Often times, women who have grown up in church attribute every failed relationship to lust and sex. They walk with shame and guilt because they had premarital sex and believe their fairytale love story is forever cursed as a result of their decision. I know this because for many years I believed the same was true for me after I engaged in premarital sex.
I thought no man would ever love me the way I desired to be loved.
I feared that I would get married with an empty place in my heart. I thought God would never be able to give me the true desires of my heart.
What I know now, that I didn’t know then, is the meaning of God’s forgiveness. Unlike humans, when God forgives, it’s as if that bad decision never happened. It’s erased from his memory and He continues to love you just the same.
For years, I carried shame, guilt and regret over past decisions and no matter how hard or often I prayed, I couldn’t seem to “feel forgiven” or feel free from my past. However, one day while attending a weekend service at my church (Lakewood), I finally became free. I responded to an altar call and finally chose to believe that God loved me completely and unconditionally. I accepted Christ’s forgiveness and ever since that day, I’ve felt freer than ever before.
That moment redefined my walk with God, and I was finally free of the guilt and condemnation that I’d always carried.
In church and in even in my home, I was always cautioned about the physical risks of premarital sex such as pregnancy and STDs but no one spoke about the other equally important risks. No one discussed the risks of emotional and spiritual damage but they exist and it‘s so much bigger than sex.
No matter what religion you ascribe to, sex is an act of worship that involves a uniting of spirits. It’s an act that causes our mind, body and soul to become one with the other person and vice versa. In the process of laying down to become physically intimate, we also lower our guard and lay down every part of our soul, body and mind. We lay down our insecurities and our vulnerabilities and become completely open with that person. Over time, as we continue to practice intimacy we form deep emotional bonds and connections with that person thereby creating feelings of love, passion and desire.
Inside of marriage, this type of connection is powerful and explosive but outside of marriage, it can be toxic and unhealthy as we expose the most sacred parts of ourselves. It becomes risky outside of marriage because unlike a wedded couple, we have no covenant promise to protect the intimate parts of our souls that are being shared. We have no spiritual covering to protect, love, and honor what is being shared and sacrificed. We have no vow to respect the sanctity of what is being shared and exposed.
It’s for this very reason that we as women often struggle to move on after a break-up in a physical/sexual relationship. In our minds, intimacy equals love but in the mind of a man who is not committed to you, intimacy is just an act to fulfill a sexual need or desire. Over time, this battle to move on creates issues for us such as depression, anger, resentment, shame and guilt, as we struggle to break our ties to that person and to the relationship.
Unlike premarital sex, sex within marriage provides a healthy and safe environment to be vulnerable and transparent. Moreover, it provides a healthy and protected environment to give love and express one’s love within the acts of sexual and physical intimacy. Within the confines of marriage, it provides a spiritual covering for us to lower our guard and our inhibitions, because the love and devotion we give will be reciprocated, honored and respected.
Matthew 6:21, provides a great framework for us to understand the importance preserving intimacy for marriage.
“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
This verse describes the heart as a place that contains great treasures. If you owned expensive and rare jewels, would you allow someone you barely know to watch or guard them? Probably not, because you have no idea whether that person will guard them, steal them or destroy them. Like a precious and rare jewel, your heart is a treasure and when you have sex, you expose and reveal the things inside of your heart. When intimate, you lower your guard and allow your spouse to enter into your heart and take control.
Do you want someone who hasn’t made a commitment to you to have control over your heart? Do you really want to expose that much of yourself to someone who isn’t committed to loving you, protecting you, or honoring you?
When you think about that way, sex becomes much bigger than sex and protecting your heart becomes a priority.
If you’re looking for a reason to persuade you to wait until marriage, just think about your heart. Remember that your heart is full of precious and valuable treasures that should be only shared with someone who is committed to loving you unconditionally and honoring you for eternity– a spouse.
It’s so much bigger than the sex.
Commit to protecting your heart. Commit to guarding your heart. Commit to honoring God in all that you do.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. (Ps. 37:4)