Why do we wait?
Why do we wait for sex until marriage as followers of Christ? Do we do it to look more spiritual and religious than the rest of the world? Does it have certain health benefits? Does it make us look serious with our faith? Or perhaps it is a sales campaign to recruit more Christians. Why? Why? Why? If you are not a follower of Christ, I dare you to ask that question to a Christian. Challenge their faith. Why are they against sex before marriage? I mean many people are having it and they seem to be doing okay. Besides, what do these religious virgins know about sex? They’ve never had it. Or perhaps you know a few whom you’ve labelled “hypocritical” because you they do it frequently but still proclaim the faith of Christ. It may sound silly but you will be surprised at the dull responses given for why we wait.
The following are lazy reasons for waiting for sex until marriage for us followers of Christ
1. Wait for sex till marriage because you don’t want to deal with an unwanted pregnancy.”
We have contraceptives for that. Poor and lazy reason.
2. “Wait until marriage so that you will not feel guilty after all those Sunday school classes.”
We can avoid guilt by simply finding loopholes in our socialization and upbringing. Poor and lazy response.
3. “Wait because You could catch HIV or a deadly disease.”
We can check our partner’s health and be faithful to them. Again, poor and lazy response.
4. “Wait for sex until marriage because your parents will be disappointed.”
Then they will get over it and stop yapping. Poor and lazy response.
All those reasons are far too cheap, far too small and far too inconsequential in comparison to why the believer should wait. You may say, Ernest, wait! Are you saying there is something worse that getting an unwanted pregnancy, catching a disease and facing social stigma from society all at once? Yes and no.
Yes, because if you grasp your Creator’s reason for why you ought to wait as a believer, you will see that you are missing a tremendous power available to you. No, because, we will not ignore the consequences of irresponsible sexual behaviour. Some of those reasons are good because they may help unbelievers to wait before they come to the faith and gain more solid reason for abstinence. I have lost close people because of HIV/Aids. I have listened to heartbreaking stories from friends about abortion trauma. I have witnessed friends in abusive relationships who could not leave because of sexual addictions. Those reasons to wait are good for social campaigns on media but unfortunately they are not sufficient because they only scare you to wait. You can avoid them in several ways. Those reasons do not melt your heart to wait. God’s core reason for sexual abstinence until marriage will melt your heart with compassion as opposed to scare you to morality. Your Creator’s purpose for you follower of Christ makes the others look poor and lazy. Some of you know it and are living fulfilling single lives. Some of you do not and that is why the Word says that God’s people perish for lack of knowledge because they have rejected Knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Knowledge and wisdom are knocking today again. If you hear their voices today, do not harden your heart in rebellion, Beloved. Before we answer why we wait, we need to remove a few obstacles.
You will not know why we wait if you subscribe to worldly patterns
The world will say sex is like drinking water. If you have it with anyone, you are simply having a flesh-on-flesh experience. You have better chances trusting a drug lord with your teenager than you have trusting the media with a moral yardstick, Beloved. If the media, through a television series can get you praying that an adulterous couple does not get caught in their sexual scandal, it can get you spitting in the face of a God who gave his life for you on a cross. The media has the power to call blue red and to call red blue and make you believe it. If you think I’m lying, try this experiment: ask about 10 random followers of Christ living in our city if watching an action movie with a 10 second sex scene is wrong. Before you get a straight yes from a majority of them, chances are that you will hear enough justifications of why we are different from the times of Jesus and when all excuses run out, they will default to the “in case of offended ego emergency, quote the don’t judge me verse.” Repentance and sanctification has become an affront in our generation. We want to hear grace without repentance, forgiveness without the lordship of Christ, eternal life without eternal gifts, freedom without accountability, the gospel without the 10 commandments. And you dear follower of Christ, if you love the world, the Word of God calls you an enemy of Christ.
