14 Aug WHY WAIT for Sex?
Today’s society is starving for intimacy. And many of the lies we believe in our culture have to do with our hunger for relationship. We want acceptance, loving relationships and deep intimacy, and yet we believe the lie that sex will satisfy our hunger. It’s true that we are profoundly sexual beings, but it’s time to examine some of the lies we feast on: the lie that premarital sex is one of our unalienable rights, the lie that sexual intercourse is the route to intimacy, and the lie that premarital abstinence is obsolete at best and repressive at worst. These are all lies. History teaches us that people believe what they want to hear. Lies can sound so true when people are starving for truth.
We have bought into lies because we are a starving people. We are people who long to be loved, touched and understood in a world of declining family ties and epidemic dysfunction. Our desires are certainly not new; they are as old as humanity. The difference in our world today is that people are trying to fulfil these longings in strange ways especially through sex. “Try it just once and you’ll be fulfilled.” “Go for variety and you won’t be bored.” “A life without sex is a life without belonging.” Sexual experience has become a personal right, a need to be met and a norm to be accepted.
The tragedy of all this is that people are dying of emotional starvation, and they are looking for food in the wrong places. I would like to identify seven lies society makes about sex. The truth is that sex outside of marriage is not all it’s cracked up to be. There is no pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.
*Lie #1: Sex creates intimacy.*
Sex is an expression of intimacy, not the means to intimacy. True intimacy springs from verbal and emotional communion. True intimacy is built on a commitment to honesty, love and freedom. True intimacy is not primarily a sexual encounter. Intimacy, in fact, has almost nothing to do with our sex organs.
*Lie #2: Starting sex early in a relationship will help you get to know one another and become better partners later.*
Sexual intercourse and extensive physical exploration early in a relationship do not reflect sex at its best. Of course there is sensual pleasure for those who engage in premarital sexual experiences, but they are missing out on the best route to marital happiness. Sex is an art that is learned best in the safe environment of marriage. The lie that premarital sex prepares you for marriage denies the fact that sexual happiness grows only through years of intimate relationship.
Good sex begins in the head. It depends on intimate knowledge of your partner. The Bible uses the words “to know” to describe sexual intercourse: “Adam knew his wife Eve and she conceived . . .” (Genesis 4:1, NRSV). This choice of words elevates human sexuality from mere animal sex where availability is the main requirement to a full, intimate expression of love and commitment.
*Lie #3: Casual sex without long-term commitments is both fun and freeing.*
Those who settle for short-term sexual relationships are missing the best. Good sex — which can be a healing agent over time — requires trust, trust which grows best in the context of the life-long commitment of marriage.
*Lie #4: If you don’t express your sexuality freely, you must be repressed, sick or prudish.*
This can be a very intimidating lie, but the facts are that premature sex is bad for your emotional, physical and cultural health. Premarital sex may be bad for the emotional health of your future marriage. It lays the groundwork for comparisons, suspicions, and mistrust. Premarital sex is also bad for your physical health. Sexual promiscuity is even bad for the health of our civilization.
*Lie #5: Sex is freedom.*
Premarital sex is hardly an expression of freedom. Young people who become sexually active in response to peer pressure to be sophisticated and independent are actually becoming victims of current public opinion. No one is really free who engages in any activity in order to impress the majority.
*Lie #6: Surely God understands that this is the modern age! How can what society says is okay be wrong?*
Scripture is clear that sexual intercourse outside the bonds of marriage is sin. In His seventh commandment to the Israelites, God said “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). Jesus was even more inclusive when he described the evil within men’s hearts, including “sexual immorality” (Mark 7:21:). Paul exhorted the Corinthians to “flee from sexual immorality” (see 1 Corinthians 6:18-19), and to the Ephesians he said that there must not be among them even a “hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Ephesians 5:3). The writer of the letter to the Hebrews wrote, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
I do not believe that God gave these rules because he is a spoilsport. Quite the contrary. Because God created us and because he loves us more than we can ever know, he has told us how to have the best, most satisfying sexual experiences: in marriage. Premarital abstinence and marital faithfulness is not a denial of my rights or my pleasures. It is choosing to experience sex in the healthiest, happiest context.
*Lie #7: Why wait? How can you know for sure that waiting is best? Maybe sex isn’t worth the wait. Maybe it’s best to take the opportunities you have now.*
Obedience to God’s commands includes trusting him to know what’s best for us – even if we don’t fully grasp His reasons. The choices we make in our sexual behaviour require faith in truths we may not understand. God required the Israelites to obey dozens of laws, many of which were good for their health even though they didn’t know why. When we live within the confines of God’s limits, we live by faith in a loving God. Sexual purity is, in the final analysis, an expression of our confidence in God’s goodness, an indication of our trust in Jesus. “You are my friends,” Jesus said, “if you do what I command” (John 15:14). “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Living by faith means applying this definition of faith to the situation at hand. We exercise faith and obedience, not because of what we know, but because of the person we love, Jesus himself.
The truth that sex is best within the context of marriage cannot be proven ahead of time. But we can learn from those who have already made their choices. For Christian men and women today, the choices we make in our sexual behavior may be one of the main ways God calls us to believe. Do we dare to be different? Do we dare to believe the truth of God’s Word even though it contradicts most of the lies surrounding us? I believe that God is calling us to this kind of radical faith.
(Adapted from: http://cms.intervarsity.org/studentsoul/item/why-wait)