I could be the poster child for the merits of abstinence before marriage: I am a member of the US evangelical Christian community and remained a virgin until my wedding.
I’ve been happily married to the same man for almost 15 years. We’ve seen a lot in our marriage: conceived four children, cared for two with severe medical conditions, buried one of them, started and quit jobs, moved houses, changed churches, grieved, and battled depression. We have hurt, misunderstood, under-estimated, and annoyed each other. We’re still learning to become good lovers.
On more than a few days, we have barely held it together. So what’s our secret? It’s that we love each other no matter what.
To give my dearth of sexual partners credit for our marriage’s success is a ludicrous oversimplification. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking characterizes a significant portion of the US evangelical church’s approach to sex and marriage today.