If you don’t already know, Kristen and Bethany are two Christian YouTubers and bloggers who go by the title of Girl Defined. Their channel and blog are like the ultimate girly Christian blog, in comparison to some of the others I listed in my post Religion vs. Women (which is somehow my most liked post ever!). I’ve always been aware of them, and I have always been so very entertained by many atheist YouTubers’ reaction videos to some of Girl Defined’s more ridiculous (or as they say, radical) ideas. As it can be somewhat difficult to respond to videos through a written blog post, I turned my attention today to their blog and a few posts that specifically caught my eye. First, though, I want to give some background on who these girls are and, frankly, judge their life choices, not because it’s my place to do so, but because I feel like it and I want to.
So if you couldn’t tell by the title of their “ministry”, Girl Defined, this channel and blog is all about being a Christian woman. On their blog, their list of topics include feminism (they are explicitly opposed to this), guys, the future, relationships, femininity, gender, culture, personal struggles, and fashion, to give you an idea of what they talk about. A newlywed myself (since November), I’ve recently been very interested in what they have to say about marriage, especially since one of the girls, Bethany, just got married about a month before I did (in October). The older sister, Kristen, has been married for about seven years.
Romantic relationships is probably the topic that Girl Defined covers the most, with plenty of posts and videos about singleness, being attracted to guys, being tempted with sexual sin (like a normal human being), the excitement of marriage, and everyone’s favorite, being a 30-year-old virgin who has never been kissed.
Their video about Bethany, the newlywed, and her decision to save not only sex, but her first kiss, for marriage, is one I’ve mentioned on this blog a couple of times before because I simply cannot wrap my head around it. I thought, “How long did your husband have to wait as you dated and did nothing more than hand-holding, or a hug, for when you really wanted to spice it up?” As I did some more research, I realized that it was really not that long that these virgins had to wait for their God-approved intimacy. Like, it was a matter of months.
After doing some sleuthing on their YouTube channel, I discovered that Bethany’s and David’s dating timeline looks a little like this:
Years ago – became acquaintances and friends
January 2017 – David develops a crush on Bethany
January 2018 – they are officially in a relationship
May 2018 – they are engaged
October 2018 – they are married
These people spent less than ten months together before being officially married in what they consider a perfect, God-approved marriage. Making a living telling people how to navigate their relationships and shaming people for having sex or living together before marriage, this girl was eyes-deep in a relationship within ten months, with no legitimate way of predicting how her marriage will actually work out. In a blog post on why she didn’t live with her husband before marriage, Bethany says,
“Instead of living together and giving marriage a ‘trial run,’ David and I are working on building good character that will carry us through the difficult times. Instead of relying on our feelings, we want to work on being faithful and committed no matter what.”
Basically, as long as you have solid character, you can use sheer will to force a marriage to work when it has no real foundation of experience together. Not only had they never lived together, had sex, or kissed before marriage, they hadn’t dated for even a year. But because they prayed about it, and because this girl is tired of being a 30-year-old virgin, and marriage is the only door to sex, she’s done waiting, and she’s just jumping into it.
A lot of Christians, including most of my former college classmates, think that marriage is the pinnacle of life, and being a housewife is the highest honor a woman can achieve (bonus points if your husband is a pastor!). And more than once, I have had friends say to me either directly or through social media that a marriage that isn’t grounded on faith in God will crumble: a relationship can only survive with three members, not two.
Well, I’m here to tell you that this way of thinking is bullshit.
My husband and I never really had to think about how long it would be acceptable to date before getting engaged. We started dating in 2013 when we were both in high school, and we got engaged over four years later, the week I moved back to campus for my senior year of college in fall 2017. By the time we got married last month, we had been together for a total of over five and a half years. We’d known each other in high school, in college, and in the abyss that is life after school (aka real life).
Originally, I was planning on doing what I’d always heard to be the norm—to save sex for marriage. But the more I thought about it, as I was starting my freshman year of college, marriage was at least four more years away. We didn’t end up waiting until marriage, but we did wait for about a year and a half of dating. So I only stayed a virgin until 18, and not 30, like Bethany who purposely punished herself with over a decade of unnecessary celibacy because it would make for what she thinks is a pure marriage. Meanwhile, our marriage has a foundation of love and intimacy—not to mention we got to enjoy our wedding without the stress of sexual surprises looming over our heads.
And that is probably the greatest amount of detail that I will ever go into about my sex life and my feelings about being a virgin on your wedding night. But not Bethany of Girl Defined; I’ve found that there is something about being a Christian woman on social media that gives you a desire to always overshare and call it normal. People like Kristen and Bethany love to go into detail about the Christian woman’s struggle with things like erotic novels, masturbation, same-sex attraction, and of course, that super-special first time of making love on your wedding night. When asked (apparently Bethany has been asked repeatedly by fans all about her private sexual thoughts—please refrain from asking me anything like this because it’s not your business!) whether she’s nervous about her wedding night, Bethany wrote in a post:
“Honestly, this is a pretty personal question.
You are asking me if I’m nervous about having sex with my brand new husband for the very first time. Although it’s personal, I want to answer it. I want you to know what I’m thinking and how I’m feeling.”
Bethany! From one girl to another, if people are asking you really pervy questions, you really don’t have to answer them publicly! As a matter of fact, I’m sure that a lot of us do not want to know what you are thinking or feeling about seeing a penis for the first time as a 30-year-old adult!
She responds nonetheless.
“Am I excited about sharing my body with the man of my ever living dreams? Absolutely!
Am I excited to experience his body for the very first time? You better believe it!
Am I excited about making the words of Song of Solomon a reality in my own marriage? Yes!
Am I excited to learn how to serve my man both emotionally and physically? Oh yes!
Am I excited to celebrate the covenant of marriage through intimacy with my husband? YES!”
I guess this is what happens when someone spends 30 years fantasizing about marriage and sex while forbidding herself from even kissing a man before the wedding day. She acts as if marriage is about magical unicorns making all your dreams come true. This is why, it seems, these girls have so many posts warning others that, actually, it’s not (yes, they actually have a blog post about why marriage isn’t about magical unicorns making all your dreams come true). It seems they’ve hyped it up so much that it’s a huge let-down when being married doesn’t instantly solve all of your problems. Here she writes,
“Marriage isn’t about magical unicorns making all your dreams come true.
I know that sounds stupid, but I seriously think that’s how so many singles view marriage (I sure did). We genuinely think that a husband will make us the happiest woman on earth and that all of our dreams will come true. We think our ‘flaws’ will just disappear and that we will magically transform into a perfect woman and saintly wife.”
I think this is one of those times when you write something and you think everyone can relate when really, no one can. Does anyone else really think that marriage will turn you into a perfect person? I imagine myself among the audience of her readers, turning to the person next to me and asking, “…so, do you wanna tell her? Or should I? That marriage is just a glorified version of living together, except now it is way harder to break up? And that her relationship is still in the stage when so many things can go wrong, because it isn’t even a year old? And that, most importantly, she should rely on herself for her happiness instead of relying on someone else to solve literally all of her problems?”
I’m not saying that everyone has to date for five years before being married, or that you even have to have sex or live together before being married. But I find it so damaging that this girl puts her relationship on display to her viewers and readers as a near-perfect example of a godly marriage, after 30 years of “purity”, giving it the highest of possible expectations and expecting it to last forever. Everyone has their own pace, and the amount of self-torture you inflict on yourself as an unmarried person will not cause you to reap any special reward once you are finally married.