The Right Questions
When we talk about sex before marriage, we usually ask the wrong questions. We seem to want to know how close we can get to the fire and not get burned. Should I stop at first, second, or third base? I know I shouldn’t go for the home run, but what about a triple? In reality we all know that a triple is not a home run—but the person who gets to third base is a lot closer to home than the person who is stuck on first base.
Honestly, you are probably the only person who really knows what is “too far” for you. If your goal is to stay pure in a premarital relationship, then you are going to have to put some constraints in your relationship.
Mark and Carrie have now been married a couple of years. I met them right after they were engaged when they began attending a preparation for marriage class I was teaching. They were in their mid-20s and both had been in previous relationships. Both had been sexually active in the past, but between the last relationship for each and this new relationship together, things had changed. They decided they wanted to do this relationship differently. They wanted to honor God by abstaining from sex until their wedding night. Their strategy for remaining sexually pure consisted of two essential steps: (1) They made a commitment to each other and to God; and (2) they talked about their vulnerabilities and agreed together to put safeguards in place. Never being alone together in each other’s apartment was at the top of their list—a great example of a safeguard for staying away from the fire. They could have agreed to spend time in their apartments and stay out of the bedrooms, but they both knew they would just be kidding themselves. Because the temptation could easily overwhelm them, they drew a line. They also committed to being completely honest with each other about what they were thinking and feeling sexually. If one became weak, the other had to be strong.
At the end of a year of engagement, Mark and Carrie stood with each other and before God as they repeated their vows. They made it. They stayed pure until marriage. I met with them after a couple of months of marriage. They told me that while staying pure for that year was probably the hardest thing they ever had to do, God honored their commitment by totally redefining the sexual relationship for them in marriage.
God, the Creator of human sexuality, created you as a sexual being. If you are attracted to someone, the sexual desire kicks in long before you get to “I do.” Actually, I would be pretty worried about you if you were not sexually attracted to the person you are dating. With that being said, you have a decision to make. Are you going to honor God with your dating relationship? Think about this. If you decide to allow sex into your dating relationship before marriage, what makes you think you will suddenly be obedient to God after marriage?
The Best Sex Ever
Our culture says having sex before marriage is okay and staying sexually pure is old-fashioned. My response to that is simple: Look at the divorce rate. What people are doing does not work over half the time. Yet, we know that couples who regularly pray together and read the Bible together have a divorce rate of less than 1 percent. You see, the real bottom line is that God’s plan for relationships and for marriage works. The best sex ever happens in a Christian marriage and is defined by the Hebrew word “dod” which means a “mingling of souls.” It is one of the “secrets” in my new book. With that truth, what would keep you from doing things God’s way?
Read more about sex in a Christian marriage in Dr. Kim’s new book, 7 Secrets to an Awesome Marriage.