Are you a singleton out there? If you are, you have more than likely pondered the topic of whether to have sex before marriage. I know I did when I was single. And I had sex before marriage. I also know a little something about waiting to have sex before marriage. So, I’d like to share what my experience taught me in hopes it can help you as you consider whether to have sex before marriage.
How can I claim both: having sex before marriage and waiting to have sex till marriage? Great question. Let me explain. My husband and I have been married for twelve years. We married when I was in my early thirties and he was in his late thirties. He was previously married: he met his wife in college and they were married for five years. I had never been married, but I had lived with a boyfriend, been engaged and lived with my fiancee (before breaking the engagement off) and dated other men after those relationships. When I met my husband, even though we both previously had sex with other people, we agreed to wait to have sex with each other.
Why bother waiting to have sex when you have already had sex in the past? I finally knew my value and I was no longer willing to compromise. Unfortunately, I had to make a lot of mistakes before then in the process of dispelling the worldly wisdom I had relied on previously. I became a Christian when I was in my late twenties, and I confronted a lot of lies I had believed in before turning to the bible for truth. Even after becoming a Christian, I continued to date and have sex, because I wanted to get married and I thought that’s what my partner wanted and I wanted to please my partner. I finally figured out it’s more important to please God.
I had to confront the world’s lie that ‘it’s okay to have sex before you are married’. Hebrews 13:4 says “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” The world will tell you ‘it’s okay’ and ‘no big deal’ to have sex before marriage, but it is a huge deal. Sex was created by God, and it’s spiritual. The memories of sex with previous partners does not fade easily. Save yourself and don’t bring that kind of baggage into your marriage. In Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5 and 8:4 we hear the verse repeated, “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” Once you open the door to sex, it’s like a Pandora’s box that you can not close again. That being said, you can repent and pray for God’s forgiveness and ask Him to remove those memories. And God is faithful friend. He answers prayers.
When I met my husband, we discussed waiting to have sex and we agreed to wait. It truly is a great test of character to share with your partner that you are waiting for marriage to have sex. If your partner bolts out of the relationship, you will know they were not in the relationship for the right reasons. Self control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and what a blessing it is to have a spouse who possesses self control. If they can show restraint early in the relationship by waiting to have sex till you are married, you have a picture of what they will be like later when other areas of your lives are tested. Remember, people put their best foot forward when dating, but you do get hints into their character during the dating period. If they have self control in sexual relations, it speaks volumes about whether they will have self control when it comes to anger, temperance and other topics.
Which brings us to the next worldly myth that living together before marriage allows you to ‘practice’ being married. After having lived with someone, I can tell you that you don’t need to practice. Living together before marriage is like having one foot in the relationship and one foot out. You’re not married, so you don’t combine your money, but you have to come to an agreement about how much of the expenses each of you will pay, who will do which chores, who gets which closet, and so on with many minor things. If you need practice splitting living expenses, you can share an apartment with a friend. By living with your boyfriend, you share your bed before marriage. Yes, you get the opportunity to have sex, but real life sets in with all it’s mundane tasks. However, since you aren’t married, you never really have your partners full commitment. They love you enough to live with you but not enough to marry you. And that means something. Commitment means something. It’s a promise! When you get a loan from the bank, they ask for a commitment or repayment. When you take a new job, they ask for work in exchange for pay. What is the commitment when you are living together without being married? Instead of committing to marriage and in exchange getting all the love your partner has to offer, it’s more like a ‘try before you buy’ scenario, where either party can leave at any moment. No promises.
Then, there’s the worldy myth that you need practice in order to get ‘good’ at sex. Unfortunately, I have had more than one sexual partner, but the good I can take away from that is using it as a testimony to you. You don’t need experience on your wedding night. Please believe me, you will figure it all out together and it will be that much more enjoyable. If you and your partner are both virgins, there will be no one with which to compare each other. It is truly a time where ‘no experience’ is necessary. Discovering something new together will be lots of fun. If you have had partners previously, you can repent, pray for forgiveness and ask God to remove those prior memories. He is faithful, friends.
By remaining a virgin till marriage and marrying a virgin, you also avoid the horrible issue of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. I’m not going to spout off all the statistics about STD’s, because you can look those up on the internet. I can share with you my testimony that my first sexual partner passed an STD to me. I repeat: my first sexual experience in a “committed, mongamous relationship” ended with me getting an STD. My boyfriend was a carrier and had no idea, so he didn’t knowingly pass it to me. Do you think that made it any easier? Praise God, it was fully treatable and didn’t leave me with a permanent STD. We were also using protection lest you believe it could have been avoided that way. So, the only safe way to avoid STD’s is to abstain. It’s for your health!
There’s something mysterious in that period of dating before you have sex. Savor that time, because it is special. It’s ripe with anticipation. Once you are married and committed to each other, it will turn into something even better. But if you are dating, the loss of that mystery and anticipation is heartbreaking. So to all my single Christian brothers and sisters, ‘Stay the course!’