Young People Need "No Skills" (5): Helping Young People Overcome Sexual Pressure
John A. Smith
Pre-marital Sexual Abstinence Offers True Freedom!
The wisdom of pre-marital sexual abstinence can be seen in the world around us. In it we find a powerful confirmation of the wisdom of God's law. God's prohibition was not issued to be mean or deprive the unmarried of pleasure. It was given to make life better and full of pleasant satisfaction.
Pre-marital sexual abstinence offers true freedom from many things which are not in the young person's best interest.
1. Freedom from unwanted, unplanned pregnancies.
a. 90% of girls who are sexually active without the use of some form of contraception will become pregnant within 1 year. (I do not mean by this to endorse the use of birth control as an alternative to chastity.)
b. 85% of teenage boys who father a child will eventually abandon mother and child.
c. Pregnant and parenting teens are less likely to obtain a high school degree or its equivalent.
d. Babies born to teenage mothers are 2 1/2 times more likely to die in the first year of life than those born to women in their twenties.
Clearly God knew what he was talking about! David had to struggle with just such a consequence (2 Sam. 11-12). When he had an affair with Bathsheba, he had no intention for a long term relationship. Sexual activity had become addictive. The momentary pleasure of this "one night stand" brought a life time of grief (2 Sam. 12:10-14).
But not everyone who is sexually active outside of marriage will get pregnant. If you avoid this physical consequence is it OK? Think again!
2. Freedom from sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS.
a. 12 million new cases of STD are reported annually in the U.S. Many of them won't kill you, but you won't kill them either. They will be with you for life. A STD caught before marriage could present a serious health threat to one's spouse.
b. If current rates continue one in four Americans between the ages of 15 and 55 will eventually acquire a STD.
c. Since the "sexual revolution" the number of known STDs has risen from 5 to more than 27.
d. If global predictions are correct there may be as many as 50 to 100 million AIDS infected persons in the world (Dr. Otis Bowen, Secretary of Health and Human Services).
e. Dr. C. Everett Koop observed that nothing was more frightening to him than the "specter of AIDS in the future of public health."
f. Symptoms may be dormant for 7 years or more. Many people who are infected and carriers do not know that they have the disease.
g. AIDS infection is not limited to the homosexual population. It is spreading most rapidly among heterosexuals.
"Good understanding gains favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard" (Prov. 13:15). "The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them" (Prov. 11:3). "He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die" (Prov. 19:16). Clearly, God knew what he was talking about.
But not everyone who is sexually active outside of marriage will get a STD or AIDS. If this consequence is avoided, is it OK? Think again.
3. Free from the pressure to marry before you are ready.
a. Sexual relations create a bond between the partners that, when mistaken for genuine love, fools the young couple into believing that the relationship is deeper than it really is.
b. Builds a relationship on an emotional bond which can easily be faulty.
4. Freedom from the guilt, self-doubt, disappointment, worry and ruined reputation often associated with premarital sexual activity.
a. Guilt is one consequence of pre-marital sexual activity which may last longer than any other.
b. Casual sex without deep-rooted committed love proves to be damaging to one's self-image.
c. No pill or device can guard your mind against the terror of self -accusation.
After his affair with Bathsheba, David had a terrifying experience with the guilt. He became physically and emotionally sick. Describing his condition, David said, "There is no soundness in my flesh because of your anger, nor is there any health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me . . . I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are full of inflammation, and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart" (Psa. 38:1-8).
These few consequences only begin to address the issue. Imagine sitting across the dinner table and having to tell your parents that you are pregnant, or having to tell your girl friend's father that she's pregnant and you're the father. Shattered dreams and innocence lost never to be regained are not the consequences which get publicity, but are consequences that often linger long into adulthood.
Pre-marital sexual abstinence offers the young person the opportunity to experience the better things in life.
1. Freedom to be in control of your own life.
2. Freedom to experience fuller communication in dating relationships.
3. Freedom to develop greater respect for yourself.
4. Freedom to have greater trust in marriage.
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 9, pp. 266-267