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Shag Before You Bag?

“But ma, Richard is going.” (Stated in an ultra whiney voice.)

“Oh yeah, and if Richard jumped off a cliff, would you?” (Stated in an ultra motherly voice.)

Ahh yes, the old parent cliché that can bring to a halt any argument you begin by pointing out that it should, in actual fact, be totally acceptable because your best buddy is allowed to do it/own it/go there.

But when we start talking about sex before marriage, that’s almost the kind of argument we’re looking at. Everyone is doing it — surely that means it’s okay.

To put you straight on that one, I’m not doing it and so therefore by process of elimination, that does kind of mean that not everyone is doing it. Everyone except me perhaps, but I somehow doubt it. And even if they were (as the majority of young people seem to be according to the alarming statistics that are out there) that would not mean that it’s right.

The big question Christians want to know is, “where is the verse that says having sex before marriage is wrong?” To be honest, there isn’t one. Well not one that says it as explicitly as that. There are verses about keeping the marriage bed pure and warning against all the big words like fornication and adultery and sexual immorality (Hebrews 13:4 for example). You can read enough into those to know that God is not in favor of premarital sex. I tend to believe that you can go back right to the heart of the creation story and see the design God had for marriage and know exactly what is and what isn’t allowed.

In Genesis 2, God has just created woman out of man (the case of the Missing Rib). "The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

From that verse alone I struggle to understand why there are such big questions about both premarital sex and also the question of homosexuality (but that’s another article). God basically shows a picture of what marriage is all about — a man and a woman (yes, one of each!) uniting and becoming one flesh.

The “one flesh” talks of a far greater commitment than just a night of hokey-pokey — it’s a picture of an ongoing commitment from that time forwards and is backed up later by other parts of the Bible. Go and read the chapter of 1 Corinthians 7 for a bunch of Paul’s teaching on marriage. He ofteninterchanges a person who is not married with the word virgin as if he assumes that it’s the same thing. He encourages someonewho can’t control themselves to“rather marry than burn with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:9); again showing that the place of sex is in marriage.

C.S. Lewis wrote, "A car is made to run on petrol. It wouldn’t run properly on anything else." And that applies to the place of sex in marriage. There are so many reasons why sex is meant to be in marriage and not just used haphazardly outside of it. A physical reason such as STD’s, and the possibility of pregnancy increases the more times you sleep around.

Emotional reasons that are called “soul ties” by a lot of people — when you have intercourse with someone, it creates such a connection that if broken, you don’t quite get back what you had before; a piece of you is left with that person. Anyone who has had a relationship end knows how hard that is already and how long it takes to get over that — if you have slept together that just increases hugely.

The old cliché of two pieces of paper stuck together really does give you a picture of the effects of casual sex. If you glue two pieces of paper together and then pull them apart there will be a bit of each piece of paper left on the other piece. And when you try stick it to another piece of paper it has lost a bit of its stickiness but once again you leave behind a piece of that paper when you pull them apart.

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There are spiritual reasons such as disobedience to God, which leads to a breaking in your relationship with Him. God is full of grace and will forgive us if we truly repent of any sin we have committed. But if we deliberately go out and commit sin, doing something we know is wrong, then that will affect our relationship with God and probably take us a while to get back to where we should be with Him. We’re the ones that live with the guilt and other negative side effects of disobedience. And although God forgives sin, sometimes the consequences (pregnancy, disease, broken heart) are allowed to remain.

In conclusion, is sex bad? Not at all (so I’ve heard). Sex is not bad, but misuse of sex is bad because it makes it like that car trying to be run on something that is not petrol. In the correct place and time (within the life-long commitment of marriage), it is an awesome thing that brings two people together with a level of intimacy that nothing else can. God created sex and it is good. But we cheat ourselves if we try to sneak a peek and have a go before our proper time. We also rob the person we will one day be married to if we do not save ourselves completely for them.

Don’t think of the idea that “everyone is doing it” as missing out on something because it is exactly the opposite. Rather think of the special gift you are saving for someone who you can one day stand beside on your marriage day and say “you were worth waiting for.”

Oh and don’t even believe the lie of the con-DUMB — the ONLY safe sex is that which happens in a monogamous (single partner) relationship protected by the commitment between the two people in that relationship and the blessing of God when the marriage is consummated.

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