Hello Ernest. I like your articles a lot. They have helped me grow. Sorry to be direct but I need your help. I am a campus student in Nairobi. I got born again recently and I must say it is the best thing that happened to me. I did not understand the gospel until recently. The reason I need your help is because since I got saved I made a resolve to wait for sex until marriage and I seem to be unpopular for it. I don’t mind it because I know standing for Jesus will never be popular. However, many of my friends in Uni are telling me that I need to have sex before I get married so that I don’t regret. They say that you even test drive a car before you ride. So why not test drive lest you get married and regret? Why not practise and be good as well? I don’t know how to answer them and I am afraid I have listened to them for so long that I am beginning to believe them. What if I marry a man who is not good in bed, as they say? Your answer will be appreciated.
Thank you for writing, Beloved. I praise God for your salvation. The God who saved you is the same God who will keep you standing. First of all let me qualify that sex is a great thing. It is possibly the greatest ecstasy that your physical body will experience on this planet before you die. There are scriptures in the Bible that if read aloud would make any liberal blush. For example Proverbs 5:18-19 speaks to the young man who has just tied the knot. It says to him concerning sex: “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” (NIV). Yes, those are literal breasts, Beloved. They are not spiritual breasts. The bible is talking of the breasts of a woman without being pornographic. The Shulammite woman in Song of Songs 1:2 says this concerning her husband, Solomon: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.” (NIV). Yes, it is a lover’s kiss that has the full endorsement of the God-head. In Genesis 26:8 King Abimelech is looking out the window of a house and sees a private moment between Isaac and his wife Rebekah. They are possibly having foreplay as it is written that he is caressing her. Well what does all this teach us? One, that married people should buy curtains for their bedrooms. But also, two, that the bible is not anti-sex. The bible is not against sex; it is for sex. Our holy book begins with two naked people in a garden, for crying out loud! Sex is not a thing of the world that God borrowed and decided to customize it for believers. It was his creation right from the onset in Genesis 1:28. Adam and Eve were commanded to fill the world. How in the world were they going to do that? Cell division? I think not. It was through the beautiful act of sex. You must know this because one of the oldest lies of the enemy is that God wants to curtail your freedom and joy. The word of God says that God’s plans for you are good, pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2). All his plans, including his sexual plan for you. Here are a few truths to help you digest that.
Sex is a gift for marriage not an audition for dating.
The reason your friends ask you to test drive before you ride is simply because the world has reduced sex to an audition for relationships. When your friends say that you must test drive before you ride, they are responding in fear. To them sex is an auditioning process and if you fail, you won’t get casted. If you pass, you get the role. And even if you get casted, you must master all your lines and keep the performance on the up and up because you could be replaced with an under-cast who seems to have more potential. If you do not show up for practice, the play will continue and they will find another actor/actress. With this mindset, young people in our generation rate the health of a relationship based on the frequency and ecstasy of sex. Sex becomes a performance act. To them, the more explosive the sex, the better the relationship will be, they assume. Nothing could be further from the truth. Beloved, you must understand that good sex does not make a good marriage. It is the other way round. A good marriage produces great sex. Sex does not regulate the temperature of a marriage. A marriage regulates the temperature of sex. The world thinks that the way to fix a dying and boring marriage is to spice up the bedroom. They are wrong. The truth, Beloved, is that the way to fix a dying and boring sex life is to fix your marriage. You experience greater sexual satisfaction if you and your spouse are kind to each other. If you are patient with each other. If you are considerate to each other. Sex that makes you want to cry tears of joy is a by-product of a working marriage. It is not the producer of great marriages. The world has put the cart before the horse, and no wonder the marriages break even with copious amounts of sex. Your friends are deceived because they do not understand that sex is a gift for marriage not an audition for dating.
Sex is not a marathon
When your friends panic and tell you that you might end up with someone who is bad in bed and you can’t divorce them, they make a gross assumption that this world is divided into two people: good in bed and bad in bed. They imagine that the world has tantalizing sexual beasts who will give you apocalyptic sex. And on the other hand it has weak dwarves with a poor CV between their legs. And their end game is to warn you lest you end up with a dwarf. They caution you to better test drive before you ride so that you can locate a beast that will ravish you until you are weak with pleasure. Beloved, that is just not true. Sex is not a marathon with few people who are very good at it. Sex is more like taking a walk with your lover. There is no competition to win because you are in the same team. You take a stroll through the park, hand in hand. You run a little in the meadow. You tickle one another as you sit on the bench. You take his jacket when it feels cold. You run down the hill. You wait for the rain to pass as you stand under a shelter. You splash the water on each other. And you eventually get home to a warm fire. This is the kind of sex that doesn’t need a beast; it needs a friend. In marriage, sex with a friend is better than sex with a beast. Sex with a beast is the force behind pornography. Sex with a friend is the lasting romance behind a godly marriage. Sex is a not a marathon, Beloved, because marriage is not a competition. Wait patiently. The fermentation of your feelings right now is a test of patience and an establishing of your character and you will not regret it in the marriage bed.
