I’ll Save My Love For You


With every passing day, no matter where you are

I know you’re on your way and I count my lucky stars

A song begins to play and it’s coming from my heart

From my heart…







If I could change the tide to get you next to me

I would sing a lullaby and before we fell asleep

We would stop the hands of time…

















(Words & Music DOC: 5/20/10 Deana Carter ,  Lindsey Bachelder Key Serenity/Bughouse Music/ASCAP) 


So… This week’s blog, regarding “I’ll Save My Love For You”… is a bit of a long one, so buckle up!
My apologies for it being a little late….but this one took some extra quiet time & courage to muster.
If you’re not into a long read, then feel free to check in next week…;-)

Ok, people……I’m just gonna say it. This song…..is about saving yourself for marriage.

GASP!  @#$%^&*()(*&^%^&*(

Yep.  That’s what I said…it is about SAVING YOURSELF….for…marriage. Or better put, it’s never too late….to save yourself for marriage… even if ‘that ship has already sailed’! It is possible to do this, whether it has ‘sailed’ or not…hence, the inspiration for writing this song. But why has this notion all but practically disappeared from our social sphere & almost blipped off the radar altogether?

After a divorce in late 2001 & a couple of years of single life, I was blessed to become a mother. And, even though this happened ‘out of order’, my pregnancy & the birth of my son is what truly saved my life. Even so, that relationship sadly ended & I married a 2nd time in 2009, combining families with 2 of our young children.  And, no…this is not how I thought life  would turn out for me.  But, it has….& God has walked me through all of it, blessing me daily, even though it has certainly been challenging. So…how could I possibly qualify to make such a bold statement?
Well, I’m willing to risk you thinking I’ve totally lost my mind… AND endure the belly-laughs, eye-rolling, scoffs and finger-pointing….so, go ahead, I’ll give you a few minutes to get those out of the way….;-)

Yes,….I’m still here. And at the risk of being totally uncool and unpopular, I have come to believe that ‘waiting’ for marriage is still something that should be considered, & at the very least, put back on the table of discussion between teenagers & adults, and….adults & adults, for that matter. I believe it should be encouraged FIRST…before other options…above condoms, birth-control & other current, yet unofficial ‘sex education’ approaches outside the classroom & outside of marriage, that have so become the norm. Learning about the anatomy in school is one thing, but ‘teaching’ or ‘condoning’, even facilitating premature sex, is now the norm. It is something that I feel we will have to answer for in the end, if we don’t at least put sexual integrity back in the forefront & add it back into the conversation with our kids & in our society. We’ve all but just ‘given the green light’ to the ‘free-for-all’ to start in adolescence, as long as they’re ‘protected’ & ‘retain their rights’, under the argument that, “they’re gonna do it anyway.” Protecting their integrity, their health, & their souls is the largest ‘right of passage’ for our youth AND, at minimum, our moral responsibility.  And that applies to unmarried adults as well.
But how can we do that when we aren’t or haven’t been living that out ourselves? Obviously, I’ve been guilty.

It is no secret & is not lost on me that my first song on the radio, Strawberry Wine, was about the young experience of losing innocence. The experience of all things new…..’first love’ & all that goes with it, especially intimacy. And, that song means the world to me because it was real for me. That’s why I sang it & why I still sing it. And it was real for a lot of you, from what I’ve had the privilege of sharing & experiencing with you throughout my career. I am so grateful for that. But, as you know, I also sing about life as a result of that initial relationship not working out. I sing about all of it…to navigate my way through.

Let’s be really frank about this. My first experience, I was young and very much in love. We were family friends, dated for roughly 6 years, were engaged briefly, and I thought I we would marry & be together forever. But sadly, that didn’t happen. The fairy tale did not come true. After a shattered reality, and feeling like I had already compromised myself, there was a subtle ‘giving up on myself’ in that area, as well as some other areas. I felt like I had blown it & that I could never reset ‘the bar’ or have a fresh start. So, all this led to lots of denial & pain for me in relationships & into a bit of rebellion for quite a few years. I also became an ‘overachiever’ to appear that I had it all together, when I was really struggling inside. I still deal with the ripple effects of that original disappointment & brokenness on certain levels, even though I know I’m forgiven & have made a large turnaround. But, thankfully, that’s changing.  And let me say, it wasn’t because I didn’t have a good example set before me (as my M’am-maw Polk would say!).  I came from a great family. My Mom made sure my brothers & I were in church consistently. My parents were devoted to each other for over 50 years, until my dad passed away recently. And they raised us right. But I still compromised & gave in to normal, teen desire…because I was young & ‘in love’ & figured it wouldn’t matter so much, since “we were going to get married anyway.” Well, it did matter. And it still matters.

