Why delay the pleasure of sex in dating, especially if you tasted it in a previous relationship? Singles who are divorced or parents wrestle with this temptation, since they experienced sex in their earlier marriage. On the other hand, fears of repeating a bad marriage leads some singles to test sexual chemistry before they commit to another person.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could predict whether your girlfriend could make you happy forever? What if you could determine whether your boyfriend could offer you endless joy? In dating, it’s normal to wonder if someone is right for you. Romance seems too big of an investment to risk your heart with just anyone.
Sometimes, however, our process of looking for a spouse resembles shopping for a car. If you’ve ever shopped for a car before, you know how nerve-wracking it can feel. Your heart races, anxiety floods your mind, and you view the salesman and his vehicle with suspicion. A car is a big investment, and you don’t want to give your hard-earned cash for an automobile that won’t perform. You want a long road of pleasant driving experiences. Sensing your trepidation and hoping to sell you a car, the salesman suggests, “Look under the hood, and take her for a test drive!” So, you grab the keys, accelerate off the lot, and judge how well the car performs. Your goal is to make sure this car is something you can live with. If the car isn’t to your liking, then you simply return it and walk away. This process makes sense when purchasing a new car.
Surprisingly, many singles bring this same philosophy into their romantic relationships. They feel motivated to sexually “test drive” their boyfriend or girlfriend by reasoning, “If we sleep with each other or move-in together, we can see how well we get along. Then, if we don’t enjoy each other, we can easily break up without the entanglements of marriage.” This may sound like wise advice, but taking sex for a test drive is a road that leads to disaster.
Sex is an amazing force and more powerful than many of us realize. The Apostle Paul describes this power in First Corinthians 6:16, “Perhaps you don’t know that the man who joins his body to a prostitute becomes physically one with her? The Scripture says quite plainly, ?The two will become one body.'” The key word in this verse is “joins,” which in the original translation means “to cement together or superglue.” Paul is explaining that sex is a physical act that glues the bodies and souls of two people together. More importantly, a sexual bond is not a weak connection that easily breaks apart. Sex is like superglue! Therefore, if a couple has sex and separates, they will sustain significant damage to their hearts and bodies.
Maybe you’re familiar with the bonding power of superglue. As a na? 13-year-old, I once used superglue to build a model airplane. I reasoned to myself, “I’ll try it out. If I’m careful, this stuff won’t hurt me.” As you can imagine, I wound up with adhesive on my fingers and accidentally fused my thumb and forefinger together. In shock, I tried to separate them, but nothing worked. As a last resort, I pulled my fingers apart by ripping the skin off. The pain was excruciating! Yet, I learned a valuable lesson: you can’t test-drive superglue; it only makes permanent bonds.
Likewise, God designed sex to supernaturally cement a husband and wife as one, which means you would be unwise to take it for a test drive. Because, once you have intercourse, your heart and body are immediately bonded to the other person. If you disagree, consider that if sex was not a bonding process, then all of us could have sex with everyone we want, break up, and never feel a twinge of pain. The fact that couples experience heartache or awkwardness when they breakup after having sex (even kissing and caressing) is proof that sex is a bonding process.
Once you bond sexually with someone, you take an awful risk with your heart. There is no turning back. You may think that sleeping together is just for fun or a relationship test, but in reality, you have already superglued yourselves together. Besides, having “hot sex” is no guarantee that you will stay together. When your relationship falls apart, you will suffer consequences, such as
- A heart that is numbed toward real intimacy when you seek it in the future.
- A bad reputation that destroys other people’s ability to trust or respect you.
- A burden of guilt and shame from knowing you exploited the other person.
- A deadened ability to stay committed in a future relationship.
Ironically, some single parents, especially women, believe that sexual involvement will encourage their boyfriend to commit to them and secure a father for their children. They rationalize that a little sex will convince him to get serious and marry. However, sexual activity does not encourage anyone to commit. Instead, it discourages men and women from getting married, because they get all of the sex and companionship they want for free. In their minds, why should they consider marriage when they already have everything they want with no strings attached?
A person who wants to test-drive sex implies that he or she desires all of the positives of marriage, such as intimacy, security, and companionship, without having to invest in it. Don’t let this kind of individual trick you with flattering words of love, such as “you’re all I’ve ever wanted.” Couples cannot obtain the benefits of marriage unless they selflessly commit themselves to another person. Intimacy doesn’t exist apart from sacrificial love and commitment. These qualities are absent when dating couples have sex or move-in together. In essence, pleasure and convenience become more important than each other’s well-being. Thus, it is impossible for someone to ask for sex before marriage and justifiably say, “I love you.” If he really loves you, then he will either get married or date without having sex.
When Jesus died on the cross, He didn’t test-drive a relationship with you. His crucifixion demonstrated His commitment to love you forever. Likewise, marriage on earth was designed by God to gloriously illustrate your spiritual marriage to Jesus Christ. The Lord wants the best for you, and He intends sex for your good. Therefore, cherish your ability to express physical desire for another person. Sex is wonderful, because it represents Christ’s passionate desire for you. Just like superglue, the strength of His love will last forever. So, look forward to celebrating the power of sexual passion when you are married — it will be worth the wait!
Copyright © 2005 Rob Eagar, Used by Permission.
Rob Eagar is the author of “Dating with Pure Passion” and speaks full-time to over 10,000 singles and young adults each year. His message has been featured nationally on the CBS Early Show, CNN Radio, and The Los Angeles Times. Rob resides with his wife, Ashley, in Atlanta, GA, where they encourage single adults at North Point Community Church. For more details, visit www.robeagar.com.