One of the saddest stories in the Bible is the story of Tamar, it is found in 2 Samuel 13. Amnon, Tamar’s half-brother rapes his sister. This sexual act has ramifications that hurt people that I think Amnon could not have expected. Their brother was hurt, David was hurt, the relationship was destroyed, the nation suffered as Absalom took matters into his own hands and clashed with his own father. It affected literally millions of people.
A lot of people do not realize that even consensual sex outside of marriage can hurt people you would never expect. It could destroy a marriage you do not expect to be destroyed. It can affect people in ways you might not imagine. It can hurt people, it can destory families, it can cause rifts between people, it can cause arguments, it can rip apart house groups and whole churches. It is a sin that ripples into others lives and causes people to miss their destiny and miss God.
How can we avoid such a sin?
- Don’t Date If you are not looking to be married
The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time to every purpose (Ecc. 3.1). There is a time to start looking for a husband and wife – that time is not while you are still at school or university. You do not even have a job in sight, let alone working in one! I just will not recognize the relationships of teenagers still in school. They are doing something at the wrong time. So many Christians think it is cute and beautiful, but puppy love will grow up into a giant big dog and bite someone!
- Be Holy When You Do Date
Ecclesiates 3 also tells us that there is a time to refrain from embracing. That time is before you are married. When you are married, it is the time for embracing. It is really that simple. Sometimes I have made a mistake, I have told people that when you are going out and not married you need to be pure and holy. That’s true, but it is not specific enough! People need to be told what that means and where the lines are. A lot of people get involved in situations where they just work each other up and they make their lives so difficult for each other.
- If you find the right person, get married
Proverbs 5.18 says to rejoice with the wife of your youth. The longer the engagement, the longer the temptation to sin. What exactly are you waiting for? Do not delay your marriage, if you have found the right person, prayed about it, know it is right, and you have a job and a house, advance boldly!
Do not blame the finances, you do not need a twenty-thousand pound ceremony, you can get married for under a hundred pounds if you really want to. It will make a great story to tell your grandchildren! Do not wait until you have the right TV or right car before proposing. When I got married, I had nothing, probably less than nothing. But I knew Amanda was the right one, and we are still together after over twenty five years and things are good!
The wife of your youth marries you not because of what you have, but because of who you are – that is a solid foundation for the future!
- Have sex when you are married
The time to embrace is when you are married. It amazes me that I have dealt with couples who are committing fornication and we have counselled them and helped them, and married them, then they lie down together like two dead logs! That’s foolish! Embrace!
Next week, we will look at what to do if you are in a mess, and how to get out of it.