Sex before marriage can hinder and even damage your chance for real intimacy. The myth that it’s okay to have premarital sex only masquerades as love and intimacy. The argument that you have to experience it in order to understand it or be good at it is also a myth. Be careful not to fall prey to these traps, and if you have, know that you can start fresh today and choose to abstain until you marry.
“Sex is powerful,” Karen, a happily remarried woman, says. “So if a problem arises and you need to break off or postpone the engagement, it’s so much easier to walk away from the relationship if sex is not a factor. You can see more clearly if there’s something wrong. Sex before marriage simply clouds your judgment. So, for my husband and me, we knew that waiting was the right thing to do before God.”
If you’ve been sexually active with each other, we urge you to stop and sincerely ask God and your partner for forgiveness. Then make a vow with each other to remain abstinent until you marry. First Corinthians 6: 18-20 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?” This doesn’t mean your relationship is ruined. You can move forward toward having a great marriage if you will choose to make wise choices, set a good example for your children, and remain abstinent until your wedding day.
“I think the world has desensitized, even Christians, to what sex does,” Karen says. “I don’t think couples realize how much it will crack the foundation of their relationship if they engage in sex before marriage.”
If you’re living together, we strongly suggest that one of you move out and change your lifestyle. If for some reason this is not possible, we encourage you to at least determine to sleep in separate beds until you are married. Take time to know each other without sexual involvement and the daily intimacy of living in the same place, and make sure that you’re both untangled from the past. We know that this isn’t easy or convenient, but it’s worth it. The good news is that God’s forgiveness in this area is available to you and His grace can help you start your marriage in the right way.
“It’s easy to just say, ‘Oh, I’ve been married before so it doesn’t matter,’” Karen says, “but it does matter.”
Waiting also builds trust, confidence, loyalty, and bonding. Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” That includes purity in the way you dress, your behavior, and your thought life.
Though it’s hard, flee from tempting situations and times of too much stimulation. You’re attracted to each other, and you should be, but don’t stoke the fires until your wedding night. Respect the one you love enough to keep him or her chaste until you marry.
Adapted from The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Lifetime of Love & Happiness, by Susan and Dale Mathis. Copyright © 2012, all rights reserved. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more on this book.