If you are a Christian, where do you fall in the sex before marriage argument? Statistics state that 80% of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) say they are having sex. The average age for marriage for women in the '90s used to be 24. Now, according to the U.S Census Bureau, that same age has climbed up to 27, and for men, 29.
So with our population getting married later and later, and our culture becoming overly sexualized and "liberated," where do Christians fall in this matter? Many say the beliefs of waiting for sex in marriage are old-fashioned and antiquated. They paint God out to be more of a progressive God than we think, saying that many things are permissible in His eyes. But are they?
Relationships in this day and age are more recreational than purpose or goal-driven. For the sake of fun, a high or a good time, young adults and teens are giving into sexual pressures and curiosities instead of practicing abstinence. This season on The Bachelorette, this argument was front and center when contestant Luke Parker and bachelorette Hannah Brown talked about their true intentions in moving forward physically.
We do commend Luke, who is a firm follower of Jesus, for sticking up for what he believed in. Luke told Hannah that he wanted to abstain from sex until they got married. Parker has been a controversial contestant this season due to anger outbursts and prideful remarks made toward the other men in the house in a competitive fashion. Parker also told the bachelorette that if she had intercourse with any other contestants, he would be sending himself home. She had, in fact, slept with other contestants, stating, "I have had sex, and Jesus still loves me."
Hannah is a strong Christian as well but does not believe in abstaining from sex before marriage. So what is the right answer? Parker paraphrased this verse of the Bible before he left: "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" (Heb. 13:4, NIV).
I believe there is a deeper underlying issue here than just the sex argument. It begs the question: Do we take God at His word this day and age as Christians? That is the real challenge—do we take God seriously enough? Do we believe that we are actually honoring God, in His holiness, when we choose self-discipline in regard to sex outside of marriage?
We have to know that obedience to God is a sacrifice, and it will not look anything like the patterns of culture. God instead longs to protect us from bonding our hearts and souls to someone before it is time (Song 8:4).
While The Bachelorette did open quite the discussion forum for those who fall on various sides of the spectrum in this argument; know that God's promises can be trusted, and there is a reward for honoring Him with our bodies, especially with sex, which can quickly become an idol. Don't exchange intimacy with God for an idol.
On the other hand, if you have had sex outside of marriage, God does still love you; He just calls us to a different way of living, a different loving standard. If you are a believer, take up the challenge and see what God can do through your obedience to Him in this area.
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