Today: Thursday, November 21, 2019

Obstacles to faith: 'no sex before marriage'    (7/14/2013 )

You only have to turn on the radio to find out what popular culture often tell us about sexual relationships:

‘Oh, what a shame that you came here with someone.
So while you're here in my arms
Let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young.’


For many of us, messages from our friends, the media, films, books, and music define what is acceptable within a relationship. In society there seems to be the idea that hopping in and out of bed with someone is not only normal, but desirable. Of course, this isn’t the case with everyone — and some may choose not to have sex before marriage for all sorts of reasons (religious or otherwise), all of which should be respected.

But what do Christians believe? A lot of people who look at the Christian faith wonder, “Can I (still) have sex before marriage?”

As with many thing aspects of the faith, there’s a wide spectrum of what Christians believe about how to have a relationship. Many wait to have sex until they are married. Some don’t. Some believe even that hand-holding and kissing should wait until marriage! As a result, Christians are often quick to comment on other people’s relationships – including other Christians’.

So we need to go back to what God and the Bible have to say about this. It’s a pretty important matter to him, too! After all, we’re created in his likeness, to have a relationship with him, so it isn’t a surprise to him that we seek relationships. Even in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, God says: ‘therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’.

God sees sex as an integral, wonderful and special part of marriage. God created marriage between two people to last a lifetime and God loves sex — he created it, after all!

However, this isn’t the end of the story. There are many places in the Bible that tells us God really hates sexual immorality. In the book of 1 Thessalonians (chapter 4, verses 3-4), he says: ‘For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honour.’  However, it may be difficult to understand what God means by ‘sexual immorality’ — what it covers, and what it doesn’t.

However, it really matters to God that we are pure. He wants to protect us from the misery and heartache of a failed relationship, and I don’t think unwanted pregnancies or sexually-transmitted diseases were part of his plan, either!

Nevertheless, in the end, it’s up to the individual, the couple and God (through the Bible, prayer, and the counsel of other Christians) to work out what God is telling them.

“But if I believe I should abstain,” many people then think, “doesn’t that mean I might be waiting a long time?” It might, but God, in Jesus, can offer us fulfilment forever in perfect love. That to me sounds far better than bed-hopping or pinning all my hope on finding The One. What if I trust in God to provide for me — if I seek his love first, and let him sort the rest of my relationships out?

Pray: Thank you, God, that you care about us and that we can enjoy an amazing relationship with you. Thank you for the relationships in my life, and help me to listen to you about your plan for these relationships. Amen

Think about: How many lies from popular culture do you think you might believe about love and relationships?

Challenge: How much influence would you let God have over your relationship?

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