I do not normally watch more than three, maybe four, television shows in a week. The ones that I do watch are fast moving mysteries like NCIS. These programs at one time or another all entail a subplot involving a love affair. What amazes me about these liaison relationships between highly intelligent and professional people is how quickly they end up sleeping together. But then it should not amaze me since in my work as a pastoral counselor I see this same behavior with great regularity within the Christian community. I have commented to my wife on occasion that people seem to behave much more like animals in heat than humans in pursuit of happiness.
Desperate Housewives is not my fare. Seeing an occasional preview however has been sufficient to convince me that the sexual proneness of the couples depicted has not led to happiness, stability or successful families. Whether the television shows are promoting this immorality or simply representing the reality of our society is not an important consideration for this essay. It is the outcome whether reality or theater that is of interest. The outcome is simply and consistently troublesome.
On a recent episode of another program the female boss of the lead character begins a relationship with the ex-husband. The complications of that action, not even to mention the professional ethical considerations, were not surprising. However, what was of great interest in this consideration is the line of the boss when confronted by her employee with the statement, “The least you could have done was inform me that you were establishing a relationship with him” and the boss answered, “I’m not even sure we have a relationship yet!” I sat there and asked myself, “So what was having premarital sex about?” The meaninglessness of this sexuality was heard from another character in a recent movie. “You and I are not going to have a relationship. We are just going to have some adult sex.”
Here is a list of eight joys of skipping premarital sex:
1) The joy of a clear conscience
2) The joy of a sense of God’s pleasure
3) The joy of respecting the partner rather than treating her/him as a throwaway
4) The joy of the anticipation of becoming one with your spouse
5) The joy of not living in the companionship of comparison
6) The joy of avoiding alienation, violence and disease
7) The joy of modeling righteousness
8) The joy, most of all, of pleasing God and having a clear conscience
The Apostle Paul informs us of the inscrutable link between Christ and the church and the marriage relationship (Eph 5:25ff). Hence it is not stretching the point to state a principle from the wonderful truth of Hebrews 12:2:”Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and Perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The principle is this. Focusing on the goal sustains us through temptation on the way to the obtaining of the anticipated joy. We should expect temptation to satisfy our sexual appetite and an increasing desire (good reason for short engagements) to unite with our spouse to be. But like Jesus we must endure the struggle and despise the shame (of not following the culture on one side and the embarrassment on the other side if we do) in anticipation of the joy set before us in a holy union.