Without going into all the details of the relationships I’ve had since then… this one initial choice as a young woman, to compromise on sexual integrity, kept me in the dark for quite a few years.  In my late 30’s…when I was a single mother to my young son, I felt God nudging me to ‘wait’, so, I promised I would & I did. I met my current husband about 2 1/2 years AFTER that promise. We dated for 2 years after we met & WAITED (gulp) till our wedding night. Had I known it would be almost 4 1/2 years of celibacy, I wouldn’t have had the strength to make that pledge. And trust me, a ‘white wedding’ at times, seemed silly…& it certainly doesn’t guarantee a problem-free or a trial-free future, no more than celibacy heals the pain of a broken family. But one thing is for sure. I got a fresh perspective & was able to experience what God intends for each of us on THAT night. Even after failures & broken dreams in that area prior, it was a restoration & a profound healing for me. It was a GIFT. And quite frankly, that pledge of ‘waiting together’ truly is a miraculous, mysterious secret bond, that has, at times, been the only thing keeping us together.

I will add, that we were so focused on not having sex before the wedding, that we overlooked some serious things that we’re now dealing with. We were still distracted. So, inadvertently, sex (or lack thereof) was still the focus…which made us rush the marriage a bit. Even so, ‘the waiting’ has made some of the most trying things in my life (& in a marriage) worth fighting for. So, the point is not to make THAT (having it or not having it), an obsessive part of the relationship either way. Just take it off the table so you can focus on the more important, foundational things in the relationship that need to be stable first. And yes, there are more important things than sex…although it is a wonderful gift & meant to be & should be a priority AFTERwards.

Deana Carter Sunset

God speaks so clearly about so many things, especially marriage & our intimacy relationships, since it is supposed to be a reflection of His relationship with us. How we’re to handle it before & after marriage is clearly laid out. There are bundles of scriptures regarding this, but let’s just scratch the surface:
-1 Corinthians 6: 12-20 speaks about not being mastered by anything (addicted or ruled), especially sex, since this unites us in flesh & spirit, per God’s design.  Verse 18:  “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.  19) Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you,whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; 20) you were bought at a price.  Therefore, honor God with your body.”
-1 Corinthians 7: 2 “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.”

The Scriptures go on & on about this topic, & yes, I failed miserably at upholding this standard.
Is this what we want to hear? Nope. Does it go against our natural desires, convenience, & acceptance? Yep.
But….just because we want to be financially secure, we certainly don’t go rob a bank, now do we? No. If we have integrity, we work TOWARDS that goal (saving up/being responsible) & end up financially secure over time, if….we put some of our immediate desires aside & PLAN & INVEST WELL. Relationships & matters of sexual integrity are no different. But it is still a process.

Two very helpful scenarios in the Bible for me are where Jesus meets the Samaritan Woman at the Well (John 4: 1-42) & the Woman Who Was Caught in Adultery (John 8). Not only was He not supposed to speak with or be kind to either of these women because of the customs at the time (where the Samaritan woman was from & for what the adulteress woman had done…i.e…’their background’), He befriended them & basically saw past their sin.  He was very direct with the woman at the well about her current lover (6th, after 5 husbands). He didn’t judge her. He just stated truth & she was convicted in her own heart to run & tell everyone what he had said. With the adulteress, he asked her accusers to ‘throw the first stone’ if they were sinless, so needless to say…she was free to go.  Neither of them were shamed by Him. He encouraged them both (& actually everyone who witnessed these things) to start fresh, make a change, and that all things could be new even with these ‘questionable’ backgrounds & lifestyles. They were free to go….free to live differently if they chose to. The key was that the past could be put behind (& not define them) & wholeness was always possible with Christ. Those stories got me through many years of doubt, shame and inpatience and helped me focus on the hope and the promise I had made of celibacy…& His promise to honor it, in spite of my own broken background.

