Pastor Phil Ayres from Kingdomcity joins Mel and Jeziel in the studio to share wisdom on marriage and relationships. Phil has a passion for growing strong families, and is a goldmine of knowledge and advice. Phil says his passion stems from enduring many difficult years of marriage. After weathering the storm, his marriage is now stronger than ever, and he loves to share his expertise on marriage, families and intimacy.
It’s not a new idea, but it’s one that seems to be overlooked more and more in the modern age. Waiting until marriage before consummating your love for one another. It seems today there’s a bit of a “try before you buy” culture, and the stats agree. In 1982, only 5%-10% of couples lived together before marriage, while today just under 80% of couple do. Obviously these numbers don’t guarantee sexual intimacy in these situations, but it’s a fair conclusion to draw.
Before we begin, what’s the Biblical view on sex outside of marriage?
God says, sex is awesome… In the right context! And that context is marriage. The divine order of a relationship is laid out in Genesis 2:24-25:
“For this reason a man shall LEAVE his father and his mother, an shall be JOINED to his wife; and they shall become ONE FLESH. And the man and his wife were both naked and they were not ashamed or embarrassed”
So the order can be seen as :
- LEAVING – prioritising the relationship by leaving the family home
- CLEAVING – Embracing and pursuit of the person
- ONE FLESH – The sexual union
But in today’s culture, too often this order is reversed:
- ONE FLESH
So what difference does it make whether you begin or end with sex?
God created sex to be the glue that seals the relationship, not the concrete to serve as the foundation. To put it shortly, it’s the icing on the cake! To quote Fulton J Sheen:
“Sex has become one of the most discussed subjects of modern times, the Victorians pretended it did not exist, the moderns pretend nothing else exists”
The best answer to the above question comes from 1 Corinthians 7 (MSG)
“Now, getting down to the questions you asked me in your letter to me. First, is it a good thing to have sexual relations? Certainly – but only within a certain context. It’s a good thing for a man to have a wife, and fro a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is a strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. the marriage bed must be a place of mutuality – the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband”
What are the main reasons to wait?
We all love a good list, so here’s a handy 10 point list of reasons:
- Casual sex bonds men to an experience, not a person.
- Oxytocin (aka the bonding hormone) in women can diminish with multiple partners.
- A relationship built on sex is not built on love. It misses the character and calling of a relationship.
- The potential for pregnancy. This is a focus on gratification over responsibility.
- Easy come easy go, if it’s easy, we don’t value it!
- Marriage will clarify your feelings for one another.
- The risk of STDs. More sexual partners means a far higher risk of carrying an STD.
- Waiting is a demonstration of faithfulness
- It helps to develop self control. Who do you become when you don’t get what you want?
- You learn dependence on Christ, and to trust God with your desires.
What if I’ve already had sex in my past, is this all a lost cause?
Well, the good news is, we have a savior who not only forgives, but redeems us. If you’re in a relationship where you’ve gone down the path of sex before marriage, why not have a discussion with your partner, and talk about being Jesus into your relationship in the union or marriage. God wants you to wait, but just because you haven’t, it doesn’t mean it’s too late.
For all of Ps. Phil’s great advice on marriage and relationships, check out the podcast below: