One topic that we haven’t yet tackled much on this blog is sex – and yet people are having sex all the time… just look how many people are around! Along my blog reading, I found a woman who has a great website dedicated to talking about sex and intimacy within a Christian framework and I laughed quite a bit when reading her posts (her blog is fittingly called Hot, Holy, & Humorous). So, I asked her to guest post on here and she agreed! She prefers to remain anonymous and goes by the moniker: J. So, without further ado…
Sex Before Marriage, Part 1
Godly sexuality essentially has two parts to it – before and in marriage. Think of it as a mathematical equation:
Purity before Marriage + Intimacy in Marriage = Godly Sexuality
If I could grade the Christian Church as a whole on its ability to get this equation correct, however, it might only rank a D+ or a C-. There has been plenty of stress on purity, but usually as a simple abstinence plea. It’s as if we think a slogan opposite of the Nike ads – JUST DON’T DO IT – will convince hormonally-charged people in love to keep their hands off each other. Statistics tell us that isn’t working.
Moreover, our emphasis on premarital purity has left many Christians wondering if sex is ever a good thing by religious standards. Since churches rarely talk about having a quality physical relationship within marriage, people often turn to secular sources for tips or examples for having a hotter marriage. Or they carry the “don’t” feelings into marriage and have little to no interest post-vow because at some level, sex seems dirty.
But if you want to fully experience God’s gift of sexuality, you should strive for both purity before marriage and intimacy in marriage.
Here are a few reasons to abstain before marriage (and more will be coming in Part 2):
- Risk of pregnancy. You all know where babies come from, so this is hardly a surprise. However, you might be surprised to note that plenty of pregnancies occur while birth control methods are being used. Even properly used methods can fail. I personally know several couples who conceived while using contraceptives. Note that a surprise pregnancy is not a good way for a child’s life to begin. For instance, children raised in a home with married parents have an 80% less risk of poverty.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases. STDs range from life-threatening diseases like AIDS to minor annoyances like Chlamydia. Some can be treated, but others last a lifetime. Genital herpes is a viral infection that never leaves one’s body and can put infants at risk during childbirth. Moreover, STDs have been linked to higher occurrence of cancer. The wonderful truth is that if you and your spouse never have sex with anyone else, you will not have a sexually transmitted disease. Period. If your beloved has a sexual history, I encourage testing and waiting until you are certain that this is THE ONE (after public marriage vows). If one of you has an STD, steps can be taken to reduce the risk of one spouse contracting what the other has.
- Obedience to God. We are commanded to give our bodies to our mate after we come together in the commitment ceremony we call a wedding. When we say our vows before witnesses, we are promising publicly to keep ourselves to one person for a lifetime.Many people today believe that the sequence of sex, marriage, children, cohabitation, etc. can be rearranged like Scrabble letters. After all, they think, we know that we are committed. But Ephesians 5:25-27 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Even before that marriage, a man should ask whether as a husband he could present his bride as “holy and blameless,” “without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish” if he sleeps with her before the marriage. How will you answer God on that one? Are you hoping to say, “Well, I figured you would understand that I was here for the long haul.” I’m not saying that your salvation is defunct, but ask yourself how that’s going to work for you and the woman you swear you love. Both of you need to heed the warning repeated three times in the Song of Solomon (2:7; 3:5; 8:4): “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” It is so tempting to throw that beautiful man or woman on the bed and have your way with him/her. And it is so hard to let that intense desire slumber. But it isn’t ready until you are husband and wife. Let it snooze and simmer a little longer. When you finally get to wake up that sleeping giant, throw a party then!
- Clouds Your Judgment. Before deciding to marry and then taking vows, you need to learn as much as possible about this person – their character, faith, quirks, family issues, dreams, hopes, plans, etc. Having fabulous sex with someone alters that perspective; it’s like putting on rose-colored glasses (see my post on this one). And when you’re married and your spouse has left his socks on the floor for the 148th time, that’s a good thing. You can let some stuff go when you’ve had wonderful lovemaking experience the night before. But that’s not where you want to be before you marry. This is time to gather information like a CIA operative. You are, after all, committing yourself to a LIFETIME with one person who will share your bathroom, your family holidays, and your deep dark secrets. Get to know them first, and let those rose-colored glasses stay on the dresser until the honeymoon.
In my next guest post here at PreEngaged, I’ll reveal four more reasons to abstain before marriage (and there may be some you haven’t heard before).
J can be found at Hot, Holy, & Humorous, where she uses a biblical perspective and a blunt sense of humor to foster Christian sexuality in marriage.
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