Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Gone, Again, Already

And just like that, she’s gone.

I barely knew her. Never even heard her voice. We exchanged some messages and pictures. There was that grin again, briefly; that irrepressible, bubbled-up excitement of what-if.

But she left.

Sooner or later, I guess everyone does. Maybe it’s better that way. Assuredly it is God’s will, for it’s hard to believe anyone so fixed on trying to live out His will can fall so far afoul of it. I just don’t know how long God wants to keep giving me breaths of fresh air piecemeal before closing the windows I find myself in front of.

“We don’t value the same things,” she said. “I’m a pacifist.”

There’s more to it than that. There has to be. My guess, she’s another “reformed” traitor.

Perhaps I’m being unkind. Of course I am. But she knew my values, and the dissolution came only after I asked a broad question about them. Many will no doubt think the question entirely premature  even rude to broach so quickly. Why? Why not peg down the girders and guideposts of a structure before ordering paint and plaster?  A common foundation is essential. Why assert it is too important to bring up immediately?

I can hardly accept that we did not value the same interests and pursuits. Indeed, they were so similar it was eerie. In the absence of clarification, I can only surmise she gave herself already to someone else and seeks to extricate herself tactfully because she is unwilling to subject herself to strict scrutiny.

Once again, my standards (not another foolish, gullible, weak-willed woman’s indiscretions) are the problem, and it’s making me angry. I grow mad with the delay wrought by being “too good” for my generation. They will not become like me, and I refuse to become like them. We are consistently sundered by disparate values.

You know well enough by now Dear, there are times when I would like to break my troth merely out of revenge. How shallow! but it is my feeling: “You tossed your head and threw away your gift, and then reject me because I still have mine and look for its match in another. Should I not then throw mine away as freely as you, the better to teach you my pain and loss? Should I become like you, that you may become like me? Would it even matter? Would you even feel as I do? Or would you be relieved I joined your ranks, and glad I no longer tower over you, still rooted in principle and making you feel the condemnation of silence? You will not aspire to my level. Shall I vengefully condescend to yours? In anger, should I break the unbroken, and let you mourn its downfall as I mourned yours? Will it will be a loss to you as it was to me?

I suppose I have sinned even to contemplate the idea. To allow my mind to wander down those comfortable but ominous pathways of what it would feel like to fall asleep in someone’s arms, exhausted, content, warm, cherished and comforted. I know people who would fit that bill. Thank God for sustaining me and giving me the strength to uphold my vows.

You had your night(s) of joy. In bitterness you find you must accept the sadness and pain that accompany the dawn’s rising and lust’s hollow aftertaste. But forever coupled with that bitter is the sweet memory of pleasure and ecstasy, the cost and benefit of this coming of age you chose…and with it, my resentment. And then you and your kind have the nerve to ask me to purchase only the pain and the regret with no recompense, no sweet to balance the bitter.

It amazes me you don’t even try, you don’t even try to make me feel better about it. No compensation, no consolation prize, no reassurance or “well hey, at least there’s (x) for you!” No “I’m sorry I couldn’t give you this, but at least there’s something else.” It’s just “yeah, sorry, I know that’s a bummer. Maybe you shouldn’t think about it.”  Or some tell me good job for resisting, like a friendly pat on the head to a dog. One person I know thought they could make it up to me in the bedroom. I’m sure the thought was kindly meant, but that’s the last thing I want is the promise to be taught all the smooth electric sex moves learnt while riding previous partners.

It’s hate that I feel, and I may as well admit it…the bitterness and fury of persistent abandonment, for being pure. Thinking I was saving myself for you, I find instead that under the surface of almost every person I scratch, hoping to find Luthien underneath, lies a rusted and repainted surface which reviles me for who I am…a reminder of who they aren’t, of their weakness and failure. A tower crumbled and rebuilt, which envies and shrinks away from the tower built on solid footing.

And it is now seven or eight such ladies that have been found wanting in this…who might have otherwise interested me.

No, I will not redeem it. I will either find the rarest flower with the will to stay strong, or I will break the gift just as you did, so that neither of us can have it. That would restore the balance, wouldn’t it. You would be relieved, wouldn’t you. The sinful side of me takes some measure of satisfaction in the idea of smashing that pure glistening jewel you long for but cannot reciprocate. It’s an ugly emotion, and not one to which I give energy. But it’s there.”

