It’s nearly a miracle if a relationship lasts more than a few class periods, let alone a few months or even years. As rare as it is, long-term dating definitely has a presence in school, and so do all the stresses of being with someone for a long time. After dating a certain amount of time, people start to assume couples are having sex, or at least being physically intimate. For some couples this is certainly true, but for others, sex is something saved for marriage.
The urge to have sex with someone grows the longer you’re in a relationship. God made you into sexual beings and gives you the ability to connect intimately with another person. However, God has a design for the circumstances surrounding your sexual acts, and those circumstances are within marriage. In any other context, sex has the power to be harmful to your body, mind and spirit.
Sometimes people justify having sex before marriage by saying, “Well, we know we’re going to get married, so we can just do it now,” or “People got married a lot younger during Biblical times, so they didn’t have to wait as long.” It’s definitely important to consider historical and cultural context when we read the Bible; there’s no doubt about that, but saving sex for marriage is one of those laws that’s meant to stand forever.
God didn’t make the law to keep you from having fun, to test your faithfulness, prove your worthiness or earn God’s love. He established the law so you can live life to the fullest. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Sinfulness and lustfulness can take hold of you, make justifications and destroy something intended to be a beautiful and intimate act shared between two people in a marriage.
Waiting When Tempted
When you’ve been together for a while, watching the same movies, playing the same games and always doing the “same-old-thing” can turn a little repetitive. It can quickly become tempting to “spice things up” physically. When faced with temptation, how do you wait?
Together, you must make the decision to abstain from having sex before marriage. Have this conversation when you’re not currently feeling tempted to give in. If you don’t talk about it, then you’re placing yourself in a situation where the boundary lines can quickly and easily become blurred. The two of you must discuss what’s okay and what’s not okay. You have to agree and stick to those boundaries. After you’ve drawn some lines, pray and ask God to confirm. It’s also wise to talk to a trusted adult, relative or youth leader to help guide you.
Avoid situations where you could be tempted to be more physically intimate. Make sure a parent is home with you, don’t spend a lot of time alone and try to keep yourselves from lying down together. Getting carried away is easy to do when the opportunity presents itself.
There are tons of other ways to keep things fresh without heading to the bedroom.
- Try cooking a simple meal together and serve it to your families.
- Write each other notes, poems or songs.
- Start taking walks, hikes or runs together—that’s sure to get your hearts beating!
- Working on a project together, whether it’s rebuilding an old car or doing a jigsaw puzzle, can really strengthen your relationship.
- Ask your parents what they used to do on dates; some of their “old-fashioned” ideas might prove to be a lot of fun!
- Volunteer at a local organization together. Helping your community is not only a great way to serve God, it’s also a great way to start some in-depth conversations. Plus, you’ll meet new people who are passionate about the same issues.
- Study the Bible together. Do research on the text by utilizing various resources such as commentaries and devotions. Then come together to discuss what you’ve learned.
- Find other couples or friends to hang out with. Spending time with other friends can provide additional activities to enjoy together.
Deepen the intimacy in your relationship without taking it to a physical level. If you do end up married, you’ll be glad you spent these years building trust and companionship instead of having sex. If you don’t end up married, you’ll be even happier that you waited. One day you can both enjoy sex the way it was meant to be.
These are only a few options of what to do as a long-term couple. Share with us what’s worked for you on our Twitter and Facebook pages!