A few months ago, I saw the movie 17 Again for the first time. And OMGoodness! I loved it SOOO much!
(I have no clue why I hadn’t seen it sooner. For one, I love the movie 13 going on 30, and from what I knew about 17 Again I thought it was similar to that. For two, it has Zac Efron in it… and I had a major crush on him when I was 12. #TroyBolton #Sighs.)
My favorite part was when the students were in health class.
The teacher came in, saying, “Today we are continuing our discussion on human sexuality. As we discussed, the official school policy is abstinence.”
Mark (the dad in his 17-year-old body) nodded his approval: “Now that is a very sensible! I’m glad that someone here has their head screwed on straight.” He then turned to his classmates and said that he thought they should all make a pact to abstain from sex, much to their dismay.
The teacher continued, “Let’s be real. I know that asking high school seniors to be abstinent is like asking a porcupine to poop goat cheese.” She shook her head and made a face. “So, since the majority of you are, or will be, sexually active at some point-”
“-That point should be way, way in the future,” Mark interjected.
“Well, the official school position is that we prepare you for safe sex. So here,” she grabbed a basket filled with condoms and passed it around the room, “everyone take one.”
The basked floated around the room, reaching a boy in front of Mark. He took a handful and then turned to pass it behind him. He snickered at Mark and said, “You don’t need one of these,” and he started passing the basket to the person behind Mark.
Mark nodded. “You’re right! I don’t need one! And you know why? It’s because I’m not in love with anyone right now. Isn’t that what it’s called? ‘Making love?’ Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think that means you do it with someone you love.” He stood passionately, “And preferably when you’re married! You know? When you’re ready to take that love and turn it into a baby.”
I love that!
I love it so much because you find out at the beginning of the movie that Mark did not wait until marriage to have sex. When he was a senior in high school, he and his girlfriend had sex, and she became pregnant. He married her and became the father of a baby girl.
And now that he was surrounded by people who are the age he was when his girlfriend became pregnant, he wasn’t encouraging them to follow his path. He was encouraging them to be radically different than how he was and different than how our culture today is.
“If you truly love me, you’ll have sex with me.”
The line has been used thousands of times, but the line is a lie.
Premarital sex is NOT an act of true love.
Want to know what true love is? True love is Jesus Christ selflessly dying for us and our wrongdoings on the cross.
See, here’s the issue with premarital sex:
Premarital sex breaks the design of sex.
Sex isn’t a bad thing. I feel like so many Christians hold the belief that sex is bad, and then they get engaged and find themselves having to convince themselves that sex is good before they get married and are expected to have sex!
So let me repeat: Sex isn’t bad.
God created sex to be a beautiful way for a husband and wife to express their love for each other. Additionally, God created marriage to be a picture of our relationship with Him. There is wedding and marriage imagery throughout the Bible, pointing towards how much God loves His people.
In this way, sex can symbolize the love that God has for us.
“Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II discerned four key characteristics of God’s love. God’s love is always: free, total, faithful and fruitful. Each key is also one of the four essential qualities of authentic married love.” (Source)
God’s love is freely given. All of Him was given when Jesus died on the cross. He is faithful to us and His love gives us new life.
True love is free, total, faithful, and fruitful.
Love between a husband and wife should be freely given. They should give the total sum of themselves to each other. They should be faithful to each other. And by living out this love by having sex, their love is fruitful- it can create new life.
However, premarital sex does not meet these qualifications to be true love.
Sex outside of marriage isn’t free- it always comes at a cost.
It isn’t total- the couple hasn’t pledged all of themselves to each other.
It isn’t faithful- the couple hasn’t promised to be faithful to each other.
And it isn’t fruitful, as measures are usually taken to prevent the conception of life.
Related: Take It Slow If You Want Your Relationship to Last | Psychology Today
But why does it even matter?
As Christians, we have the ability to show the world what true love really looks like through our relationships. By saying “No” to sex before marriage and by saying “No” to sex outside of marriage once we are married, we prove this love is real.
Saying “no” to premarital sex gives us the ability to practice selfless love- the kind of love we will need once we are married. Saying “no” to premarital sex is us denying ourselves- choosing to show our love for God and His design by denying ourselves of a pleasure.
(Honestly, this concept doesn’t even just apply to sex. In all areas of our lives, there are temptations that we need to say no to in order to walk out our love for Christ.)
In conclusion, allow me to re-emphasize this last point:
Saving sex for marriage is an act of love.
It’s a way to show the world that you love God and are willing to deny yourself to honor Him.
I leave you with the following quote by Josh Harris:
“The world takes us to a silver screen on which flickering images of passion and romance play, and as we watch the world says, ‘This is love.’ God takes us to the foot of a tree on which a naked and bloodied man hangs and says, ‘This is love’.”
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