It is so important as Christ followers that we give a good answer to this question because, largely, the culture has moved on. What I mean by that is that for us to suggest that you should save sex for marriage, the culture largely hears that as old-fashioned and unrealistic. That there’s no way that we could attain that standard.
And I would even say that is the mindset of many Christians within the Church.
Maybe you grew up hearing that sex should be saved for marriage and maybe you asked your mom and dad or you asked your Sunday school teacher or you asked that person you respected. And you said, “Well, okay I hear you. But why?” and you were never really given a good answer.
Maybe the answer you got translated into, “Well, just because.” But sexual pleasure is so intense that it will threaten to override any sort of conviction on it that we might have, especially if we don’t have a good answer to the question.
Not to mention our culture today has largely disconnected what we do with our physical bodies from our souls and the essence of who we are. They just see it as another biological desire, and, since it’s a natural biological desire, then we should fulfill it.
The idea is that we have every right to fulfill it and to not do so would be cruel.
So it’s kind of like it’s not any different from being hungry. I’m hungry; I’m going to eat. I’m sleepy; I’m going to take a nap. I desire sexual intimacy; I’m going to go fulfill that with whomever and whenever and however I want to and it would be cruel to suggest otherwise.
Therefore, if we say that you should save sex until you’ve made a covenant in a marriage relationship and anything outside of that is sin—that, in other words, it’s missing God’s best for your and my life—the culture hears that as crazy talk.
So why should we listen to God on the subject of sex?
The reason why we should listen to God on this primarily is that God is the one who thought up sex, and I don’t think he gets enough credit for that.
We should be saying, “God, way to go! That’s awesome!”
God’s like: I’m going to design this thing. It’s going to work like this and it’s going to bring this intense amount of pleasure and fulfillment to you. And I think at times, God’s up there going: Hey–yoo-hoo–that was my idea. You guys have hijacked this from me and you’ve actually made it to look like I think that sex is dirty or that it is a wrong thing.
God designed sex. And if God designed it, then he knows how it works best and he knows how it might hurt us.
Just think of all the ways in which we disregard God when it comes to sex and how that disregard has introduced all kinds of ways in which sex has brought about debilitating pain into our lives.
Sexual intimacy is an expression or an illustration of God’s covenantal love. That word covenantal describes the binding promise God has made with his people. He created sex in Genesis 2, which means that it is his idea; therefore, he knows how it works at its optimal best.
I did not design or make the truck that I drive. Someone else did. He gave me an owner’s manual and it’s in the glovebox. If I really want to know how the truck should run best and how it could be optimal, I’m going to pull that out and I’m going to read it. I’m not just going to go on feelings because I drive it every day.