Last night I had a long talk with one of my close friends about the roles in relationships. She was preparing to give a talk to the girls in her church's youth group about sexually purity this week.
The discussion really got me thinking back to my friends who have not been sexually pure. I have seen the brokenness and lasting pain and regret of their mistakes. It hurts my heart to see people that I care about go through that type of pain. That pain is one of the worst types one can go through. It has lasting physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual affects.
Pastor Andy Stanley says:
"Culture convinces us – and sometimes we convince ourselves – that sex is only physical. But if that is true, why is the pain of sexual sin so deep? Because sex is not just physical. It was designed by God to be so much more.Its not just physical. If you treat sex as if its just physical you hurt yourself, and if you get married, you hurt your partner.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, this is what brings it home. Your sexuality is connected with your personality and your spirituality.
Here are some uncomfortable questions that prove this, and the answers are the same – Sex isn’t just physical. Why is it that when a child is sexually abused it so difficult to shake that off? Why does it follow them around their entire life? Why can’t they just get over it? It’s not because they were betrayed. Kids are betrayed all the time by adults. It’s because sex isn’t just physical – it is life altering.
Why is rape so much more devastating than being beat up? If sex is just physical, then rape is just like being beat up. You report it, and move on. But its not just physical – it’s life altering"
1 Corinthians 6:18 says "Flee from sexual immorality".
What is intimacy? Intimacy is to know and be fully known. All other sins people commit are outside their bodies but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies.
Paul is telling us: When you sin sexually you hurt yourself. Not only do you hurt yourself, but at the deepest level imaginable. It will carry with you throughout your entire life. Sexuality is so powerful if you break the rules it has the same power to turn your life upside down.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 tells us to “Abstain from sexual immorality, so that each of you knows how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, not with lustful desires, like the Gentiles who don’t know God”
1 Corinthians 6:16 says "Do you know know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said for the two will become one flesh."Sex is not just a matter of personal preference. Sex is a matter of divine design.
Romance in marriage is fueled by a sense of exclusivity. Exclusivity says I’ve been praying for you and waiting for you as long as i’ve lived. I’m able to give ALL of me to ALL of you. You will have a more romantic and passionate marriage if you have been exclusive before marriage. You won’t worry about what your husband or wife is doing when you aren’t with them because you know their past stays with them. "
As he stated, Sex is designed specifically by God to unite two people spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. God created it to make you as one flesh. You are only meant to be with one person. That is why people experience so much pain after a break up with someone they have had sex with. Everyone has heard the phrase "I feel like a part of me is missing!" Well, people feel that way because they united as one and then separated what God designed to never be separated.
Its just like any type of machine or technology that you buy. It is designed to be used a specific way. It messes up when you don't use it the way it was designed to be used.
The issue of sexual impurity falls on the guy's shoulders. Yes, I know that it takes two to tango, there are two parties involved. But biblically, the guys are supposed to be the protectors and guardians of the women. Andy states, "Men you still continue to set the pace for relationships. You are still in charge in that respect. Consequently you are more responsible."
Ed Stetzer in an article in Christianity Today says the following:
“In 1 Timothy the Apostle Paul encourages his protégé to relate to the believers in local churches in a familial way. The wording is specific for the church, of course, but it applies to how we view others. Paul says, treat “older women as mothers, and with all propriety, the younger women as sisters” (1 Timothy 5:1-2)"
I love that verse. The way I see it is that you are protective of your sister, always wanting what is best for her. If someone had sex with your sister out of wedlock, that would make you furious. But why would you feel that way? Because she is your sister, she is family, it is understood that you look out for and protect your family, especially the women of the family. What Paul is telling Timothy is that we should view all believers of the opposite sex as such (and even unbelievers in order to set a good example). Ask yourself this question: If some guy was doing the same sexual acts that you do with your girlfriend, to your sister, how would you feel? You should feel the same way about you doing them with your girlfriend! Of course when you get married that is completely different.
