NOTE: This is not an autobiographical nor biographical scenario.
Imagine you're a believer, a follower of Christ. Transition into adulthood has cast doubt on a lot of what you once thought faith in Jesus meant. For example, there are less things today that you hold strongly to than you once did - your "gray areas" have grown by leaps and bounds. However, you still unreservedly believe that loving God and loving people are at the crux of how you want to live your life. Now imagine you're unmarried and without a significant other. Then she comes along (insert he if that suits you better). You have a connection with this person unlike any you've ever had before. It's well beyond the fact that she is attractive physically, everything about her is intriguing. Your conversations with her resonate to the depths of your soul; you're connecting on seemingly every level. But the thing that throws you off a bit is she's not a Christian. You never would have thought you could have such a connection with an unbeliever. She's certainly no heathen. She's caring, generous, active in the community, cognizant of spiritual matters, and in many ways much more pleasant to be around than many Christians you've known. She's all that you've ever dreamed of - even a person of faith - just not exactly the Christian faith as you've traditionally understood it. Four years ago you would not have entertained the idea of being in a relationship ("yoked") with an unbeliever, but in this season of "gray areas" and "asking lots of questions about faith" you go a different direction. You dive headfirst into a relationship with this wonderful, faith-filled person.
As one might expect in a blossoming relationship, the physical aspect of the relationship comes to the fore before too long. She's more than willing and you're definitely wanting. If you would take the time to stop and think about it the Christian mantra might ring in your ears - "True Love Waits!" If you wanted to you could dig around in your junk drawer and come out with at least four purity pledges signed between the ages of eleven and seventeen. But the thing is you aren't really stopping to think about it too much, and you aren't dusting off those purity pledges. In fact you're kind of agreeing with her when she asks, "Why? Why would you not have sex?" She sees it as a natural expression of the relationship you have with one another and everything in you is agreeing. You're eager for the Christian faith to be attractive to her, and yet all you have to say on this issue is "I shouldn't do it; I shouldn't have sex before marriage."
Again she asks, "Why?" And you're left asking yourself, "Do I really believe this? Why not have sex?"
This is a tough scenario unmarried believers are facing all over the place. A number of my friends have articulated situations not too distant from the made-up one above. What would you say to help us out? Why not have sex before marriage?
The traditional answers are clear:
- Risk of sickness, infertility, or even death from STD's.
- Risk of emotional trauma from relationship fallout - both with the significant other and the friends & family that you might be breaking trust with.
- Effects on marriage relationship one day.
- Risk of getting her pregnant.
- The Bible says not to.
- STD's aren't really in the picture.
- And you're convinced that emotional trauma is always a risk in relationships whether sexual or not.
- And you don't really see how having sex is going to be any different from doing this, that, or the other thing you already did in various relationships.
- And you use birth control.
- And you're not convinced that "porneia" (Greek work often translated as "fornication" or "sexual immorality") or the Bible for that matter is speaking against monogomous loving relationships, but more so against promiscuity or abusive sexual relations.