By Amanda Idleman, Crosswalk.com
You’ve found the one you love and now the question arises “Do we wait?”
The discussion around sex in our culture and churches is a very convoluted one. If you are tuned into the advice of our culture you are fed a lie that says sex is both nothing and everything. Sex means nothing if it’s just for fun; if you are “feeling it” you should go for it. Yet, somehow that same “meaningless act” is everything if it defines who you are.
In response, much of the church has decided to tote a hard and militant line around the topic of sex. We have armed our young adults with promise rings, books, and fear that has turned sexual activity into the most forbidden of sins, as if sex in itself is evil.
But what is God's stance on having sex before marriage? Why should you wait?Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Joshua Rodriguez
What does the Bible say about sex?
The good news is that the Bible explains that sex is a good gift that God has given us to enjoy. The reality is God is not a prude. He created sex and much of the Bible celebrates it as a meaningful act of love. Proverbs 5:18-19 is one of many verses of the bible (along with the entire book of Song of Songs) that celebrates sexuality in marriage.
Honestly, sex is like the icing on the cake for married life. One of the best and most exciting reasons to wait is to give you and your spouse the opportunity to unwrap this amazing gift God has set aside for you and share it in the most meaningful way possible.
What could give this act more significance than waiting until the day you publicly proclaim your forever love for each other? God says it is best case scenario for you to wait it out because He’s into wedding planning too, and He knows that if you set this aside for your big day, it’s going to be great.
Ephesians 5:3 reminds us that even a hint of immorality or any kind of impurity is not proper for God’s holy people. It is God’s standard that we remain completely pure before marriage. But this is not because God is withholding from us; rather, he wants to us to receive this amazing gift his perfect way.
What advantage does waiting give your future marriage?
Waiting grows trust. Here’s the truth: unwavering commitment to each other and a strong foundation of trust between the two of you is what keeps marriage together. The reality is the decision to wait to have sex until you are married is not about God hating sex but instead a chance for you to prove to each other that you are trustworthy.
Refraining from sex is about how much self-control you possess as a couple. Making the choice to wait now will help when the choice to remain faithful presents itself in the future. It may feel painfully difficult to keep strong boundaries about physical touch before you are married, but over the course of a lifetime together it’s almost inevitable that even greater temptation to wander from faithful dedication to your spouse will arise.
Sometimes we miss the point of engagements. They are meant to be a period of practice for marriage. While there is hype and excitement that fills this time of life, it's also a crucial period of time for you to begin to shift your thinking from that of a single, my-needs-come-first mindset, to a married, I-have-to-think-about-the-needs of-my-family-first mindset.
Waiting is just one tiny step towards living a life that looks beyond your immediate needs and considers the bigger picture. Once your life together continues forward, these opportunities to think about the big picture over your personal needs just keep coming in more significant ways and sometimes challenging ways! For example, your schedule is no longer just about you after marriage, and the way you handle money changes when you have to consider the needs of your spouse.
Choosing to deny yourself for a short time in order to set a strong foundation and give your spouse a beautiful wedding day gift is a powerful first step towards being a strong godly leader in your marriage.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Sharon Mccutcheon
Is sex before marriage a sin if you love the person?
While sex isn’t everything it is something. There is a bit of mystery around the act that makes it hard to pinpoint what about it is so significant. God did create sex to symbolize the union of a man and a woman (Genesis 2:23-24). We see later in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 7:2) that sex is reserved for marriage between a man and a woman. Sex was designed to bring two people together and seal a bond that should last for life.
The Bible clearly tells us that God did set sex aside as a significant act of love and commitment meant only for married life. As Christ followers we are prompted to commit to waiting it out until the big day.
We have to trust God, knowing that He created sex with your life changing union in mind. Since we know it means something to Him, as people in His family, we should take the attitude that says, “If it means something to Him it should mean something to us.”
We follow a mysterious God (1 Corinthians 1:4) and He asks His people to trust and believe that He has your very best in mind. As believers, we are called to give over our sexual desire to the Lord and follow His plan. Just as God throughout the Bible instructs His people is so many other ways (see the entire book of Proverbs), His instruction around sex is Him seeing the big picture of our lives and trying to push us toward the best this life has to offer.
1 Corinthians 13:5 reminds us that love is not self-seeking. The best way to show love to your partner is to love them, and their spiritual well-being, more than your love your own body and its desires.
If I had sex before marriage, can God forgive me?
If you’ve had sex in the past, God can absolutely forgive you. God’s love covers all of your sins and sexual sin is no different (1 Peter 4:8). There is no need to bring guilt, hurt, or fear that what you did in the past will ruin your future, into your marriage. Just as we have to find healing and cling to God’s redemptive power for other areas in our lives we have fell short, sex before marriage is no different.
God will heal and restore your brokenness.
In my own story by God’s grace, my husband and I were each other’s first and only’s. We waited until our wedding day for our first time. I’ll be honest-- your first time is filled with awkward moments and there is a learning curve to this thing. Nonetheless, I am forever proud of us for keeping that commitment to each other. We have never doubted each other’s faithfulness in our 12 years of marriage (and many more to go).
I’ve had to draw on that same willpower we grew in the years we dated so many times for so many different reasons over our years. That being said, there are no guarantees if you wait your marriage is assured to last but I know it sure helps. You will never regret keeping this promise to each other and life is too short to carry regret.
God honors our obedience to Him word and commands. He will honor you and your soon-to-be spouse for following His best way to a life together.
Amanda Idleman is a wife, homeschooling Momma to three amazing kids and is passionate about encouraging others to live joyfully. Amanda also loves to write as a freelance writer and on her blog (when she finds a spare moment for it). You can find out more about Amanda at her blog rvahouseofjoy.wordpress.comor follow her on Instagram at rvahouseofjoy.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/PeopleImages