We pulled up to the restaurant in a hurry. My boyfriend and I got out of the car and walked towards the restaurant. Olive Garden. My Midwestern parents' version of “authentic” Italian.
It was lunchtime and the place was packed. We weaved our way through people, food and tables. I spotted my dad right away because of his t-shirt. The shirt was bright red, and said, “I put ketchup on my ketchup.” We greeted my parents with the obligatory hug and kiss.
My dad wasted no time in getting to the point of this meeting.
“First off, Christina and Clayton, we want you to know how much we both love you,” my dad said. But, we are very concerned for the both of you.
My heart started racing, and my palms were sweating. I grabbed my boyfriend’s hand underneath the table.
For the next twenty minutes my parents went on in detail about how dangerous it was for Clayton and I to move in together before marriage. They told us that if we were having premarital sex, our future marriage would most certainly end in divorce.
Clayton, my boyfriend, was in the Navy and about to be stationed in Jacksonville, Florida and I had just made the decision to move in with him.
My parents' reaction to this decision did not surprise me in the least. They were evangelical Christians. My dad had even bought me a promise ring when I turned 16. (Promise rings are typically worn, with the intent of saving sex for marriage.)
I was, however, worried about Clayton. I anxiously glanced over at him. His face displayed no emotion.
We finished lunch, and left. Clayton and I did not take their advice and ended up moving in together. At this moment I started to let go of the faith I had once known.
Clayton and I went on to live together for 3 years and then get married. We had copious amounts of sex in our unmarried years. We have been married now for 6 years, and are very happy together.
I was taught that if we had sex before marriage we would most certainly get divorced. This is where my faith started to unravel. Because if my parents and other Christians were wrong about this, what other things could they be wrong about?
I continued to ask this question and many more to any Christian that would listen. The answer was always along the same lines. Sometimes we don’t know the answer, we just have to believe and have faith.
I wasn’t satisfied with these answers, so I decided to let go of my rigid belief system and trade it in for a more open mind.