Sex is Sacred. We’ve Forgotten That

Sex is a big deal. God says so.

Sex Okay When You're "In Love"?
I recently Googled the Internet, looking for articles on dating. Specifically, I was searching to see what advice sources offered up as to when a young person should have sex.

One article Google offered suggested this “wisdom”:

“The age-old question is, how long do I need to wait before taking him/her home and getting down to business? Pop culture has settled on three dates. Don’t ask me why because I don’t believe there is an actual reason for it. It’s pretty much an arbitrary waiting period. The first date is too soon because it’s the first date. The second date may make you seem too eager or promiscuous. By the third date, you run out of reasons not to sleep with them.”

Sorry, no. 

Silly Stuff Taken As Gospel

The writer, at least, got this line right: “Don’t ask me why because I don’t believe there’s an actual reason for it.”

There is no reason for it!

Another article, written by a woman totally frustrated by men expecting sex by date three, wanted to know why they held this expectation. Here’s what she had to say: “Their response is that they have heard that if they don’t get it by the third date, the woman isn’t into them.”

Poor guys. They let some arbitrary number determine how they viewed dating, and sabotaged themselves. The lesson: hear silly stuff enough times, and you run the danger of believing that it’s true. Don’t be dumb like these guys!

But wait, there’s more!

The first writer adds, “Having sex for the sake of having sex is understandable, and if that’s the goal, then I don’t recommend waiting at all. If at all possible, skip dinner and get to what you both actually want. On the other hand, if you’re one of those people trying to create a lasting, meaningful relationship, then you may want to hold off for a couple of weeks. Relationships are like buildings; they require strong foundations to weather the storms awaiting them.”

How would this guy know that? He admits that although he enjoys an “active” sex life, he’s incapable of maintaining commitment with any woman. He gets bored, or starts to feel controlled, and moves on. He has developed a pattern of viewing women as objects of pleasure, for his sexual benefit. 

Sex is an expression of intimacy between two people,  but it’s not the means to intimacy.   That’s why we regularly hear couples say, “The sex was great, but it wasn’t enough,” to explain their break up. “Kicking the tires,” to ensure that you’re sexually compatible with someone, is a lie Satan has successfully used to lull people into sexual experimentation outside of marriage.

Here’s the thing about sex: it’s awesome. But to prevent it from becoming just a recreational activity for two people sexually attracted to each other, God asks us to save sex for marriage. Only then is it placed in its proper context of sacredness.

Healthy relationships get strong not through sex, but through shared values, shared interests, and effective communication. Until a couple has demonstrated a significant level of commitment to each other by saying “I do,” walking away is just too easy. Because the only intimacy they have is due to sex. 

We view sex all wrong these days: we rush into kissing, we rush into touching, we rush into sex, and then rush for the door when we decided that we might do better elsewhere. Talk about selfish. Talk about broken hearts. Talk about physical and mental baggage. God wants to spare us all that.

Dating “Old School”

Today’s society embraces a casual “hook-up” culture. But if you view dating as just a series of hook-ups, you miss the most valuable lesson that dating should teach you: how to form lasting relationships.

Believe it or not, dating—in my single days it was called “courting”—used to be about uncovering your date’s personality, quirks, and values to learn if you had a future together. It was not for selfishly taking care of your sexual needs. Back then, Christian couples viewed sex as a deeply personal and valuable gift they got to unwrap together, on their wedding night.

One of the values of this gift? No previous lovers by which either person would be judged. Women, especially, need the security of knowing that their husbands love them without comparison.

Back then, society understood that sex outside of marriage cheapened it. Today, society champions sexual exploration and self-gratification. It promotes pornography, which has been proven to significantly damage relationships. There are even websites that proudly offer married people the opportunity to spice up their lives with one or more privately arranged affairs. They just pay the membership fee and voila: instant access to other married people intent on cheating on their spouses. 

How this violation of marriage must deeply sadden God’s heart. Because of his amazing grace, Christ’s blood removes the blemish of our sin. But that grace doesn’t give us a free pass to sin.

Gals, Don’t Buy Into the Lie!

“God knows I have sexual needs,” one young man said to me. “So, since he gave them to me, he must be okay with my having sex to satisfy them. Right?”

Uh, no. We get all warm and fuzzy about God’s grace, but we forget the part about him being fiercely serious about sin.

I also hear from girls who have been conditioned by society to believe that unless they are told they’re “hot” or “sexy” by males, they feel little self-worth. So they dress provocatively, and engage in provocative discussions and actions, to ensure this ranking is bestowed upon them.

These gals don’t realize all that society is stealing from them: self-control, a healthy self view, and the personal strength to recognize and resist physical, emotional, and psychological manipulations by others.

Think about it: who decided that “blondes have more fun” and that a woman’s measurements should be 36-24-36? Probably a bunch of cigarette-puffing ad men, as they sat around a conference table discussing how to get Americans to willingly open their wallets to spend on products to fix problems they didn’t even have.

Is your sex appeal really up to the decision of a bunch of men you have never met?? Is your mental and emotional health up to them as well?? Heck, no. Your value comes from God, who says you are so valuable that he sent his son to die for you to reconcile you to him.

Satan recognizes our deep craving for validation; we must be diligent in thwarting his efforts to blind women to their intrinsic value.

My Prayer for Society

I recognize that it’s hard for young people to envision a world where men wouldn’t dream of initiating sex during a date. A world in which women proved their sex appeal not by removing their clothes, but through the mystery they created by keeping them on. 

I pray and hope that society swings back in that direction. I hope and pray that young girls no longer get the message that they must prove their worth in bed. I hope and pray that young men get the message that they carry the responsibility of helping their dates to remain pure. I hope and pray that young couples choose to wait until marriage, to have all of God’s abundant blessings rain down on them.

Yes, sex is seriously fun. But God takes it very seriously. As his followers, so should we.

Think on This: Your To-Do This Week

This week, get serious about your view on sex. Do you see it as a sacred act? Or just a fun activity that makes you feel good, or accomplishes your agenda? A relationship built on just sex never lasts. Do you, like the writer mentioned above, want your history to be one of repeated sexual partners? Or do you choose to honor God by living by a moral standard designed to keep you healthy and free from sin? Yes, it will take sacrifice and self-control. Yes, society will tell you that you’re being silly and missing out. Just remember that society doesn’t care about you. God does. He’s all in for you. Be all in for him. 

The Beauty of Intolerance by Josh and Sean McDowellThis blog post has been adapted from the book The Beauty of Intolerance, by Josh and Sean McDowell. To purchase a copy of this  and other helpful resources, please visit our Store page.

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