But let’s be honest, most people are having sex in some version before marriage (yes, even Christians). To deny that is to live in a bubble.
And I want to be transparent with you. I’m a pastor, a Christian, and a guy who had sex before he got married. And I wish I had heard more on this topic when I was younger because maybe it would have spared me some hard life lessons.
Don’t get me wrong. When I was growing up I DID hear a lot of religious reasons not to have sex (mostly from people who looked like they never had or would have sex).
I also heard all the standards.
You might get someone pregnant.
You might catch an STD, etc.
And with all of these reasons my response was usually one of two.
1: Rules don’t feel good. Orgasms do.
2: I’ll roll the dice. It probably won’t happen to me.
I never heard practical reasons to NOT have sex before marriage.
I never heard good explanations as to the actual purpose of sex.
I never heard or read anything that really mattered for the “here and now.”
And there’s the rub as they say (no pun intended).
Sex is all about the here and now … right?
I know that’s hard to hear when you are a 17-year-old boy who gets a boner whenever the wind blows, but it’s true. Sex is not about the here and now, and the reasons NOT to have sex before you get married aren’t either.
So, all that being said, here are 5 practical reasons to keep buttoned up and hold off having sex until marriage. Reasons that might not seem super important NOW but will be HUGE down the road.
1. You will save yourself a lot of regretful moments.
If you talk to anyone who had a variety of sexual encounters before they got married, inevitably you’ll find they have at least one – but probably many – they wish they could take back.
Sex that’s in the moment is often sex where consequences aren’t considered.
Which leads to mistakes.
Which leads to regret.
Having sex is so personal and permanent. It can never be undone, so it shouldn’t be something you regret.
2. It will keep relationships simpler and easier to evaluate.
Shellie touched on this in her post, but nothing complicates a relationship like hopping into bed.
It’s much harder to recognize a broken relationship when you are having sex with someone. Want to know if the relationship you have is actually worth having or continuing? Try not having sex and see if you still want to be around the person.
I’m convinced that “hot sex” before marriage is a main contributor to broken marriages. Why? Because those marriages most likely would have never happened if the sex wasn’t keeping them together in the first place.
3. It’s difficult going ‘a la carte’ when you are used to a buffet.
Let’s be honest: if you are used to having sex with whomever and have “sampled all the varieties” then monogamous sex with one partner may be a hard pill to swallow.
It doesn’t matter if the food quality is way better at the a la carte restaurant. Buffet people are buffet people because they convince themselves that variety is always best, even if the food quality is crap.
I know this may sound counter-intuitive in a day and age where consumption rules, but if your only frame of reference for sex is with your spouse (sex that’s special and intimate), then it’s going to be pretty great and you are not going to be worrying about what else you may be missing out on.
4. Sexual history is not something JUST you have to contend with.
When you bring a sexual history into your marriage, you are affecting both people. You have to deal with your flames of old, and so does your spouse. A relationship that is threatened by comparisons is one that lacks security, and security is super important in the bedroom.
5. Sex Affects Your Brain
One of the most interesting aspects of the brain (to me) is how its rewards system works. Simply put, the brain is designed to seek out and recreate those experiences that make it feel good. For more in depth explanation on that watch this video.
This is of course why porn addiction can be so difficult to beat.
Here’s the thing. While our brain’s rewards system can serve to our own destruction (like in the case of addiction) it can also serve to our betterment. As a fitness junkie I can tell you that over time I have wired my brain to want exercise. I know … sounds crazy. But it’s true. My brain has wired itself to seek out exercise as a pleasure source and that greatly benefits my health.
Take this one step further.
Imagine if your only frame of reference for sex or an orgasm was your spouse. What type of effect do you think that would have on your brain? On your relationship?
That type of chemical bond is a powerful one and compliments the emotional and spiritual bonds you already have making the marriage stronger.
Yes, the Biblical reasons are important.
Yes, not having sex before marriage because “God said so” is important.
But, realize that God didn’t tell us these things because he wants to rob us of pleasure. He doesn’t want to withhold the best. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
God’s design for sex is meant to give us the best.
His ways are not just spiritual. Sometimes they are also tremendously practical and always beneficial. And sometimes those ways may not seem important in the HERE and NOW but they will make perfect sense down the road.
On a side note, this post might imply that once you had premarital sex you’ve blown it.
My wife and I have worked through all these things and have come out stronger and better for it. But truth be told, there are those moments when I look back and say, if only had been a little more forward-thinking.