We Need To Bend To God
There's a saying that goes, "The best plan is to profit by the folly of others." That's what this article is about. I want to share with you a few things I've learned -- the hard way -- concerning girls and relationships. Specifically, I've jotted down ten reasons why I'm now waiting until marriage to have sex.
When I was in college, I remember having an experience that I referred to as a "love hangover." After being with a girl, the next morning I always felt an emptiness. That's something you won't see on TV or in the movies, but it happens a lot. There was emptiness, even regret, afterwards.
The "love hangover" was a strange occurrence for me. Mainly because when I was in college, sex was my "god." As a male, it's what I thought about morning, noon and night. So you would imagine that having sex would have been completely fulfilling -- the crowning achievement in the worship of my "god." And yet, there was often a lack of fulfillment afterwards.
Has that been your experience, too? Have you ever had a "love hangover"? If you have, you should stop and consider, "Why is that? Why is it that sex, if it's so important to me, leaves me with an empty feeling?"
I remember being confused by this emptiness. I then concluded: "I just need more [sex], that's all." (We often think this way about stuff we hope will fulfill us, then doesn't. For example, we get the car we've always wanted, but then it's just "okay" after awhile. Instead of realizing that a car can't really satisfy us, we usually make the error of thinking, "Well, I guess that wasn't the right car. A different one will give me lasting fulfillment.")
But the emptiness continued. So, finally, I came to the conclusion that premarital sex wasn't all it's cracked up to be. It gets too much hype. It's not what the movies make it out to be. If it were, it would be completely fulfilling. There wouldn't be any "emptiness."
I've found that girls often don't fully understand what's going on when it comes to sex. That is, their perspective on the whole thing is very different from a guy's. Often a girl will justify sex by saying, "But I love him," even if she doesn't really want to go through with it. Why does that happen? It's been said that, "Girls use sex to get love; guys use love to get sex."
This is how it works: the girl is picturing marrying the guy some day; the guy is picturing everything he wants to do with the girl before he goes back to tell his buddies about it. And while something inside her is telling her it's the right thing to do, something inside the guy is telling him just the opposite, yet he proceeds. Why? For the physical pleasure no doubt, but also, I think, for another reason: it makes him feel like a man. But there is a great irony in that, for what is manly about deceiving a woman?
Something I've discovered is that, when you honor a woman, you are honoring yourself. Why? Because someday you will have regret, and the regret will last much longer than the pleasure. In the movie Rob Roy, the main character says, "Honor is a gift a man gives himself." When you honor a woman by doing what you know to be right in your heart (that is, what's in her best interest), you honor yourself and insure that you will have no long-lasting regrets to live with.
Here's what I mean: most of the girls I've been with are now married to other men. When I put myself in the shoes of those men, I wish that I hadn't done what I've done. In fact, I might even like to punch myself in the nose for it.
And so it goes without saying that when I get married, I'm not going to like the idea that someone else has had his way with my wife. What about you? Do you like the idea of someone else being with your wife? If you have a girlfriend now and feel that way, think of how much stronger that feeling will be with your wife someday.
You can even take it a step further. That girl is someone's daughter. What if she were my daughter? Or what if she were my sister? Would I want some guy like me taking advantage of her? I now see girls from a different perspective. They're someone else's future wife, someone else's daughter, sister, etc.
For example, I had a college sweetheart, the girl of my dreams. With her, there was never a dull moment. We totally "clicked." We waited for awhile, then, through my initiation, we started having sex.
Sex soon became the focus of our relationship. I stopped wanting to get to know her on any other level. And so, instead of growing closer together, we actually started drifting apart. That's what I mean by "sex killed my best relationships." People can relate on many different levels -- emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. But when my girlfriend and I started relating mostly physically, it short-circuited the other parts of our relationship. As a result, the relationship as a whole started to go south. We might still be together today if we (I) had waited.
I've seen this happen with countless relationships, not just others of my own, but those of many other people. And I think there's a reason for this, which I'll explain next.
For me, two things happened once I had sex with a girl. As I look back on it, I can say that they happened literally every time, although I was unaware of these dynamics at the time. The two things were this: 1) I lost respect for the girl (even though I didn't want to); and 2) she began to mistrust me (even though she didn't want to).