So can we start to go against the grain a little? Can we put sexual integrity back on the table & in the conversation? Can we encourage our kids and our friends to set out on a straighter path than maybe we took?
Is it too consuming, embarrassing or just too risky to utter? Nonetheless…I believe it is still the standard & I believe it is worth it.

There’s an old Southern-ism regarding sexual integrity:
“Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”
And boy, has this proven to be true for me regarding relationships! Now, I’m not saying that if you’re intimate with someone you’re not married to right now… that you can’t work it out, marry, & be together forever. But, just try taking the focus off the bedroom and on to the heart of each other and you’ll be amazed at what you can see & learn. Just take sex off the table (if you’re already involved in it) & pledge to see what happens! Put God in the mix. He invented it, for goodness sake! The perspective is incredible. THEN, you can decide to marry each other & have all the romps together you can fit into your schedule, GUILT FREE, because you were made to do that!

Deana Carter SunsetIn an age of society now, where we ‘try it before we buy it’ & ‘have it now’ & ‘immediate gratification’ are the standard….mix that with discontentment, self-focus & such a high divorce rate…& it’s hard to imagine saving yourself for your wedding night. Especially, if you’re already involved & feel you need to ‘know what you’re getting into.’ I get it. I’ve been there. But I dare you to just try taking sex ‘off the table’. You’ll never know the real secret that it holds until you do. It’s an incredible gift when you get to have it, ‘with blessing’, AFTER the waiting & the wedding.  And, as stated earlier….I’m a divorcee-single mom-2nd wife, still working through lots of stuff, & it is still something I’m so grateful I’ve been able to experience. I’m not suggesting that you aren’t amorous or affectionate together. That is obviously very important too. Mutual attraction is healthy & intentional. Dating is healthy & necessary to get to know one another. But, putting ‘the cart before the horse’ sexually, definitely takes us out of God’s will in this area & sets us on very shaky ground, because we aren’t grounded in doing things His way & in proper order.

Hebrews 12: 14 says: “Make every effort to live in peace with all men & to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Verses 15-16 State… “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral or godless…”
Hebrews 13: 4-6: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral. ”
I have lived the negative points of these verses first hand. And trust me, it is far better to focus on the positive, directives in them, make those the goal, & change direction. Sometimes marriages end due to extremely unhealthy,  unfortunate circumstances, & betrayal. I get that. I’ve lived that too. But I definitely believe that we could avoid a lot less heartache & experience a more wholistic well-being if we quit idolizing sex outside marriage in our relationships. Tough lessons for sure. But everyday holds a new opportunity.

Please know that I’m not saying all of this in a ‘finger-pointing holy-than-thou, judgmental kind of way’. I am the LAST person to point my finger at anyone for anything they might be doing or have done…and the first person to encourage leaving that behind and embracing a new way of living, pointing us towards forgiveness & God’s best for the future.

If we had green lights all over Los Angeles, or any other town,  (with no red lights telling us when to stop) we’d have major casualties every single day. And that’s what we have in our relational society now.
Green lights, emotional casualties & broken relationships. And we all know, even ‘pushing the yellow light’ can put you & others in very precarious & potentially dangerous circumstances, so I encourage putting on the brakes.

Is this a popular stance to take, much less promote? I know the answer to that & so do you. But it doesn’t take the responsibility off of us to encourage sexual purity & the re-establishment of sexual integrity, even ‘after the fact.’ It truly is a ‘love thing’…straight from Heaven, to protect us & focus us on connecting with the most special person on the most intimate level, with God involved. After all, He CREATED sex & wants us to enjoy it…but, with respect & boundaries & in the proper order. Most of all, we should experience it with reverence & gratitude.

I pray for strength & courage for you as you think about your relationships. And I hope that you will pray for mine too. And let’s pray together for our kids & for their choices to be focused in the right direction.

Be encouraged & know that God is for you & wants you to be completely fulfilled by Him first & then a complimentary lover & friend in marriage.


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  1. Thank you so much for having the courage to write this Deana. You have no idea how much it means to have someone in the public eye standing up for what is right and what is true

  2. Wonderful, Deana…thanks for standing for God’s Truth!! Can’t wait to see you at the gig in NYC Dec. 5th…

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