You see, many believers in diapers have sat in the pews and warmed them for too long. They would rather befriend the devil that they see than stand for the Christ they do not see. It’s easy to share a blog on who-slept-with-who but hard to share one on sexual purity because that would mean being disliked by the world. Jesus said in John 16:33 that in this world we will have trouble. Many know nothing of it in the 21st century because we are in league with the world. It would be the ultimate act of treachery if we dine with the world and not end up in paradise with them. If we truly care for them, we will love them and befriend them like Jesus did but we will not compromise the message of the gospel. Jesus said in Matthew 11:6 “And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”
Jesus in Matthew 11:6 is basically saying that there are those who would rather rule in hell than serve in Paradise. Many believers find the praise of men more deserving than the praise of God when it comes to sexuality. A Hollywood movie shows a high school full of “cool” teenagers awe in wonder that one of them is a virgin. The virgin of course by Hollywood’s standards has a poor fashion sense, is average in intellect and is not sexually attractive. The poor “un-cool” “unsophisticated” and “shady” virgin must prove that they too are cool. So they make sure their final year in high school ends with having compromised purity. And of course the movie also shows that the “cool” high school girls who are beautiful and worthy of love are also worthy of sexual desire. The virgin teenager wants to be accepted but the pre-requisite is to be cool and sexually liberated. The movie ends with the “sexually liberated” teenager having found true happiness by giving away their virginity before the end credits. The world tells us that this is self-actualization. The folly of it all tires my spirit- not because the world shows it but because believers buy the movie, watch it, love it, recommend it on their Facebook accounts and are naive enough to try it. You will not know why we wait if you spend time with the world. Sex has been devalued by the high cost of lust.
And it takes maturity dear follower of Christ to know that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down such strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). And that weapon is the knowledge of the Word of God. If the audience is the world, you don’t need to tell them why sexual purity is important. No. You need to tell them why Christ Jesus is important first. Without Christ, they will not see it. It will sound like foolishness in their ears. Light has come into the world but men have loved darkness and rejected the light. Give Christ and tell them why we wait till marriage. If you tell them why we wait first, it will be like giving a vehicle to a person before they learn to drive. They will crash the car and they may die.
To understand why we wait, you need to understand the following:
- Why you were called
- The purpose of marriage
- The purpose of sex
REASON 1: Why you were called
The first reason why believers should wait for sexual activity until marriage is to remember why you were called. Why did you choose to have a relationship with Christ? What was the cost of saving your soul? I have to say at this point that it is very possible to think that you are a believer when you’re not. It’s a scary concept that Jesus taught. He said it because he loves us and does not want us caught in deception. Jesus said it in Matthew 7:21-23 that on the final day of judgement many “good” people will be surprised when they are locked out of the kingdom of God. They will cry out saying that they did many religious stuff and went for mass and went to church and gave their tithe and did many works and preached all weekend long and cast out demons but Jesus will look at them and say “I do not know you.” They will say how good they were but he will still say no to them. Why?
I’ll tell you why. Was your reason and incentive for coming to Christ to get a job/promotion? Or perhaps you accepted Christ to pass your final exams? If you did, there is a possibility that you did not really come to Him at all. Did you come to Christ because you wanted a moral example to add to your goodness? Did you come to Christ to get a boyfriend from church? You may need to reread the scriptures and see that Christ came primarily not to help you pass law school but to save your wicked soul from the clutches of sin. You need to see that your moral efforts are filthy rags before a holy God and that your goodness does not and cannot guarantee you a spot in heaven. You need to see that only Christ can please God and that you need him to wipe the darkness of your soul and give you a garment of righteousness. You need to see that Christ did nothing wrong but took the punishment for your sins. He gave you life when you deserved death. If you accept him, he will make you right with the father. We ought to recall that we are saved by grace through faith that is not from our effort. If I truly understand what Jesus did on that cross for me, then there really is nothing he cannot ask of me. And if he asks for my sexual purity, then his sacrifice for me melts my heart in obedience to him. Sexual purity becomes a joy to live and not a struggle to endure. If I disregard his request for my sexual purity then I only prove two things: 1) that He is not lord of my life, and 2) that his death is worthless in my eyes. And if that is true, it is difficult to know if you belong to him or not.
