In middle school and high school it’s almost a miracle if a relationship lasts more than a few class periods, let alone a few months or even years. As rare as it is, long-term dating definitely has a presence in school. You’re probably thinking of a certain couple right now, or maybe even yourself. After a certain amount of time, you start to assume couples are having sex, or at least messing around. For some couples this is certainly true, but for others, sex is something saved for marriage. Many people—both girls and guys—have the urge to have sex with someone they’ve been with for a long time. It makes sense. God made you into sexual beings and has given you this ability to connect with another person. However, God has a design for the circumstances surrounding your sexual acts, and those circumstances are within a marriage. In any other context, sex has a lot of power to be harmful to your body, mind and spirit.
Sometimes people justify having sex before marriage by saying, “Well, we know we’re going to get married, so we can just do it now,” or “People got married a lot younger during Biblical times, so they didn’t have to wait as long.” It’s definitely important to consider historical and cultural context when we read the Bible; there’s no doubt about that. Saving sex for marriage is one of those laws that’s meant to stand forever. It’s not a law made to keep you from having fun, or to test your faithfulness, or any other way to prove your worthiness or earn God’s love. It’s a law made so that you can live life to the fullest. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The thief of sinfulness and lustfulness can take hold of you, make justifications and then destroy something made to be a beautiful and intimate act shared between two people in a marriage.
When you’ve been together for a while, watching the same movies, playing the same games and always doing the same old thing can turn a little repetitive. Then it starts to become tempting to spice things up by going further physically. In the face of all that temptation, how do you wait? One simple way to start is to make the decision together not to have sex before marriage. Not talking about it is an easy way to blur the boundary lines. Decide on what is okay and what is not okay, and agree to stick to those boundaries. Pray about it, and maybe talk to a trusted adult, relative or youth leader to help guide you. Another simple solution is to avoid situations in which you could be tempted to be more physically intimate. Make sure a parent is home with you, don’t spend a lot of time alone and try to keep yourselves from lying down together. Getting carried away is easy to do when the opportunity presents itself.
There are a ton of other ways to keep things fresh without heading to the bedroom. The two of you could try cooking a simple meal together and serve it to your families. You could write each other notes, poems or songs to stick in each other’s lockers. Maybe you could start taking walks, hikes or runs together—that’s sure to get your hearts beating! Working on a project together, whether it’s rebuilding an old car or doing a jigsaw puzzle, can really strengthen your relationship. Even ask your parents what they used to do on dates; some of their “old-fashioned” ideas might prove to be a lot of fun! Consider volunteering at a local organization together. Helping your community is not only a great way to serve God, but is also a great way to start some in-depth conversations. At the same time, you’ll both meet new people who are passionate about the same issues. Having other couples or friends to hang out with is another way to bring some additional ideas into your relationship. These other activities will deepen the intimacy in your relationship without taking it to a physical level. If you do end up married, you’ll be glad you spent these years building trust and companionship instead of having sex. If you don’t end up married, you’ll be even happier that you waited. One day you can both enjoy sex the way it was meant to be.
These are only a few options of what to do as a long-term couple. Share with us what’s worked for you on our Twitter and Facebook pages!