Marriage sex is the best sex
Another gross assumption by your friends is that they imply sex inside marriage will be limiting especially if you didn’t get the right candidate. This is not true. In their book, Our Sexuality, Robert L. Crooks and Karla Baur site work by the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS) concerning sexual enjoyment. In chapter 13 on page 414 on a diagram titled “Table 13.2” they explicitly show that married people have greater sexual satisfaction than dating and cohabiting couples. The women specifically experience way greater sexual satisfaction through having more orgasms than their counterparts having sex outside of marriage. Crooks and Baur go on to state that sexual interest and intensity is maintained in long term-relationships. When even science agrees with God, your friends are the ones to lose. Marriage sex is the best sex.
Sex is not just about you
The third assumption that your friends have is that they are looking out for their future marriages’ sex life. But they are not. They are actually looking out for present gratification in their loins. They are thinking about themselves. When your friends are panicking and saying you must test-drive, you must realize they are being impractical and selfish. Impractical because you are basically marrying for sex under that ideology. Yet sex is a very small part of marriage. It is important but it is a small part. You may marry the sexual fantasy of your desires but remember that sex does not raise children or pay the bills or maintain a marriage. If good looks and sex could maintain a marriage, all the Hollywood marriages would be our examples to follow. But they are not. They are always breaking. Your friends also make it look like an emergency. Beloved, nobody has ever died or become hospitalized for not having sex. Secondly, what benefit is there to get the sexual idol of your heart but they have a bad temper, a nagging attitude or an unfaithful character. Sex is important but there are a myriad of issues to consider. Secondly, they are being selfish because with this belief system, everyone gets into a relationship thinking “what about me, me, me!” You may marry your sexual fantasy but you will never be content. The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:5) and you will never get satisfied. Even after you get married, your heart will lie to you there is a better sexual experience out there. You will spend your whole life looking for the perfect sex mate and even if you find the ultimate, the flesh will always show you the new kid in the block. You will never settle and you will never be satisfied because of selfishness. In God’s economy, your neighbor comes before yourself, even in the sexual act. Sex for the believer is an act of giving not receiving. You mutually enter to satisfy one another not to outdo one another. In God’s will the pressure is off and the fear of performance is turned to passionate service. God’s gifts are not expressed in fear. Secondly, waiting for sex until marriage does not disqualify you from the act. This is because sex is something you learn as you go. Good sex is like good wine; it gets better with time provided it stays in the same bottle. Your bottle is your marriage. It gets better with time as you relate with your spouse. Mix it with new wines and you ruin it. Share your sexual energy with anyone apart from your spouse and the wine that took years to mature can be cheapened to local grape juice. Share it before marriage and frustrate even the possibility of having good wine. One reason sex in marriage gets better with time is because you are not competing with your spouse to out-perform one another. You are giving yourselves to each other in a patient and kind way- a 1st Corinthians 13 way. The pressure by your friends to have sex outside of marriage is fueled by fear, impatience and selfishness because they do not understand that sex is not just about you.
There is no condom for your soul
The other lie that your friends have strongly implied is that if you practice enough before marriage you will be a champion of sex- you will be the beast that everyone wants to have. In their belief system, fornication prepares you for marriage. Quite the opposite, Beloved. If anything, it makes you less prepared for marriage. Beloved, fornication does not give you experience; it gives you baggage. Why? Because sex is not just a flesh on flesh experience. It is deeper than that. It involves your soul. The Bible says you become one with the person you join yourself sexually to (1 Cor 6:16). That oneness is more than the physical oneness. Having copious amounts of sex outside of marriage does not grease your sexuality to prepare them for the final lap of holy matrimony. It involves more than your physical body. Your spirit and your soul are very involved in the act of sex. The world only imagines the most dangerous thing about fornication to be unwanted babies and possible STIS. So they believe if they avoid this they can be good. They can simply use a condom, right. But the trouble beloved, is that there is no condom for your soul. Your soul will be entangled with someone at the deepest level of your being when you sexually join yourself to them. If you do not end up marrying them, it is even worse. You carry this burden to your next relationship and eventually to your marriage. So you get married and your soul is entangled with four other people. Beloved, you are not bringing experience to the table, you are bringing baggage. There is no condom for your soul.
