Don’t Save Yourself For Marriage

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.

20 thoughts on “Don’t Save Yourself For Marriage

  1. You could go even further to say that trying to follow all the “rules” is actually just setting yourself up for failure. It is in fact impossible. None of us are perfect. And the disappointment from that failure can derail your walk with Jesus or even make you turn your back on Him. Speaking as a failed rule follower. Thank you for using your experience to share the truth.

  2. Hmmm… I think those things DO have to do with Jesus. I understand what you’re saying – and of course, following Jesus is always the goal! I also think that we often tend to boil down complex feelings and issues into trite platitudes or fashion rules to ease the ambiguity of the gray areas. BUT, could it be that those boundaries (or rules or modern day proverbs) can lead us towards holiness (and pointing the other toward holiness) instead of just being centered on marriage? Do they necessarily have to assume marriage, or could they instead point toward a desire you’d like to see happen someday (like you said, if it does, great! If not, great!) If you are going to date, then obviously those issues/boundaries/rules are going to surface, however, if you are following Jesus, wouldn’t the ultimate goal, after becoming more like him yourself, be to encourage others to become like him as well, including, and especially, someone you are interested in enough to date?! (Wow, I just realized how often I use parentheses!)

    • I think they could lead us to holiness – but my point is if the motivation is marriage then something is off. In other words if I say I’m saving myself for marriage – that assumes marriage is my motivator. All of those things are good boundaries – I think they just aren’t good motivators – at least not long term.

  3. Catholics refer to chastity — a concept that raises sexuality to a spiritual concept. It makes it all about following Jesus, connecting with Jesus, and helping others connect with Him as well.

    John Paul II wrote

  4. I understand what you’re trying to say here. I think it’s a really good thought, but the way you said it is very misleading. It feels like you’re giving permission to abuse grace. It was an arguement just like this one that I used to use to justify my life style.

    • I think the title could be misleading – which was kind of the point. I’m not sure what I said is misleading or that I’m giving them permission for anything. I mean if I’m following Jesus then he says not to have sex outside of marriage. Now if I was saying do what you want because Jesus has got it – then that would be abusing grace. My point is what is your motivation for purity – Jesus or something else. The something else could fail.

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  9. 1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
    This verse shows that sexual sin isn’t just about marriage. We need to flee from sexual sin, no matter what our relationship status. I hope people hear the right message from your post.

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  12. I he started a new relationship with someone and I’m not a virgin and neither is he, but he recently told me that he’s saving his self for marriage. We have never had sex together before. But I’m very sexually attracted to him and this is a bit new to me. & I’m not even sure if we will get married. I’m supporting him all the way but I just don’t know what to do. Need advice !!

    • My advice is always to not have sex unless you are married. Nothing good comes out of sex outside of marriage. The point of this post is that we have an even more important reason to do so, which is obedience to God. Again, nothing good will come of it. If you get married then good comes from it.

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