Christ Jesus is the ultimate incentive, to wait until marriage. And when you grasp that, Beloved, it melts your hearts to wait; it does not scare you with statistics on disease. When you grasp that, Beloved, it stops you from asking questions such as “how far is too far.” Your concern ceases being how close can I get to the sin boundary. Your concern becomes how much can I know Christ. Those are two different directions. The first is headed towards the sin. The latter is a pursuit of righteousness- fleeing from sin (2 Timothy 2:22). You may say, Ernest, it sounds great but it is not easy. You’re right, Beloved. It’s not. But tell me this; since when did something worthwhile and beautiful come easy? It may not be pie but thank God it is very possible because Christ Jesus is also the ultimate power to wait purely in a sexually saturated world. His grace gives us the power to say no to worldly passions according to Titus 2:3-4. If your Lord is Christ Jesus and if he is your Saviour and not just your moral example, you know that your authority is spelled Y-A-H-W-E-H! Your salvation is not based on your hold on Christ but on Christ’s hold on you that never fails. Christ will uphold any believer who seeks purity with all their heart even in the midst of a perverse generation. The world’s authority is spelled “everyone is entitled to their opinion.” As a believer you are entitled to God’s word and not your opinion. Sounds colonial, no? It will look like slavery to those who still want their way but to those who have tasted it and know its joy, you know that His plans always supersede our own in wisdom, quality and power. You know that being a slave to Christ is the most liberating freedom. I’m setting the room temperature here concerning our sexuality, Beloved. Remember Jesus’ words: “And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” (Matthew 11:6). That means that the one who submits in obedience will be blessed. At the end of all time only two kinds of people will stand before Christ after the grave. The first kind of person is the one who says to Christ, “Your will be done.” The second is the one to whom Christ says “Your will be done.”
REASON 2: The Purpose of Marriage
The second reason why you should wait is because of the ultimate purpose of marriage. With multiple references I could show you that marriage from God the Creator has several purposes. Marriage was built for a man (male) and a woman (female)- Leviticus 18:22. Marriage was built for companionship- Genesis 2:18. It was built for the propagation of the human race through childbirth-Genesis 1:27. Marriage was designed by God to be monogamous-1st Corinthians 7:2. Marriage was made for physical pleasure- the orgasm, the caresses, the touches, the kisses and the stuff that feels good- Proverbs 5:18-19. Beloved, if you think sex was just for making children, you have an unbiblical viewpoint of sex. There are Biblical passages that would make you blush if you read them aloud. As a Christian, you possibly know all those reasons and agree with them. But an ulterior purpose of the marriage covenant for Believers is to reflect the love Christ has for his Bride. In Ephesians 5, the love Christ has or the Church is exemplified in a marriage. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. Yes! My lovely wife says that “marriage for a Christian is meant to make you holy first, happy second.” At the heart of a marriage for a believer is a relationship that is focused on elevating Christ and not self.
We live in a world that has little regard for marriage. Marriage among few other entities mentioned in the Word of God is holy- Holy Matrimony. Marriage is not the trading of goats between two families or walking down the aisle in a white dress or tuxedo. Marriage is a public commitment before God and before humanity to take a member of the opposite sex as the most important person in your life- forsaking all others and cleaving to her after leaving your own family. The Creator endorses the union and it is witnessed by humanity. It is a scary leap to take because it ties one to a relationship forever. It is not for the immature. It is not for the faint-hearted. It is not for the one who has refused to let go of their emotional hurts. It is not for the simple who do not understand its beauty yet criticize it because of the few they have seen fail. Once you get married, especially for a believer, God will turn the heat on your character, He will refine your speech, He will mould your attitude, He will chisel out your biases and He will make you beautiful- only if you are willing and teachable. And as you become refined, you treat your spouse better. You love them more intimately and you learn to commit even when you don’t feel the Disney sparkle in your heart. If you are not willing, Beloved. If you always think you are right and if you always think that your way is the right way. If you never think you could be wrong even if you are cocksure to be right, then you will miss it out. The marriage will not refine you; it will irritate you. It will burn you and it will constantly push your buttons. But even then, acquiring a humble heart is never too late to start the refining process.
REASON 3: The purpose of sex
The third reason why a follower of Christ should wait is the ultimate purpose of sex. When the purpose of an entity is not known, abuse is inevitable. If you do not understand the purpose of a shoe, you will use it to hammer nails. You will devalue it. You will destroy it. You will misuse it. You will reduce its lifespan. As the abuser, you will be a very confused and irritated person when you finally discover that shoes go on the feet. Abusers of good things tend to be ignorant- and in their ignorance harm is caused. You will cringe at the years you spent destroying the shoe. You will regret at every moment the shoe leaks water through the holes you made while hammering nails. You will be disgusted at the ugliness of the shoe through the several pounding and you will want nothing to do with it, eventually. In fact eventually, you will want another shoe. And if you still do not understand its core purpose and intent, abuse will be inevitable and the cycle will repeat itself even with a virgin shoe.
