love and waitingPosted: May 8, 2012
You asked me recently about life and love. I cannot answer with wisdom, for love and wisdom are rarely companions. But I can tell you what I have seen, and how I felt as a young man, and how I feel now as a father.
Many of your friends are now sexually active, and you wonder if it was a mistake to have waited. You are different, walking a solitary path, swimming upstream against the current of popular culture. It is a very hard place to be.
Your virginity is like a precious coin that can only be spent once. Some cast it away like a burden, some spend it foolishly, or others try to exchange it for the love they so desperately want, and others wait. In the end, we all must choose what we value, and how we act, deeply private and personal choices.
I do not deny young love. It is as sweet and powerful as love can be, and trust me, you will remember your first true love all the days of your life. Statistics show young love rarely lasts, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. It is as real as the electricity between two people. But truly making love is an adult act with adult consequences. No matter how careful you are pregnancy is always a risk, and that comes with hard choices and life changing decisions.
The love that that can span a generation or longer depends upon intimacy and trust, two things that early sexual relationships can prevent from developing. The passion of sex can be mistaken for love, and the deep bonds and shared interests needed for love become stunted, replaced by physical urgency.
Waiting has certainly let you avoid scourges that were never considered in my generation, AIDS, genital warts, and drug resistant diseases hepatitis and syphilis. When you sleep with someone, you are sharing every partner that they have ever had. Trust is very important. When you were young, it was my job to get you past the angst and emotional ups and downs of youth intact. I tried to show you an example of how a man should love a woman in your mother. We talked over and over and over about how the character of a man is his most important attribute. I trust your ability to weigh and decide on these things.
So here you are, a young and beautiful woman ready to make your way in the world. I am proud of you, I hope you know that I am prouder of you than I can ever fully express. Now your life is your own, full of unexpected joys, tears, and mountains to climb. I am comfortable with your ability to choose your path now and am happy to give you my blessing and cheer you on. May you have the wisdom and courage to live fully, love truly and honestly, and laugh.