[This post is in a series of posting about marriage and weddings. You can find the first five posts here, here, here, here, and here.]
I’ve got a lot to say about this subject (surprising I know!…but…when you’re an expert…you’re an expert! ) so this might take up a few posts. Let me explain.
According to the most recent statistics, 80% of Christian couples are having sex before getting married. EIGHTY PERCENT!! I know that sounds high, but my pastoral cynicism (and experience) jumps in and I quickly think, “That’s it!? I would have guessed higher.” Statistically, there is almost NO DIFFERENCE between Christians and non-Christians when it comes to having pre-marital sex. ouch.
This in spite of the fact that the Bible is VERY clear on this matter. Really. There are a lot of grey areas in the Bible. This isn’t one of them. I would recommend the following as starters on this topic: 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18;10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Matthew 5:28-30.
So, why are so many Christians abandoning the clear teachings of the Bible to have sex? Well…there are a lot of reasons:
- It’s fun.
- It feels good.
- should I go on?
I’ll talk more about the reasons in a future post, but for now, allow me to propose what I believe to be the main thesis of this blog post: Sex before marriage is making you stupid.
I see it all the time (especially among women…but I’m totally into equal-opportunity thinking so I believe this is true of guys as well).
Before you get married, I believe you need to have the ability to discern and weigh out whether or not the person you are dating (or engaged to) would be a good spouse. You have to have the ability to see “warning signs” and “red flags” of potential disaster ahead. Like…for example…hypothetically…I’m just sayin’…maybe I’ve seen these situations… a) the fact that he is already lying to you about some very significant things. Or…b) the fact that he doesn’t have a job and spends hours playing video games on your couch while you go to work. Or…c) the fact that he has a bunch of biological children all over the country that he never sees and he isn’t caring for financially. Or…d) the fact that he is addicted to drugs. Or…e) the fact that NO ONE in your entire circle of friends and family (people who love you!) thinks he is good for you. [I know these examples are extreme. Just as valid are the smaller issues that are just as important and just as impacting on your future marriage. E.g., You love 2-ply toilet paper - your fiancé is too cheap to ever buy 2-ply toilet paper.]
Do you know why you can’t see those “warning signs” and “red flags?” SEX!!! Sex has blinded you!!!
Sex bonds you to another person. That is why God created it (remember – it was HIS idea). That is why it is very important within the covenant of marriage. And it is why if there is no sex in marriage, the couple needs help from a counselor (and I’m serious…if you aren’t having sex within marriage…GO GET HELP!!). This bonding effect is all by God’s design. That is why the Bible says things like this:
Genesis 1:24 – For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
1 Corinthians 6:15-16 – Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”
This is the language of bonding, uniting, and oneness that belongs to sex.
Even the body’s biological design is chemically wired in this way. Even before sex (in just the attraction stage), you have certain hormones and chemicals that are coursing through your body. Even before sex – you have testosterone, estrogen, adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin at work (this is why sexual temptation is very real and very powerful. BUT…when you engage in sex – your body releases oxytocin and vasopressin (feel free to do a Wikipedia search on all of these hormones). Oxytocin & vasopressin are known as the “bonding hormones” that creates long-term attachment. And…these hormones make you stupid before marriage (they can also make you stupid after…but in a way that is to our advantage ).
Premarital sex PREMATURELY bonds you to another person, that more often than not, works against you in regards to discernment, rationality, and wisdom. It keeps you from asking the tough questions and more importantly, it keeps you from hearing the right answers (and truth).
I can’t tell you how many people I know who now hate each other and are divorced with great pain, suffering, sadness, and anger. And when you ask, you find out that all of the causes for the break-up of the marriage were really present before the marriage, but they were so “in love” (read…stupid because of sex) that they couldn’t see it.
And to my Christian friends who aren’t married but are having sex. I know guilt can be a strong driver to look over some very obvious things. You may be thinking, “I have to marry them now, we started having sex.” (or some variation of that line of thinking) Let me tell you right now…Jesus has a much better way of dealing with and resolving your guilt than forcing you into a bad marriage. It is not too late to wake up from the sexual stupor and make a wise and good decision.