I don't know why this happened, I just know that it did. Maybe it's just built into "the system." But one thing's for sure: I'm not alone. I've seen it happen over and over again. I know many people having marital problems because they engaged in premarital sex. They go into the marriage with lack of respect and lack of trust, two absolute necessities for the health of any marriage.
I know a newlywed couple who have sex less than once a month because of this -- he doesn't respect her, she knows it, and she doesn't trust him, so she doesn't want to give herself to him. It's very sad, and more common than you might think. But nobody talks about this kind of thing in public. And the movie and TV portrayals of couples having sex before marriage never present it either. It's like no one wants to acknowledge that it's happening, even though it is.
Why? Because we'll go into the marriage with me having more respect for her and her having more trust in me. One thing I've learned: if a girl doesn't trust a guy, she doesn't want to give herself wholly to him. Deep down, she doesn't really enjoy being with him.
This is how it works. Since "girls use sex to get love, and guys use love to get sex," a couple will have sex before marriage. The girl does this to hold on to the relationship. The guy does it because he wants it even more than the relationship itself. Then, after the marriage, the woman has what she wants: a commitment from the man. So she doesn't need to use sex to get him anymore. And, because she may be harboring resentment because he had sex with her before they were married, she is now not interested in sex. And the guy -- who doesn't treasure his wife because of the sex before marriage -- still wants sex but not as a total bonding experience with his wife. It's just sex, which she figures out. So, there is a lousy sex life in the marriage.
I'm not making this stuff up. Now that I'm out of college and many people around me are getting married, I'm seeing it happen all the time. The antidote: waiting for marriage to have sex will give the man a greater respect for his wife and the woman a greater respect for her husband. And consequently they'll have better and more frequent sex because they respect each other more and love each other more deeply.
Sex is a mysterious thing that causes a deep bond between people, even if we call it "casual." The problem is this: the more I bond with other girls, the less I'll be able to bond with my future wife. It's like a piece of scotch tape -- the more you use it on different surfaces, the less it sticks to things. After awhile, it won't stick to anything.
If I bond with other girls before I get married, I won't be able to bond as well with my wife someday. I won't cherish her as much as I could have, and consequently I won't love her as much as I could have. Each day that passes that I've remained faithful to my future wife means that my relationship with her will be better.
It's a funny thing: our culture decries adultery, yet it freely condones premarital sex, even with multiple partners. That's ironic. Because, if you take the element of time out of the equation, premarital sex is adultery. We can imagine how adultery would greatly injure a marriage relationship, maybe premarital sex actually has nearly the same result. It injures the potential bond between a man and a woman.
Sex is meant to compliment a relationship, not be the most important aspect of it. That's what I've found out. It's supposed to be the icing on the cake when all the other aspects of your relationship are working well. I've come to understand that the sex will be good if the rest of the relationship is good. That's why I know I don't have to sleep with my wife to find out if we're sexually compatible. If we get along in every other area, the sex will be fine.
Something else needs to be said here. Another thing I think I've "discovered" is this: when you place sex as the determining factor of the relationship, it will probably result in poor sex. Think about it. If you put your sexual relationship under a microscope, always judging it and judging the relationship by it, it's doomed to fail. It's like being in prison. You're locked in to something that is supposed to be freeing, not incapacitating.
But, when you focus on the other parts of the relationship, and the sex isn't the focus, then you're freed up to have a more enjoyable sex life, with no pressure of having to make it always spectacular. (Because it won't be.) And yet, I don't think that as a college-age adult I was capable of not focusing on sex, that is, unless it wasn't present at all. That's why I think it's best to wait altogether.
I know what you're thinking: "Yeh, right." But it's true. And in fact, in a way sex helped me to discover the something that outdoes it. And that something is not really a something, it's a someone. It's God.
Just hear me out on this one, I know it sounds far-fetched, but the whole thing makes sense. God has created us in such a way that we can't be ultimately satisfied by anything except Him. He built that into the human system, and into each one of our individual systems. As one man put it, "Inside every person is a God-shaped vacuum that only God can fill."
That's why we see people change careers, mates, fashions, and more -- because in our search for ultimate fulfillment, we get frustrated with the things (and people) that have not achieved it for us. So we discard them and move on to something (or someone) else, hoping that in them we will find the kind of fulfillment we are all really looking for. But the problem is, we never find it unless we come to God for it, because only He can provide it.