Men are called to be leaders, protectors, and providers.
We as Christian men are called to be leaders, protectors, and providers. It is often said that "men use love to get sex, and women use sex to get love". This is very true. Generally, in a non-Christian worldly sense, the main thing men want in a relationship is sex and the main thing women want is to be loved. Men will claim that they love a woman in order to get sex, and women will agree to having sex with a man thinking that that means that he loves her. Its a sad but true thing in our society. But as Christians, we have the power to say no to those lustful desire, and we are called to be so much more than what the men of the world are. By engaging in sexually immoral acts with your girlfriend, you are not acting as any of those things. The only leading you are doing is leading her into sin. You are certainly not protecting her in any form because you are violating her at her deepest level. And you certainly aren't providing anything for her other than the consequences of sin.
If you are a believer and are dating a girl, you should show her respect and love by being a leader, a protector, and a provider.
You lead her spiritually. Pray with her, read scripture with her, help her figure out things that she is struggling with in her walk with the Lord, take her to church and Bible studies with you, etc... Encourage her in all of those things.
Protect her in all ways possible.
If she is in physical danger put yourself between her and the danger, sacrificing yourself for her. If she is going through an emotional time, find out what is bothering her and do your best to put an end to it, and if it isn't something you can put an end to, comfort her and be there for her.
Protect her sexually. This means, following scripture and not engaging in any type of sexual actions. If you know you might get too carried away in some way, stay away from doing that. (If you know that making out can easily lead you to more serious things like touching and groping or even sexual intercourse, then don't make out). In order to protect both yourself and her, don't even put yourselves in situations where you might even be tempted in the slightest bit. Also, if she doesn't feel comfortable doing certain things physically with you, then accept that and respect that, don't pressure or coerce her into doing something she doesn't want to do.
Protect her Spiritually. If there is false teaching around her, remove her from that and lovingly show her the biblical truth. (This might be a touchy area for coupes from differing churches or denominations. Make sure to do it in love and grace. I suggest praying about it before acting on this one.)
Provide for her. The providing part has a much bigger role in marriage and in raising a family, but there are still ways you can provide for her while dating. You can provide compliments to her, give her gifts, help her with things, support her in her hobbies and activities, etc... All of these things should be done with her best interest in mind and should be with pure and loving intentions.
If you treat her badly, have sex with her, coerce her into doing things she doesn't want to do, allow danger to come to her, neglect to be the spiritual leader, or lead her into sin, you are not showing any form of love or respect for her. I would even go as far as suggesting that you do not love or respect her (strong opinion, I know).
"In our society and culture, women are viewed, presented, talked about and sung about like a commodity. A commodity is something you use and trade up. The message we get in our society about women is "take me, use me, do what you want to with me, and then discard me."
I am a man, I see this pattern. Most of the time we don't know or realize that we are doing that or have that view, but sadly, it is true. Many songs and movies present women as objects of pleasure that are to be used to satisfy our lust and show our manliness and then thrown to the side and forgotten. Let me be frank, there is nothing mainly about having sex outside of marriage or having multiple sexual partners. It is childish.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of “childhood” behind me".
Our society is lacking in real men. I urge you brothers, to put away your childish ways and grow up and be a man. A biblical man. A man that leads, protects, and provides.
One of my favorite TV shows is Psych. In that show, the main character and his dad have a saying about how to treat women. "Treat a woman like a person, then a princess, then a Greek goddess, then a person again". I apply this to how I treat women, I urge you to take up this motto as well.
And Girls, if you are reading this: if a guy has sex with you before marriage, he isn't a real man. He is a child who has no self control and no respect for you. Real men have self control, they respect you, protect you, guard your heart and your purity. Don't date children, date real men.
Andy Stanley. The New Rules For Love Sex & Dating
Ed Stetzer. Act Like Men, Part 3: Men Treat Women with Respecthttp://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/october/act-like-men-treat-women-with-respect.html