©Equipping Pastors International, Inc. Dr. Jack L. Arnold
Logical and Practical Reasons to Avoid
A. The “Victorian approach” to sex is gone forever and a “hush-hush” attitude about sexuality will simply drive young people to explore in these areas. This is an open generation and if they do not learn the Christian viewpoint of sex, they will learn the world’s view from TV, magazines, movies, books, parties, talk sessions and the gutter.
B. The Bible has much to say about love, marriage, and sex, and we should teach it from our pulpits because it is part of the inspired Word.
In one of my churches, I was doing a series on “The Christian Family”. An elder came up to me after one of my messages discouraging premarital sex and said, “I have heard enough about premarital sex. Why don’t you preach on something more relevant to me and the congregation?” He literally bawled me out for five minutes. I was biting my tongue because at that very time I was secretly counseling his daughter and possible future son-in-law who were deeply involved in premarital sex but begged me not to tell her father. This elder never knew and I never told anyone, but it was this elder who was irrelevant and out of touch with reality and his daughter.
C. Premarital sex is one of the biggest threats to stable marriages today. In my opinion, it is the greatest factor in the moral breakdown of society. People have confused love and sex and when they think of love, they think of the physical aspects and little more. Love, as it is most commonly understood, is becoming an enemy of marriage. As Christians we must get a Biblical concept of love and sex and hold to sex in the marriage union only.
D. Some secular doctors and psychiatrists are now beginning to see that sex outside of marriage is destructive to marriage and is one of the leading causes for the high divorce rate in our country.
E. Sociologist Pitirim Sorokin has warned that “the group that tolerates sexual anarchy is endangering its very survival.”
F. Max Levin, Psychiatrist and Neurologist in New York City said,
Among 300 girls who became a psychiatric patient, 86% had had intercourse and 72% with more than one person. The stresses associated with sustaining sexual relationships before marriage have been critical factors in precipitating severe emotional disorders.
G. Young people and older people don’t have much respect for what the Bible says about premarital sex, but people today do listen to the medical world. The medical world is sounding some very dangerous alarms, and giving many logical and practical reasons for avoiding premarital sex.
A. Introduction. Youth today think that modern science and modern thinking has done away with the three taboos of premarital sex: detection, infection and conception. But the facts are just the opposite, at least in the areas of infection and conception.
1. It may be granted that some contraceptive techniques are virtually foolproof when used properly (pill), but despite the availability of contraceptives pregnancy still frequently occurs. This simply shows that all the sex education in the world and all the contraceptive devices known to man cannot stop women from getting pregnant.
2. The pitch today is safe-sex by using condoms. The fact is that many sexually active singles still never use contraceptives during intercourse. And many use condoms improperly or only occasionally.
3. Many young people are ignorant of contraceptive devices and others do not use them because it takes away romance, it challenges their manhood or womanhood, or it is simply not convenient. If governments were to spend billions to promote condom usage, most people would not use them consistently or properly. The nature of human beings and the passion of the act simply do not lend themselves to disciplined response in young romantics. While science may control biological processes, it has never and will never control man’s emotions.
4. Intercourse requires the consent of both partners, but a child cannot consent to be born or aborted. Multiple millions of unwed mothers each year bring unwanted children into this world, millions more became pregnant and aborted their unwanted babies. This happened in spite of the fact contraceptive devices were being used in many cases. The possibility of pregnancy is still very real for anyone who indulges in premarital and extramarital sex.
1. The sexual revolution has brought us many problems. In spite of all the advanced medicine. We are in the midst of a sexually transmitted disease epidemic. Today most of the emphasis is on AIDS. Yet, we hear very little about herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea. chlamydia, genital warts or cervical cancer.
2. Twenty years ago there were only two known sexually transmitted diseases—gonorrhea and syphilis. Today there are 27, and for many of these like Herpes II, there is no known cure at this time. The papilloma virus (HPV) kills many women today. And there is now a strain of gonorrhea which is resistant to antibiotics. Sexually transmitted diseases can maim the body, induce horrible pain, cause cancer and infertility, and often result in a horrifying death.
3. Every day in the world millions become infected by a venereal disease. For instance, in the United States, the most medically progressive nation on earth, approximately 14 million people will contact a venereal disease each year, and some are innocent victims.
A woman came to me in tears because she had become infected with a serious case of Herpes II from her husband. She had been faithful to her husband, but her husband had not been faithful. When in Viet Nam he cheated on his wife and contacted Herpes II. He never told her and gave the disease to her. She was an innocent victim, but bitter with her husband.
