Walking towards the Light from the cross of a King

A blog by Josh Humbert

The Moral Case for Sex Before Marriage and My Response

Yeah that’s where I be on, light to my home where I belong.

Wanna give my sons and daughters more than child support and chromosomes

Girl I made my vows, an I.O.U. regardless if I’m loving it

Divorce is not an option I will die keeping this covenant.

—KB, Head to the Heavens

Sex is easier than love, it’s easier than love, it’s easier to fake and smile and brag.  It’s easier to leave, it’s easier to lie.  It’s harder to face ourselves at night, feeling alone.  What have we done?”

–Switchfoot, Easier Than Love

It’s about to get real in here…..real quick.  Just a heads-up.  Recently, came across an article with the title of “The Moral Case For Sex Before Marriage.”  I will include the author’s comments as I give a response.

Let’s just start here: the author’s “moral” case is, apparently, based on her own perspective.  What kind of moral ground is that?  How does her personal view, her opinion, equate to a moral law we should all follow?

Throughout the article she will claim a moral that she wants to be universal — that is, we should all have sex before marriage.  Yet, she will also talk of how much “individual choice” is the way to go; basically a relative view of morals which is so contrary to a universal view.  This is trying to borrow from one world view to justify another world view that is totally opposite.  Just out of the gates, not a good start for her.  BUT…let’s hear her reasoning…..

Let’s Hear It

Why, morally, should nearly everyone have sex before marriage?

having sex before marriage is the best choice for nearly everyone.  How do I know? Well, first of all, nearly everyone has sex before marriage – 95% of Americans don’t wait until their wedding night. And that’s a longstanding American value.”

Do you hear echoes of your mom or dad in your head?  “If everyone was jumping off a cliff, would you do it?”  Now, while you may not have liked hearing that statement, you knew their was wisdom there.  Just because something is popular doesn’t MAKE it right, nor vice versa.  But is this really how she is making a “moral” case?  Pointing to the fact that most people do not wait till marriage for sex?  Not exactly building a winning argument here or a logical one.

We also are a nation that leads in obesity rankings.  Are fitness and health not worth pursuing simply because so many people are obese?  Much of America lives paycheck-to-paycheck.  Should you not save money and be wise with finances simply because everyone else struggles to make a living?  Using the crowd’s actions as a barometer of of right and wrong isn’t the wisest choice.

Of course, just because lots of people do a thing doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. But sex is….Sex releases stress, boosts immunities, helps you sleep and is heart-healthy.”

Ok, now this one had me laughing….and maybe shows where she is basing her “moral” convictions.  Is sex her god (lower-case “g”)?  Very well could be as she makes it clear that sex trumps just about everything else in her economy.  And why does she esteem sex so highly?  Because of what it does for you, what benefit YOU derive from it.  She pays lip service to the “partner” in sex but personal pragmatism is winning the day here.

Sexual morality isn’t about how long you wait. It’s about how you treat yourself and the people you’re with.”

Isn’t that strange?  This author who makes these HUGE moral judgments on sex is the same one who will keep throwing out euphemisms out about “personally, I don’t really care when you…have sex.”  Those ideals don’t connect at any level.  She makes a “moral” judgment then, in the next breath, denies morality really matters or is needed.  Which way does she want it:  to be able to tell everyone some sexual morals or to leave it all up to individuals to choose?  Confusing to say the least.  Now…how will she handle the painful and stunning numbers that go against her “moral case”?  Let’s see…

Problems and Shame

“The United States has one of the highest unintended pregnancy rates in the world. We have one of the highest abortion rates. We have one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections. But our problem with sex isn’t that we’re having it before marriage; it’s that we’ve cast it as shameful and dirty.”

Now…this is quite a problem with her case isn’t it?  Three growing societal problems that are impacting so many people are listed here.  Growing up in San Antonio, the statistics on pre-teen and teenage pregnancies just in my city alone were/are simply astonishing.  Yet, she gives this one sentence?  And she gives one sentence each to the abortion rate and STD’s.  But when there are nearly 19 Million new STD infections every year (and roughly HALF of those 19 million are diagnosed in young people under the age of 25. *Centers for Disease Control), don’t you think that might justify more discussion?  These three areas are solely a result of sex before marriage.

