Let’s Talk about Sex
What do a 28-year-old virgin, an ex-stripper, and a faithful husband all have in common?
They all believe in the value of keeping sex in the marriage bed.
I was watching a pod-cast filmed by Strip Church of Rachel Collins, a 28-year-old virgin and youth pastor; Harmony Dust an ex-stripper and founder of Treasures Ministries; and Craig Gross, a husband and founder of XXXChurch. The pod-cast, which was entitled “Put A Ring On It,” part of the X3′s Company podcast series, was a conversation about waiting to have sex until marriage.
The truth is, sex in marriage is good. Sex before marriage is not good for so many reasons: risk of unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and unhealthy emotional attachments just to name few.
But it can be easy to miss this truth if you and your fiancé are having safe sex and seem to be experiencing bliss without any negative emotional side effects. After all, you will be married soon, so what’s the big deal?
Well,—SPOILER ALERT—God still says no.
Even if it seems like the best possible idea to you, God says it isn’t. In Scripture, God says many times and in many ways what Paul so aptly says in Colossians: “Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these, the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient” (3:5-6).
For better and for worse, we don’t get to pick and choose what is sinful and what is glorifying; God does. If He tells us fornicating—or sex outside of marriage—is an act of disobedience, then we need to respond to that by not fornicating. If we don’t, 1 Thessalonians tells us we are rejecting God:
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; that each one of you know how to control your own body in holiness and honor, not with lustful passions, like the Gentiles who do not know God; [...] For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. Therefore, whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives His Holy Spirit to you”(1 Thessalonians 4:3-8).
God is very clear about sex outside of marriage. But what we can often interpret as punitive (and thus rebel from), God intends for protection and blessing.
As Rachel Collins says in the podcast, “God has this view of sex that is so much bigger.” Sex is an echo of the intimacy that Christ will have with His Bride. There is an eternal aspect to becoming one flesh that we can only gain glimpses of until Christ returns.
Harmony Dust obtained a glimpse of this through the perversion of this intimacy. She says, “I can look back and see that my soul became very tied to this person that I gave myself to at the age of fourteen.” Because of that “soul tie,” Harmony’s response was what so many of our responses are: detachment.
She explains, “As you become more and more detached from your body and your sexuality, as I did going to work as a stripper—by that time I was very detached—I could have sexual experiences with men all night long and I was very detached from the experience, so it didn’t have that same effect. But I believe that sex as God designed has that intimacy and that closeness.”
When we detach from our sexuality and throw “pearls to swine” in non-marital sexual relationships, we are missing the profound blessing that God intends for sex that is with our husbands alone. We are also putting ourselves in the line of fire for physical, emotional, and spiritual damage.
“The idea that we are body, soul, and mind, and [yet] that we separate one act from the rest of our bodies… I can’t do one act with my body and not think that that doesn’t affect me mentally or that it doesn’t affect me spiritually,” Rachel explains.
Even if you can’t see the damage, you can exercise faith that God knows His stuff. You don’t have to see the damage to believe that it is real and that God means what He says.
But fear not! If you have already had sex with your fiancé or with another partner, God can redeem your broken sexuality. You can be a born-again virgin by the grace of Christ.
Harmony testifies, “I will say as a non-virgin, though, that there is grace as well. I have no intention—with God’s grace—of taking any sexual baggage, any emotional baggage from my past into my relationships. As I allow God to heal me, and as I allow my sins and my mistakes to be cast into the sea of forgetfulness and separated from me as far as the east is from the west, […] I can go into a relationship feeling confident and not ashamed because my sexuality is surrendered to God.”
Her point is pivotal: Surrender your sexuality to God!
As all three of the speakers point out, the question is not, “How far can I go?” The question is, “How much can I honor God?” Or, as Harmony phrases, “How do I honor God with my body? How do I express my sexuality in a way that’s healthy and honoring to Him?”
Where is your focus? Is your heart seeking to honor the Lord or to fulfill the desires of your own flesh?
Protecting your purity and treasuring your sexuality for the bounty of blessing that it brings in the marriage bed is one of the most difficult opportunities in our day and age to honor God as well as one of the most profound foundational investments for your marriage relationship.
As Craig Gross says so succinctly, “Our culture wants to make it [sex]—oh, this is not a big deal—but it is. There’s nothing else like it.”
If this post applies to you and your fiancé, prayerfully commit right now to waiting to have sex again until you are in the holy bounds of marriage. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it because you will be sacrificing in obedience for the sake of your loving Lord Jesus who truly knows the greatest good for you and your marriage.
Pray together with your fiancé, Jude 1:24-25:
Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of His glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Article was originally published on February 7, 2011.