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  Why Abstinence?Monday, June 24th, 2024  
by Rose

Everything God creates has a reason and a plan. God makes it clear that everything He created in the beginning was "good" (Genesis 1:31). People have a history of distorting what God has made. Sex is no different. God created it, and therefore it is good. But when we misrepresent it by ignoring God, it is now destructive. So if it's good, 'why save sex for marriage'?

To understand why, first we have to think about God's purpose and design for sex. Why did God create sex? One reason is procreation. When God told Adam and Eve to "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28), He also wanted them to develop intimacy with one another and He knew that sex would help them do that. So the second reason is for intimacy, having a connection of your spirit with another person's spirit. In the sexual act, Two DO become one, just as God directed a man to do within marrying - to leave the parents and become one to his wife (Genesis 2:21).

Sex is so powerful at creating closeness that there must be some constraints, so God specifically regulated sex to marriage. The kind of intimacy that God desires for those married can only be experienced between one man and one woman, as was in the beginning. Therefore God has specifically said, "Do not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14).

Ok, so that explains why we should save it for marriage, but having sex outside of marriage isn't harmful, so why not have it both ways? Let's explore why it is.

Sex outside of marriage causes damage (1) physically and (2) relationally.

The physical damages
  • AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). There is no "safe sex". When sex is exchanged like clothing and misused, the negative effects of sin come into our physical reality, creating more negative effects (i.e., diseases, etc.).

  • Unwanted or unplanned childbearing. If a child is born your actions affect your life, your partner's life, the lives of your family and an innocent baby's life as well. Since there is no commitment, usually one or both partner's run from the responsibility, ending in orphans, single parenting (which is proven more difficult and hard on a child's upbringing), or causing the next damage...

  • Sadly, the willful destruction of human life (Abortion) often results from pre-marital sex (though there are other reasons, this is the main one).

The relational damages
  • Sin. Sin always damages a person's relationship with God. Disobeying God's command to not commit sexual immorality and lack of self-control dishonors and displeases God. If you truly love a person and wish to be sexually intimate, you should marry as God has instructed (to become one with the person you claim to want to be with).

  • Those you know. Yes, as a Christian, you having sex outside of marriage (or living with someone, unmarried) causes a person's friends, family and even non-Christians to view you as a less committed Christian, one more prone to hypocrisy. This could leave you with less respect, not trusted, and worse of all, you again are bringing further dishonor to God.

  • The persons involved. If two people do not cherish sex enough to wait for a marriage commitment, how can they trust one another for faithfulness? Sometimes a person within the relationship is not willing to make a vow and think very little of the others intimacy. If two people respect each other and are sincere they would be willing to make a covenant with each other, adding assurance to their relationship and avoiding later esteem problems (which lead to depression).

  • The past. Let's say the person does prove they love you and you are married! If a man or woman has previously had sex with someone else, one or both spouses will now have to deal with real or perceived comparisons with "former lovers". But if both have waited for their wedding night, the relationship has a solid foundation. Remember, there is no fear within true love (1 John 4:18).

If you've already disobeyed, it is not too late to make a change. Some call it second virginity. Even Jesus advocated this when he told the woman who was tied up in sexual sins, having many partners to ""go and sin no more" (John 8:11). The past is done but you can pass up creating further damage by avoiding situations that might cause you to compromise your sexual purity.

Some people are given to celibracy. In Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus talks about how God created the male and female (woman means 'out of man'). In marriage the two are to become one, therefore in marriage we are to be united back into one. Yet, He continues by discussing how divorce came into play ONLY because of adultery and sexual immorality but that wasn't God's plan. The disciples said that it's probably better to not marry because of so many self-seeking individuals. In verses 11 and 12, Jesus replies that for some that is true because of God's allowance some want to stay celibate (which is no marriage and no sex). Celibracy is an obvious alternative but it's not superior to the union God has created in the beginning.

If not given to celibracy, a person should marry. Sex goes hand in hand with marriage, therefore if one wants to have sex one should marry at some point. Not for sex though, but for commitment, trust, love, etc. This concept of marriage was thousands of years old when Jesus came, but He taught that it was appropriate (Mark 10:6-9). Marriage should not be abandoned by majority vote, what's "in", or by self-ambition. God's word should be examined on marriage.

In the Ten Commandments it states, "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14), and those convicted of it would receive the death penalty (Leviticus 20:10)! They took this union as seriously as life and death. It was not just standing in front of your family saying you loved a person or making a statement that you would live with a person. No, marriage is supposed to be a true covenant between your family and yourself with the adjoining family and soon to be spouse. It is a ceremony of commitment, trust, strength, love, etc. It is not a divider but a uniting, for God is One.

God teaches, "Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord," (meaning that as long as the husband acts according to Christ's standards, women should be humble in God towards the one she loves) and "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:22, 25) (meaning that he should be completely patient, loving, kind, gentle, protecting, not proud, etc. from 1 Cor. 13 showing true love).

The link between husband and wife is exacted from the everlasting relationship of God towards us (the Church), and not merely after societal traditions. If a man and woman obey the Lord and follow Him, then that man and woman will have good relation to each other, following those same guidelines. If you have trouble humbling yourself and obeying God (knowing that He will do right towards you), you will have trouble towards your husband. Equally, if you do not understand the complete context of Love (for God is Love and Jesus died on the cross for us), then you will have trouble showing this love towards your wife.

Christians must admit that there are numerous customs relating to both weddings and marriages that have no Scriptural support, but have arisen from cultural or religious traditions (i.e., marriage licenses, etc.). But the Christian must always realize that his commitment transcends earthly laws: it is a commitment to another person before God Himself and not to be distorted or used out of context. Keep sex and marriage holy and honorable before God - in this way we can grow to be one body of the Church.

Article from Annointed Youth

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