These three areas have damaged (and taken) so many lives and greatly changed the future of people.  Ah, guess we should just try to minimize this since sex “releases stress and boosts immunities” in our bodies, right?  I mean, let’s keep our priorities straight here, right?  If we actually open our eyes to the consequences of her morality, we might actually see the pain and loss millions are facing.

But her reasoning is simply that “we’ve cast (sex before marriage) as shameful and dirty.”  Really?  Does she own a TV, or have an internet connection, or seen the magazines at the grocery checkout line, or heard just about any popular song on the radio?  Basically…does she have a connection to culture at all?  Sex before marriage is not cast as “shameful and dirty.”  OVERWHELMINGLY in America, sex before marriage is bragged upon, normalized, praised, and set about as a goal!  It’s the whole plot line of most “dramas” on television and most chick-flicks.  We have…ahem… ”celebrities” whose ENTIRE celebrity is based on their sex-tapes.  And we are supposed to “keep up” with these people simply because they have casual sex?

The case she is making never even gets off the ground if this is the best she can do.  So, the stunning number of underage pregnancies, abortions, and STDs are because “we’ve cast it as shameful”?  Any realistic assessment of the messages of culture would say that the opposite is more likely true.  The explosion of those three things has risen with the shamelessness of American sexuality.

The Unused Method

we are literally funding an idea that has never worked in all of human history, instead of supporting tried-and-true policies that could mitigate the harm of a sex-obsessed, but pleasure-starved, culture.”

Never worked?  That’s another absolute claim that honestly cannot be backed up at all.  I was just at a celebration of a couple’s 60th wedding anniversary who had done things right.  Seemed to work there.  I could point the author to some very strong marriages that would be solid proof of her ignorance.  Never worked?  More like, the idea hasn’t been tried enough.  The relationships I see that have rejected her morals show me that the idea of saving sex till marriage is a successful plan that WAITS to be employed.

Further, she hints throughout the article that premarital sex will lead to a better marriage.  This in no way makes sense with what statistics she cited earlier.  At the beginning, she quoted that 95% of people aren’t waiting till marriage; so America is full of people who had sex before marriage.  And yet, divorce keeps happening and grows?  This is exactly at odds with her idea that if people just went along with pre-marital sex (tried and true!) then America would have happier marriages!  This makes zero sense.  You see this, right?  (Someone cue up the principal from Billy Madison….#90‘sComedies.)

And the flip-side….her “tried and true policies?”  What does she mean by that?  Having sex and living together beforehand, the cohabitation trend that has skyrocketed in America the last 20-30 years?

And while the old adage tells women that men won’t buy the cow if they can get the milk for free, if I’m buying a cow, you can bet I’m going to make sure the milk is to my liking.”

See how quickly we went from one-sentence lip service about the great damage our society and real people have felt from unplanned pregnancies, abortions, and STDs and back to “if the milk is to my liking”?  Yes, let’s gloss over the enormous problems to get back to simply individual happiness in sex.  Furthermore, these silly statements people use when talking about pre-marital sex include things like cows and cars (“if you buy a car, shouldn’t you test drive it first?”).  Hey, stop the nonsense.  Sex involves real people.  Quit debasing sex and humans by comparing the act to animals and automobiles.  Humans have dignity and self-worth and to minimize sex to simply cow’s milk or a test-drive is absurd and demeaning.

A Plan For Disaster

A few things to consider, all from non-religious information services, on the “enlightened” idea of cohabitation:

—The US Census reports a 72% increase in the number of cohabiting couples since 1990. Unfortunately, research shows that cohabitation is correlated with greater likelihood of unhappiness, and domestic violence in the relationship. Cohabiting couples report lower levels of satisfaction in the relationship than married couples. Women are more likely to be abused by a cohabiting boyfriend than a husband. Children are more likely to abused by their mothers’ boyfriends than by her husband, even if the boyfriend is their biological father. If a cohabiting couple ultimately marries, they tend to report lower levels of marital satisfaction and a higher propensity to divorce.

—The U.S. Justice Department found that women are 62 times more likely to be assaulted by a live-in boyfriend than by a husband.

