Thursday, May 28, 2009

SEX... it's always an issue

A friend of mine wrote a blog awhile back on sex before marriage and really opened up some honest dialogue. You can read it in it's original context here... or just read on below. His name is Paul Kind. Hope you enjoy it.

Trouble Talk Part 3 :: Sex Before Marriage

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.
Yet one could easily find themself in a place where:

  • 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.
So what then? What do you say to help this individual wrestle through this tough situation? Why not have sex before marriage?


Anonymous said...

You would be operating outside of God's design. God designed marriage as the proper arena for sexual activity. Sex outside of that commitment can never make you as happy as sex inside of it.

Also, when you join with someone sexually, you become one with them. When you leave that person and go to someone else, you are not bringing a whole person into the new relationship, because of the "oneness" you have/had with the first partner.

Matthew @ said...

So what's your answer?

ScarredWarrior said...

You know Matt... it's a tough question. The "right" answer seems easy but like so many "churchy" answers it seems to come too quickly too. That is why I like Paul's post- it makes a person stop and put themselves in the situation.

I will post more after Sunday but I wanted to get it out in the water before Crux. Kenny and I are going to do a "panel" type Q & A afterward... hope you speak up :-)

Anonymous said...

What if you have sex with someone before marriage, but you wind up marrying them? Is that a huge sin? I guess I just don't understand why, if you're safe about it, you love someone, and then you wind up married, it's such a horrible thing.

Clark H Smith said...

PART ONE Why not have sex? There is virtually no context left for this question to be legitimately answered. I'll illustrate this with three observations:

1) Procreation in humans is a pair-bonding proposition. Two adults are required to accomplish all the nurturing, care-giving, providing, etc that is needed over the long haul of raising a child(ren) to adulthood. The sociology / psychology books are full of case studies and statistics of the consequences of "alternative" solutions that lack sufficiency. Nonetheless, to argue that two pair-bonded adults are the right context for child rearing is terribly politically incorrect to a culture engorged on the "right" of self-indulgence.

2) "Contra"ceptives. What does it imply when people engage in a behavior and go to heroic extents to avoid the consequences of that behavior. It's akin to being an insouciant glutton and getting your stomach stapled to prohibit too much metabolization of nutrition. It's akin to diving out of an airplane and deploying a parachute to mitigate the force of gravity. To argue against thrill-seeking and personal gratification in a culture overwhelmed with the same is an exercise in stupidity, not just fultility.

3) It is the nature of youth to overweight the experience of the moment against the vague prospects of the future. Teens and young adults "feel" invincible because that's how they "feel" at the moment. Their youth insulates them from the perspective of their mounting mistakes and ill-informed impulses. To argue from the perspective of time-forged wisdom is to speak outside the reality (and hearing) of youth.

These points illustrate what our present culture has not stripped away (the consequences of dysfunctional homes) with pop psychology it has prohibited (pregnancy) with good chemistry. Whatever those two titans could not kill (the perils of an unwanted pregnancy and/or relationship), the finite mind of the young adult cannot comprehend. In what dimension have we left ourselves a valid admonition against pre-marital sex?

Let's go back to the proposition as the quoted blog puts it: Again she asks, "Why?" And you're left asking yourself, "Do I really believe this? Why not have sex?"

Those two questions are mutually exclusive. Why not have sex? Do I really believe this ("this" being "God's design" as Sump teretc above puts it). Believing in God's design is not a prohibition against sex, it is the wise context for sex. The author of the quoted blog has created, knowingly or unknowingly, a straw man argument. The question is more honestly stated (by a committed Christian surrendered to God's will and wisdom), "Am I willing to surrender this area of my life to God through faith that His will is best for me."

It's a tough call. The girl is a babe, your hormones are doing what they were created to do, and you have somehow let yourself stumble into a situation where your best response is Why not? Sorry, but that's just stupid - not a stupid scenario, it's a stupid question. Christians are called to live in ways that resist / flee temptation not blog about their negotiations with temptation.

Clark H Smith said...

We have long ago drifted away from a context where answering "because God says so" is a sufficient response. Our culture mitigates against a sold-out God-honoring lifestyle. Instead, Meatloaf chronicles the amorous negotiations in Paradise by The Dashboard Lights - a totem to the arbitrage of intercourse in the absence of a Christian context.

I couldnt take it any longer
Lord I was crazed
And when the feeling came upon me
Like a tidal wave
I started swearing to my God and on my mothers
That I would love you to the end of time
I swore that I would love you to the end of time!

So now Im praying for the end of time
To hurry up and arrive
Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I dont think that I can really survive
Ill never break my promise or forget my vow
But God only knows what I can do right now
Im praying for the end of time
Its all that I can do
Praying for the end of time, so I can end my time
With you!!!

Why not have sex?

Let's ask a more illuminating question, "What is the best context for intercourse and how can I prepare myself to fully mature into that context."