Let me just preface what I’m about to discuss by saying that I sincerely do not mean any of this in judgment, legalism, bitterness, or whatever else could be labeled. Simply, this is my heart, one that is burdened, broken, and sad for Christians today.
I have noticed something over the past few years and frankly I’m increasingly getting more and more broken by this… I know its a touchy subject. I know that many of my friends fall into this category. But I have to believe God’s intent is completely different for us….
Sex. The one word so many churches refuse to speak about yet so many Christians in their 20’s and younger not only joke about it like its nothing, but also for many have no conviction about acting out sexually. Just a decade or so ago was the major movement of the “True Love Waits” push. I know so many people that took the pledge, either “True Love Waits” or another, to remain pure until marriage by abstaining from sex until their long awaited wedding night. Now that a generation of teenagers that took the pledge for purity have reached the 20’s something category, I am beginning to see that so many aren’t waiting. This isn’t to bash on movements to promote abstinence, purity, etc. but I think something huge has been missing: God’s heart and intent for his Creation. For so long the Church has pushed for purity [meaning no sex] and have, in the process, made sex look dirty, bad, and something to be fearful and ashamed of. But even more I am now seeing a trend with Christians in their 20’s that are no long not waiting for marriage to have sex, but they’re living together, justifying pornography, and other sexual deviations. I’m not getting into the entirety of sexuality. Honestly, I just wanted to share why this makes me so sad.
I think what triggered this burden more lately is that several friends of mine, close Christian friends of mine, have justified sleeping with their boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance, and even justifying “friends with benefits” and hook-ups. Despite the stigma that has been labeled by the Church on a lot of things, I do believe that sex is still a something worth waiting for because I believe that is how God designed it. I have to believe that this is far from God’s intention for us sexually. Not because sexual acts outside of marriage make us horrible people, but because God’s intention was sexuality for marriage alone. He understands the fragility that comes with sex, the attachment that comes even just kissing. He understands the shame that come from it. He also understands the joy and passion and beauty. And I will say this, he knows that even unmarried sex is fun, beautiful, passionate, etc. but that’s not his intention. God designed sex for marriage, between man and woman- for it to be sacred, holy, pure, passionate, and ultimately honoring him in the process. I know that may sound crazy but I believe that’s how he designed it because in doing so, it removes so much stress, burden, shame, heartache that comes with sex outside this context. Humanity and sexuality are fractured and broken. He gets it. That all came with sin in Eden.
I really don’t believe God wants couples, Christian or otherwise, to sleep together before marriage. I’ll take it a step further. I don’t think he wants couples to engage in sexual behavior before marriage, even if there isn’t sexual intercourse. I say this simply because he wants his Church, including those that may be living in some area of sexual behavior outside his context, to honor him with their body. To serve him with their commitment. Its not about legalism or following some list of do’s and don’ts. Instead I believe its about wanting to honor God humbly, sacrificing if necessary the physical desire to honor the spiritual- as a form of worship. To be able to try your hardest to be “pure and blameless and above reproach”. I wish the group of 20 somethings, that as teenagers had made the “True Love Waits” commitment, could all still be able to say “I do” knowing that they had waited for only him or only her. The waiting honors God but also your future spouse, even if your future spouse is already the person you are dating or engaged to. It prevents a ton of emotional baggage and drama that can come with sexual partner [s] that are not the spouse. It prevents the obvious of sexually transmitted diseases as well as pregnancies- we all took health class, so I don’t need to go into detail on this.
You can look into the Bible and even see how screwed up things got when they had multiple spouses, sex outside of marriage, when people perverted sex, when women were raped, when men were raped, and the list goes on. When people sinned sexually on any level there were always consequences and some level of brokenness reached, I believe, because it was another part of God’s heart breaking. Breaking because he sees over and over again people not valuing their bodies, valuing sex [the most intimate connection anyone can have], not valuing purity or holiness, and seeing a broken covenant of another person taking “the apple”. So as I end my thoughts on this subject let me just encourage you. Maybe you’re upset at my opinion on this matter. Frankly, its not my opinion but what the Word talks about sexuality and God’s design. Maybe you’re living with someone. Maybe you’re having sex with someone you’re dating/engaged to. Maybe you’re hooking up just because. Maybe its only some sexual behavior but not everything… though to be honest, that usually doesn’t last very long before everything is up on the table.
Jesus loves you. Yes, you, the one with the sexual stuff going on that “the church” would look down on. Yes I believe sex outside of marriage is sin. I believe it is not the way or intention of how God designed it. But I believe God also understands that it is very difficult to honor him and our bodies in a culture that honors neither. Regardless of your sexual history, maybe make the decision to strive for ‘sexual purity’ now… a way of abstaining from sex for the sake of self-edification and honoring God. Its possible to be a 20-something and not have sex. Yeah I promise you it is possible… as difficult as it to be a 25 year old, I can say in confidence that, despite the difficulty it has been to not have sex, I am a virgin. I look forward to the day where I can tell my husband “I waited for only you”. I look forward to the day where I can say to some man, that despite my struggle or mess ups along the way, I am his entirely. I don’t say this to judge you or make you feel bad about your sexual history but instead to encourage you that you can start now, restored and honoring God again with your body and heart…the way he created us to be long ago. I’m not saying its easy but I’m saying its possible. He longs for your to love him wholly and completely and that means removing sin from your life…. including I believe the most difficult and damaging of sin… sexual. He loves you and beckons you to receive his love.
to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength”.
Christians reading this, whatever your story, whatever your history, don’t be afraid to admit that you’ve been sinning. Don’t be afraid to own up to it and take a step forward to renewal and restoration. Don’t ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Sex is a big deal and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Wait for “I do” no matter how long that takes. Wait for God to work out his plan in your life. Wait, not because its the right thing to do, but because it honors God, honors your body, and honors your future spouse. And it can show the world what beautiful, God-centered relationships and marriages look like- ones founded on purity, honor, and holiness.
And for my friends who might read this, the ones who don’t share my faith: I know this may not make much sense to you. Not believing in God the way I do takes away a lot of the incentive to wait for sex. So let me say this instead. You are worth more than a one night stand, hook-up, casual sex, even sex with the person you’re dating. You are worth more than putting your value on how good you are in bed or what your sexual partners have to say about you. You matter. So next time you are in the situation where you are getting physical with someone, all I ask is that you remember that you are worth far more than you realize.