Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

To She Who Did Not Wait

“The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself, it only live and die,
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.”

It’s not easy to write this. But I must. I feel like I owe you this, an explanation.

It’s hard for me to see through your eyes. You’ve walked other paths and learned different lessons. You’ve known love before, or what you call love. You’ve known kisses, and the night’s embrace. I’ve never even known the touch of lips against mine.

Were I to see through your eyes, I am certain I would feel hurt, condemned and rejected to be told purity is a condition of my love. But if you look through mine, would you feel any different than I?

You’ve appeared in my life as different people now. Each time, I am tempted to allow my longing for a love and a relationship overcome my higher longings for purity.

“Oh la!” you say laughingly. “I’ve already been there. It’s not so important once you get there!”

Maybe not. But every time I remember that you gave everything you are to another man, and allowed him to know you and hold you before me, I am crushed and heartbroken. Not important? Nor indeed is air while you are breathing it, until you take it away.

Oh sweet and fallen woman, couldn’t you have waited a little longer? Why couldn’t you? Don’t you see we could have had it all? How close you came…how close! Now every thought is poisoned by the knowledge that I would have to share your mind and strive to redeem your memories. You gave your heart away, and although I give you mine whole and unbroken, I would have to accept only what remains of yours. It is an unbearable contemplation.

It hurts, it almost literally hurts. They say Davy Jones cut out his own heart to remove the pain. Maybe now I know why.

Can’t you see? You started without me. You began the journey that should have been ours. I can never experience those first few moments where we take each other’s hands and step though the doorway and take our place in the book of love. I must walk them alone to catch up. I’m left resentful, cheated, and condemned to walk alone the one path I can’t ever abide exclusion from, forever a step behind you. I don’t want to be taught by you; I want us to take those first few awkward steps of discovery together. Is it a love so ungracious that it dares ask for everything?

It isn’t as though I’m unforgiving; I choose not to be in the position of one who has to forgive. I would not begin our life together mourning that loss which is so permanent, so irrevocably final. Do you fault me for being unkind? Can you forgive when I cannot? One First does our Lord give us in all of eternity. Another man has yours; you gave him something you can never give me. That is a devastating thought. Don’t think me unkind for thinking it.

I feel as if it cheapens my gift, the gift you cannot return. It cheapens the long years I’ve been waiting, and would render my promises in vain.

One easy solution would be to treat my gift as lightly as you did. Then I could no longer hold this against you; the great barrier would then be breached. What then? Having not waited, you could hardly hold it against me if I didn’t! But I did. I made sacred promises, to abide by the word of God. I will not renounce them. Though, I am nearly alone in this decision; few now remain who serve God over self.

You say I have no idea how strong that desire can be. Indeed! Do you think a man doesn’t know of such feelings? Do you suppose I haven’t felt the heat of flames? That fate has not tempted, that the evil one has not given me chances? God in His mercy grants me the strength to resist, at the cost of my loneliness, sorrow and tears.

“No one is perfect,” they say. “You mustn’t judge.” Of the billions of souls that walk the earth, am I not allowed to ask only one to share such fierce convictions, both to me and God? The problem is not mine; why must character isolate?

Eternity goes two directions. It holds both the past and the future. I stand ready to give you my past as well as my future. I give you the exclusive devotion of the years gone by as well as years yet to be. Is it so harsh to ask for the same?

It’s so very hard, because I know you wish you hadn’t, and I know you want someone like me to love you. My heart fills with sadness. You came close to ending the drought of this soul, and I wish I could have ended yours. I could have granted your wishes, soothed your pain, kissed away your cares. But we all choose the paths we take, and must live with the consequences. Don’t think I do not grieve at such consequences, or at such parting.

God forgives and removes our sin, but not the memory of it; and no one forgets their first love.

I can’t share you, not even with the past. It hurts too much, oh, far too much.

I can’t change what has been, but neither can I accept it.

I’m sorry. I tried.

December 10, 2011 - Posted by | Other Letters |


  1. […] in a relationship. I was torn because she was not yet devout in her faith to the Lord, and hadn’t waited. Perchance, it was the first compatibility of both friendship  and romance which lacked the faith. […]

    Pingback by Heartbreaker « Letters to Luthien | April 1, 2012 | Reply

  2. […] thinking of a woman (or two) who did not wait, and how we might have been married by now if they had. About how I can still feel conflicted […]

    Pingback by Strange and Sundry Thoughts « Letters to Luthien | June 7, 2012 | Reply

  3. […] thinking of a woman (or two) who did not wait, and how we might have been married by now if they had. About how I can still feel conflicted […]

    Pingback by blog-thing : Strange and Sundry Thoughts | June 8, 2012 | Reply

  4. […] To She Who Did Not Wait, Pt. 1 […]

    Pingback by To She Who Did Not Wait Pt. 3 « Letters to Luthien | June 21, 2012 | Reply

  5. Shut the f*** up, this is so stupid. Whether someone is a virgin or not should not take a single thing away from them as a person. As a matter of fact, when a man or woman has been with someone else besides you, you should feel honored because it means that after feeling heartbreak and pain from another, they still chose to trust YOU and love YOU and give everything they have, everything someone else has taken advantage of to YOU. And for you to think them as LESS because they are not pure, YOU are the sorry excuse for a human. If you have so much faith in God and purity yet you choose to judge and deem someone else less than because of their past, then you really know nothing of God. Shame on you.