(Not a typo.  That is 62 times more likely to be assaulted!  All my single-ladies….RUN from this bankrupt idea!  #Beyonce)

—National Institute for Mental Health:  Cohabiting women have rates of depression 3 times higher than married women.

(ladies, if you are scoring at home, if you cohabitate you would be 62 times more likely to be assaulted and 3 times more likely to be depressed.  Again, RUN from this!)

–Mike McManus of Marriage Savers:  Children of cohabiting parents are 3 times as likely to be expelled from school or to get pregnant as teenagers than children from an intact home with married parents.  Children of cohabiting parents are 5 times more likely to live in poverty, and 22 times more likely to incarcerated.

(Yes, beyond the “stress release and boost in immune system” sex outside of marriage can have generational impacts on your children.)

Quite frankly, the numbers could just go on and on and on.  This supposed “tried and true” policy has definitely been tried and it is truly a path to very real and deep potential problems.

Closing Without Closure

How does she close?  Again with the double-talk….

My point isn’t that everyone should have sex before marriage – people should determine for themselves when they are ready to have sex……Whenever you choose to have sex, the cultural message that waiting until marriage is the best choice is simply wrong. And it’s wrong for almost everyone.”

There it is one paragraph.  Personal choice in one breath, then it’s “wrong for almost everyone” blanket statement in the next.  Did she ever even make a case?  All I caught was double-talk, poor logic, and a hurriedness to gloss over real problems and consequences so we can get back to how fun sex is for you, personally.

Our Story

Now, I’m not sure if you can tell or not, but….I actually disagree with this author.  🙂  My goal isn’t to demean her but to expose how weak the case is and show the great alternative.  I’ll give you, as quickly as I can, my view and my story.

Jessica and I were both thankful, unashamed, and happy to arrive at our wedding day sexually pure.  We don’t claim that it was something we achieved all on our own.  All credit and glory go to God who empowered us to obey His command.

Now, don’t think I was raised in a crazy, sheltered environment.  I attended large public schools and universities.  I saw and interacted with girls.  I was a normal (for the most part!) American 22 year old male on my wedding day.  Same way for her as she went to public schools and large universities and didn’t lead a sheltered life.  AND SHE IS GORGEOUS TOO!!  But, we both made decisions to honor God’s plan for sex and to honor our future spouse.

And I can tell you from this side of the equation, to this day, I think it is one of the top 5 decisions I’ve made in my entire life.  Jessica would echo the same.  There is not a SINGLE ounce of regret between the two of us.  I am my beloved’s and she is mine! There is no other baggage, no other history, no others who have that connection.  We belong to each other.  It is a decision we are continually thankful for and it is truly a way we were able to be a blessing to each other.

I don’t know how the author can say this never works because honestly, it works amazingly for us and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

The Difference-Maker

What makes a difference is a view that isn’t based on personal morality but instead upon the solid rock of Biblical truth and the joy of the Gospel.  I’m not interested in mere morals, especially from some author who has no ground to build and impose her morals from.  As a Christian, I’m not trying to simply follow rules and stay on God’s “good list” by doing the right thing. That is empty religion that leads nowhere.  No, I’m interested in loving, serving, and obeying the Risen Savior, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is worthy of my worship, my obedience, my love, and certainly my trust.

I can trust Him because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  I can trust Him because He died taking my place and covering the horrific payment for MY sin.  I can trust Him because He rose from the grave just like He repeatedly said He would.  I can trust Him because He is God and there is no one who compares.

As it relates to sex and marriage….well, that’s easy…I can trust Him in those things because HE designed and defined them both.  Bump what the politicians try and tell us about the “definition” of marriage.  Get that garbage out!  Man didn’t invent marriage and man didn’t invent sex.  Those are good gifts given and established by God.  I don’t go to some advice columnist to know about sex and marriage; buddy, I go to the ONE who created these things!

