Before You Touch That Girl . . .

This lesson is designed to help people, particularly young people, who are having difficulty making a decision about their sexual and spiritual futures. It is directed slightly more to males than females, but it is intended to be of help to all. It was written by a Christian father of daughters. Raising daughters gives fathers a whole different perspective on the challenges that both the boys and the girls face during the dating years.

This is not written to deprive anyone of an experience that they should be having at a particular age. Rather it is written to help singles live up to the scriptural standard that they know they should live up to: I Thessalonians 4: 3-7- "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from immorality; that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God; that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we solemnly forwarrned you. For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness" (RSV; some other translations render the part about taking a wife as "control his own body"). Clearly God did not want His young people going about their social lives like they were people of the world (II Corinthians 6: 17, 18).

God has a great married life in His plans for you. He has a plan for husbands to be spiritual and physical leaders at home and for wives to be second in command. Wives and children are safe in the kind of home God has planned. Under God's plan, wives and children will not have to worry about the husband coming home drunk or under the influence of harmful drugs. They won't have to worry about him losing his temper because he just won't do that. And in God's home, there is plenty of sex between husband and wife. I Corinthians 7: "But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." A couple who enters a committed marriage in their twenties can expect to have sex about 6,000 times during a normal healthy lifetime. That's if there is no unfaithfulness and both the husband and wife live by God's plan for "one man, one woman, together for life." There's going to be plenty of sex if you will be faithful to the Lord and give Him time to unfold his plans for you. Stop worrying that there won't be enough. Satan is the one who is trying to make you worried that there won't be any left by the time you get there because you took the time to play by the rules.

Realization #1: Dating leads to marriage. Stop all the horsing around and admit it. Do people marry folks they never dated? Case dismissed. You may not marry the girl you have one date with, but each date adds to the experiences you have that you will finally take into a marriage with someone at some time. Since we have arrived at the realization that every date in some way leads to eventual marriage, let us look at what God's plans are for you in only a few months or years. If you listen to God's plan, God will lead you to a marriage that meets your needs. He says of marriage in Hebrews 13: 4 "Let marriage be had in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled: for fornicators and adulterers God will judge." Sex within marriage is okay! In fact God doesn't just allow husbands and wives to have sex, he requires it. Singles, forget this headlong rush to the back seat of the car to hurry up and get some premarital sex before it is all gone. It won't be all gone. You are going to have plenty once you get married. Do it God's way, and this remarkable part of your lives together can stay pure and uncomplicated. It's when people start trying to get their sex in ways that God has not ordained that sex becomes complicated and downright dirty.

Dating that doesn't lead to marriage is useless, illogical, and dangerous. Why waste your time? This kind of dating is what is leading some to the "friends with benefits" social situation. "Friends with benefits" had to be thought up by boys--no girl with her head on straight would ever have thought of such a lop-sided proposition. In "friends with benefits," boys and girls spend time around each other, but they have already made up their minds that these friends are not candidates for marriage, ever. But they agree to have sex in order to "scratch an itch" (much more of a boy's reason for sex than a girl's). There are many things about that arrangement that are both sinful and illogical. First, if they are having sex but aren't married, that is fornication, and fornication is sinful. For the Christian, this kind of premeditated sin is "crucifying the Son of Man afresh" (See Hebrews 6: 4-6; don't take forgiveness for granted on this one). And "friends with benefits" is so illogical. Why give away your most prized possession--your purity--to someone who you don't care enough about to marry? How appreciative is the other person going to be of your special gift of purity if they don't respect you enough to consider you for marriage? And when you do find someone you would consider marrying, how pitiful are you going to look to the person who did wait until marriage? Don't they deserve something better than "look at what the cat dragged up?" A lot of tragedies have come out of situations where boys and girls have spent too much time with people of the opposite sex who were never marriage material to begin with. And, guys, what are you going to do if your "friend with a benefit" comes up pregnant? Marrying someone who really didn't meet your expectations for a wife is just making a down payment on an eventual divorce. Not meeting your responsibility as a parent is a horrible mark on your manhood. Real manhood is about responsibility. Always has been. Always will be.

