A thirteen-year old girl was given a surprise birthday party to commemorate her special day. Her parents waited until everyone left before presenting her with their gift.
"Precious," her mother said as she sat her daughter down. "Your father and I discussed it, and we think it is time to give you something of unique value. We believe you are mature enough to appreciate and care for this costly heirloom."
Precious could hardly wait to see what her parents had for her. Her father handed her a large envelope with a wax seal.
"Your mother and I," her dad said, "entrust you with this."
Precious' emotions ran high as she took the envelope in hand. Her parents embraced her and left her alone in the room. She almost tore the envelope open before noticing these handwritten instructions on the front: "Inside this envelope is a rare and invaluable document. Treat it with great care, for someday you will give it to another. If you choose the recipient wisely, your life will become rich and fulfilled. Do not let others borrow it, because if it becomes soiled or damaged, it will depreciate considerably."
The next day she made some calls to appraisers of rare documents and tried to get an idea of the value of her fragile manuscript. She could not give them many details, only the name of the document. Nearly all the appraisers wanted to see it and test the authenticity of the paper before rendering an appraisal. Precious was tempted to take the sealed envelope to some of the merchants, knowing they would likely give a variety of prices. The problem was that any casual human contact disturbing the piece would reduce its marketability. She was confused and went to her parents and asked for their opinions.
"Well, honey," her mother said. "I think you should wait awhile before you allow anyone other than yourself to possess it. The longer you own it, the more important it will become, and the richer you will be when you finally decide to relinquish it. You cannot let common vendors scrutinize it."
"All I can say is that your mother and I will not always be with you," her father said. "The decision is yours to make; it is a gift we cannot take back. Once you grant others permission to inspect the document and assess its value, you will not be able to return it to its original state. My advice to you is not to let it be handled by any dealers of rare documents. A wise person who knows something about such documents will tell you that no one can place a value on it. If any dealer tells you otherwise, do not trust him. He does not have your best interest at heart. Your mother and I can tell you what a priceless item you have, but you need to discover that for yourself."
As Precious went through high school, there were low times in her life when she questioned whether she indeed possessed something of value. Was it enough that her parents told her that her document was rare and priceless? How could she know for certain unless someone else assessed her gift? She could have used some words of encouragement from someone other than her parents. Despite the temptation to seek an independent appraisal, she adhered to the advice of her parents.
Years later Precious was away at college where she met Ryan, who shared three of her courses. They soon became good friends. Ryan was always kind and respectful toward her.
As husband and wife,
their love and their life
deepened, and became
rich and fulfilled.
Ryan and Precious started to see each other often. They enjoyed long walks during which they talked about their families and what they would like to do in the future. One day she confided in him about her document and wanted to know if he thought it was truly valuable. Ryan was impressed that she had kept it sealed and preserved so long. Then he revealed a secret of his own.
"My parents gave me just such a document when I was a boy. My father said that I should keep it until I met a prudent young lady who would understand its worth." Immediately the value of the two sealed documents became clear to both Precious and Ryan, and they were glad that they had each maintained the integrity of their gifts.
Ryan and Precious fell in love. They agreed to spend the rest of their lives together and promised that on their wedding night, and not before, they would exchange their rare gifts with each other. They married, made vows, and in a quiet ceremony on their wedding night, they exchanged their long-preserved gifts. As husband and wife, they began to pursue the dreams they had shared back in college. Their love and their life together developed, deepened, and became rich and fulfilled.
Years later, Precious and Ryan did as their parents had done. They passed on new copies of the treasured documents to their children, giving them the opportunity to keep their documents sealed until they each met the right person.
God has vested every girl and boy with this exact same document; it bears the name Virginity. One's virginity is more priceless than any material object one may possess. And God meant it for a gift for a wife to give her husband and a husband to give his wife.
Girls, how many boys (dealers/merchants) will you permit to place a low value on your virginity? Will you tolerate your virginity's being defaced and devalued? The purpose of waiting is to meet a guy like Ryan who will cherish, honor, and respect you. Boys, you too have a gift. Will you throw it away, or will you save it for the girl you will want to spend the rest of your life with? Remember, you can give the precious gift away only once.
If your virginity has already been surrendered, you still have value. You are precious, and it is not too late to protect yourself from further wear and tear from those who do not appreciate your significance.
Precious and Ryan did well to follow their parents' advice. Not everyone does. Although it was sometimes difficult to wait, they were forever thankful that they did. Save your sexual intimacy for just the right person, for after the wedding. Don't waste it on those who will never appreciate you. The right person will be willing to wait for you.
Teresa Billingsley is a freelance writer. She lives in California and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.