I know that I’m not supposed to have sex before marraige, but I’m not sure I really understand why. The boy I’m with is christian too, and we try and follow the bible in other ways but with sex- I’m the only one to question it and often say no. His argument is always ‘we’re going to get married anyway so it cant be a problem’. I don’t know how this stands biblically. Can you help me? Thanks Jed, love your blog
Jed Brewer replied:
Thanks for the kind words – I’m really glad you dig the blog.
Before we go any further, you deserve an apology. See, you wouldn’t need to ask this question if people who called themselves Christians hadn’t made a total mess of marriage. If the folks who came before you had lived up to God’s idea of marriage, you’d be able to readily see that sex in a Godly marriage is beautiful and comfortable and passionate and satisfying in ways that it cannot be outside of one.
But I know folks haven’t modeled that for you, and, so, you’re made to wonder what the point in waiting is. And that isn’t fair to you, and, for what it’s worth, I’m sorry.
As it turns out, there’s a huge difference between sex as it is commonly practiced in our culture, and sex as God intended it. In our culture, sex is just bodies. It’s just two bodies coming together and doing what bodies do. And, really, outside of the health implications, how is that different from a friend giving you a backrub? I mean, both sex and backrubs involve your body and giving and receiving pleasure. And, I suppose if your friend has the flu, you could get sick from the backrub, too.
But here’s what’s missing from that equation: trust, vulnerability, and intimacy.
See, in God’s idea of marriage and sexuality, sex is about far, far more than the body. Sex is the ultimate human answer to the question, “Here I am – do you really want me?”
I bet that, when you were little, you knew somebody who had a crush on somebody else, and they wrote a note that said, “I like you. Do you like me? Check one: [ ]yes [ ] no.” Well, see, we, as humans, don’t ever truly grow out of that. Romantic relationships are, at their core, the process of revealing more and more of yourself to your beloved and daring to ask, “Do you still want me?”
This process of ever-growing trust, vulnerability, acceptance, and resultant intimacy reaches its peak with sex. You are, in a literal sense, presenting yourself naked before your spouse, and posing the question, “Here I am completely unguarded. Will you accept me?”
Well, see, in the context of a Godly marriage, you can pose that question with complete confidence, because you know that the answer will always be, “Heck yes!”
In a Godly marriage, you know that your partner accepts you mind, body, and spirit, and has promised to do whatever is necessary so that that will always be true. They have promised, “You can trust me, no matter what.” And that trust gives you the freedom to be utterly vulnerable. And when we’re vulnerable and accepted, that leads to real intimacy. And real intimacy that leads to sex (instead of vice versa) is basically the most awesome thing ever. It is also – I promise – the best sex you can have.
Outside of a Godly marriage – which, unfortunately includes a lot of real-life marriages – you don’t have that promise of unwavering trustworthiness. You have how I feel about you today, and maybe how I feel about you tomorrow. And that’s it.
Well, see, true trust can’t exist in that context. And without trust, we can’t have real vulnerability. And without vulnerability, we can’t have real intimacy. And without real intimacy, all we’ve got is bodies being bodies.
But the problem, Anon, is that, despite what our culture says, our brains can’t accept that sex is just bodies being bodies. Our brains are convinced that sex goes with intimacy, so, when we have sex, our brains decide that there’s intimacy there, whether there really is or not. And then things don’t work out - which no one promised they would - and we get really hurt.
So that’s why. Sex is meant to be both the celebration and the outcome of a lifelong, committed relationship, which is what marriage is. Sex outside of that is just a pale shadow that, health concerns aside, only sets us up to get our hearts broken.