If you didn’t know, it’s wedding month which means why not center this months blogs around all things relationship. My fiancé Jarrod and I have been engaged for 9 months and this month, on April 29th, we will become husband and wife. Our relationship has not been easy. It’s taken quite a bit of work. Now, we most definitely do not know it all, but we have learned a lot throughout our 8 months of courting, 2 years of dating and 9 months of engagement. One thing we’ve found is that the church does an awful job at helping young Christian couples who want to do things right, do things right. Reality is, we just don’t talk about it. Growing up, the fear of God was drilled into my heart that I knew sex before marriage was a no go. Why? Because it is sinful (what I was told). Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree but, can we just be real here… there is way more that can be done before marriage that is outside of “sex” that is also sinful which defiles the marriage bed.
So what is sex?
Sex can be talked about in two forms. The first is considered a person’s gender. This can be male or female with the basis stemming from chromosome in the human body. From my vague memory of biology in high school, males have Y chromosome and females have XY chromosome. That is the very basic generalization of sex.
The second form of sex is when a man and a woman joins together to become one (the joining of male and female sex organs). Our bodies were uniquely created to fit into each other. Neat huh? But why is this so important in Christian living? Why do we stay away from having sex before marriage? From joining with one another…
From a biblical perspective, Old Testament writers hammered on the issues of sexual immorality. Let’s start from the beginning. Genesis 2:24-25 states
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
Jarrod and I both have never had sex. We’ve both chosen to wait prior to dating each other. But I will say this, we sure have been tempted. Naturally so. When you love someone you want to share your life with them, but there is a place and a time for that and marriage is that time and place. Besides the act of sex, we’ve discovered we’ve had to be very careful because there are things that can easily lead to the trap hole of sexual immorality. You can defile the marriage bed and join with each other outside of the act of sex. That’s what I want to talk about. The church says, “DON’T HAVE SEX” and that’s that, but what about:
- Wandering Hands
- Lustful thoughts
I’m sure there are others out there that I am unaware of, but just to name a few, those are a form of sex that defiles the marriage bed and can hurt any relationship. Entertaining any of those can lead you down a trap that is very difficult to escape. While Jarrod and I managed to not fall down the rabbit hole, we sure were tempted and when we were, learned to step back, seek God, and allowed those who are in our corner to speak truth, wisdom and perspective.
I have some dear friends that have shared the battle of sex they’ve dealt with prior to marriage and in marriage. Both Christians and non-Christian alike. The common theme shared from their struggle is the shame that sex outside of marriage brings. Interesting how the Bible says “they were not ashamed” in Genesis. Whether it is the act of intercourse or wandering hands, sexting, lustful thoughts, masterbation, or pornography. This shame comes about because of the vulnerability it requires and the human body designed to know and understand good from evil. Shame is not present when the union is done within the right context.
Look, no one teaches a 5 year old how to lie, but they know it’s wrong. Hence the guilt on their face when addressed. The difference between good and evil is engraved in human nature. The reason we struggle is not because we do not know. Rather, it is because we reject the knowledge we do know. Sin in dating comes in all shapes and forms. We know right from wrong. The issue is, we don’t talk about it. Rather, we pretend the only sin in dating is the act of sex, when the steps leading to that are left unaddressed.
Imagine you had $1Million in an account. Someone comes to you and say they have $1Million likewise and would like to join accounts. You’d probably say no because that’s a complete stranger. But if it’s someone you know and love like a significant other you are pursuing then, you’d be more inclined to do so. Joining accounts means, you have access to their money and they has access to yours. That’s intense vulnerability right there. But can you really trust this person with your money? As much as you love them, what if they run away after accounts are joined? What if they spend it all? You would probably experience quite a bit of shame, guilt and regret, right? It would be different if you had a binding contract. A contract built on trust, truth and honesty that is willing to stand the test of time.
Similarly, sex was designed to be under a covenant (contract). From a biblical perspective, a covenant is an undertaking of legal contract built on a promise of faithfulness, committedness and love between God, man and woman. Under God’s covenant there’s Gods promise to protect and bless. Overtime, the court of law adapted the role of a covenant to a contact with similar principles. Sex is an exchange of self. Beyond loving someone, sex is an act of ultimate vulnerability and trust. This my friend is why I believe our creator, God, designed it in the first place. He knew that man and woman sharing such intimacy would require a covenant under His blessing.
That is by no means saying, once you lose it you lose it. Mistakes happen. Awful things happen in this world, but there is grace. There is forgiveness. And above all, God is such a good God that he is able to redeem. The secret is not simply saying “no more.” It is no secret honestly. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, if you are ashamed of your past or are struggling to remain pure in your relationship, God is your answer. If you cringed at that, I get it. The “God” card upsets me at times too, but that was and still is the answer for Jarrod and I. Thankfully, both of us had the same goal in mind. We both wanted to honor God with our bodies and as difficult as it got, we always resorted back to Gods word. Remaining pure is more than the act of sex. Remaining pure has to do with your mind, heart, soul and body. Lack of attention and discipline in keeping your mind, heart and soul pure makes it very easy to give your body away. The key is keeping the innermost part of your body pure with Gods word and truth.
For my readers who have had sex before marriage and is carrying shame. You are not your mistakes and you most certainly are not meant to carry that scar. I’ve seen Jesus do some pretty amazing things through friends and family and have redeemed what was broken. Seek His name and seek His love. Don’t know how, send me a message. I’d love to connect.
For my readers in a dating relationship and you’re tempted to mess up or have messed up. Now’s your time to take action. Tempted to sit another 20mins in the car alone together? Don’t. Tempted to visit each other’s apartment alone for “just a movie night”? Don’t. You and your significant other need to be on the same page. If you are not in agreement, then you are dating the wrong person. If they are not willing to respect your body, then it’s time to call it quits. You have to agree that wandering hands, lustful thoughts, sexting, masturbation and pornography are off the board, completely (inside and outside of marriage). It not only dishonors each other, but as a follower of Christ, it dishonors who God has called you to be.
If it means not driving together. Do that! If it means setting a curfew. Do that! If it means finding an accountability to track you’re coming and going. Do that! If it means writing a sticky note in your car that says “I will wait!” Do that! Extreme measures often times proves great results. All those ‘do that’s” are exactly what Jarrod and I did when the love between the two of us began growing. We both agreed on honoring each other, and in order to do so we had to take some extreme measures. But most importantly we made it a priority to keep the innermost parts of us pure. The wait is worth it. As April 29th quickly approaches I am realizing more and more, how beautiful the wait has been. Sex (all that it entails) is a wonderful picture of redeeming love, of giving up self, the wants of each other, putting it aside in reverence to God and each other.
Singles out there, honor yourself and your future spouse by becoming the person you hope they will be. Let’s get this straight though, chastity is not a superiority card. It is a choice. You got this!
Make waiting more than the act of intercourse. How can you make a step towards purity of mind, heart soul and body?