Premarital sex: Don't believe what the world is telling you that "everybody is doing it." Everybody isn't doing it. Even the evidence outside the Bible says so. Based upon a national survey of adolescents, the Alan Guttmacher Institute and the Centers for Disease Control found in 1995 that eight in ten girls and seven in ten boys are virgins at age 15. At age 18 for both sexes still more than 30 percent are virgins, and their sample likely included some who had already married. It's very likely that most of the survey's respondents were not Christians--they were just young people who were trying to apply some common sense. To quote Jon Santrock's Adolescence: Twelfth Edition on page 203, "Researchers are finding that adolescents are waiting until they are older to have sexual intercourse. For example, a national survey of U. S, ninth-to twelfth-graders revealted a linear decrease from 1991 (54.1 percent ) to 2005 (46.8 percent) in the percentage who had ever had sexual intercourse and who were currently active (37.5 percent in 1991, 33,9 percent in 2005)." Another study (Santelli et. al., 2004) of more than 30,000 15 to 17 year old girls found a decrease from 51 percent non-virginity in 1991 to 32 percent in 2001. It's just not true that "everybody's doing it."

Realization #2: Premarital sex represents a far greater risk for girls than it does for boys. The world tries like crazy to play this down and portray fornication as a mutually enjoyable, risk-free activity for both genders. They are lying. The odds are stacked tremendously against the girls, somewhat against the boys, and entirely in favor of Satan. He's out to get both genders (I Peter 5: 8) before it's all over with.

When a unmarried couple has sex, they complete all of the steps that lead to parenthood, just as surely as if they had been married. Mother nature doesn't read the wedding pages of the newspaper! The boy can put his clothes back on and go home and act as if those five minutes of fun were the end of it. The girl doesn't have that option. She may be pregnant, and pregnancies during the high school years are especially dangerous or fatal to career aspirations. If she is pregnant, her odds of graduating from high school drop from about 80 percent to about 33 percent. Her odds of ever getting a bachelor's degree from college are now 1.5 out of a 100 instead what they might have been (varies with her circumstances). If she has an abortion, she will have a murder as well as fornication to try to explain to God. If she has the baby, she has the choice of keeping it or putting it up for adoption. Both choices are tough and both come with high price tags. Many a mother who put her baby up for adoption has lived a wretched life, trying to justify to herself why she did not keep the baby and raise it. These few minutes of pleasure come at horrendous risk for girls' futures, and it is the height of selfishness on a boy's part to even ask for it. Boys, if you really love a girl, don't ask for sex outside of marriage. It's not a reasonable request. Girls feel tremendous risk of pregnancy when being pressured for sex. Boys, probably the nearest thing to that kind of pressure would be to have a girl friend pressuring you to pledge the next twenty years of your wages to them with no possibility of getting out of the deal. Think of that one the next time you decide you want to "have a little fun."

Across several studies that have been done with high school and college women, the women have reported considerably less pleasure in having sex before marriage than the men. Only about six percent of college women thought it was worth the risks, as opposed to over 50 percent of college men. This is because women tend to experience and perceive life from a more global or overall perspective than men. When the romance isn't really there, the wedding vows haven't been said, the rings aren't on the fingers, and the ink isn't dry on the marriage license, the girls just don't feel as much like doing it as they would have if those details had been taken care of. . The sexual revolution has tried to tell girls and young women that those domestic things aren't important, but a lot of them just aren't buying it. The kind of Christian girl you should be dating, guys, won't buy it at all. Having sex in a hurried, furtive, rushed way just won't feel right.

Guys, I don't mean to make fun of us but . . . under the typical circumstances of premarital sex--hushed, hurried, furtive, fearful of discovery--this experience may truly be only five minutes of fun. Or one or two. This will not be the high-grade, fulfilling sexual experience that married Christians are able to enjoy while knowing that what they are doing together is right. If it is all over with in a minute or two, the girl may be left wondering what all the hype was about, and you may really embarrass yourself. This is no way to begin an important phase of your lives, a phase called sexual adulthood. It can raise doubts about some features of your manhood that can persist for the rest of your life.

Reasons to wait until marriage

1. Sex outside of marriage is wrong. Just plain wrong. See I Corinthians 6: 9-11, Galatians 5: 19-21, Ephesians 5: 3-13, I Corinthians 6: 18-20. And there are other passages, if these four plus the I Thessalonians 4 one aren't enough. Sex with someone you aren't married to is called fornication. Fornication can keep you and/or your girl friend out of Heaven. How do you know the two of you will repent of this sin before Jesus comes again? What do you think the Lord is going to say about your eternal destiny if Jesus comes and finds the two of you in the middle of this?

