In a previous post, we talked about marriage as God’s way to avoid sexual temptation. The Bible is very straightforward about calling premarital sex, or fornication, a sin. It’s wrong, and we shouldn’t do it. But what if we’ve already committed that sin? Let’s take a quick look at how we can glorify God even though we’ve sinned in the past.
Am I Broken?
If you didn’t wait for your wedding night to have sex, then please understand that nothing is wrong with you. Having premarital sex was a sin, don’t forget that, but, otherwise, there is nothing wrong with you. Having sex before you marriage didn’t “break you” or “devalue you” in any way. Premarital sex is a sin, and you shouldn’t have done it. Sex is something reserved for married people, and you should repent of that mistake. Now, here’s the really important part for many people: you are just as important to God now as before. Don’t ever forget that!
Our culture lies to us about the emotional impact of premarital sex; sexual intimacy affects us profoundly. God created sex to link two people together physically and emotionally. When we casually have sex, we trivialize what God intends as a significant bonding experience. If you’ve sinned in this way, you likely know the feelings of guilt and shame associated with premarital sex. Honestly, every sin should cause those feelings, but sexual sins impact us more.
Don’t ignore your guilt or shame, but don’t let them disable you, either. We need to overcome the idea that if we sinned sexually, then all is lost regarding virtue and purity. That simply isn’t true. Again, you sinned, and you shouldn’t have, but that doesn’t ruin your future, your faith, or your renewed desire for purity. Instead of beating yourself over your past, which you cannot change, you should focus your energy on your future, which you can change.
Teach Others What You Know
If you didn’t wait for marriage, you are in a position to help people avoid the trap that ensnared you. Satan can keep reusing the same tricks if we don’t help each other. Someone else out there is in the exact same situation as you were, and they desperately need your help and guidance to avoid sin. You can show them how to avoid the pitfalls Satan places in our way.
God clearly tells us that older women should be be helping younger women (Titus 2.3-5). Older men should, likewise, help younger men. If we neglect this great opportunity to share the wisdom of God, then we sin, not only against those who need our help, but also against the God who redeemed us from our own transgressions. We are from sin, so let us take up arms against it. Let’s determine that we will do everything in our power to keep sin out of our lives, and help others avoid falling into the same traps that we did in the past.
Repent and Sin No More
Maybe you weren’t committed to God’s plan for sex, but, let’s face it, neither are 97% of other people. We shouldn’t find consolation in the number of sinners but that we don’t have to sin any longer. Repentance happens when we change how we think, which results in right behavior. If you realize you sinned and want to change your life, then you’re in the process of repenting. Determine now that you aren’t going to have sex again until you’re married, and then faithfully keep that vow.
Also, it’s important to know that sex the way God’s designed it is better than any other kind. In God’s design, there’s no guilt or shame when a married couple has sex. There’s only the incredible, intimate, and close relationship God intended sex to create. Sex between a husband and wife is a beautiful and amazing experience that draws them together. It can be better than you’ve ever imagined, and it’s certainly better than what the world offers.
Talking about the Past
Finally, make sure the person you’re thinking about marrying knows your past and can handle it. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to. There are many reasons for this, but, ultimately, things will be better for you both if there are no secrets going into a marriage.
I have counseled several couples in the past who struggled with this. One person, or both, were sexually active before marriage, and that created tension in their relationship. If this is an issue, it is honestly better to not marry until resolve it. Find a spiritual counselor and work through things together, or call off the relationship and find another person. Those are hard words, but moving forward into marriage with this tension present is only setting you up for a worse heartbreak later.
God’s plan for marriage is wonderful. It glorifies the special relationship we have with Jesus, it shows the unique purpose God had in mind for making men and women different, and it creates a special bond between two people like nothing else.