Statistically, 99% of the world, or at least of my peers, walk the earth with a secret satisfaction in their hearts. It’s not even discrete anymore; they all talk and share the meals and menus, recipes and recommendations, right in front of me, no shame. They, the ones who know it all, look with full bellies at one like me, struggling against the hunger, clap me on the back and say “cheer up, Beren! Why so glum?” Because I’m hungry, you bastards. I’m hungry, you’re fed, and I can’t find someone to love who will be strong with me in saving the menu for marriage. Even the older wise ones, with a lifetime of reservations and fine dining, look to me and commend me for my strength, but urge me not to hold it against those who didn’t wait.

There is an expression among my crass peers: “Doesn’t matter, had sex.” The world could be ending, yet the fulfillment of this one appetite still creates a point of significance. And what’s not to like? It was built to be amazingly attractive, the sensual epoch of the chemical, emotional, psychological and physical experience. Sometimes I want to ask them what it’s like, but why would I. Can you describe satiety to the one whose closest encounters with it are massaging the stomach to fool it into thinking itself full? They’re the wise ones, seasoned and sophisticated. I am the child, curiously peering like a feral whelp at a primitive toy.

I thought I could bury it. I thought I could outrun it. But they won’t let me. The world persistently casts me back against the knife’s edge, keeps reminding me I’m nearly alone, keeps slamming that pain up against my heart and demanding to know why I keep choosing obedience. Sometimes it’s harder to argue….but you’re not supposed to argue with the devil anyway. You’re supposed to resist him and his impeccable timing. You’re supposed to cling to that golden thread of hope and faith, and keep believing, keep doing what you know is right.

The kicker is then having to protect others from myself.

Part of me feels excluded. They get to know what sex is like before AND after marriage. Their amazing, breathless, forbidden trysts thrill the senses once, and then in committed relationships they are even more free. The one kid left on the bench while all the other ones went to play. The loner, standing on principle and feeling singled out and maybe even sheepish, but with a firm resolve to do what’s right, to honor God and his future bride.

I’m left feeling hurt, and devalued and worthless…like I wasn’t worth waiting for. Despite all I’ve done, despite everything I’ve tried to become, it wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t earn it. I didn’t deserve it. The gift for which I longed and strove to be worthy was given instead to some other, a brute, fixed on his needs and appetites rather than the will of God or the honor of his future wife.

I want someone who can count me worthy, even as I count her worthy. Let the world and all else burn away in the den of its current ruler.

November 30, 2012 - Posted by | Loneliness, Purity


  1. Dear Sir,
    (I’m afraid I feel I must address you formally, after all these letters are addressed to your future bride and you are HER Beren).
    I’ve become an ferverent follower of your posts for quite some time and quite honestly reading your thoughts has become one of the highlights of my day. For you see, I don’t feel quite so alone anymore.
    I understand your feelings, truly, I do. So many of my friends, have followed a very different path to the one both you and I have chosen. It is a very lonely path, one of our most basic human needs is companionship and yet because of our moral values and chice to follow His path we are denied that. I see those same friends having beautiful babies and despite thier not being married, I envy them and despair for them all at once. I cannot wait to become a mother but I want to be a wife first.
    In today’s post your lonliness and despair called to me, and Sir, I just want you to know you are not alone. There are others waiting too. I too want to honour my future spouse. My mother once told me that premarital sex will eventually injure the husband of the woman who engages in it, that it could cause him to look over his shoulder and wonder if the man walking behind him had too known his wife in the biblical sense. The thought that my actions could cause me to harm the man that I will eventually give my heart to formed my resolve to never hurt him in that way. Today your post strengthened that resolve, you described yourself as feeling “hurt, devalued and worthless”. That broke my heart a little.
    There is a woman out there waiting for you and you will find her and your love will be all the more sacred for you both having waited. Your thoughts and intentions are beautiful, your desire to honour your future bride uplifting, you are worth waiting for. You are a rare and special breed of man Sir.

