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Ten good reasons to wait before you have sex

Is sex still worth waiting for? Sixty-one per cent of youths who participated in an American survey said ‘Yes’ it is.

They indicated on a questionnaire that they wanted to wait until they were married to have sex. This survey was taken among 5108 randomly selected young people from thirteen to eighteen years old. At first glance the figure seems high, but perhaps the answers are an expression of what they want, not what the reality actually is.

(Published in the Norwegian newspaper Dagen 22/02/2011)

Ten good reasons why sex is worth waiting for:

Waiting means that you value someone so highly that you are willing to set aside your own needs. When you see that the other person is willing to offer something in order to wait, then you will feel meaningful and loved.

Giving up something voluntarily makes you grow and mature and increases your self control. These are good qualities that you will need to use in an intimate relationship. An important sign that you are mature is that you have the willpower and ability to abstain from temporary, inferior pleasures in order to attain lasting, greater pleasures later. This also brings security into the relationship when you see that your partner has self control and the ability to wait.

Love in a pre-marital relationship doesn’t increase because of sex. It may feel like it does because you are bonded to each other through sex, and feel that you have received something more in the relationship compared to before. In one sense this is right as sex is like a glue that bonds two people emotionally. But if love and commitment aren’t the foundation for sexual activity then the relationship will not last. Simply wanting to have sex isn’t any evidence of love, it’s equally a sign of egoism and a desire to satisfy your own lust.

You don’t find out if you are a good match by having sex. Men and women match each other physically, but it takes time to find out whether or not they are a good match as people. If you start a relationship with sex, it will be harder to see each other’s personal attributes as you will be so consumed by the good sexual experiences. In fact it will probably be harder to find out if your relationship is built on true love or if it is just romance and physical attraction. The end result can be that you are bound to a person you don’t actually suit.

A lot of young people have negative sexual experiences. When you have sex with someone you are at your most intimate and vulnerable. Many people have painful emotional experiences that take a long time to heal. One reason for marriage is to give security, trust and faithfulness so that it is secure and right to give yourselves to each other sexually.

Sex will quickly become a dominating element in a relationship and will prevent you from getting to know each other and the qualities that are needed in a stable relationship. One teenager expressed it like this: ‘When my girlfriend and I started having sex, it became the most important thing in our relationship. It was what we looked forward to whenever we met, and even when we did other things we could hardly wait to caress each other and have sex. Therefore our relationship became very superficial and stopped after some time.’ Another unmarried couple said, ‘when you took sex out of our relationship there was nothing left.’ Sex is such a big physical act that it easily drowns out everything else you should find out about as partners.

Sexual experiences with others can damage your ability to be faithful to the person you marry. If you are used to having many partners, it can be hard to settle down permanently with the same partner. If you have had sexual experiences before marriage then it’s easy to compare experiences and remember previous experiences that were better and more exciting. If you had better sexual experiences with others, you can be tempted to think that your husband or wife is not ‘the right one’.

When you have sex you risk sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or getting pregnant. Even though we have ready access to contraception these days, many young people get STDs and many get pregnant. In God’s plan sex is only to be enjoyed in the context of lifelong faithfulness and the will to take responsibility for any resulting children. If two people who have never had any other sexual partners have sex with each other, there is no risk of getting STDs.

If you live contrary to God’s will, it will affect your relationship with God. If you have sexual experiences with your boyfriend or girlfriend, it will affect your conscience and you will experience that it is difficult to get close to God. Thankfully, He has made it possible for us to do something about previous choices and get a new start. Read 1 John 1:9 and John 8:2–11.

If you have found the right person, and want to get married, then you have nothing to lose by waiting to make love till after the wedding. You have lots of exciting things to experience together and to learn about each other, so take time together to develop a solid friendship. Here are some of the things you will give each other by waiting: security, respect, increased self control, a good conscience, and so on … and finally: have you ever met anyone who regretted waiting to have sex until they had got married?