Whether we admit it or not, it is a favorite topic. How many of us looked up reproductive organs in the encyclopedia, peeked in marriage sex books at the bookstore, or found ourselves reading sex tips from a magazine long before we “needed” the advice?
From puberty on, there is a natural curiosity and excitement generated at the thought of sex; and, despite the guilt many have tried to attach to it, sex is good. God created it and it is good. Much like fire, it can also be extremely damaging if not enjoyed in the correct context. Fire in a fireplace is warm and comforting. Fire on the rug (even close to the fireplace… right in front) destroys the home – and possibly even surrounding homes.
Before marriage, waiting is excruciatingly difficult – that I remember well. No matter how many people told me abstaining was for the best, I had never been married and it seemed like it would be forever before I was able to experience a sexual encounter. Now that I am a married woman, I can see what all the other married people were trying to say. Sex is created for marriage – not because God is mean, but because He wants husbands and wives to have something sacred and pleasurable to share – something just for them to enjoy together.
All giggles aside, the sexual relationship between a husband and wife mirrors the intimacy Christ shares with His bride, the Church. It is beautiful and shameless and life-bringing. Waiting until marriage for sex is not pointless torture, just as waiting for Christ’s return is not torture. It creates a longing in us that makes us look forward to marriage all the more.
The temporary pleasure of a sexual encounter in the backseat of his car or hiding in her bedroom and hoping no one hears, is a cheap and unfulfilling self-centered counterfeit of what God created it to be. Not only that, but it is an incorrect representation of Christ’s relationship with the Church. He was self-sacrificing (and laid His life down) for the church. He was (and is) the Church’s guardian and protector, not invader. A premarital sexual encounter, instead, is birthed out of a self-centered desire for self-gratification.
Sex before marriage is always self-centered – even if the feelings are strong.
Sex after marriage can also be self-centered and motivated by self-gratification; however, in a biblical, covenantal marriage, the environment exists to have sex be a powerful act of giving oneself to another in a completely pure and selfless way.
Most single folks who are purposely waiting until marriage for sex can think of plenty of reasons to look forward to it; but, since it is such an exciting topic, I will share my thoughts anyway. ~wink~
- It gets better! When a sexual relationship is present between two single adults, a common complaint is that the sex goes down in quality. “It is not as good as it was when the relationship was new and hot!” Instead, in marriage, sex gets better with time. The concept of “practice makes perfect” applies here along with the deepening of a couple’s love. New couples often experience a heat older couples do not always feel, but seasoned couples who have fought for their relationship have a deeper love that makes sex all the more sweet and satisfying. A sexual relationship outside of marriage is about receiving pleasure. When feeling good is the only purpose for sex, it will go down in value over time. However, if sex is about celebrating covenantal love in its purest form, fulfilling one another’s needs, and strengthening intimacy, it grows sweeter with time. If you and your future spouse are careful to maintain a close emotional connection, your sex life is bound to be better in your twentieth year than in your first! Exciting, huh? ~smile~
- There is freedom and no stress! You do not look perfect? It is okay. You are not wearing your expensive perfume? Who cares? You may not have tons of energy or be able to give your best performance. No big deal. You are married and this is not about perfection. It is about expressing what mere words cannot say and enjoying each other’s bodies. No need to painstakingly shave your legs out of fear that he will turned off by one flaw. No need to flex and prove your manliness. She is your wife and she already thinks you are awesome. ~smile~
- Live-in playmate! Modern dating pressures couples to have casual sex that mirrors erotic movie scenes. When you think about the dozens of people standing around the set of a movie, sex scenes seem a lot less exciting and realistic. ~smile~ Married sex is best for a host of reasons: you do not have to wonder who your next sexual partner will be, you do not have to worry about STDs, you know you are comfortable with your spouse, and a game of tag can turn into an unplanned amorous moment. No rules!
- Sex with a good, clean conscience is THE BEST! Can you remember times when you crossed a line physically and felt such guilt and conviction that you begged God’s forgiveness? I can. Sex in marriage is completely different. There is no conviction because it is good! Not only is it legal, it is GOOD! God wants us to enjoy a sexual relationship with our spouse. I wish more churches would teach young people (and parents for that matter) that sex is something amazing and precious – even beautiful – when enjoyed between a husband and wife. I do not think teaching the merits of married sex will incite young people to experiment – after all, that temptation is already there, and hearing the unvarnished truth about sex may convince more single folks to wait. Sadly, when people engage in premarital sex because of its exciting, taboo nature, they often have sexual problems in marriage because the illicitness that made it so thrilling before marriage is no longer there once they tie the knot.
- It is your own special secret. Unless you choose to talk about it with others, your sexual relationship will be your own private business. We share most of our lives with others. We share our jobs with co-workers, our money with numerous people, and holidays with everyone we love; but, sex is private. What happens in your bedroom stays in your bedroom. It is the one act you can share together that is a complete mystery to others – and I would recommend you keep it that way. Sharing your bedroom secrets with others is not only disrespectful to your spouse, but it cheapens the experience. The only time I would recommend discussing it with a third party is if you are seeking help from a relationship coach or counselor.
- The possibility of creating new life. God is so good that He made populating the earth a pleasurable and intimacy-building act. He could have said, “Slap your hands together three times and ‘poof!’ there is your child.” But, He did not. He made the process so much fun. ~smile~
- It is just plain fun. In your married life, you will be able to describe sex in several different ways. Sometimes, it will be awesome. Sometimes, it will be okay. Occasionally, it will be funny. (Just make sure you are laughing together and not at each other.) At times, it may be disappointing; but, overall it will be fun. That is, if your relationship is healthy and you approach sex as a chance to give and not to take. When you want to provide comfort and pleasure to your spouse, sex can be awesome; but, if it becomes about “what you owe me,” it will no doubt be a source of pain and contention between you. When your relationship is open and comfortable, sex can be a whole lot of fun. ~smile~
Macaroni and Cheese is Good
Though you may expect sex to be a major component of your future marriage, in reality, it will only account for a small portion of your time. Work, kids, bills, family responsibilities, church, friends, and a host of other activities will vie for your attention. Keeping sex a priority will take purposeful planning, as unromantic as that may sound. ~smile~ Okay sex (what my old college professor referred to as Macaroni and Cheese sex) is better than no sex at all. Going into marriage expecting every encounter to be magical is unrealistic and will cause conflict and possibly even resentment. A marriage filled with okay sex and occasional amazing sex (what he referred to as Steak sex) is better than a sex-starved marriage.
If you are looking forward to sex with your future spouse, that is wonderful. No guilt there! In fact, I would encourage you to start re-evaluating any messages you have received in your life which paint sex as bad, dirty, or taboo. Tell yourself, “Sex is good in marriage. God wants people to enjoy sex with their spouses. Sex is wonderful.” If you need to, speak to a pre-engagement or premarital counselor about these deep seeded lessons if you are concerned they may disrupt your future marriage bed.
What are you looking forward to most about sex in your future marriage?