Sexual immorality is considered a sin in the Bible and the debate continues to either support or refute the practice of sexual relations before marriage.

According to focusonthefamily.com, as developments such as contraceptives grew and abortions became legal, more practices of sex outside of marriage were practiced.

Opinions about sex before marriage vary around the world, especially when religion is involved.

Some benefits of waiting until marriage, as described on waitingtillmarriage.org include having an indestructible spirit, an incredible wedding day and night, a deeper, more committed bond with your spouse and a great example for your kids.

A few arguments against waiting until marriage, also described on waitingtillmarriage.org, are not being sexually compatible, limiting yourself to who you can date and not being experienced sexually when the time comes.

To see more benefits for and arguments against waiting until marriage, check out this Animaker to see both sides.

College students face temptation often including skipping class, drinking alcohol, cheating on an assignment and yes, having sex.

With pressure and stress surrounding students, some still stay strong in their journey of celibacy and grow stronger in their relationship with God.

With sex being broadcasted in modern society on a daily basis throughout television, movies, book, and music, it can be difficult to not follow the status quo and fit in with the rest of society.

Some students, like Tabitha Dees, a junior social work major and co-founder of the Winthrop University chapter of High Heels and High Standards campus ministry, lost their virginity at young age but still made a vow to be celibate in college and beyond.

“I lost my virginity my junior year of high school and I only did it because I wanted to make my current boyfriend at the time ‘happy,’” Dees said. “I realized I was giving myself away, and I was miserable. I wanted to change. That’s when I knew that I was sharing something precious with people who were temporary. I decided that I wanted to be in my purist form for my husband,” Dees said.

Taylor Proctor, a 19-year-old sophomore early childhood education major, is a virgin. She said that she faces challenges while on this journey of celibacy, with temptation being a big one.

“A common misconception about virgins is that we don’t get tempted because we haven’t experienced sex. But that is a big lie. I get tempted a lot,” Proctor said.

Nathan Timmons, a youth pastor at Crosswell Baptist Church in Sumter, South Carolina has also noticed challenges that college students face while abstaining until marriage.

“I think the biggest challenges for college students would be the freedom. They are away from home and may feel independent or grown,” Timmons said.

Freshman biology major, Shayvone Harvin, said that she stays encouraged on her journey of celibacy with uplifting words from herself, friends, and YouTubers.

“I encourage myself by engaging in the study of the Word, and constantly praying to God for strength and guidance,” Harvin said. “I have had some backlash within my thoughts but not with physical actions. I have received amazing advice from my peers who have made the choice to taken the journey, and also from Youtubers who have told their story of celibacy and how it has benefited them,” Harvin said.

One YouTuber by the name of Brea Smith is a graduate of Winthrop University and though she was not a virgin, she had a vow of celibacy before marrying her husband in 2016.

Smith has a YouTube channel with her husband, Austin Smith, called “Growing In Love: The Smiths” where they talk about their journey and relationship with God as a young, married couple.

Smith said she figured out what she didn’t want in a relationship due to her previous relationships.

“My self worth depended on if I was in a relationship or not. Only God can fill that void that I already had in my heart,” Smith said in one of her videos.

Shawana Miller, a senior family and consumer sciences major, is a single mother and she made a vow in 2016 to wait until marriage after previous encounters with guys, like Smith.

Miller said that any man must have a relationship with God before finding her. Miller said that man should lead her to God, not to temptation, because that is not pleasing to Him.

“Once I began evaluating what love really meant, I realized that sex was a temporary tool that was used to skew my vision. It made me believe that I was in love simply because someone had been inside of me. Once I took sex out of the situation I realized that I was worth the wait, and if they couldn’t wait then we couldn’t date,” Miller said.

Teddi Thomas, a junior religion and theatre double major, said that anybody who is thinking about committing to celibacy, whether they are a virgin or not, should do it.

“It is not going to be easy, but what lies ahead doesn’t compare to the struggles that you will face! God is supporting you and He has you in His Hands. Even if you don’t believe in God, waiting for marriage is such a beautiful thing.  It will make your relationship stronger and your honeymoon will be more interesting,” Thomas said.

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