    Comment by Amy | November 30, 2012 | Reply

    • Amy,

      I thank you for your time and words, and it’s comforting to hear from the voices that join with mine, and to know that my words can resonate with you and make you feel less alone. Your mother is wise, and the only one I’ve ever heard of who gave such counsel to a daughter. (This may not be surprising since I’m seldom privy to such conversations among mothers and daughters, but then again one would expect more daughters would understand and keep pure.) Her counsel is so true I fear she came about such wisdom painfully, for the wisest of lessons are often learnt through pain. The women of my country (and I’m sure of yours) never recognize or understand that possibility. They remain blind to it until they meet me or someone like me, and are suddenly filled with a higher longing and a greater let-down all at once. It is as sad to watch as it is to release.

      But I am sure life is not all dull and glum as my letters make it out to be, and notes such as yours provide cheering evidence of that fact. Thank you again for your time and thoughts, and please make free to comment on other letters, past or present.

      Kindest regards,

      Comment by BerenEstel | December 1, 2012 | Reply

  2. Dear Sir,
    I’m glad to hear that my words have brought you some measure of comfort, maybe even ease that familiar lonliness as your words have mine.
    I can understand your not being privy to converstions of this sort between mothers and daughters, as a male you are typically banished to another room when discussions of this sort occur 🙂 Yes, my mother is a rare one, few of my friends recieved the same advice at the young age I did. As such few have chosen the path we both have taken.
    Her counsel on the subject was combined with that all too awkward “birds and bees talk” so you see the thought of premarital relations was always combined with the thought of harming the man that I would eventually give my heart to and as such were completely undesirable. Yes, this lesson came about through pain on her part but in the manner (I believe ?) you think. You see both my parents waited, however one of my mothers siblings did not and became a bit “wild”. My mother (wise beyond her years) saw the devastaing effect that this could have on not only her marriage but relationships with her children. After all how can a parent effectively counsel a child to remain pure if they themselves have not ? Even by underlining the harmful effects of not waiting, the parent, if the child choses to rebel, could be labelled a hypocrite in the eyes of the child. My parents on the other hand have always been excellent role models to me and my mother particularly, a wonderful inspiration.
    Yes, I am certainly inclined to agree with your assessment of women (in both our countries), women who wait are typically considered a little different to the norm. Some shy from this assessment and bow to peer pressure or perhaps just choose to rebel from more traditional values which I’m sure would result in feelings of guilt on meeting a man like you. Please don’t fear though Sir, we do exist even if we’re not the norm in todays society. It must be heartbreaking for you to develop a friendship and interest in a woman only to find she valued both you herself so little that waiting wasn’t an option. I hope you will find your Luthien sooner rather than later, her value and esteem for you will be worth the painful endurance of times like these. At least, thats what I tell myself !
    I must disagree with your description of your letters Sir, they are neither dull nor glum ! In fact your letters, full of promise, cheer my day ! Your promises to your future bride have proved all the more that good true men exist, that chivalry and loyalty and romance and contentment in everyday love have not been lost.
    Even in letters where you are not so positive and hopeful, where despair and loneliness seep into your words, these letters are uplifting and honest. Even in letters where your anger and sorrow can be felt through your words, these letters are beautiful in their honesty. Because you see, those of us who have chosen this path feel all of these emotions too. Emotions which in my case went unvoiced. Until I discovered your letters. Thank you for this.
    I hope this note cheers you as your letters do me and thank you for the invitation to continue reading ! (However I must admit that I’ve read all of your posts, I just didn’t know quite what to say in response – your letters seemed too good to be true. Finally a kindred spirt who I could relate to (at times it feels like there are so few young people like us out there). My apologies for not responding sooner, honestly I stayed up very late to read all of them at once, as soon as I’d discovered them ! Also thank you for taking the time to respond to me, I’m sure you are a busy man !
    With regards,

    Comment by Amy | December 2, 2012 | Reply

  3. […] enough, the evening was capped off with a date I arranged with a certain young lady who I thought was out of the picture but returned. The reasons for her departure were not what I […]

    Pingback by Sundry Thoughts for a New Year « Letters to Luthien | January 6, 2013 | Reply

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