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But If We Really Love Each Other?

"But," you may say, "if sex is based on true love, why do we have to wait until we are married? We really care for each other. We are sure that our love is the right kind of love. Even the Old Testament book, the Song of Songs, seems to teach that love is the only condition for sexual intercourse. Is marriage not after all an unnecessary, expensive, hypocritical formality which should be dropped altogether?"

As far as the Song of Songs is concerned, let us note the following:

1. This book is indeed a collection of love poems and shows us that sexual love is not sinful in itself. The Bible does not have a negative view of sex (Song of Songs Ch. 7).

2. These poems have been prepared for a marriage (3:11, 5:1).

3. This book shows us the tender affection between two people who love each other (2:16; 4:9-11; 7:10).

4. It shows us also that true sexual love is exclusive (there is no place for a third person). It is not a temporary and changing feeling or fashion, but permanent and powerful. It is not something that one can buy, but it is extremely expensive, because it costs you yourself (8:6-7);

5. It must be read in the context of the rest of the Bible that clearly explains God's will for marriage and love.

The Song of Songs praises the joys of sexual love. As these were written for a marriage occasion, they should not be used to encourage sex outside marriage. If you really love him or her, you will wait for the joyful marriage day. Before that day you, should be like a "wall" and not like a open "door". Then only you can bring contentment to one another (8:9-10).

If your love is real, you do not want to endanger your partner's good name by having sex before marriage. You do not want to run the risk of an unwanted pregnancy. You do not want to ruin your mutual trust in each other. So if a boy tells a girl, "If you really love me, you will have sex with me," she should reply, "If you really love me, you will not!" Or she could say, "Those words show that you do not care for me at all!" And if a girl tries to seduce a boy, it is usually also for selfish reasons, and not because she really cares for him.

Christian "dating". In the meantime, lovers have a hard time in waiting for marriage, perhaps over a number of years. The partners should help each other during this period. They should belong to youth groups so as not to be alone too often and take part in religious, cultural and sports activities. Together they may visit friends or people in need, like lonely and elderly peopie. It should be an unwritten law among Christian young people that "dating excludes mating".

Read Genesis 29:2~0-21.

Now long did Jacob have to wait before he could take his beloved to bed?

Why did this period seem short?

Avoid situations in which the temptations may grow too strong. Very few peopIe plan to fall into sin the first time. Beware of caresses that may lead to sin (Ezekiel 23:3-8).

But what if you are engaged to be married? Is sex allowable in such circumstances?

Read Matthew 1:18-25.

Did Joseph and Mary have sex before marriage?

Why did Joseph want to divorce her?

When did they have sex for the first time? (Verse 25.)

Prayer: O loving God, help us to wait for sex, so that we may enjoy each  other without sin or shame. Amen.

Questions to Discuss in the Group

1. Do you feel that people should be in a hurry to marry? Why?

2. How would you like to arrange your marriage ceremony? What is the most  important thing when you get married?

3. Whose happiness should be the most important for a Christian?

4. Why should you wait until marriage before you have sex, even if you really  love each other?