Sex is a gift from God for marriage.  Consistently, this is the view of Scripture.  Sex isn’t a “shameful” thing or a “dirty” thing.  In the confines of a Biblical, loving marriage, sex is God’s wedding gift.  On your wedding day, you will get some lame wedding gifts, it’s a fact.  Toasters and tupperware.  Yo, it’s my wedding day and my friend rolls in here with some tupperware?  Are you serious?  Guess what, God doesn’t roll like that.  He gives sex as His gift to the marriage.  That’s Awesome!!

When we honor His gift the way He designed it, it works.  It really does.  And following His plan leads to a much deeper and dignified view of both sexuality and humanity.  In a culture that continues to cheapen sexuality, continues to objectify people (especially women) into sex objects, and does it’s best to destroy the depth of such a wonderful gift, God’s view of sex and marriage shines as a bright light in the midst of darkness.

Your choices with sex and marriage matter.  There is real weight to each decision you make in this area.  I hope and pray you consider carefully the path you choose.  I pray you see how rich and full God’s plan is for these wonderful gifts.


Some Q & A

I want to say a few things as I close.

1st–Are you saying sex outside of a marriage will be impossible to overcome?  What if I’ve blown it?  This could be it’s own separate writing but NO.  A million times NO!  God’s grace is called Amazing for a reason.  He can heal, restore, renew, and do stunning works of grace in people and marriages.  I’ve seen it with my own eyes.  If you feel condemned or ashamed or stained by your past, the Gospel has the power to set you free.  If you need more here, message me.

2nd–Are you trying to “impose” your morals on me?  Certainly not.  Again, not interested in moral codes or some checklist to prove I’m a good person.  I’m a sinner saved by grace.  On my BEST day, I deserve the full wrath of God.  Jesus is my hope, not morality.  So, I’m not trying to impose anything.  I’m also not trying push for some political agenda. What I hope to accomplish here is: show how empty the world’s deception can be especially in regards to sex, and show the beauty of the Gospel and how it adds so much depth and richness to these things.  I would hope you see that God’s view of sex and marriage is much deeper than just stress release and the cow’s milk.  God’s gift is to be celebrated by honoring His design.  I can tell you that this is worth pursuing.  It is.  Your choices here are your own.  My point is: choose wisely.

3rd–What if someone has damaged my view of sex through assault or other ways?  Can God do anything with this?  YES.  A million times YES.  The Gospel is deep enough to rescue and redeem you from the sin committed against you.  Jesus is the Light, even in the darkest places and times.  He died not just to forgive your sin BUT to also cleanse you from the sins done against you.  There are great resources out there to help if this is a reality.  Don’t face it alone.  Trust God.  He is God, nothing is too big for Him.  If you need a starting point, message me.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for sticking through it.  I would like to close in a way I’ve never done on my writings but it’s a way I think will be appropriate.  Let me close in a prayer for YOU, that is, for anyone who has read this.

My Prayer For You

Father God,

Thank You for Your amazing love!  Thank You for sending Jesus.  Thank You for His perfect obedient life, His atoning blood, and His glorious resurrection.  Thank You for the  promise of new life available in Him.  Thank You for the redeeming grace supplied through Him.  Thank You for the healing and forgiveness You give through Him.  You are good, true, loving, merciful, and kind.  There is none like You.

Father, I pray for the person who reads this.  I pray they would see Jesus as worthy of their life.  I pray that they would see Your plan for sex and marriage as the right path that it is.

I pray that if they are struggling with mistakes made in this area, they would find grace and forgiveness You promise in the life, death, and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus.  I pray that if they feel used up and damaged by evil sins committed against them in this area, that they would find cleansing and healing in the Christ.  Where guilt or shame whisper lies in their ear, Lord, I pray that the Gospel would shout real truth about new life in their hearts.  You are bigger than sin and stronger than pain.  You are God.

Finally, I pray that You would bring wisdom and discernment to the choices before them.  These choices matter so much and I pray You would be the One they look too.  Help them to not take lightly the decisions they face.

Father, I’ve tried to write words to tell of Your great love and Your plans.  I ask You to bring clarity to their thoughts now as they consider these things.  You are good. I ask all this in the name of Christ.  Amen.

Colossians 2:8

See to it that no takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

Your comments/messages/disagreements are welcomed.  If you do feel differently, I am open to hearing why.

As always, thanks for reading.

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2012 by in Blogroll and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

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