To the Young Woman Buying Condoms at the Store

Dear young woman who I observed buying condoms at the store the other night,

You probably didn’t notice that we crossed paths the other night.  Coincidence Providence placed us in the same grocery aisle when I was buying baby supplies which someone humorously located right across from the family planning section.

You were there with a girlfriend and you were on your cell phone.  You sounded a bit tipsy.

As I walked by holding my baby, I overheard you explain to your caller, “I’m trying to buy condoms here.”

I admit it: I shuddered when you said that.  Judging by appearances, you must be at least ten years younger than myself. No wedding ring either.

Your girlfriend casually suggested buying someone else a box of condoms too.  And one for herself.  “Might as well,” you said.

Then my heart bled.

Let me explain.  I realize we aren’t personally acquainted.  I’m not here to judge you or belittle you or to lambast you with fire and brimstone over your personal choices but I am here to tell you one thing: you are beautiful.

Let me repeat that.  You. Are. Beautiful.

That’s probably why it hurt to overhear you that night, to watch you and your friend pay for your condoms and walk away laughing into the night.  Because there but for the grace of God go I.

I wanted to run after you and tell you how you deserved better than inebriated “safe” sex, to show you a card of the Divine Mercy, to introduce you to my one-year-old as an interactive example of what sex is actually meant for.

I wonder if you would have listened.

At the pregnancy center I see girls, no, young women like yourself who all made a string of decisions, perhaps starting with buying condoms at the store, only to wind up broken, isolated, and regretful.  It’s nothing I would want for you or anyone and yet I failed to have the courage to dissuade you from your choices that night.

But if I had been more bold, I suppose I would have started with telling you that you are beautiful.  After that would come the heartfelt, motherly diatribe on how condoms are ugly, awkward things and that premarital sex is beneath you and that you could change your life, find a deserving life partner, and discover your true worth at any time.

Again, I wonder if you would have listened.

Perhaps I could have shared my own experience.  You see, I don’t know what condom-sex feels like, but I can’t imagine it’s better than the au natural.

I only know what it is like to have sex with my husband without any barriers between us.  By God’s grace I have been blessed to experience what it is to have a man cherish me for all I am and relish in the joy of conceiving child after child with me, and who desires all of me, including my fertility, in a passionate way.

My question to you, my dear, is this: isn’t that something you want for yourself?

I guarantee you, that stupid family planning (I hate the combination of those two words) aisle isn’t going to stock that degree of commitment for you.

And I promise you this: whether or not you feel what you are doing is wrong, I’m sure there is a question in your heart over whether there is anything more you are meant for.

I’m here to tell you there is.  There is a plan for sex for you and me and everyone.  It is, in fact a perfect plan that is moral, natural, satisfying, fun, pleasurable, marriage strengthening, life-giving, and faith solidifying.

What’s more, you and I, in all of our imperfections and sinfulness, have been made worthy of it because you are a child of God and again, you are beautiful.

Somehow, someway, someday I hope you will listen.  And I pray to have the courage to finally speak this truth in love to you.


Your big sister in Christ who would gladly throw herself in front of a bus to keep you from sin, if she could (as would all of your anonymous sisters in Christ who are praying for you.)

Copyright 2014, Marissa Nichols