Sex - Why Wait?
"There's nothing more thrilling than passionate love-making!"
That was the headline in a major magazine advertisement. It's a kind of summary of what many TV programs, movies and other pop-culture outlets are telling us.
But think about that: what does it say for the people who can't find a sexual partner or those who -- shock, horror -- have actually chosen to remain celibate, either for life or until they commit to marriage? Are they destined to a life without thrills; is life for them just a huge anti-climax?
Get real! There's more to life than sex. But that's one of our problems these days, isn't it? We're preoccupied with sex.
Do these song lyrics sound familiar: "I love you so much baby, that I want to sit down and have a good long talk?" No? That's because no such song exists - or if it does, nobody's giving it airtime! According to the songs all the most rewarding relationships are sexual in nature.
In the face of this onslaught of sexual pressure, what possible reasons could there be for saying "no", or waiting until you're married?
1. It's Smarter.
Several studies have shown that every time a person indulges in sexual intercourse outside the bounds of a life-long commitment they are reducing their chances of ever finding that deeper, soul-mate intimacy.
Research around the world has shown that couples who have regular sexual intercourse before marriage are more prone to break-up after marriage. They just don't develop the same respect for each other, and they are often more selfish in their expectations of one another.
They also carry into their relationship vivid memories of sex with other partners. Relationships can be tricky enough, without that kind of excess baggage. That's not to say that you can't make a relationship born in these circumstances work. It's just harder in most cases.
Fulfilling sexual experience has a lot to do with a high level of trust. That kind of trust is greatly enhanced by exclusivity: you're more inclined to trust when you know your partner hasn't shared their sexual favours around and has had the character strength to hold back in this area.
2. It's Safer.
Those who preach the benefits of "safe sex" never tell you much about your other options, like abstinence for example. Contrary to what many people preach, a condom is not the only thing that stands between you and AIDS!
Saying "No" is the best form of prevention for sexually transmitted diseases. It's safer in all kinds of ways -- and not just the physical. If you've studied high school biology you know that your sex drive springs not from your sex organs, but from hormones released by the pituatary gland, which is in the brain. Sex drive begins above the shoulders, not below the hips!
Sex is something which involves the whole person: brain, emotions and spirit. Safe sex has to be safe psychologically, emotionally and spiritually too. Abstinence until marriage -- and especially if it's a marriage where God is central -- is the best way of protecting yourself on all of those levels.
3. It's More Rewarding.
Let's get one thing straight: whenever the Bible says negative things about sex outside marriage, it does so to show you the very positive things about sex inside marriage. The people who say the Bible is down on sex are actually the people who don't like its emphasis on marriage.
Marriage is not a human invention. God himself performed the first wedding -- he even played matchmaker to the bride and groom. But He didn't create marriage just so that Adam and Eve could have sex. He had much more in mind than that.
In God's great plan for us, marriage is about companionship. God knows that love cannot exist on its own, it must have an object. In the light of his own nature God looked at Adam and said, "Hey, it's not good for this guy to be alone - he needs someone of his own kind to love."
Sex is a much more powerful experience when it's shared in the context of ongoing companionship. (Great sex starts in the kitchen, over a conversation, more often than in the bedroom!)
Marriage was also given to us for completion. Eve was not a plaything for Adam, and Adam was no toy-boy for Eve. She completed him, she was his complement, and he was hers. True intimacy comes not just from a bed-time experience, but from two people touching each other's lives strength-to-weakness on a daily basis.
Sex is much more rewarding when it's part of a process of completing you.
Marriage is also supposed to bring us the security of commitment. Early on in the Bible, God told us what marriage is all about: "For this reason [for marriage] a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united to his wife"(Genesis 2:24).
That word "united" is actually a word that means to "stick like glue". Marriage was designed to be a very special and private sharing of two lives.
Who wants to spend their lives with the insecurity of barely knowing people, when you can really know someone so deeply you become "joined" to them?
God created sex to be much more than a consumer product, and more than another recreational "sport". In sports, there are always winners and losers. Sex is supposed to be a win-win situation, giving comfort, confidence and enjoyment to both partners.
Sex is meant to be the completion of a commitment to four things: to being the other person's best friend; to helping the other person develop to their full potential (and allowing them to do the same for you); to devoting yourself to your partner and to giving them pleasure within an exclusive, life-long relationship.