Before writing this, I thought that I will just cover some of my thoughts; finishing it I realise that there is so much more. I’ve taken some thoughts from others and added them to my opinion.
Let me be clear that God doesn’t set rules to punish us. He doesn’t feel good every time we break a rule. He doesn’t set them for his own amusement, but rather to help and protect us. I can sit here and confirm that everything that we do is of our own free will. You are physically able to have sex before marriage, just the same as you are physically able to smoke a joint in the UK. But does that mean that these things are right and healthy? No.
You see, when I was 17 years old, I took what I’m saying to you right now as a step of freedom. I thought ‘well it’s okay if I have sex outside of marriage or smoke dope or drink because in the end God won’t judge me’. But again, that isn’t why these commands are there… Let me explain.
When you have sex with someone, you give a part of yourself to that person. Think about it for a moment, why do you think it is easier to break up with someone that you haven’t had sex with? Having sex is personal, maybe for you it’s not. But it’s meant to be. We don’t see it as being an act of stealing something but when we take place in the sexual act outside of marriage, we steal someone else’s joy. Instead of being patient and kind, we are only interested in instant gratification of a sexual release. You see, sex was meant for two people to come together in private.
Now let’s talk about marriage…
When I say the word marriage what do you think of? Maybe it’s something you haven’t thought about because it’s something you don’t intend to have or maybe it’s just not your thing. Marriage is not for everyone. Maybe the idea of marriage is difficult for some, that’s also true. Marriage is hard, it can be super tough and unexpected at times. But why do people get married and what are the motives behind it? Maybe you think you are marrying your soul mate or getting married will fulfil your purpose and ultimately make you happy. I believe that it’s God’s purpose to make you happy. Remember in the garden when God looked down on Adam and said, ‘Oh he looks sad, I think he needs a wife to give him purpose and satisfaction?’ No, he didn’t say that… instead he said, ‘It’s not good for man to be alone, I’ll make him a helper.’ Only God can give purpose and satisfaction. But we like to deny that and find it elsewhere. If you put your faith in your spouse to make you happy, it’ll only be a matter of time before they let you down.
As a Christian, one of the reasons to get married may be to edify each other, to support and share the gospel more effectively. Ever heard of the word Echad? It’s the word one in Hebrew. It means two becoming one. When two people come together in marriage it’s Echad. I like the picture of when the lines have been blurred into one.
Marriage to me is a promise, it’s a covenant, it’s a symbol of unity. For me it’s more than a church and a day of testifying your love for another but it’s two lives committing their forever to following Christ together. Pushing each other towards the cross. Just as when you become a Christian you commit yourself to God, I believe marriage is two people coming together and committing their lives to each other and God. It’s not something to take lightly, this is the rest of your life (on earth) you are talking about.
From a biblical point of view, sex outside of marriage ruins this bond that two people have when stood at the altar. If you have already been intimate with your partner or already live together, what does marriage mean to you? You could still agree with the commitment side of things, to never leave and always trust and be vulnerable. But if you are stood there completely in love and haven’t had sex. Marriage becomes a depth. It opens you up to more. You are both discovering something on your wedding day that is another gift from God.
In John Mark Comer’s book ‘Loveology’, he talks about love, sex, marriage and what’s right and wrong in male and female relationships from a biblical viewpoint. He finishes his chapter about sex in a very eye-opening way.
“Sin, at its root, is not trusting God.”
He talks you through the story of sin right in the beginning when there were two trees in the garden, one of life and of the knowledge of good and evil. Not only was Eve tempted but she was also deceived by the serpent as he tells her that God doesn’t care about her joy, that he’s mean and fickle. He says that we know better than God and we should do what we feel is right. Then like we’ve all done, Eve puts her trust in the serpent. “She thought he knew the path to joy better than God. And she was wrong. Not only that, but she missed out on life! See that’s the crazy part, we forget that in the garden there were two trees, the tree to the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life… the tree to living forever. But she missed out all because of misplaced trust.”
“Do you trust God or the serpent? Do you trust your own moral compass or God’s wisdom?”
“The serpent says the best sex is found in short, risky, promiscuous relationships with beautiful people. God says the best sex is found when a man and women say, ‘Till death do us part.’”
“Do you trust that the way to Jesus is the best way to live?”
“Do you trust that what looks like freedom is actually slavery, and repressing your sexual desire may just be the best thing to ever happen to you?”
“Do you trust that God’s heart for you is good? That God’s heart for you is joy?”
“Because if you do, there’s a tree of life in the middle of the garden and you are invited to come and eat”.
In response we thank God for protecting, strengthening, and always wanting the best for us. Help us to not only focus and give thanks for your creation but to worship you, the creator of the everything!