Sexual healing is sexual killing
The message of purity is for the believer not the unbeliever. An unbeliever has bigger problems than purity- they have a heaven or hell conundrum to sort out first. The gospel is not for us to pile up more morality. It is to turn from sin and follow Jesus. The gospel wants spiritual fruit and not religious nuts. That is why the message of purity is for the believers. In the faith, you realize that the answer to broken relationships is forgiveness and reconciliation. I have talked to many unbelieving friends who solve broken relationships with sex. When things go wrong in a relationship, the world decides, “Let’s have sex. It will make us feel good and produce good feelings then we will deal with the issue.” But the problem is that even after sex, the issues have not gone away. In God’s economy, when a marriage faces trouble, the couple focuses on the issue, resolves it and has sex as the celebration. And after the sex act, they are closer to one another. The world uses sex as a healing process, that is why they cannot understand why you would wait until marriage. But the truth, Beloved is that sex does not help you heal a relationship; sex is the crown of a marriage when healing is taking place. Because of this, the follower of Jesus must solve their relationships issues in humility. When I meet Christian married couples who have not had sex for months, it is mainly because a wall of pride and anger is between them. And even if they do have sex in that period of anger and pride, it does not produce healing. It just makes them indifferent. Sex becomes a duty (which is not a bad thing entirely), but in a while it loses its meaning and the couple stops all together. It is usually in this season that couples foolishly connect emotionally and even romantically with a workmate in the office or a close friend of the opposite sex. Using intercourse to sweep the issues of a relationship under the carpet is not sexual healing, Beloved; It is sexual killing. The best thing a married couple can do for each other as far as their sex life is concerned is not just have lots of sex but also to be humble towards one another. To bear spiritual fruit and to forgive one another is the real healing that relationships need. To have the gospel work on your heart, to pray daily, to read the Bible and to practice it, to fellowship together and to be nice to one another is the healing your relationship needs. And if that happens in your marriage, I can guarantee you that the sex that follows will give you a glimpse of heaven.
Sexual objectification is the one of the biggest vices we are facing in society
Finally, Beloved, people have hearts that break and not engines that break down. We cannot test drive a soul because it is more valuable than a simple vehicle. A human being has a heart not an engine, Beloved. The idea of test driving reduces a human being to an object. This is the heart behind pornography and the rape culture in many societies today. To consent to the test and drive idea is to futher this agenda. Sexual objectification is the one of the biggest vices we are facing in society. It is the breaker of marriages today. Your friends are inviting you to self-destruction and you must not consent.
Beloved, you must know that purity is God’s will for you. I was caught in pornography and masturbation and it destroyed me. The message of hope is that God heals and forgives all sexual shortcomings. This is the gospel. You must consider that Jesus gave his life for you and even died. You can therefore live for him and die to self. By now you can see that the scriptures are true that company can really affect you. The Bible says that bad company corrupts good morals (1 Cor 15:33) and that a companion of fools will suffer harm (Proverbs 13:20). Ensure that you have godly company now that you are in the faith. Also, realize that the Bible is clear about sex outside of marriage i.e. fornication. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 “For this is the will of God , even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.” (KJV). You must also realize that God gives everyone the ability to fulfill his commands. 1 John 5:3 “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” (NIV). The Bible further says that all that you need to live a godly life you already have. 2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (NIV). That means that you are equipped to wait. You must note that 2nd Peter says that we are equipped to wait through our knowledge of him; not through our effort. But through our knowledge of him (Jesus). The more you know the LORD Jesus, the more equipped you are to wait and live a life pleasing to him. The Swahili people say, dawa ya moto ni moto (The medicine for fire is fire). While it is not a biblical statement, the principle is true. The knowledge of Jesus will give you a bigger passion in your soul. The fire of knowing Jesus will always be greater than every sexual temptation you face. Sexual desire is a good thing given to us by God. But remember that a flame in the fireplace warms a house while a flame outside the fireplace burns the house down. Jesus is the passion that contains the flame within the fireplace. Jesus is the reason we wait until marriage. Not STIS, not unwanted pregnancies; but Jesus! He is the one that ensures the flame warms the house and does not destroy it. The enemy will lie to you that Jesus wants to douse the flame with a bucket of cold water. That is not true. He wants to stoke the fire. He wants to add the wood to it. He wants it to keep burning in your marriage. He wants you to be enraptured by it and taste a glimpse of his holiness. He wants it to warm the house and not burn it down.
The world’s view of sex is very different from God’s view of sex. It’s a world of a difference. If the believer does not understand it, then they will be easily deceived with statements such as those that your friends are making. We know the world’s stance on sex. We have seen it in movies, on billboards, in talk shows and even sadly, in pornography. In a nutshell, the world’s standard is lust. But God’s stand is love. My friend, Winnie Waruguru makes it very clear:
Lust wants the here and now because it burns up and out like a thirsty fire; Love wants the forever and always because it shines on and on like the sure sun. Love is patient.
Lust tells me: hurry up, before anyone knows. Love tells me: wait until everyone knows. Love is patient.
Lust strips my body and soul naked and leaves me out in the cold; Love covers me up and keeps me warm. It awaits the time it will strip me, only to shelter me in its assuredness. Love is patient.
Lust overdraws on an uncertain tomorrow to pay for unnecessary expenses today; Love invests in a sure tomorrow while avoiding unnecessary expenses today. Love is patient.
Lust stages a coup on my heart, threatened; because it knows it is not its rightful ruler; Love waits patiently as a Crown Prince waits for years, confident; because it knows it’s the rightful heir. Love is patient.
Keep your eyes on Jesus even as you patiently wait for marriage because our ultimate gift as believers is not “I do” but “well, done!” May you be a good and faithful servant with your sexuality, Beloved.