Note: When we found this post by Diane Montgomery on unlockingfemininity.com, we knew we wanted to pass it on to you. It’s longer than our usual posts, but stick with it. It’s chock full of great insight into the issue of purity. You can read more from Diane here.
When it comes to premarital sex, what are you told today? Media, peers, parents, and schools tell you, "Just make sure you use protection." Guess what? God says the same thing, but for completely different reasons and in completely different ways. The world tells you to use protection so when you do choose to have sex you might not have to suffer the physical consequences, such as pregnancy or disease. But God’s protection is different. It isn’t a pill you can take the morning after or in a box you can buy at Wal-Mart. His protection does not just save your body but it saves your heart a lot of pain, along with your future spouse’s. So what is God’s kind of protection? What does God say about preserving ourselves for purity? Let’s take a look at what He has to say in His Word.
1. Preserve yourself for holiness.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. —1 Thessalonians 4:3–8
The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body…. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. —1 Corinthians 6:13, 18
God has said, be holy because HE is holy (1 Peter 1:15). God can only be in the presence of holiness and purity; that’s why He sent His Son to die for us so that we can live with Him and be declared righteous when we believe in His Son. But when you say, "God, I’m going to ignore your commands to avoid sexual immorality and instead I’m going to do what my boyfriend and I want to do," you are rejecting God and sinning against your own body. God says to flee from sexual actions outside of marriage because it is not good for you. He desires that you be holy because it is what’s best for you, and holiness never brings heartache or pain to you and others.
2. Protect Your Reputation and the Gospel
Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure … so that no one will malign the word of God. —Titus 2:4–5
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own. —1 Corinthians 6:19
The Titus women were to teach other younger women how to be godly, how to live in such a way that no one could say anything bad about them and the Word of God. Self-control and purity are signs of a godly woman, of a woman set apart for Christ. She loves her Lord so much that she would rather live a holy, pure life than give in to temptations that only promise temporary pleasure, because she wants no one to be able to say anything bad about God’s children or God’s Word.
We, as Christians, are set apart from the world; we are to look and act different from them. We are to reflect Christ and the Holy Spirit within us. Like it or not, the world is constantly watching what you do, to see if you act in a way that’s different than them. You declare yourself a Christian, but do you act in the same ways, do the same things, and go to the same places as those who do not know Christ? Why should they want to love and obey the same God as you if you don’t love and obey God’s commands? What they think about you is what they’ll think about God. You are not your own; you are His, and therefore you should honor His temple.
Live in such a way that is above reproach so that there is not even a hint of sexual immorality in your lives. If that means as a couple never being alone but Christ is glorified, so be it! If that means always keeping a door open if you’re in each other’s rooms but the Gospel is not maligned because of that, so be it! If that means waiting to kiss or hold hands for months after dating so no one can accuse you of any immorality but instead want to know whom your Lord and Savior is, then so be it! What it comes down to is, which do you love more: yourself or Christ and His Gospel, which saves souls for eternity including yours?
3. Protect Your Brother in Christ
"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." —Matthew 5:28
Matthew 5:28 gives a command to men not to check out women. I used to think that guys are SUPPOSED to check out girls; it’s only natural for them. But according to Jesus Christ, it’s the same as them committing adultery in their hearts against their future wife and it’s a sin. But what does that have to do with us?
If you knew you could save someone in your family a lot of heartache and trouble, would you try as hard as you can to do so? Why would you not do the same for your spiritual brother? Well, I know it can be weird to think about, but the guy you date—if he’s a Christian—is your brother in Christ. He is a part of your Christian family. You can protect him by not purposefully dressing in a way that will make him look at you with lust. A daughter of the King does not intentionally want guys to look at her and thus they sin in their hearts. A daughter of the King instead cares for her brother in Christ by dressing in a way that does not cause him to sin but instead lifts him and glorifies God.
Protecting your brother not only happens when you dress in a God-honoring manner but also when you act in way that does not cause him to stumble sexually. He could be pressuring you to do certain things and you are going along with him, or you could be pressuring him. Either way you are not protecting him, and you’re not protecting his future wife. You don’t know for sure if you both are meant to be together, but you do know that he has a future wife. How awful would it be if someday you have to tell every wife of your boyfriends what activities you both did with each other behind closed doors? Live in such a way that you have nothing to be ashamed of because you cared enough about your brother in Christ to protect him from that.
4. Preserve Yourself for Your Intended Spouse
His left hand is under my head and his right hand embraces me. Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. —Song of Songs 8:3–4
His left hand is under her head? His right hand embraces her? This bride in Song of Songs is now with her beloved, her husband. In a way, he’s snuggling her as his wife. She knows the joy of having been pure and now the beauty of God’s intended plan for purity. She is with her husband and is begging her sisters to not awaken love until it (God) desires, which is after marriage.
God desires the best for you and only does good to His children, so when He says, "Do not awaken love until it so desires; flee and avoid sexual immorality," do it. Sex outside of God’s will only brings hurt to you and others. God is saying, "My child, I have something beautiful and wonderful intended for you, if only you will follow my ways and stay pure, because sex the way I intended it is only truly enjoyable within marriage." He will NEVER withhold good from you, and if you trust God He’ll lead you down the right path and take care of you.
For my husband, he waited eight years to kiss his future wife because he knew that every girl he dated was someone’s wife, but he didn’t know if they were supposed to be his wife and he didn’t want to kiss another man’s wife. So when we started dating, he waited to kiss me until God made it clear that I was going his wife, which was six months. He had saved that and he has never regretted that, but we have both regretted anything we did that did not preserve us for each other.
5. Protect Your Future Marriage
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. —Hebrews 13:4
The consequences of pre-marriage sexual experiences will carry over into your marriage, and you will have to deal with them. They don’t just go away once you get married. The past partners, the past experiences, will come into your relationship with your husband and even your marriage bed. There will be worries from both sides: Am I good enough compared to the other people? Are they comparing me to those other people?
The world tells you, "You need to try this person to see if you’re compatible sexually," or "They might be the one, so enjoy each other now." But God says, "Trust me, I have someone intended for you, and when you marry that person you won’t ever regret saving yourself for that because if you don’t, when you finally do find that person, you will have wished with everything in you that you had waited and kept your marriage bed undefiled."
A wise person once told me, "You will never regret taking it too slow in relationships, but you will always regret going too fast."
God has laid out a plan in Scripture and has given you the tools to protect yourself for sexual purity. He has always promised to do good for you and to you, to save you from hurt and destruction from sin. BUT you have to follow His commands and walk in His will; anything outside His will only brings you pain and heartache. Eve started to doubt God and started to think He was holding something good back from her, when the whole time He was trying to save her from sin and wanted her and Adam to live in His presence in the most beautiful place ever created. But because she doubted God’s goodness to her and disobeyed His commands, sin entered the world and Eve now knew heartache and pain.
Do you trust the Savior who died on a cross on your behalf, or are you starting to doubt His goodness? Do you trust that He has a wonderful plan for you when He says, "Wait!"? If you have doubted before and given in to temptation, you probably know the pain it brings. But God is saying, "Come back to Me, and I will give you rest. It’s not too late." There is always forgiveness and grace with the Lord, no matter what you may have done in your past. He will redeem you if you let Him. If you haven’t yet strayed from God’s will in this area, stay strong, my sister! You will never regret it! God is not a liar; He is only goodness and love, so let’s trust Him in all things and His plan for us!