Premarital sex is often a part of dating for the reasons discussed in last week’s blog post. So what’s the harm?
The Risks of Premarital Sex
- Disease: Sexually transmitted diseases are rampant in our country. As reported in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, “an estimated 3 million teenagers acquire a sexually transmitted disease (STD) every year in the United States.” Some of these diseases have lasting effects including infertility.
- Unwanted Pregnancy: Even though sex education is readily available to teens, young girls continue to get pregnant. They may welcome and love their babies, but the chances are greater that the children will grow up in poverty. The mothers’ plans to complete their education are seriously derailed when they become pregnant, often without husbands. Chances increase that they will only qualify for entry level jobs.
- Imprint: A first sexual experience imprints a person’s attitude toward sex. Mark Gungor writing in The Damage of Sexual Promiscuity explains how the difference between a man’s view of sex has lifelong effects on sexual attitude. One imprint may cause sex to be expressed as lust while another imprint results in sex being an expression of love.
- Comparison: A couple who courts, marries, and has a first sexual experience together has no comparisons to make. It is harmful to a marriage relationship to have previous sexual experiences with which to compare present experiences.
- Scripture: No, Scripture is not obsolete. Shana Schutte writing in Three Lies about Premarital Sex explains how some people claim Scripture is outdated and why their arguments are not sound. The best reason to avoid premarital sex is that God’s plan, the one that is best for us, is for a sexual relationship with one person for life.
Dating or Courtship?
Dating, a social creation of the last one hundred years, is not the best way to ensure a loving, lifelong marriage relationship. It is too easy to slip into the intimacy in which a couple engages in emotional and sexual promiscuity. Then, when they are ready to marry, they carry a load of baggage from the past.
The alternative to dating is courtship which is being reborn to fit the 21st century. Courtship allows a couple to get to know each other as they develop a friendship. The commitment to marriage precedes any exclusive relationship.
Question: This is hard stuff. Our teens today expect to date. How do you think you can make courtship work in your family? Do you even want to make it work? Does knowing the risks involved in dating help you talk to your teens about their choices?