2011 Pure Love Essay Contest
2nd Prize Middle School Category
Latrice J.
Age 14    Grade 8   

                               “Sexually Active at Age Thirteen”
 “It’s my body I can do what I want!” Have you heard this before? Or, “Everyone else is doing it?” These are statements among teens that are heard frequently. When teens say this, do they really understand what they are saying? I’m guessing they do not. What they are saying is, “I will suffer the consequences, not any one else, and it makes it okay because everyone is doing it.” Well believe it or not, these are false allegations. God says in John 15:19, “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” 
When I read this scripture, I began to accept the fact that what every one else is doing doesn’t have to be what I’m doing. After all, everyone else is apart of the world and I am not. This is saying regardless of what the world displays, we should not be a part of it. You may have heard the saying “You are what you hang around”.  This is sad, but true. If you start to hang around people who do drugs and have multiple sex partners, you will start to have these traits too. 
There’s a 13-year-old girl in the eighth grade that is a dear friend of mine. She used to come to church, get great grades in school, and was a great athlete. Then spring break came. She began to go to parties, drink and smoke, and no longer attend church. When I noticed her behavior, I asked her why was she doing these things. She responded, “It’s my life and I’ll do what I want with it. Plus everyone’s doing it.” When she said this to me I couldn’t believe my ears. I told her she wasn’t thinking straight and that I would give her some time to think about what she had said. I called her two months later and she informed me she was pregnant and living with her boyfriend. I told her I had to call her back. When I hung up the phone, I realized that in a matter of two  months she was destroying her life. Then I began to strategize how to get her out of this situation. 
I thought of counseling, Child Protective Services, and even thought about having her move in with me. But when all my ideas failed, I finally thought God. He says in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." My friend and I read this verse together and then that’s when we knew she would be make it through.
           After the baby was born, my friend asked me “How have you kept your virginity for so long?” I responded by telling her that I never put myself in a situation where I feel tempted. I have had friends who told me to, “just try it”, and, “it feels really good”, but feeling good isn’t worth letting someone invade God’s temple. This is the same as saying, “Here! Take my new car!”, to someone who lives in Canada. I highly doubt you would see that car again. This is the same for your virginity. Once you lose it, you can never get it back.

2012 Pure Love Essay Contest Alumni Category 1st Prize 
 Mikako I. 
Age 17 , Grade 12

What are the benefits of keeping sexual purity before marriage?

          As one of roughly 6.7 billion people on Earth, what can a person claim exclusively as their own? A house? You can pay monthly bills and have it signed under your name, but it was not built for you specifically; the house has probably had numerous owners before, and just the same, it will have a plentiful number of owners after you. What about even your family? Your mom and dad are someone else’s daughter and son and they are someone else’s sister and brother. As selfish as you might want to be in claiming even your parent’s as yours solely, it is not completely true. So in this vast and ever-changing world, what exactly can humans claim as wholly their own without being disputed? It is purity. It is the freedom from sexual contaminants. It is the innocence that has only one owner. This virtue that each and every single of the 6.7 billion people on Earth is born with is truly one of the only things that every single human being can claim as their own, regardless of money, race, status, or any other societal miseries that we have created and thrust upon one another. Guarding this kind of powerful gift that is only endowed at birth is essential, especially in today’s world. The benefits of protecting one’s sexual purity until marriage are numerous and central to not only physical health, but more importantly, one’s mental and spiritual sanity.   
          By abstaining from sexual actions before marriage, an abundance of physical benefits exist. The fact is, having sex even once is enough to get an STD or AIDS. According to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 40,000 to 80,000 new cases of HIV are reported each year in the U.S. and it is estimated that half of all new infections are among people younger than 25. This means that for tens of thousands of Americans barely out of college and already facing the routine struggles of starting out their lives, an even heavier burden is placed on them through having to fight through sexually transmitted diseases that hinder and often times kill off their victims completely. Through holding off from sexual contact, you lessen the number of people that you would potentially be with, as well as the extent that you would go with your partner(s). By waiting until after marriage, you are able to prevent not only deadly diseases that would burden you for a lifetime, but even more significant is the possibility of having a child born out of wedlock. Kids are a gift from God. Really, truly, all children deserve to be loved. So when a baby is born in an environment where daddy does not always equal husband, and mommy does not always equal wife, how much love can he or she receive? Parental love is love from both parents and often times in homes where parents are not married, stories of abuse and neglect come about. Moms and dads are one entity to children. They do not think of their parents as a separate man and woman, but rather as one whole. We have all heard stories of parents fighting over child support and who gets the baby what weekend. I know that I have personally seen numerous girls carrying their babies to high school because they do not have anybody to baby-sit for them. Is high school a suitable environment for an innocent baby? Of course not. When I see situations like that, I am able to verify my truth that abstaining from sex until marriage is truly the smart thing to do. Not keeping sexual purity until after marriage is truly too cruel a thing to both yourself and a potential child.  
          Sex is often associated with love. This correlation could also be interpreted as the physical being associated with the emotional. This connecting line between humans is one that is often obscured. “If you love me, you will have sex with me.” That type of line is too often in society. “True Love Waits.” This saying that is inscribed onto my purity ring is one that I whole-heartedly agree with as a fact. True love in my heart is equivalent to love, trust, and commitment. By waiting until marriage to become sexually active, you are putting your trust and commitment level to the test. By knowing that your husband or wife is willing to wait for you, you are able to save your heart, body, and soul from disease and heartbreak. Sex is one of the most intimate actions that a human can do. The benefits of abstinence regarding more emotional issues are endless. Regardless of what gender, age, or type of person you are, you will always remember your first time being intimate with someone. That kind of encounter should be one that is cherished in mind and heart, not one that is connected to tears and future loneliness. When you finally do have sex, you want it to be with someone that you truly trust and love. Someone you know is willing to take the next big step by getting married to you and vowing in front of God Himself that he or she will always love and be with you for the rest of your lives. By having that kind of trust and commitment level through marriage, people beyond doubt are able to connect deeper with their partners through not just emotions, but through actions.  
Keeping one’s sexual purity is something that should be, but is unfortunately not always kept in our culture. Sex does not always come with the promise of eternal love, but rather a moment of ecstasy followed by years of regret. Rather than heartbreak, people should set themselves up to the possibility of happiness by abstaining from sexual situations. By keeping oneself sexually pure until marriage, the benefits are eternal for your body, heart and soul.