    Comment by JustAnotherMan | December 10, 2017 | Reply

    • Friend, I don’t tell you how to date or for what to select; why do so to me? You say I shouldn’t judge or think less of others, yet here you are judging me and thinking less of me for my standards. I’m sorry if this convicts you sufficient to provoke your anger, but your “should’s” and your judgment mean nothing here.

      Comment by BerenEstel | December 10, 2017 | Reply

      • No, good sir, I am not judging you for the way that you think but rather strongly questioning your thoughts and feelings for I believe them to be misplaced. In some sense my opinion of this, of you, is valid because this “future girlfriend/wife” (or whomever it is that you are speaking of) never intentionally set out to hurt you in living a life that originally did not involve you. Yet, here you are judging her and putting her down for making a decision that never meant to hurt you in any way. I, however, am questioning this because this woman whom you are writing about is being put down and made feel worthless (whether intentionally or not) for simply living her life and having experiences, which may or may not have been in a time she was wise enough to truly make proper decisions. You speak of God but does He not say to forgive and love? If God Himself does not judge but forgives, why must you, His creation do so? If God does not judge, what right have you? If someone can’t change the decisions they made in the past, why condemn them? Why dwell on something that can never be changed? Why not just grow together and strengthen your bond to God and to yourselves? Is purity so important that you cast everything else aside? What if it was taken from them without their choice? You shouldn’t condemn people for things they most likely regret but cannot change, don’t make someone hate themselves like that. You say that they should have “waited just a bit longer”, but they do not have the vision of God, they know not the future. Being brokenhearted or “impure” should not make them any less of the creation God made them to be.

        Comment by JustAnotherMan | December 10, 2017

    • You recoil as though stung, and redress through anger what was not spoken in anger. The motive seems easy to guess. But again, by what authority do you deem your impression of my misplaced priorities to be relevant? If I have my own preferences, then what is that to you? These letters aren’t for you. And if I select a woman who has chosen to retain the greatest gift she can bestow upon a man — her virtue — and if I can return that gift, why be angry? And if a man selects for such traits, then he need not concern himself with forgiving her past.

      God is Himself a righteous judge. With Him there is forgiveness also, and God compels us to forgive those who have sinned against us.But a woman has not sinned against me unless we marry, and there is no command to marry someone requiring that forgiveness.

      To ask about rape is to reduce virginity to a mere matter of the flesh; voluntary submission to another through the most intimate and sacred of acts given us by God, outside of the means by which He has induced us to enjoy it, is a betrayal of the trust which I’ve preserved in hopes she will as well. That submission is not present for involuntary plundering, and is a complete non-issue.

      My choice for a marital partner does not diminish their role in God, or in His creation. I choose to pursue the plan God asked of us. I have kept that vow. I seek the rare someone who has done the same. I am sorry that choice is painful to you; think of the pain of a husband who saved his first and best for the honeymoon bed, to meet a wife who can only give him the remainder, not the sum.

      Comment by BerenEstel | December 10, 2017 | Reply

  6. The greatest gift a woman can give to a man is her hand in marriage. Her past shouldn’t change that, especially if she loves you and cherishes you more than anything or anyone in this world. Wouldn’t that be what’s more important? A pure, loving heart and soul?. What if you marry a woman as physically pure as you want her and after marriage she becomes unfaithful, lies and treats you like trash? If purity and virtue is the main thing that’s important, if that is the greatest thing she can give you, that’s a little sad. I would want a partner who would love all that I am, support me, be loyal and faithful, and just be proud of me and herself. Her past would never be able to make me think any less of her. But yes, if you find a woman who thinks as you do then yes, you two are perfect for each other.

    Comment by JustAnotherMan | December 10, 2017 | Reply

  7. Out of sheer curiosity, what if you meet a woman who was previously married? Is she unfit? What if you marry and divorce, will you seek another virtuous woman to marry?

    Comment by JustAnotherMan | December 10, 2017 | Reply

    • It’s hard to imagine someone with the discipline to keep herself pure before marriage misbehaving afterwards, but providing there is repentance, forgiveness is indeed commanded. If you read the sum of these letters (here, and at the new site) then you know virginity is not the sole request of a future bride. The standard is far higher than that, which you already say is too high.

      A woman previously married is not an automatic no, but it’s a profound red flag, as it should be for anyone. If she was widowed then she may not be in sin, but she may also not be the person to marry. Divorce isn’t particularly an option for my marriage, if a marriage there ever be; if some evil overcomes that intent, then I would seek someone who had maintained the same standards, but the field of mutual experience would presumably be broadened to include other women who were widowed or abandoned and did not sin. The Bible has very strict requirements about divorce, and those would have to apply as a prerequisite. Would you expect anything less of someone who applies Scripture elsewhere in life? These aren’t matters about which to be flippant; the rampant misuse of these standards has all but assured us the epidemic of abuse and unhappiness we see today.

      Comment by BerenEstel | December 10, 2017 | Reply

  8. Those who wish not to see shall remain blind and those who wish not to hear shall remain deaf. I hope you find someone exactly like yourself.

    Comment by JustAnotherMan | December 10, 2017 | Reply

    • The nature of that phrase as both blessing and curse is not lost on me; in many respects, I hope I do *not* find someone exactly like me. But I do hope to find the same shared values, and although I do not judge your values, I hope you find someone with similar ones also.

      Comment by BerenEstel | December 10, 2017 | Reply

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