wondering in high school “how far is too far?” or “how far can I go without losing respect and still keeping a guy around?” I think both of these are the wrong questions–because they are too focused on right now instead of looking towards the future. I know marriage seems a long way off, but everything you do physically with your body now will stay with you into marriage. The memories and guys just don’t go away. I think the cutoff should be before you get close to doing something you don’t want to have replaying in your mind down the road. If a guy is pushing your boundaries, always walk away! He doesn’t respect you and love you if he can’t take “no” for an answer and respect what you want for yourself.

      What do you think? Does it seem unrealistic? Do you think a guy would break up with you for not say going to 3rd base?

      • Lauren says:

        I can see what your saying about you how it “will stay with you”. But, I have flashbacks of things in my life that I wish didn’t stay with me, but did, so I think of sex the same way. I have found that you can get your heart broken, without having a sexual relationship, and that can haunt you. I wish I could look towards the future, but marriage seems so far off and with the divorce rate so high now, it seems ridiculous to wait till marriage. I think we live in a society where sex is advertised everywhere. It’s not that big of a deal anymore, losing your iphone is more dramatic than losing your virginity nowadays.

        I don’t think that a guy would break up with me right away after I said no to 3rd base. But, I don’t think he would stick around much longer if I was strong on my stance for not going there. I guess I was hoping to hear some sort of time length that I needed to wait with a boyfriend, where I wasn’t trying to give myself up right away. (I’m not saying that I should go around throwing myself on guys.)

        Unfortunately, waiting till marriage is unrealistic. I wish it wasn’t this way but if you won’t give a guy that’s a 10 or above, any sort of “favor” sooner or later, he can go out and find some other girl that will, which really sucks.

  5. Nanafee says:

    Encouraging to know that there are others standing up for the Truth! I will wait :)

  6. Michelle says:

    If you have a decent date/boyfriend then he will wait for you however long it takes. I have been with my boyfriend for two years now. About three months into our relationship, I decided that I want my first kiss to be at the altar on my wedding day. My boyfriend respects my decision – he even supports me in it. I don’t think that kissing is wrong, but I think my first kiss is a precious gift that I can give to my husband.

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