Are young men and women really Saving Sex for Marriage?
Rachel Shepard . . . Lydia Reynolds . . . and David Shipps
Rachel Shepard (photo above) tells us about her background and
"I am 16 (almost 17) and about to begin my senior year. I play volleyball and love to sing. I am vice-president of the Bible Club, Young Men and Women for Jesus, at Mt. Joliet High School. I am a Christian and convinced that following God's Bible will make life easier and more enjoyable. My wonderful boyfriend and I have been together for one year and four months. Abstinence is possible.
"True love is exactly what the Bible teaches. It is patient and kind. Above all else, it seeks the good of others. True love is not selfish."
"I know it's true love when I care more about someone else's happiness than my own."
"I'm saving sex for marriage because God commands me to. Also, I don't want to have such intimate bonds with anyone that I'm not committed to in a marriage relationship."
"The best reasons for saving sex for marriage are to obey God and to be able to give all of yourself to the person you marry."
"The toughest temptation to have pre-marital sex is that you care so deeply and want to give yourself to the person you love."
"I avoid pressures to have sex by not even getting close to it. My boyfriend and I have decided to respect each other's bodies. As long as private parts remain private, it's easier to avoid sex until you're married."
"I do not wear revealing clothes because it encourages guys to lust. (Face the facts, girls) I also like knowing that my husband is the only man who'll see so much of my body."
"I think many girls who are having pre-marital sex are looking for acceptance and love, as well as pleasure. They want the intimacy sex requires. Sometimes they don't realize the devastating consequences."
"I think many guys who are having pre-marital sex are looking for pleasure, love, and who knows what else."
"The best way to say "No" to sexual advances is to remind them that you care about them, but you must also let them know you care about yourself. Demand respect."
"If a friend was afraid of losing her boyfriend because she wanted to say 'No' to sex, I would tell her that if he can't wait until she is ready, he doesn't love her. Well, he loves himself more, anyway. I'd remind her that her body is a precious gift that she gladly gives to her husband. She shouldn't be pressured into giving it away."
"If a friend has had sex, but now wanted to practice abstinence, I would encourage him/her by saying that God will forgive them. They now know how important it is to save it for their spouse. I'd tell them not even to come close to having sex, but to draw the line way before it."
"The qualities I'm looking for in a husband are love for Jesus, kindness, leadership, courtesy, chivalry, servant heart, sense of humor, and patience."
"The qualities I'm looking for in a boyfriend are the same as the ones I want in my spouse. I won't date a guy who isn't the kind of man I want to marry."
"I can best prepare for marriage and avoid divorce by seeking God's will. I should also date those who hold the same morals I do for dating and marriage."
"If I found out a friend was planning to have an abortion tomorrow, I would tell her to please reconsider. She has a living being that is wanted by someone in this world."
"Living a virtuous lifestyle is important because true happiness is found in pleasing God. So much heartache is avoided if you live by the Bible's standards."
"With regard to dating, love and/or marriage, I would tell a friend too respect themselves enough to wait for the best.
Next . . . Lydia Reynolds is 22 and She Just Graduated from College.
Hugging, Kissing . . . and Where to Draw the Line.
When You Start Getting Physical . . .
By Lydia Reynolds
As if pimples weren't hard enough to deal with . . . then those "I've discovered the opposite sex" hormones started yelling for attention.
Do you remember your first "CRUSH?" I remember mine! I couldn't stop thinking about him and wondering:
"Does he notice me?" "Will he ever come say, Hi?" "What will I say if he asks me out?" "Should I give him my phone number?" "Will we ever kiss?"
At least that's the way it was for me -- as I'm sure it was for almost every other girl in junior high . . . high school . . . and college.
And then came dating . . . I remember talking about dating in Christian youth groups over the years. There were always fellow youth members that would boast, "Yes! I'm a VIRGIN!" . . . but then under their breath you'd hear them say, "but listen to what we DID do . . ." before telling "R" and "X" rated stories.
They may not have gone "all the way," but it sure didn't seem like they knew where to draw the line. I wonder if they took their WWJD bracelets off before the date, or did the dim lights and "secret privacy" make it easy to forget God was watching?
"We just couldn't stop ourselves," was the infamous line, "but at least we didn't have sex." Often times you would here them say, "God never told us how far is too far . . ."
And because they didn't look hard enough to find the verses where God does tell us how far is too far, they decided for themselves where the line ought to be drawn. Most thought that passionate kissing, tight hugs and limited petting over clothes was okay. But they were wrong -- and their man-made lines got pushed back time and again as their passions over-powered their will.
Many young men and women think they've got strong will power, but when the passionate kissing and petting starts, look out! Passionate desires become overwhelming almost instantly. Trying to stop there is like handing a child an open box of See's Candy and telling him he can't eat any. Who would tease a child like that? And how many children would be able to resist eating the whole box? Not many.
With sexual passions, once you give into basic desires and get physical, even if it's only passionate kissing, your sex drive will kick into gear (and I mean HIGH gear!). Then one, or both of you, will want more -- and even though you've drawn a line -- there will be intense desires and pressures to go just a little bit further every time you're alone together. Before you know it, you're almost guaranteed to find yourselves rationalizing that you're in love and it's okay to go "all the way."
