Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why should you follow God's plan about Sex? (3/4) - by Ola Joseph Kolawole



(Ed. Note) If you haven't already, it would be a good idea to start by reading through the previous posts. In this, we build on the foundation established previously - and talk about why we should follow God’s plan about sex. We provide a brief scriptural background, and links to further reading – including secular research. Please feel free to tag friends, discuss, raise questions, and share.

B.      WHY SHOULD YOU FOLLOW GOD’S PLAN ABOUT SEX?

Answer: Because His plan for sex is designed for our benefit.

God loves us and wants us to experience abundant life. He is not out to keep us from the ‘good stuff’. Ultimately, His ‘laws’ and ‘commandments’ – including the ‘vehement’ ones about sex – are for our own good. John 10:10 conveys this best - “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”

God is fully aware of the destructive power of sexual relationships when they occur outside the commitment of a loving marriage. It is further interesting that while Bible-believing Christians have always understood this, secular research also shows that sex outside of marriage carries with it a large amount of baggage.

For instance, a study once examined the correlation between teenage sexual activity and emotional health – and arrived at the following findings:
·         Teenagers who are sexually active are significantly less likely to be happy and more likely to feel depressed – compared to teenagers who are not. (25% to 7% for girls and 8% to 3% for boys).
·         60% of girls who were not sexually active (at the time of the study) said they were never or rarely depressed, compared to 37% of those who were sexually active.
·         Teenagers who are sexually active are significantly more likely to attempt suicide (14% to 5% for girls and 6% to 1% for boys).

Therefore, in addition to its role in promoting teenage pregnancy and the current epidemic of STDs, premature sexual activity substantially undermines the emotional well-being of teenagers – and indeed young adults!

See, you need to read, hear – and digest this! Peers, movie stars, music artistes, and mainstream culture generally portray sexual activity as great, fun, exciting and mature. And yes, it is – but only within the context of a loving marriage relationship! Adverts for all sorts of items, from watches to cars are replete with sexual innuendos – typically portraying women as sex objects.
The message our culture is pounding into your head is that you’re ‘ancient’ if you’re waiting for sex; that you should go out there and get it NOW! They say that waiting for sex within the boundaries of marriage will make you ‘UNHAPPY’ in the present – but this study (and various others) shows otherwise!
Again I say – God’s plan to reserve sex for marriage is for OUR good!
However, this message is not meant for teenagers only. During the period of my National Youth Service, I saw a lot of cohabiting among young adults. This practice, which has started to make rapid inroads amongst Undergraduates, Corps members, and young adults generally, has negative long-term effects. Some examples below:
·         The risk of divorce is 40% to 85% higher among couples who cohabited before marriage. Simply put, those who live together before marriage are about twice as likely to divorce – compared to those who did not live together. (Bumpass & Sweet, 1995; Hall & Zhao, 1995; Bracher, Santow, Morgan & Russell, 1993; DeMaris & Rao, 1992; and Glen, 1990).
·         Women are 62 times more likely to be assaulted by a live-in boyfriend than by a husband (Colson, 1995).
·         Cohabiting women are three times more likely to be depressed than married women. (National Institute for Mental Health).

If – as a single adult – you have bought into culture’s ‘idea’ that cohabitation is a good way to prepare for marriage – you have bought into a lie.

Before we go on to discuss “How to follow God’s plan” in the next installment of this series – let me say it one more time: God loves you, and wants you to experience an abundant life. He has instructed us to save sex for marriage in order to save us from the multitude of problems that attend sharing such an intimate relationship outside the commitment of marriage.

God bless you.

(Ed. Note) See you tomorrow! Share, discuss, and ask questions if you have them…

Further Reading:
1.    Sociological reasons not to live together (http://www.leaderu.com/critical/cohabitation-socio.html).
2.    Why living together before marriage is not a good idea (http://www.marriagemissions.com/living-together-before-marriage).

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