You may have seen this photo which went viral, but you may not know the whole story. It such an great testimony of the heartbeat of two people, thus I am excited to share this story with you.
Moments before I was to walk down the aisle my soon to be mother-in-law came in the dressing room where my bridesmaids and I were all gushing with giggles and fluttering about finishing last minute details.
“Sweetheart, your groom has called for you!”.
In a nervous tizzy I said, “What?! I’m not ready! I have to get my shoes and…” She had already taken my hand and led me to a corner, where my groom was waiting. I barely sat down; I was filled with so much anticipation! So much excitement! So many nerves!
“Is he going to like my dress? Does my hair look pretty? Can he see me?!”
Right around the corner sat my soon to be husband, I so was nervous he might see me yet secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of him. In my excited state I was the first to speak,
“Hi sweetie! We’re getting married today!”
“I know baby and I want to pray with you before we do.”
There we sat around the corner hand in hand, and together we bowed our heads. People were rushing about; the wedding coordinator directing people here and there, the photographers snapping photos and the bridal party enjoying each others company. Yet in that moment, in the quietness of our hearts and minds, my husband and I were alone in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
My husband prayed that God would bless our marriage, that through thick or thin together we would never lose hope in one another. That instead of focusing on each others imperfections we would always rely on Christ’s perfection. That we would wake up every day and chose to love one another not through our own strength but by the power of Christ’s perfect love.
With our hands clenched tightly to one another together we said “Amen”, both with shaky voice and just like that I was whisked away to blot the tears off my face and put on my veil.
After my bridesmaids, mother, mother-in-law and every other girl in the room had finished zipping, curling, tucking and blushing me up I looked in the mirror. There I stood wearing my pure white wedding dress, ready to walk down the aisle to my Prince Charming.
See, he is not only my Prince Charming because of his incredibly handsome looks, or wonderful humor, or the fact that we have so much in common. He is my Prince Charming because he helped me protect the most precious gift that I owned, my purity.
Soon after we had started dating I nervously told my Prince that I was a virgin and planned to be until the night of my wedding; to which he replied he would have it no other way.
Throughout our dating relationship and engagement we constantly fought, what at times felt like a losing battle. We fought temptation with prayer, scripture and accountability. I had friends checking up on me if they knew we were together late at night and he regularly met with other Godly men to pray for strength. At times, especially as the wedding grew closer, we thought we were attempting to do the impossible.
“Why are we doing this?” I would ask in my weakness, and he would remind me, that it’s because God had told us too.
“I can’t do it, I can’t… this is too hard!” he would confess to me and I would pray for his strength.
When I walked down the aisle in my white dress, I looked straight into the eyes of the man that had laid himself down to protect and honor the wife that God had given him.
When his eyes first caught mine he looked into the face of the woman that had waited for him, the woman that would support him and love him for the rest of His life, through good times and bad.
I share all of this story because in that prayer we prayed, which was captured here on camera we asked the Lord to use our wedding to bring Him all of the glory that He rightfully deserved. We had not gotten where we were by our own strength, but by His hand of protection on our relationship.
God has used this photo to inspire hundreds of thousands of people already and for that we are humbled and honored! I wanted to take it a step further and give God praise and thanks for how we arrived at that quiet corner, holding hands and ready to begin our lives together.
How This Couple Won The Sexual Purity Battle
Three very important things made this story possible:
First, she courageously told this young man that she valued remaining sexually pure until the night of her wedding, and therefore he wanted to protect it, too. Why is this important? If he had not valued and respected her desire, she would have known that he wasn’t the young man the Lord had for her.
And, second, they made themselves accountable. Like-minded friends and family surrounded them with help by checking up on them, prayers, and a planned strategy. He regularly met with other Godly men to pray for strength.
Third, they fought temptation with prayer and staying in the Word. They desired to bring rightfully deserved glory to the Lord through their testimony.
In an earlier post, I shared that I had been involved in sexual sin before my husband and I were married. How I wish I had been able to hear the biblical mandate early about purity and that I had had a heart and mind transformed to hear it. There is no one to blame but my own willfulness.
My story could have been so different! But God still pursued me!
I cannot express to you the damage that sexual sin has wrought in my life. What seemed like “everybody does it” when I was 18 has ended up leaving permanent scars. I cannot erase those experiences from my memory. I never would have imagined that sexual sin would cause damage through all these many years.
God has since healed my heart and made my mind and soul brand new! I am a new creation in Christ and can’t remember today many things that haunted me for years.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” ~2 Corinthians 5:17
Even though the message of this story is too late for me, I can speak up through this blog and in my circle of influence and so can you! Let us tell the young women in our lives that “with God nothing is impossible” and encourage them in holy living. I would like to ask that you share it if you feel lead…to the glory of God!
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” ~Ephesians 5: 3
What an amazing testimony in a society that is making everything ugly, including sex and marriage. I loved reading the words he spoke in his prayer. There will always be beauty as long as there is a remnant that lives obediently to God and His ways
Christy @ Love is a Verb
Oh Jacqueline, I did see this picture and loved the respect & innocence. I’m sorry that you had to go through the regret of not staying sexually pure…but God ALWAYS makes all things new, and I’m so excited for God’s healing in your life & that He’s using your story & passion to reach women and advocating for His will in their lives. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you & your family. Christy
Wonderful post!! How I wish every mother and daughter could read this. Actually fathers and sons too.
Thank you, Charlotte! I wish so, too. Their story is just that good, and I suppose the reason it went viral was because it hit a nerve and people were confronted with truth that on some level was recognized.
Oh, Jacqueline, God continues to use your posts to inspire me toward Christ’s righteousness!!! How beautiful this post, and to the young couple you linked. I’m sending it to my daughter, right now!!! with love, Juana Thank you so much for posting on my blog link-up! You beautify my page, & I’m so honored:-) It means so much to me!
This is a fantastic post and happy you wrote it. I was not a christian when I was young. I made the same mistake. I am now the Lords and and teaching purity to my girl. I will have her read this ( she is now a teen)! Thank you.
Stopping by from Homemaking Party Blog Hop! Visit me & see my first knitted blanket today. http://www.homemaker-mom.com/2/post/2013/06/i-finished-my-first-hand-knitted-throw-blanket.html
This IS a beautiful post! We really need to get back to the old paths where purity and integrity were at the foundation of family life. Have a great weekend!
My husband told me about this photo the other night. Reminds me of our lovely wedding seven months ago. During the wedding was our first time to hold hands!
Nicole, that is so inspiring! Praise God that He helped you to do that! I pray for young people today, for they need to hear this message today and it could save untold pain! Thank you for sharing that 🙂
Such a beautiful story! I have a similar story to you and I have had to grieve how I wasn’t taught what I should have been taught. I try to remind myself that I have to share with my children *not* just right or wrong, but the “why” so they can understand more deeply the convictions our family has and so I don’t say – ‘We just ‘don’t’ do that’ and leave it at that with no explanation. Thank you for this! 🙂
I love your first point, something that I’m trying to instill in my daughter. A MAN (not a boy) will not want to take from her, but will want to preserve her. Thanks for the post.
Mrs. Sarah Coller
So thankful for a God who is merciful when we’re ignorant…and when we’re not! 🙂
Blessings! Thanks for linking up with my Homemaking Party.
Not only young women, but young men, equally need this encouragement to remain pure. Both before and after marriage! True to one another and to the Lord Christ whom we serve.
Yes, amen, Judi! So true!