This sin will come between you and your God unless you fully repent of it. Even then, many people experience a permanent loss of self-esteem because they failed at one of life's most important tasks--staying pure until marriage. Talk to people who waited for sex until marriage and you will almost never find anyone who regretted that decision. Talk to those who gave up the fight early and almost every one of them, if they will talk about it at all, will tell they wish they hadn't done it.

2. How do you know that the two of you will be able to do this and do it only one time? Sex was intended to be a very satisfying state of affairs for people who are married to each other. Sex was designed by God and not designed to be a one-time thing--it was designed to enrich marriages for a lifetime. Before you know it, instead of sex being a "one time thing and then we will keep it special," it becomes a whole lifestyle of sin.

3. The break-down of self-discipline over sex leads to a rapid and total breakdown over almost all areas of one's life. Experience has shown that when young people start losing their grip on this area of their lives, they start losing their grip on everything. A doctoral dissertation by some guy named Womack when he was down at A&M (1979) demonstrated statistically that peoples' values are interrelated. The ones who have high religious values have high self esteem and high values toward church, country, state, local community, family, and school. Guys who are trying to get girls to go to bed with them without the benefit of marriage attack two areas of girls' personalities--value toward religion and self esteem--and they attack them hard. When young people start losing their grip on these areas of their lives, they start losing their grip on everything. Girls who start sleeping with a boyfriend find themselves in conflict at home, at church, at school, with their friends, and with themselves. It's not a happy life. Just look around. If girls' self esteems plummet, their grades start dropping, and they may start getting into trouble with the law. Even if premarital sex does not result in a pregnancy, it can start a downward spiral in personality, a spiral from which one never fully recovers. No one should take the surrender of his or her virginity lightly. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" Galatians 6: 7. Womack may have discovered in his dissertation with nearly 500 subjects what the Bible already said 2000 years earlier, that the person who fornicates destroys himself (I Corinthians 6: 18).

4. The boy who leads his girlfriend into fornication destroys the very thing he seeks. After she loses her self-esteem and respect in the school and community, she won't be the vivacious, happy, smiling, bouyant cheerleading class president that she was. She will be a shell of her former self because she knows she has done something that wasn't right. All of those things that made her seem so perfect before she was led into sin will now be gone. This is one reason why there are so many breakups right after a boy and girl go all the way. They have lost respect for themselves and for each other and don't want to be around each other any more.

5. Don't believe what the world is telling you about "technical virginity" and oral sex. Some take comfort in being "technical virgins." They let foreplay go on (deep kissing and hands in the places usually covered by bras and panties or drawers), thinking that at least they haven't "gone all the way." But these actions and thoughts fit the exact description of another sin, lasciviousness (KJV). It is also called licentiousness in most newer versions of the Bible. Lasciviousness or licentiousness are the behaviors (foreplay) that a married couple would do to prepare each other for intercourse. Between an unmarried couple, they are referred to as petting. Galatians 5: 19 and II Peter 2: 7, 18 list those as sins as surely as they do fornication. Men, licentiousness will brand you to the girl you are dating as a false teacher rather than a man capable of spiritual leadership (II Peter 2: 7 and 18). A nice girl will respect you less, not more, for trying to do those things.

There's a lot of talk these days about oral sex (fellatio and cunnilingus). Oral sex is still sex. It is lasciviousness without question. Most people would still define it as fornication. After word got out that a certain president allowed it to be done to him by a woman other than his wife, another public figure exclaimed, "Is there any wife in this country who wouldn't think both of them had had sex?" It is definitely lust (Matthew 5: 28) and lasciviousness. It's wrong and you shouldn't do it. There are some things that we shouldn't know about people unless they are our wives or husbands. Marriage is built for two and only two.

Instead, carry out your courtships in the way God intended, as spoken in I Thessalonians 4. You will thank yourself for it in the coming years so many times over. You will look at the unhappiness other people went through because of these mistakes and be so glad that you weren't part of them.


MMWR. (2006, August 11.) Youth risk behavior surveillance--United States 2005. (Vol.255). Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Santrock, J. (2008. Adolescence, 12th Ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Womack, S. T. (1979). The perception of self as it relates to one's identification with selected societal components. College Station, TX: Unpublished doctoral dissertation.

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