Ask A Married [Man] – What’s The Point of Waiting Til Marriage For Sex If You’ve Already Had It?
Editor’s Note: We’re starting to get to the end of our month on questions from our readers – but we still have soooo many questions to answer, so expect us to pick this back up later in the year! Today, our answer isn’t from a married woman, but a married man. Jed Brewer answered “Are Men Scared of Strong & Confident Women?” for us earlier, and I highly recommend that you follow him on Tumblr. – Lauren
QUESTION: What is the point of waiting to have sex with my boyfriend until we get married, if I’ve already had sex before? I know it’s the right thing, but I’ve already messed things up, so does it really matter?
JED BREWER: I totally appreciate your question. And it makes sense. And I’m glad you asked.
When God says to save sex for marriage, it’s not because he has a bizarre fixation on people being virgins on their wedding night. No, he says it because sex forges an emotional bond between the two people involved. Sex forges that bond because that’s what it’s designed to do. When that bond is forged between two people who have made a commitment to be with each other, no matter what (which is what a marriage is), then everything works great. The emotional bond matches the relational bond. But when that bond is forged between two people who aren’t quite sure and they’ll see how it goes, well, people get hurt.
Whenever God says, “don’t”, what he’s saying is “don’t hurt yourself.”
People can drone on about the idea of casual sex all they want, but as you and I both know, it doesn’t work. At it’s best, casual sex is hype – the thing you keep telling yourself will be amazing, and keeps being really not that. And at its worst, it really, really breaks our hearts.
God doesn’t want to see you get your heart broken. That’s why. Your heart is really important to him. He wants you to guard it carefully (Proverbs 4:23).
And, let’s keep it real for a second: there isn’t an orgasm worthy of heartache. The fact that you’ve had sex in the past and got hurt doesn’t make it a good idea to do again today, any more than the fact that I’ve had one broken toe implies that I wouldn’t be bothered by a second. Sex is not a separate category of sin where once you’ve done it, all bets are off.
I deal with drug dealers as a part of my day job, and no one is trying to tell them that since they’ve sold crack before, it doesn’t matter if they do it again.
But I’d like to add one more thing for you to look at. And that is this: if you want a really amazing, Godly relationship, then don’t waste your time worrying about how wrong it can be and still work. Start asking how right and good and amazing it can be. There will come a day (when you’re married) when God will say, “It’s time for sexy time to commence and never cease!” Between now and then, while there are some things God is saying “no” to, there’s a host of things he’s saying “yes” to – like encouraging each other, building each other up, serving Jesus together – and I’d encourage you to take a hold of those things with both hands.
Note from Lauren: I had the same question when I started dating my now-husband. We’d both slept with others in the past, and to me, that “I’m gonna get struck by lightening for sinning!” feeling had been lost long ago. But the thing about having sex or not having sex is that it’s not simply about being terrified you’re going to do something wrong. It’s about starting over, brand new, and as new creations in Christ, with a heartfelt desire to try to love God and love this guy as best as you possibly can. And for me, that meant obeying God and respecting my husbands commitment to not have sex before marriage – even if I didn’t understand it fully. In a sense, I felt like a silly child deciding to hold onto a “rule” when I didn’t quite understand the point.
As the months passed in our dating relationship, I started learning things about myself and him that I NEVER would have learned, had we been sleeping together. I paid closer attention to my emotions, and learned the difference between simply being attracted to a man I’m in love with, and when I was just wanting to use sex as a coping mechanism. I learned in a new way how to love selflessly. I had peace of mind that my desire to marry him wasn’t just “because of our emotional bond from sex.” We both learned how to sort out some of our fears/guilt/shame from past mistakes with sex, without being submersed in more of it. And our wedding was SO EXCITING. Because yes, even if you’ve messed up in the past, this is still new with HIM. The guy you’re marrying, who loves you more than all the ex’s ever could. Also, (this is something they don’t tell you about marriage), there will be times that one person wants sex and the other doesn’t! Building a relationship before marriage that isn’t grounded in sex will make “holding marriage together” without sex so much easier. It’s so important to know that your relationship is secure enough for the seasons without sex. So yes. It’s worth it, and I’d go through the struggle of waiting all over again. – Lauren
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