Why should people wait to have sex? Here are three reasons:
- You could accidentally create another human being. Whether you plan it or not, a child is the natural result of sex.
- You could contract a horrible, painful, itchy, burning, smelly STD.
- You could cause yourself or someone else emotional harm by sharing intimate behaviour in an irresponsibly casual way. Whether you want to admit it or not, you give a piece of yourself away to every partner you have and it does take its toll on you. When you stand at the altar, every one of your past partners is standing there with you. You are unable to give yourself completely to the person you are about to marry. Whenever you have sex with your spouse, you will unintentionally be comparing them to every other past partner.
But there is an even more important reason why you should wait to have sex: self-control. In the Bible, the only thing God tells us to be concerned with, pursue after, and subdue, is self-control. Everything else is beyond our control, and we are to trust our sovereign God to control them for us. Self-control is our responsibility. The only thing in this life we are able to control and ought to be in control of is ourselves.
Waiting is an act of maturity and discipline. The practice of self-denial and delayed gratification makes you a healthier, happier, more poised, and better moderated person. While self-control is a character trait, it is also a "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23); it is a virtue. Self-control will enable you to be a better long-term partner in your until-death-us-do-part marriage. A person without self-control is a slave to their sexual desires, and no matter how many times they gratify those desires, it will never make them happy. Yes, they will be happy in that moment, but their overall life will not be happier.
Why do we need to learn to exercise self-control? Self-control aids in sexual purity. Purity is a life-long spiritual practice that does not begin or end with a single act of sex, nor does it begin or end on the wedding night. We have made virginity the goal when it should be purity that we are striving for. Yes, virginity is a wonderful thing, but the goal of purity enables people to choose wisely for a lifetime.
Do not be deceived. Even married people still have sexual thoughts, desires, and impulses that do not include their spouse. Crushes happen. Porn happens. Even Christians take notice of other people they find attractive. Without self-control and the pursuit of purity, how do you expect to not covet after them? This world demands instant gratification and consumes sex like a drug. If we are not careful, a quick brush with porn or a simple crush on a co-worker can quickly spiral into something devastating. However, if we exercise self-control and have mastery over our own sexual appetite, we will be far less likely to fall into the traps of addiction and infidelity that plague marriages today. Without self-control, how do you expect to remain faithful to your spouse "until death us do part"? Self-control is necessary to living a life of purity.
Let us teach our children more noble and honourable reasons for waiting to have sex. While it is not the church's responsibility to do so, even the church needs to teach people more noble and honourable reasons for waiting to have sex. Do not shame people concerning sex, because sex is a wonderful gift given by God for a man and a woman to enjoy all through their marriage. Virginity should not be our goal; purity should be. Purity is not possible without self-control, and self-control is one of the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23).
"Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16)"If by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (Romans 8:13)