“…we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:23-25
Many North Americans find Christianity’s teachings on sexuality foolish. More specifically, the idea that sex is just for married folks is considered narrow, old-fashioned, even judgmental. Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s the new rule has been to follow one’s heart and engage in sex with any consenting partner with whom one shares mutual desire. The new view says it’s foolish to control desire or wait.
Yet this freedom has created a swamp of issues that bog us down. For example,
- Men and women differ in their understanding of consent, leading to women feeling used and even raped by their date.
- Sleeping around increases the chance of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
- Getting involved sexually before marriage is hard to ‘turn off’ after marriage which may lead to affairs and divorce.
- Unintended pregnancies can lead unwed partners to choose abortion with all its heartache, especially for women.
- Sex leading to unwanted children complicates the lives of people who aren’t ready for parenthood.
- Pre-marital sex, while generally pleasurable, rates less wonderful than sex among committed married couples.
Despite these possibilities, most think sex before marriage is a natural part of growing up, and a personal right in an age of individual freedom.
But we forget that intimacy is a layered thing, that godly knowing requires us to engage the whole person, not just body parts. When we wait for sex after marriage we gain time to understand our partner’s mind, heart, ways, and moral fiber first.
God knows that a great relationship makes for wonderful sex, rather than great sex makes for a trusting, intimate relationship. Why do we switch these around?
God, help me trust you on this sex thing, to believe that your design really is for my good, and not to squelch my fun. Give me strength to listen to your voice regarding sex. Amen.
Do a heart check. Ask yourself where you stand on this matter.
An organization called “True Love Waits” has books and other resources for teens and adults on the wisdom of holding off on sex until marriage. You can find them here.