It’s the same with sex. Many today feel confused and irritated after sexual encounters outside of marriage. Was it not pleasurable? No, it certainly was. Was it not enjoyable and exciting? I believe it must have been. Then what’s the problem? The problem is that sex’s ultimate purpose wasn’t for mere pleasure and excitement. That comes as part of the package deal together with making babies, however, making pleasure the ultimate goal would be like saying that shoes were meant ultimately to make one look good. That is untrue. While many trendy shoes may do that, the ultimate purpose of them is to protect your feet. It makes no sense to buy shoes that look good but that can’t last for a day because of poor soles. You would rather have a strong sole for a shoe that is not good-looking than having a beautiful pair with horrible soles. In the same way, pleasure is the beauty of the shoe when it comes to sex. The sole of the shoe when it comes to sex ispositive oneness of spirit (I’ll explain that soon). Even if you are ignorant as you pound nails with your shoe, it won’t change the fact that you are abusing the shoe. You can even pound nails with your shoe for 20 years of your life and do it with a smile on your face. But your peace with pounding the shoe is not genuine peace. Peace is not absence of war; true peace is the presence of Christ who gives satisfaction that makes you never thirst again. Whosoever drinks of the pleasures of this world shall thirst again but whoever drinks of the founts of living water shall never thirst again. Your smile on the face is a lack of knowledge of the purpose of the shoe. Abuse often occurs in ignorance. You may say that nobody taught you the purpose of a shoe but that does not change what you are doing with it. You are not using it as designed. It’s like Neo in the Matrix. Living a perfect life but that is terribly short of the truth. When he was unplugged from the Matrix, he experienced the most tumultuous moments of his life but they were the most purposeful. Outside the Matrix he experienced what a genuine life was.
Sex outside marriage is not only like pounding nails with the shoe (not experiencing it ultimately) but it is also like living in the matrix (Living an “okay” life with it but missing out on something greater that God has planned with your sexuality). You may have been enjoying the pounding of nails for 20 years but whether you are smiling or not as you do it with your boyfriend or girlfriend, Beloved, you need to realize that shoes have bigger purpose than hitting things; sex has greater purpose than expressing emotion and gaining temporal pleasure. You may have been living in the Matrix for 20 years , Beloved, but you need to realize that there is more to life with your sexuality. Sex has bigger purpose that getting pleasure. The ultimate purpose of sex is positive oneness of spirit. That positive oneness of spirit can only be experienced in a covenant marriage. You ask, Ernest what is this “positive oneness of spirit”? I hope the next paragraph will unplug a few from the Matrix.
Negative oneness of spirit
The Bible says in 1st Corinthians 6 that a sexual encounter makes two people one. This is the oneness of spirit. Sex unites you physically (chemical and fluid exchange), but also on the soul and spirit level. For that reason, Paul the Apostle warns that those who practise it outside God’s covenant marriage (God-ordained and men-witnessed) put themselves in danger of a negative oneness of spirit. If that relationship outside marriage breaks and you’ve been having sex, the heartbreak could be worse than you think. If that relationship is breached by unfaithfulness then the pain could be worse than you imagine. But that is not the main reason to wait because heartbreaks and infidelity occur in marriages as well. There is more. There is a lacklustre in sex before marriage. It is a thrill but it is very temporary. It is like the boredom and dull life that Neo had in the Matrix. I speak to several of my friends who have been there and they say the same thing over and over, “I still felt empty, Ernest.” Different people, different backgrounds, different genders, different races- same response. Emptiness. That lacklustre in such a vulnerable activity as sex can be so degrading to one’s soul. It could drive you crazy to think that such pleasure can produce such emptiness. That emptiness is a void that overtakes us just as the void that fills a shoe after pounding nails (if a shoe could feel that is). That void is a negative oneness of spirit. You see, Beloved, during sex, you give a part of yourself away and you take a part of the other person. Your bodies are not just involved in sex. It isn’t just flesh on flesh and liquid transfer. It is also a soul and spirit transfer. And if the soul and spirit are not committed in a covenant, then the body may enjoy it but the soul may be in pain. It doesn’t matter how much pleasure hormones your body may produce, they will not please your soul. You can pursue an orgasm outside God’s will but it will be at the expense of the genocide of your soul. Your soul was made by God for committed enrapturing love! A love that is proven before God and men at the altar! Your body can handle cheap pleasures and short lived gains but your soul cannot. And that brings about a negative oneness of spirit. You still become one with that person but at a painful or hollow soul experience. And you could get to the point where sex is as meaningless as putting on a t-shirt. And when you get to that point, the shoe is good for nothing but throwing away.