God loves us too much to see us truly satisfied by anything other than Himself. He wants the best for us, and that means Himself. Nothing or no one is more important than God. I know that's true because I found it out for myself. The emptiness I had -- after buying this and buying that, after sexual escapades, after all my efforts to be fulfilled in life -- the emptiness came to an end when I asked God into my life. More specifically, when I asked Jesus Christ into my life. Jesus Christ said, "He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty" (John 6:35). Those words came true in my life. When I entered into a relationship with God, the God-shaped vacuum inside me was finally filled. I didn't feel empty anymore. Consequently, knowing God has given me a deeper satisfaction than sex ever did.
It's been years since I've had sex. I wish I could say that I totally waited for marriage, but I can't. I do have regrets (and, as I said before, they have lasted much longer than any momentary pleasures). I have regrets about the way I've treated girls. I have concerns about the stability of my future marriage (if and when I get married). But God has helped me to deal with my past acts and with my concerns for the future. He is in the process of changing me, and has changed me a lot already.
Also, God has given me the ability to wait for marriage to have sex again. Sure, it's been a struggle at times, but God has been big enough to get me through it. All things are possible with Him. And each day, week, year that goes by, I know I'll have a better and stronger marriage someday because I've waited. Too, I have a stronger relationship with God, today, as a result of depending on Him in this vital area of my life as a man.
If you want to be successful in relationships someday -- as a husband and a father -- the best place to start is with yourself. The trick is not in finding the right wife, or having the right children. The key is to start with you. And the most important relationship you can have -- one that will make you a better husband and father -- is a relationship with God.
God is the author of sex, love and relationships in general. He created these things for us to enjoy. And we can enjoy them fully if we follow His design for them. I've come to discover that God is not a "moralizer." He doesn't say, "Do this" or "Don't do this" for no reason. When He says, "Don't do this" (for example, wait for marriage to have sex), He's not saying that to show me who's boss, He's saying it because it's in my best interest. He's saying it because He knows how He's built me as a man, what is best for me, and what will bring me the most fulfillment.
The Bible says that Jesus Christ was God who became man -- "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us." He was "the exact representation of His [God's] being." In short, Jesus Christ revealed exactly what God is like. So how do we begin a relationship with Him?
God has a genuine love for us and wants us to know Him...but there is a problem. Currently, what stands in the way of us connecting with God is our sin (our failure to love God and others perfectly).
So Jesus Christ ("God in the flesh") took all of our sin on His shoulders while He willingly died on a cross. He did this so we could be completely forgiven, completely acceptable to Him. He made the great sacrifice of being beaten, humiliated, whipped and crucified on our behalf. Then, after three days, He rose from the dead. He now asks us to respond to His sacrifice by inviting Him into our lives.
Jesus Christ was the most masculine man who ever lived. People don't often give Him much credit for that, but it's true. So, when you ask Him to come into your life, you are asking the one Person who knows more about being a man than any other man. He will help you to become a real man -- not the Hollywood version -- but someone far more fulfilled in life and far more valuable to the lives of others.
What does that real man look like? He doesn't look like a wolf (someone who looks out only for himself). Instead, he looks more like a shepherd -- someone who looks out for the well-being of others. As you grow in your relationship with Christ, you will discover more and more what it means to be a real man. And Christ will change the way you think about women and consequently the way you treat them.
You can begin a relationship with Christ that lasts forever. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that those who believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Belief means trust. When you trust or rely on Christ's sacrifice on your behalf, you can receive eternal life -- a relationship with God that begins now, that you maintain for the rest of your life. If this is now the desire of your heart, the following is a guideline for the kinds of things you might want to say to God in sincerity:
Dear God, I confess that I have sinned against You. Thank You for taking all of my sin upon Yourself on the cross. I want to receive Your forgiveness. I want to enter into a relationship with You. I ask You to come into my life as my Savior and Lord. Please make me into the man You want me to be.
To gain helpful dating advice and to grow in your knowledge of God, read the sections Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible.
For more on Jesus' perspective and what he offers, please see this helpful article, Beyond Blind Faith.
For info on having a relationship with God, see Knowing God Personally.