For Christians, for the Church, such a reason is totally inadequate and totally inappropriate. More correctly, teens and unmarried persons should abstain from sexual activity because such activity is contrary to the purpose and will of God and is in fact sin.
When we tell people to abstain in order to avoid pregnancy we make the commandment of God of no account. This is utterly inexcusable for Christians, theologians and the Church.
The ‘practical’ reason for abstinence, the avoidance of an unwanted child, is a reason completely foreign to the biblical revelation. Not once will anyone read anywhere in any Scripture in any legitimate translation that the reason to avoid sexual activity is pregnancy. Rather, the reason is simpler and more profound: God commands it.
And why does God command it? Because the human body is made for more than just the satisfaction of desires. We are made to glorify God, yes, even in our bodies. To degrade that high calling and to behave as nothing more than a dog on the street in heat is to demean ourselves and treat contemptuously the image of God.
So, instead of telling teens (and unmarrieds) to avoid sex so they don’t have a child to care for- we are supposed to tell them to refrain from sexual activity because God wishes it. And his wishes supersede yours. Always.
Well said, Jim. I’m going to print this post and give it to my children when they need it.
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Hey jim I am going to print this post and read it to my kids now!
While I’m highly opposed to sex outside of marriage as it is contrary to God’s law – we face a 21st century problem that nobody has got their minds around. The problem is that a hundred or more years ago people went through puberty a few years later than they do now and could get married fairly young – so sexual continence was only required for a few years. If temptation and genuine love meant our teenagers were finding it hard to wait, we could build an extra cabin somewhere on the family farm for them to marry and raise a family while working on the farm.
Now puberty is occuring before many are in their teens, but we expect them to hold their passions in check until they have finished schooling, and better yet, until they have finished college, got a good job, and can support a family while paying a mortgage.
Telling a teenager to wait 2 or 3 years – they may well listen, telling a teenager to wait for over a decade – they probably will probably fail to keep their passions in check.
Solution – don’t know. Problems – they abound.
youre simply continuing the same habit of everyone else in trying to excuse your way around the scriptural issue, which NEVER even so much as mentions the age of those engaged in fornication. it is irrelevant. the issue for christians is obedience or disobedience to god. period.
Fornication is wrong for all ages – I am not disputing that – what I am noting is that the Bible teaches that there are people who burn with passion and that they should marry – but as a “modern” society we do nothing to encourage young people to marry. If an unmarried Christian finds themselves in a loving relationship with another unmarried Christian they might need to keep their passions in check for a year or so if they are over 25. But if they are younger the expectation is that they must do this for longer – not because the Bible says they must wait to marry, but because as a society we say they must wait until they have a career, high incomes, and educational qualifications.
As you are a pastor do you tell your congregation that they ALL must wait or more 5 years before they may marry (and keep their passions in check for thay time), or do you only give this advice to those of younger ages?
i wont marry anyone who isnt and adult. those who ‘burn with passion’ through their teen years can learn self control. im not going to marry them just so they can avoid lust and im not going to give them permission to fornicate just because abstinence is difficult. life is filled with difficulties. that is never a reason for license.
So you refuse to also marry adults for the same reason? You make adults wait 5 or more years of courting so they may learn self control – the self control that many probably never practiced as teenagers? And where in the Bible is there the teaching that 16 or 17 year olds should not be married?
i marry those who are legally adults. i refuse to justify shacking up or premarital sex by anyone be they 14 or 84.
you married young, didnt you. and/or had premarital sex. right? because generally people only defend behavior they have themselves participated in.
To your question – married in my early twenties and didn’t have premarital sex. To you point of only marrying “those who are legally adults” I’m not sure where it says pastors may only marry those aged 18 or older – care to clarify where this is taught in Scripture? Or have you added to Scripture? Or have you taken away from Scripture?
Now since you asked a personal question of me, how about one for you – what percentage of adults you marry have engaged in the behaviour we both agree is wrong?
Leaving aside the secular world, Christian youth today are going through puberty at about 12, becoming romantically joined to another at about 16 or 17, but being told that they may not marry until they have education, career and financial stability – none of which occurs until they are in their early twenties. Told to wait rather than marry (contrary to to the teaching “it is better to marry than burn with passion”), many fail to practice self control and the guilt that results commonly either in a falling away, or hypocrisy.
i’d say a good 3/4ths. easily.
i dont recall ever telling a young person to avoid marriage for any of the reasons you list. i’ve, in fact, married a few 18 year olds. they were mature for their age and devoted to christ and their parents were supportive. those are the marriages i’m comfortable with.
the reason teens feel guilty for premarital sex is because they know its wrong. anyone who does something they know is wrong should feel guilty. guilt serves a purpose you know.