Tell me if some of these things in the next paragraph sound familiar.
Treat the girl how you would want someone to treat your spouse. Don’t see how far you can go – see what you can save until marriage. Give your virginity to your spouse on your wedding night. I’m saving myself for marriage. Having sex outside of marriage will affect your sex life in your marriage – get in the way, make it harder to bond, make it less meaningful, etc. True love waits!
The list could on and on. I’ve thought (heck I’ve even taught others) most of these things. A lot. But I think I was wrong.
Now obviously I’m not suggesting that we should all go out and have sex outside of marriage (Although that would explode my blog viewings – Ha). I’m also not suggesting that most of the above list is not valuable to think about. Many of those things are true. Sex outside of marriage can affect your married sex life, it is better to not try to see what you can get away with and it’s important that if you are dating someone they might not be your spouse etc.
However as wise as many of these things seem I think they present a huge problem. That problem is that they assume marriage at some point. In fact marriage is the center point. It’s the idol. In other words the motivation is that you are going to get married, therefore save yourself for that. It also assumes that your sex life in marriage will be good if you wait. You might as well throw in “you could get an std, or get pregnant”. At some point it’s not a good motivator. It’s scare tactics dressed up in a positive way. This is dangerous and irresponsible.
What if you don’t get married? At what point, if your motivation is saving yourself for marriage, do you give up? At age 25? At age 30? 35? If you knew you would never have a spouse – would it be ok to not save yourself? And what if you’ve already had sex? At some point there will be a rationalization to quit waiting.
The problem is that none of it has anything to do with Jesus. None of it. But even when we bring Jesus into the picture it can often be bad. Very easily we can turn it into God will love me more, help me more, bring me a spouse more quickly, etc. , if I don’t have sex. Or we can turn it into rule following to either earn or keep God’s favor.
It’s not about waiting, it’s about following Jesus. The truth is, whether we ever get married or not, the most important thing is our walk with Jesus. Sin, regardless of what kind, gets in the way. And that needs to be our focus. How is what I’m doing loving Jesus? Following Jesus? How does this area of my life honor God? How does it advance the kingdom?
Marriage is not the goal. Following Jesus is the goal. If I follow in Him and I dont’ get married – great! If I follow him and I do get married – great!
Don’t save yourself for marriage, Give yourself to God.