How do I approach relationships, marriage, and sex in the way that God wants me to? My parents and the church have always told me to not have sex before marriage. I have addictions to masturbating, which makes me feel especially guilty after being raised to always be “virginal” until marriage. My mind is all mixed up on how to approach sex without guilt, fear, or embarrassment.
Well my friend, unfortunately you are the victim of people trying to scare you into behaving. That is manipulation, it is based in half-truths, and it is not okay.
The basic message is right. The bible says don’t have sex before marriage. That is accurate. That is a good message, you don’t want to do something that could result in babies before you are in a relationship that can handle babies. Sex is the ultimate physical expression of intimacy, and is designed to be paired with the height of relational intimacy, that being marriage.
You will notice that there is nothing scary or shameful going on in that message, which is why some parents and church folks feel the need to super size it with guilt. Anytime somebody feels the need to take the word of God and kick it up a notch with their own additions, it leads to something bad.
The truth is that God designed sex, and it is good. That design was for it to be in the context of a marriage relationship. That is the foundation of a proper biblical understanding of sex.
The message of “purity” (which, if you have read your Unka Glen, you know is a word we are not using about people anymore. God is pure. People are not pure, end of story), and “soul ties” and all that crap is that sex is dirty and God doesn’t want you to ever acknowledge that it exists. That is the opposite of the correct view.
Using guilt and shame as a motivation to behave always backfires. You are created to have sexual desires, and there is a healthy way to channel them- which is going to God and asking what to do with them while you are waiting. But, if you have been told that sex is dirty and shameful and God hates you for thinking about it, that is the last thing you will do. So now you are left with shame, confusion, and a high speed internet connection, so of course you are going to look at porn and get caught in that cycle.
Getting your mind rewired about sex starts with the most foundational things. Sex is good, not shameful; and God’s message to you about sex is “not yet”, not “no.”
-Matt from The Bridge