In the beginning, it might seem pretty innocent, but it can move very fast. A peck on the lips becomes a longer, passionate kiss. Then, the boy's hands start getting out of control. He may start showering you with flattery -- trying to get you to melt and give in by telling you he's in love or telling you how beautiful you are. He might start pleading, "Just a quick touch, what can that hurt" or "You're so pretty and you feel so good."
Watch out! These actions and lines usually mean he's already lusting after you -- that he sees you as a sex object for his pleasure without any real regard for love, your future or your best interests.
Anyone who's experienced these situations can tell you how fast sexual passions turn to fire -- and how fast you end up running over the line you've drawn. It's almost like hitting your head on a brick wall. You may stop at your line today, but soon, sexual passions will give you a massive headache because you'll keep hitting the wall you so badly want to go beyond. Soon, you'll be pushing that brick wall back a little bit further and a little bit further (as if it had wheels for moving) because you want more excitement and intimacy than before.
Is anybody surprised? You shouldn't be -- God made us with a strong sex drive for a purpose. You see, God wants married couples to fire up those hormones, to become one body, to have children and to share intimate love with each other regularly to cement the bonds of marriage. God made our beings and our bodies in a very special way -- giving us strong desires to share these gifts with a spouse in an intimate, awesome union.
But God explains in scripture that He wants couples to share this union only within marriage -- after a man and woman have proclaimed vows and committed their love for life.
And because God wants us to "be fruitful and multiply," He has ordained marriage for the "marital act." God planned marriage to be the foundation that builds the secure environment best suited to have and raise children.
So why play with fire before marriage? If you love someone, would you want to tempt them to sin? Why even come close to tempting yourself or the person you're dating? Why not avoid sin like the plague?
The Bakery Example: If you were on a diet and you couldn't resist sweets, would you spend hours each day at the bakery watching (and smelling!) them bake chocolate chip cookies, delicious cakes, cinnamon pastries and buttermilk donuts? NOT! When your senses are overwhelmed with desire, and the object of your desire is directly in front of you, it's very hard to put the brakes on. Wouldn't it be best to avoid the bakery (and other irresistible temptations) until it's an appropriate time to partake?
Unfortunately, many Christians are not clear about where to draw the line regarding physical contact prior to marriage. This leads to the sins of lust, lying (to each other and family and friends), fornication (sex before marriage), and sometimes even abortion.
Sex before marriage can also lead to the terrible pain that couples feel when they've bonded to each other, only to be torn apart emotionally and spiritually when they find they shared everything with someone they were not compatible with for marriage. These break-ups usually involve intense pain that lasts a very long time after this "special" relationship ends.
And what if the guy or girl God picked out for you to marry is at this very moment crossing over the line with some other very "special" person? What if they are having pre-marital sex?
Doesn't it seem adulterous that today men and women are fornicating with someone else's future spouse?
Isn't it better to save sex for marriage? Until the vows have been said, how does one really know WHOSE "special" spouse they are with?
People sometimes wonder if God recognizes the pleasure and the value of intimacy. Yes He does. That's why we're here! We, as a body of believers, form the bride of Christ. Ultimately, everything we do is for His glory. He wants to be intimate with us through His Spirit.
Unfortunately, as His bride, we are adulterous if we choose to be intimate with sin. God loves us beyond words as He looks into our hearts with hope. He hopes we will love Him back in the face of temptation through humble obedience, faithful service and generous sacrifice. God wants us to experience great joy -- and when we make sacrifices and do things His Way -- joy fills our hearts.
So don't allow yourself to fall for temptations of the flesh thinking you'll get away with lust in your heart. You are not only responsible for the way you act and the way you dress, but you're also responsible for your thoughts as you look at an immodest world. Impure thoughts and actions will harden your heart and fill it with agony -- and that leads to a slow separation from our Lord and His most pure Heart.
Don't kid yourself. If you're single, you cannot follow God and maintain a loving, intimate relationship with Jesus while engaging in the sin of lust or foreplay.
Instead, follow God's principles and remain intimate with Him. The principles God lays out are love, purity, patience, respect and self-control. These are the way to peace, joy and true love.
Important Note. Scripture is very clear about WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE. In your bible, you can read more about the following:
Purity . . . "Happy are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8)
Lust . . . Lust itself is sinful and it is often used as an excuse for further sin. "But I say: Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:28) Passionate kissing and petting usually involves, or quickly leads to the sin of lust.
Temptations . . . "Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts that young men often have, but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right. Have faith and love, and enjoy the companionship of those who love the Lord and have pure hearts." (II Timothy 2:22)
Lydia's Bio - Lydia is 22 years old and she was born in Littleton, CO. After going to Canon City High School in Canon City, Colorado, she attended Spring Arbor College in Spring Arbor, Michigan. On May 22, 1999, she received her Bachelors Degree in Communications with an emphasis in Professional Writing / Journalism with a second Bachelors in Religious Studies & Missions. Lydia loves to travel, play the guitar and hike in the mountains. She says these are "the three ways I experience God the most." What are Lydia's future aspirations? She says, "My goals are to write for magazines and to be a public speaker. I'm especially interested in missions work and ending religous persecution."
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