Photo from: www.ayyouthoutreachspectrum.org
Waiting to have a sexual relationship until you are married is old-fashioned. It is, however, Scriptural.
If you believe that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16) then you know that sex outside of marriage is adultery (including before marriage!)
But does it really matter?
Purity in your pre-marital relationship is about more than your immediate gratification or being obedient right now –purity now lays a healthy sexual foundation for your marriage. “Training in righteousness,” as 2 Timothy 3:16 phrased it, begins now.
By laying a sexual foundation of purity, you and your love:
Learn to Control Your Body in Holiness and Honor
In 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, we read: “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 honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.”
That sanctifying self-control lasts after you get married. It’s the control of the passion of lust in light of the Lord that keeps men and women from later being willing to give in to other sexual temptations like cheating, viewing pornography, and entering wrong relationships to fulfill perceived needs.
If you can honor the Lord with your self-control even when temptation seems good and right (i.e. you’re about to marry the love of your life and can’t get close enough!) then you’ve set yourself up to be ready to resist the lesser temptations of doing things that ultimately make you feel dirty anyway.
Begin the Practice of Using Your Body Unto the Lord
The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. -1 Corinthians 6:13
More than just learning self-control, staying pure before marriage requires that you think less about your body and it’s cravings and more about what the Lord has made your body for. Certainly the Lord designed the body to enjoy sex and sex beyond just pleasure to bring new life to the world. However, there are many other ways to glorify God with your body!
Use your body before marriage (and during it!) to practice righteousness and live faithfully. Work with your hands. Offer your energy up as a sacrifice to the Lord for His purposes. You’ll get to do that if you start having kids –and then suddenly sex will not be what your body is most desired for!
Get your perspective of your body right by searching His Word for the truth.
How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word. –Psalm 119:9
Guard the Purity of Your Heart
“But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” –James 1:14-15
A few little slip-ups in regards to purity pre-marriage may not seem like big deals –especially if there are no immediate consequences. But the sin conceived grows. And grows. If it the sin isn’t put to death, it puts parts of your marriage yourself to death.
For example, that sin might put to death your feeling of shameless love on your wedding day. It may rob you of the ability to someday preach to your children about right relationship without feeling guilty or hypocritical.
You may give root to deception in your relationship, as the sin becomes a closely guarded secret. As a result, you may begin to feel isolated for other loved ones. Consequences begin to spiral.
Proverbs 4:23 explains: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
“Everything you do” isn’t immediate. A crack in your sexual foundation can lead to an unstable marriage: So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. –2 Timothy 2:22
Call on the Lord with your pure heart, “Lord, keep us clean.”
Support and Protect Your Loved One
Pre-marital sex won’t just affect you or your future marriage: your future spouse, having participated, will also face the consequences. His or her consequences may be different from your own.
When you sin with him or her, you engage in the destruction of your loved one. You participate in something that violates your spouse’s body as God created it. It’s not just your marriage bed that’s defiled –but your future spouses’ too.
Guard your loved one’s heart. Honor the body God gave him or her. Hold each other up and accountable in the face of temptation –you’ll need to be partnering in that practice as your marriage begins and grows, too.
Develop a Sexual Relationship Based on Respect
It’s self-love and a short-sighted desire to meet the cravings of the flesh that provoke the sin of impurity before marriage. Follow instead the words of Ephesians 5:33, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
You’re going to become one before the Lord. To remain bound in His love together and grow a healthy marriage, don’t skip the steps He lays out. Begin a pattern of respecting your spouse’s honor by catering not to your flesh but to the will of the One who holds you together.
That’s what’s best for your future spouse, and your future marriage. Get in the habit now.