3 Questions to Ask When You’re Trying to Quit Premarital Sex
I have typed and retyped the opening lines to this blog post a few times already. I finally stopped to ask Paul, “how do you talk about premarital sex? It’s an awkward topic. Too many people speak judgmentally about it. Or defend it past biblical guidelines. What do I say?” And he wisely said, “why don’t you say that?”
So folks, today we are going to talk about premarital sex. It’s an awkward topic, we know that. Hopefully, by now, you know that we use the Bible as our basis for relationship guidelines, but it’s not our job to judge anyone’s heart. We’ve just sat with enough couples who have struggled with this issue, and over the past few years we have developed some strategies that we think can be really helpful. So if you find yourself caught in a pattern you’d like to change, here are three questions to consider regarding your sexual relationship with your partner.
Is your relationship destined for marriage?
Spiritually, sex serves a unique purpose among the intimacy-building tools in a relationship. More than providing a means for procreation, physical pleasure, and endorphin-generating actions that keep you from killing each other during stupid argument #214, sex binds our souls together in a way that God intends to never be broken. I think we skate the surface of this idea in the church by using phrases like “saving myself for my spouse” or “giving all of myself to my spouse,” but often those phrases conjure up the idea of not giving away private parts of ourselves to multiple people, or not being seen as “used goods” (which is a horrible, very bad, no good phrase which I only use to make a point about how the church talks about this issue - not about those who are dealing with it). And we fail to recognize that the reason for “saving ourselves” is that each sexual partner gets a little bit of our soul. God designed sex this way, so that a married couple would be mysteriously bound together for life, the same way that nothing can pluck the church out of the Father’s hand. Marriage mirrors the gospel. We are bound together to display the gospel to an unbelieving world, and to serve, protect, and fight for one another as we serve our God together.
So when we engage in sex outside of marriage, we end up losing parts of our soul to our sexual partner(s) and picking up pieces of their soul(s) that we might not really want to carry with us forever. It’s important to ask ourselves if the relationship we are in is one worth exchanging souls. If not, stop having sex. And take the space that creates to evaluate your relationship and its function. If you feel you are destined for marriage…
What role is sex serving in your relationship?
What need is it filling? And can that need be met another way? Are you easing your way through communication issues by connecting physically? If so, maybe a counselor or mentor could help you learn better conflict resolution skills. Are you seeking deeper emotional intimacy and aren’t sure how to get there? Is sex a result of unwise choices about how and where you spend your time? Has it become a reassurance for an insecurity? Does it fuel a need for power and strength? Has it become your stress relief? Figuring out the why behind the action will make it easier to determine how to best move forward.
Ask yourselves, will you realistically stop having sex?
Ultimately, the answer to this question is that you can. Scripture tells us that we’ve been given all we need to escape every form of temptation. But we aren’t always willing to go to the extremes it requires. In our experience, few people who struggle with premarital sex are actually sex addicts, but treating abstinence like recovery is a good, practical idea. Firm boundaries that start BEFORE the point of no return and people who are willing to hold you accountable and with whom you will be honest are a must. Guarding the time you spend alone, horizontal, and late into the night (or any time you find yourself tired or stressed) will be critical. But, if you’re destined for marriage, and reasonably believe that you won’t stick to a recovery plan, do what the Apostle Paul outlines in 1 Corinthians 7 and tie that knot! A big grand fanfare of a wedding is not a right or a requirement. A marriage that honors God starts with two people who follow the laws of the land to see their covenant legalized. That being said, every marriage ought to be celebrated! Dress up, buy a cake, invite a few friends. Do what you need to do to make the day special and memorable. Because, Pinterest aside, it’s the love you share and the way God mysteriously ties two souls together that make a wedding, and a marriage, shareable and iconic.
Paul and I are huge fans of marriage and weddings. If you find yourself in one of the examples above and would like some help sorting out your next steps, give us a call. If you know the next step is marriage and you’re unsure how to go about it, let us help. We love to be community for weddings! Whether you need a witness, an officiant, someone to take a few photos, or help to find a cake, we’ve got your back. Following Jesus’ commands can prove difficult, but choosing to do so deserves celebration. And we love a good party.
Thanks so much for reading! We’ll keep these coming every week. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & Pinterest with the buttons at the top of the page, or post this article to the platform of your choice with the buttons below. Also, please feel free to leave a comment! We’d love to hear your questions or receive any feedback you’d like to offer! Finally, if you’ve found this information helpful at all, you should know that we get to sit in person with couples like you every week and help them through their relationships. We’d love it and be so grateful if you would consider making a donation to support our work so that we can keep serving couples in our community and all over the world! Thank you!