Sex Without Marriage—Why It Hurts
SEXUAL attraction can be very powerful. The Creator implanted it in humans evidently to contribute toward making marriage a pleasurable tie that binds.
Some people may laugh scornfully at the idea that it is hurtful to share in sexual intimacies when unmarried. They may wonder what harm is done to their bodies when they give in to these desires outside wedlock. But do they forget what they are inside their bodies, within themselves? Do they not have a personality, a reasoning mind and a heart longing for real love and security? Inward wounds resulting from abandonment by a temporary lover can bleed for years. Also, insensibilities can be developed, and these would not promote health and happiness either. People are coming to realize more and more that the use of the sexual organs outside wedlock does not bring lasting satisfaction and joy.
A YEARNING FOR MARITAL LOVE
A wife undergoes, not only a physical change during her first sexual contact, but also an alteration of her personality. When still a virgin, probably she desired a boyfriend, someone to speak with and “to lean on.” After having intercourse, however, a woman starts “to long for a man” in another sense of the word. Jehovah God, as the Creator, called this ‘craving for her husband.’—Gen. 3:16.
A girl who is too eager to get married is in danger of allowing her boyfriend too many liberties with her. Afraid of losing this friend, she may try to tie him to her with unclean courting. But, girls, please ask yourselves: ‘With what do I tie him?’ Think. Does he have genuine interest in your personality and in your mental qualities and noble sentiments? Or, rather, will he not leave you if you do not continue to share with him in sexual activities? How long can women yielding to immoral advances attract their partners? No longer than a woman of easy virtue can catch the eye and arouse the passions of her irresponsible “friends.” Who is then left deeply injured? In the same way, can a young man who makes immoral advances to his girl friend expect to be respected by her in later life?
The Scriptures indicate that “God will judge fornicators and adulterers” adversely. (Heb. 13:4) What could hurt more than that? Remember, too, that one act of immorality may ruin a whole career of a once happy servant of God. And this cannot be rectified by a hurried marriage. Like scratches on a phonograph record that spoil the full enjoyment of music, so the full peace and happiness of the marriage itself can be disturbed by past negative sexual experiences.
CONSIDER LIFE’S UNCERTAINTIES
Some may say: ‘What harm is done when we allow ourselves certain sexual liberties outside wedlock? We are sure that we will marry, and we take it for granted that we are not ill in the sense of having a venereal disease.’
But think for a moment. Can we, being imperfect and mortal, ever say, ‘We are sure we will marry’? Are not all of us subject to the stated law, “Time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all”? (Eccl. 9:11) How can a couple be sure that they will get married? At best, they can only hope to be able to do so. Jesus’ half brother James admonished: “Come, now, you who say: ‘Today or tomorrow we will journey to this city and will spend a year there, and we will engage in business and make profits,’ whereas you do not know what your life will be tomorrow. . . . Instead, you ought to say: ‘If Jehovah wills, we shall live and also do this or that.’”—Jas. 4:13-15.
A MATTER OF PLEASING GOD
Also, would it be reasonable to ask Jehovah’s blessing on our efforts to achieve a happy marriage and at the same time become involved in conduct that the “Hearer of prayer” condemns? (Ps. 65:2) Of course, we must really believe that certain actions are condemned by God. Well, with evident reference to unclean sexual activities, Jesus classed “loose conduct” among various “wicked things.” (Mark 7:22, 23) The apostle Paul said that those practicing “the works of the flesh,” such as “fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct,” definitely “will not inherit God’s kingdom.” (Gal. 5:19-21) Such statements certainly leave no doubt about Jehovah’s thoughts on this matter, do they?
Sexual activity outside marriage defiles both the man and the woman. Unquestionably, that is Jehovah God’s view. Otherwise, he would not prohibit unmarried persons from engaging in sexual intimacies. (Compare 1 Corinthians 7:1, 2.) Moreover, the Universal Sovereign does not approve of greedy and disorderly individuals. (1 Cor. 6:9, 10; 14:33) Since he has laid down the necessary moral laws for human life, these must be observed if we are going to please our Creator and enjoy true happiness. Any other course will hurt us.
Engagement, or preparing to get married, is something other than being united in wedlock already, is it not? Well, then, consider: What would you think of a man who had not been appointed as an overseer in the Christian congregation but who was trying to assume the position of such an elder? He would be presumptuous. And what happened to certain individuals of ancient times who presumptuously ran ahead and did not wait for Jehovah? Were they injured? Yes, on occasion even to the point of death, sooner or later. (1 Sam. 15:22, 23; 2 Sam. 6:6, 7; 2 Chron. 26:16-21) Surely, no God-fearing person would want to act presumptuously by engaging in a physical relationship prohibited by Jehovah, or by sharing in the intimacies associated with marriage before having entered wedlock.—Eph. 5:3.
AVOIDING PAINFUL PROBLEMS
Respect, even deep respect, for each other is one of the main pillars of a happy marriage. (Eph. 5:33; 1 Pet. 3:7) But how can an engaged couple build up real respect for each other if they see and know that both of them have become involved in greedy, immoral conduct? Does this inspire confidence? No, for much jealousy in marriage is brought about through negative experiences with each other before entering wedlock. Cannot a downhearted wife say years later: “You only wanted a woman, not just me”? And how can her husband then prove the contrary to be true? He cannot. Well, how can a man, before his marriage to a particular woman, prove that he really is in love with her? By respecting her chastity. He thus displays his unselfish love for his future wife. He also shows that he is as good as his word. Perhaps he had promised the girl’s father that he would not touch her in an unclean manner. How shameful it would be if he now had to confess that he has made the man’s daughter pregnant! Would that be a fine start for a marriage?
Painful problems may be avoided by parents, as well as by engaged couples, by giving prayerful attention to this matter. This is of great importance in the present morally decadent world. Moral standards as established by God have never had to withstand so many attacks as they have encountered in our day. The Bible really has to be a Christian’s daily guide as to friendships, engagement and marriage. Why? The Scriptures answer: “That you no longer go on walking just as the nations also walk in the unprofitableness of their minds, while they are in darkness mentally, and alienated from the life that belongs to God.” Many persons have “come to be past all moral sense,” and they have given themselves “over to loose conduct to work uncleanness of every sort with greediness.” But the apostle Paul urged fellow believers to “put away the old personality which conforms to your former course of conduct,” putting on “the new personality which was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty.” (Eph. 4:17-24) Yes, do that and you may avoid the pain and calamity that are sure to befall those who continue to ignore God’s righteous standards.
DO YOU NEED HELP?
If anyone has a problem in this regard, it would be well to speak with one of the appointed elders in the Christian congregation. He is in a position to help you understandingly. Such a man is an elder or overseer due to possessing spiritual qualifications, and no doubt he is an experienced fighter against his own fleshly desires, as was the apostle Paul.—1 Cor. 9:26, 27.
Also, engaged couples can speak openly with each other. This can strengthen both of you in your firm decision to please Jehovah. By aiding each other to conform to the divine will, surely you will not be hurt. Rather, both of you will know the true happiness enjoyed by loyal servants of God. Is that not what you want in life?