4. The most violent sexually transmitted disease is AIDS. AIDS is the big killer and is passed through homosexual activity, sharing drug needles, blood transfusions, and heterosexual activity. There are those unfortunate victims, who contact AIDS through blood transfusions or blood contact. AIDS is a global epidemic that is heading out of control. According to The Journal put out by the National Federation for Decency, there are over 2 million Americans infected with the HIV virus and will come down with AIDS within two to eight years. If AIDS continues to spread even more rapidly in Africa and Asia, the AIDS epidemic will be worse than the Bubonic Plague of the Middle Ages.
5. Again, many people, especially teenagers, are being told that safe sex with condoms is the answer to avoiding AIDS. This is a lie. Condoms often leak, break or slip off, but again most people just don’t bother to use them. If these devices are not used properly and they slip just once and your partner has AIDS, you are a good candidate to contact the HIV virus. Just one mistake after 500 “protected” episodes is all it takes.
6. People may not know they have the HIV virus for years after they are infected, but they still are a carrier of a fatal disease. Many who look healthy and happy are carrying a concealed weapon, the HIV virus, which can kill all who come into sexual contact with the carrier.
7. While governments are spending multiple billions to find a cure for the AIDS disease (and it appears there are no cures at this time), there is already a cure set forth by God. God says men and women are to abstain from premarital and extramarital sex and be involved in monogamous relationships. There is no possibility of getting AIDS or any venereal disease if a married man and woman are honoring God in a monogamous relationship. Abstinence until marriage is God’s answer to the AIDS epidemic. Remember all sexually transmitted diseases are essentially contacted when a man or a woman is involved in a sinful act of premarital or extramarital sex. Yes, there are innocent victims sometimes, but the ultimate cause was sinful sexual activity.
8. Every Christian couple considering marriage should get a blood test to find out if either or both have contacted the HIV virus or other venereal diseases. This is especially true for those who have been promiscuous before conversion to Christ.
III. EXPERIENTIAL REASONS FOR NOT PARTICIPATING IN PREMARITAL SEX
A. Cultivates a Low Order of Love.
1. Sexual activity before marriage emphasizes the physical aspects in one’ s relationship, confusing the concepts of love and sex. This results in tremendous adjustments that must be made (if they can) in marriage.
2. For instance, if one’s mate was promiscuous before marriage, how can one be sure that such activity will not be repeated after marriage? This may produce morbid suspicion and abnormal jealousy.
B. Unnatural Environment.
1. Premarital sexual activity cannot be engaged in with freedom of conscience, for there is always the fear of someone finding out; the truth is kept from parents. The act must be participated in some car, secret place or back alley. The whole process is ugly and out of character for those who are married.
2. If premarital sex is the perfectly natural thing to do, then why is it done in hiding with tremendous fear that parents or others would find out?
C. Never Satisfied.
1. Premarital petting and sex are like the diseases of alcoholism—the more you get the more you want, until it goes all the way or two people get so involved that there is no way out.
2. After a couple has gone all the way, what is left when there is no love? It is quite possible they may lose respect for themselves and one another, and see the ugly head of incompatibility rising. They feel the emptiness of this relationship so they see the solution to be more sex. Sex becomes the narcotic to deaden the pain. But the problem intensifies. They pet more and enjoy one another less. This relationship will end up with two people marrying without love which will end in disaster or the two will break up before marriage, leaving a couple of disappointed cynics with a lost perspective on sex and love. Many may go on to try another premarital sexual relationship only to realize this too will leave only emptiness and will bring no satisfaction.
D. An Example for Future Children.
1. What are you going to tell your children about sex? If you have involved yourself before marriage, how can you instruct them as to what is right?
2. For those saved after being sexually involved with a person or persons before marriage, there is forgiveness. Since this is the case, one should tell their children the truth and explain to them about the forgiveness of sin. You do not have to offer this information to your children if they don’t ask. However, if they ask, you cannot lie. Tell them Christ has forgiven you and you wished you had waited until marriage.
My boys have said to me, “Dad, you tell us not to be involved in premarital sex, but did you have sex with Mom before you were married?” I look my kids right in the eye and say, “No I did not. I wanted to, but I didn’t because we decided to honor God in our relationship”. My boys were speechless. However, I think there are many parents who cannot look their children square in the eye and give the straight answer. However, they can be honest and admit their mistakes.
E. A Lowering of Values
1. Abstinence in premarital sex safeguards the richest possibilities of sex. Sex is a total person experience (body, mind, emotions and will). Sex symbolizes the yearning for a total merging and sharing of two lives - oneness of every level of experience. But only in marriage can two lives be totally shared: same home, same goals, same name and so forth. If sex is practiced outside of marriage, the oneness of the sexual relationship is robbed of its full potential. Unless two people share their lives in a deeply personal way, their sharing of sex will be shallow and superficial
2. Abstinence in premarital sex safeguards the richest possibilities in love. Love is doing the best for the one loved. Do you love each other enough to forego what might indeed be a meaningful experience of sexual union for the sake of creating the best and right conditions for its continued creativity in your lives?
