Picture it. It’s late spring. School is almost out, and it’s 90 degrees outside. Summer is in the air. You know what would taste really good on a day like that? A sno-cone. A pile of soft, melt-in-your-mouth, super-sweet ice, custom-flavored with your favorite syrups. Wouldn’t that be just perfect? But too bad, the sno-cone stands don’t open again until next summer.
Waiting is tough. Sometimes, it seems like having a taste of something before it’s time wouldn’t hurt anybody. Why can’t that five-page paper you just turned in be graded instantly? Why can’t the third book in your favorite series come out right after you finish the second one? Why does your freshman year have to last soooooo long?
What about waiting for sex? Unlike the examples above, only you are in charge of waiting. If you want to, I guarantee you that you can find a willing teenaged guy to satisfy your urges. The most recent numbers from the government show that almost half of high school students have had sex. This makes perfect sense to me: of course a lot of teens have had sex: it’s the easy choice, the sinful choice. Christians are sojourners, exiles, lights in a world of darkness, travelers on a narrow path.
I was in the minority. Through high school and college, I waited. I got married when I was twenty-two and had sex for the first time with my husband. And girls, let me tell you, it is complete physical joy. It’s something that unmarried people chase after when they have sex, but they never get it, and they end up frustrated, saying “happily-ever-after” doesn’t exist. The truth is, they traded pure physical joy for impure, and in so doing, lost out on “happily-ever-after.” They sinned against their own body. If you’re a Christian, your body doesn’t even belong to you (1 Corinthians 6:18).
That’s why you see all these magazine articles and products that try to help people have great sex: people who do it with lots of different people have to get really creative to make it exciting and satisfying. I would even guess that they have to find ways to distract themselves from all the memories they have from sex with other people: Your body remembers those experiences long after the good feelings have subsided. And those good feelings detract from future experiences with your spouse. I sometimes have flashbacks of kissing boys before my husband, and they disgust me. Having sex flashbacks must be traumatic.
If having regrettable sexual flashbacks is bad, having flashbacks of really good sex with someone besides your husband must be even worse! Can you imagine committing to love someone until death and then having sex that for you is not the best you’ve ever had? But that’s what happens if you’re experienced and he’s not. Or if you’ve had sex with guys who are very experienced, and make your husband pale in comparison. The beauty of having sex with only one person is that you are each other’s complete encyclopedia of “how to have great sex.” There’s no secret “I’ve had better” when he says, “That was great.”
This article is supposed to be about joy, and so far, I’ve talked a lot about things that are not so joyful. But that’s the truth of it: people who think you’re lame for waiting to have sex think you’re really missing out. And you are—on God’s judgment (Hebrews 13:4). Like so many of God’s commands, they just make sense, but only in the long run. Short-term pleasures are Satan’s territory. Long-term joy is God’s.
The joy of having sex with your husband will be so much better than what your “sexually active” friends are experiencing now: They’re having ice cubes while you’re waiting for sno-cones.