What a Difference a Couple of Hundred Years Makes
One of the things that makes waiting so difficult has to do with our culture. In the 1850s and before, we were predominately an agricultural society, and many people married at an age we would consider today to be very young. It was acceptable to marry very young, so the gap between puberty and marriage was very small.
Spring forward to today. People are maturing much younger and yet waiting even longer than ever to marry. This gap in time between puberty and marriage can create some challenges. Men and women waiting into their late twenties and early thirties to marry face enormous sexual temptations every day in a society that glorifies sex. And yet, this is not an excuse for sexual activity outside of marriage.
Most everyone who is single and looking to honor the Lord with their sexuality falls into one of two groups: (1) those who have committed to sexual purity until marriage and so far have made it; (2) those who have not been pure but want to remain pure from today forward. Personally, I think God blesses both. If sex has been a part of your life and you now choose to honor God’s design of purity, He now looks at you as pure. He has forgiven you and sees you through the eyes of Jesus. If you have stayed pure all your life, God will continue to bless your choices to be obedient to Him.
No matter which group you are in, there are practical things you can do now to remain sexually pure until your wedding night. These are in no particular order.
• Pray for God’s strength. You need every bit of it.
• Don’t go on a date just to be able to say you had a date.
• Be picky.
• Find out what the other person thinks about sexual purity before marriage.
• As you fall in love, stay away from tempting places. Don’t hang out in each other’s apartments or houses alone. If you are on a couch, keep all four feet on the floor.
• Both of you have to be strong and agree that “no”means “no,”not “maybe.”
• Don’t travel alone with each other. I don’t care if you get separate rooms—the doors still open!
• Each of you should find someone to hold you accountable in this area.
• As your relationship develops, get a mentor couple and be totally open and honest with them.
• Don’t act like it is not a struggle. If you are not sexually attracted to each other, you need to break up!
• Keep your eyes on the reward. I have never counseled a couple that lived out a sexually pure relationship before marriage that did not think it was one of the best and wisest decisions they ever made.
• Remember, once you cross that line in a relationship, you can never go back! And yet, if you have already crossed the line in a relationship, you can start fresh to set new boundaries today!
• After you succeed and even if you dont, tell your story. Others need to hear the encouragement or warning!
7 Secrets to an Awesome Marriage is Dr. Kim’s new book published by Zondervan and available everywhere July 28th.