I was recently asked to be on live TV on a panel of men to answer questions submitted by women. One of the questions asked was, "When is it right to start having sex in a relationship?" That is a fair question, and I am sure I am going to upset the hyper conservative religious crowd as well as the hyper non-religious liberal crowd. So read on to be upset. Ha ha! Of course you, just like me, have opinions on most things and this is just my opinion based on what I understand about love, relationships and sex.
My, live on TV, answer was basically that, "we should wait until we are in a committed relationship... we should wait until we are in-love to make love." Now, on one hand my religious upbringing screams at me that we should wait until we are married to have sex. And that was kind of what I was saying by a "committed relationship." And maybe being a virgin and marrying a virgin on the wedding day is the ideal, a goal to shoot for, or what we might call 'God's best' but let's just be real here - how realistic is this? That was indeed my goal... but I failed as a teenager, and I lived with a lot of guilt and shame over it. I'm not sure that was all that helpful either.
There are so many things we could talk about here, but I do not want to dig a hole so deep that we all fall in and get trapped. If you are a Christian, like me, you do want to live a God-honoring life, especially sexually. And it's a difficult thing to get a perfectly clear answer from the Bible, at least to me, when I look at the entire Bible there are some interesting things in there. I mean many of the great men in the Bible had many wives, can't relate to that... though if I am honest I think it would be awesome (hey, don't judge!). And many couples in Bible times were getting married very very young ... like 14, 15, 16 years old. Anyway, all that to say it's a bit more convoluted than what some religious people like to think, in my humble opinion. (And yes I am okay knowing that my teenage children will read this!)
So, why do I feel it's important to wait til you are at least "in love" before you "make love"? I'm glad you asked. Ha ha! Before I answer that let me say, I am human and trust me I had many encounters in high school and college that didn't involve being "in love" ... and not all those encounters were bad. Some were very special and I have fond memories from them, so I get it. (I know, I know you religious people are saying to yourself ... "it was sin Timmy, sin!" To you I would say be careful before you go throwing stones, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean!" - Jesus
Okay, so why wait? To me it's about valuing myself. It's not just about sex, it's so much more than that. To me sex is a very precious, even sacred, thing. It's a gift to couples. To me it's a gift that we give our partner. And to just share that gift with anyone that comes along, in my opinion cheapens it, again in my opinion. It just doesn't seem as special to meet that special someone and fall in love and give them something you've already given freely to many others.
I was not a virgin when I got married, and while I do not regret every encounter, I do regret those that were not made while in a loving committed relationship. I am sure it's a bit strange hearing this from a guy, I know that most guys relish in the number of sexual escapades, but to me sex is an expression of love, or should be. So, that said we should be making love when we are in love.
Disclaimer: Please know that I do not judge anyone here... trust me, I have no room to judge anyone! Ever! I am sure many of you see it different than me, and that is totally okay! I would like to hear from you, if you are brave enough to share openly here as I have! Please, make a comment!