3. Abstinence in premarital sex safeguards the richest possibilities of marriage. Marriage is a lifelong relationship conceived in love and sustained by fidelity, anchored in an irrevocable commitment. It is a relationship of trust and confidence, respect and understanding, a relationship in which each partner feels utterly secure in the other’s exclusive affection and devotion. Premarital sex can never produce this kind of relationship.
1. The Bible says, “Flee sexual immorality” (1 Cor. 6:18) and “Flee youthful lusts” (2 Tim. 2:22). The best way to handle sexual immorality is to run from it. It does not say pray about it or talk about it, but flee from it.
2. Never let yourself get into a situation where you will be tempted to sin. It is best to stop a situation you might not be able to stop. You might end up doing something that would dishonor Christ, embarrass you and bring a bad name on your family.
3. Sexual immorality for a Christian leads to such guilt that the first thing that goes is a person’s communion with God. Sexual impurity led some of the great men of the Faith to spiritual bankruptcy. Samson, the strongest of all men, was undone because he could not control his lusts for women. Solomon, the wisest of all men, messed up his life with innumerable concubines. David, Israel’s greatest king, fell into adultery with Bathsheba and felt the discipline of God for the rest of his life, even though he was forgiven by God.
B. Know the Bible. Read the Bible and meditate on it. Memorize scripture and then the Word will be with you wherever you go. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psa. 119:9,11). Only those who know the Word can obey the Word!
C. Commit to the moral will of God.
1. Nothing is more important than doing the moral will of God in every area of life. The moral will of God is referred to in relation to sexual immorality.
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified; that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins; as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man, but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 4:3-7).
2. If we choose to break the moral will of God, then we must also be willing to pay the consequences.
Carol and I told each of our boys when they were in college that if they found the right gal for marriage and they sensed they might fall into sexual immorality by having premarital sex, we as parents would approve of the marriage and continue to support them financially until they graduated from college. We emphasized to our kids, “Anything is better than breaking the moral law of God.”
1. Pray about your sex life continually that it would bring glory to God, for your body belongs to God. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
2. Pray before dates that you will be kept from sexual immorality.
Nowhere does the Bible suggest that the battle between the flesh and spirit is easy. Neither does it suggest that to be tempted is sin, or that it is abnormal to experience sex hunger. But it does teach, by precept and example, that there are spiritual resources we can use to overcome our illicit urges.” (Billy Graham, “Discovering Sexual Intimacy,” The Marriage Affair).
1. Choose Christian friends to fellowship with for your peers influence your thinking. If you hang around non-Christians who are constantly thinking of sexual things, this will rub off on you. Christian friends can encourage one another not to fall into sexual immorality.
2. Do not date unsaved guys and gals for this makes the temptation even greater. The temptations are tough enough when Christians date Christians.
1. Commit your life to Christ. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship” (Rom. 12:1).
2. Trust God to work in you and through you. The most important thing in life is to trust God and do His will. Joseph, the handsome, young servant of the Egyptian ruler Potiphar, resisted the allurements of Potiphar’s wanton and sensual wife. Joseph went to jail rather than displease his God and throw over his religious convictions. Joseph’s words were, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
1. Make a definite commitment to stay pure until marriage and hang with that commitment.
2. Today James Dobson is favoring a premarital commitment by teenagers to God and before parents to stay pure sexually. The parents talk privately with the teenager, a commitment is made and a ring is placed on the wedding finger of the left hand. The ring symbolizes an engagement to Christ until marriage. This ring is to be worn until the teenager falls into sexual sin or gets married.
3. This premarital commitment has a definite disadvantage when the single or teenager falls sexually after making the commitment. The result is tremendous guilt.
H. Be Positive. Be confident and positive about the fact you choose to stay sexually pure before marriage. Don’t be ashamed that you are a virgin, but use this as a springboard to witness for Christ.
When my son Arny was 22, he worked one summer in a metal working
plant. Somehow the other workers found out that he was a virgin. The next day they were all very friendly towards Arny, slapping him on the back. When the day was over, Arny discovered that when someone had slapped him on the back they placed a sign on him which said, “I’m a 22 year old virgin”. He wondered why people were laughing at him the whole day. Arny, secure in his relationship with Christ, laughed and held his ground. By the end of the summer, one of the guys who worked there asked Arny many questions about Christianity. The last day of work, Arny brought this guy a Bible in a paper sack so as not to embarrass him. Arny’s stand gave him credibility and opportunities to witness for Christ.