Positive oneness of spirit
The positive oneness of spirit in a covenant marriage draws the two people together more intimately. Outside of God’s will for a marriage it easily separates them. I can tell you for a fact that with positive oneness of spirit you don’t have to perform sexually to be accepted. With negative oneness of spirit, the man and woman are always searching for that settlement in their soul. The worst thing about it is that many times they do not know it. So if you dare advise them to stop having sex before marriage you may get a very violent response. You are standing between a soul and its thirst for satisfaction. The world falsely deceives that you need more sex to get fulfillment or you need it with someone else to get it. In positive oneness of spirit, it makes their promise to each other stronger. It tightens the bond between a union that God created through an intimate pleasurable experience. That is why the devil is encouraging unmarried people to engage in sex and he is discouraging married people from having it.
God stands before humanity in Genesis 1 and states that if you are genuinely interested in oneness of spirit with this person you like and love, then prove it. How? Leave your father and mother? Commit to love them before the world and before me. If you truly love them as you say you do, stop taking part of them before committing to me. Grant them assurance of your love by vowing to be with them forever. Make this commitment to them and them alone. Let your friends and family see that you mean what you say. Otherwise if you are having sex with them outside the covenant, you may be surprised to find out that your motive may be selfish. You may be surprised to see that you are not willing to commit to them because you want to take a part in receiving from them but you are not willing to give your life to them. Sex is not proof of love; a commitment before God till death do you part and forsaking others is.
I hear you say, “But Ernest, not everyone wants to get married.” You’re right- not everyone does. But remember this. Not everyone wants to work hard to maintain relationships. Not everyone wants to work hard to become wealthy. Not everyone wants the path of resistance in their life. And if that is true of the relationship you are in, I challenge you to stop hiding behind your seemingly intellectual mindset of “You’re relationship is just fine.” People angry at God and marriages are not angry out of intellectual reason but out of purely personal reasons. They’ve been hurt and found no explanation. This is for the guys: if you still insist that your relationship is “just fine”, then I dare you to be a man and take it to the next level. Commit to her and her alone. Ladies, challenge him to lead the relationship to greater territories and commit to him and him alone. There are too many relationship cowards living in comfort zones. Quit making poor and lazy excuses for why marriages are horrible; rise up and make yours work.if your partner is as committed as you say, you will stand the test of a covenant relationship till death do you part. But if in your hearts of hearts you know it won’t, then you know that your relationship is hanging by the threads and you are using sex as a performance contract to keep it stable. Sex is not a marketing strategy for relationships- that is hammering nails with the shoe. If you need to prove yourself in a relationship using sex, then that person does not love you, Beloved. They enjoy the pleasure but will abandon ship the day a higher bidder comes. And if you merely use sex for pleasure in a relationship, know today that that is an emotionally, intellectually and spiritually lazy purpose of sex. You are living a poor sexual life. It is grossly insincere that we want to take from someone without giving them our all and then call it love. Cease being a slave to your desires.
I pray that reason number one was enough to wait. And if you feel that you already made mistakes in your past, remember that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). You are forgiven! Walk in victory, Beloved. Let no guilt hold you down.Think of the worst thing you’ve done; now that Jesus because he died for that and forgave it too. The word says that a righteous man falls seven times but rises. You are forgiven by the blood of Christ and you can live in purity even now despite your past. You have all it takes. The past has no power over you because you belong to Christ in God. Today, embrace the Lord and see and experience his blessing. “And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” (Matthew 11:6). Or as they would say in this generation: