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Most Christians have been told all their lives that abstinence is the right thing to do and it’s the godly way to live. Many of us have stood up in church and taken the abstinence pledge, holding onto that promise closely. But the modern age we live in has challenged the way many Christians view sex before marriage. Despite the culture we live in and the circumstances we may face, we should not regret staying abstinent. Here are six reasons why.

Our Relationships are More Passionate When We Wait

1 Corinthians 7:2 says, “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.” Paul states that marriage is the cure for sexual immorality. This verse is essentially saying that because people cannot control themselves and so many are having immoral sex outside of marriage, people should get married. Then, they can fulfill their passions in a moral way. Sex within marriage is pleasurable and God designed it this way. God wants men and women to enjoy sex within the confines of marriage and abstinence promotes this.

Experience Doesn’t Automatically Make You Wiser

Many people think that sexual experience makes your relationship stronger and more intimate, but when it comes to an intimate bond with your partner, experience doesn’t make you wiser as some would think. Our society puts so much emphasis on instant satisfaction and pleasure that we lose sight of the natural pleasure one gets from really getting to know someone and being in a loving union. Trust, openness and maturity make it very possible for two adults to pleasure one another no matter how experienced they are. Many individuals who hold onto their virginity, along with couples who have decided to stay abstinent have expressed closer levels of intimacy because they’ve taken the time to really know each other without sex getting in the way.

There is also a lot of pressure from society to know the person you’re with sexually and determining if you are in fact sexually compatible before committing to them. Before making a lifelong commitment, many couples want a “trial period” to feel each other out, and know if taking the relationship to the next level makes sense. The Bible tells us this is problematic. Scripture says, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:17). When we participate in any sexual relations outside of marriage, which includes premarital sex, it is a form of fornication which the Bible defines as a sexual sin.

Abstinence Can Make Your Relationship Stronger

Abstaining from sex can be good for your relationship. You know when we can’t have something, we tend to want it even more, and then it feels so good when we finally do get it? The same holds true for sex. We already know that sex makes us feel physically and emotionally closer to our partners, but purposely denying ourselves sex with our loved one can make us want our partner even more, if practiced the right way. Abstinence can help you recognize the value of your significant other, especially if you’ve taken him or her for granted or lost the spark that drew you together. It can also contribute to more meaningful interactions because the time spent together is valued more.

Abstinence Promotes Good Communication in Dating

In addition to making your relationship stronger, abstinence promotes good communication in dating. When a couple practices abstinence, their communication is good because they are not just focused on pleasure but on the joy of sharing their views and experiences; moreover, their conversations are deeper. While physical intimacy is an easy way to relate, it can overshadow other forms of communication. It is a way of avoiding the real work involved in emotional intimacy, like talking about deep personal issues and working on the basic differences between you and your partner.

It Encourages Generosity Instead of Selfishness

When you are dating and having sex, it can lead to selfishness and a focus on self-satisfaction. Some who don’t remain abstinent feel like they are competing with others whom their partner may find more attractive. This in turn fosters insecurity and selfishness. When you get sexually intimate, there is a tendency to ask for and desire more without being truly committed to each other. According to the Bible, this commitment can only be found in the union of marriage.

You are More Likely to Walk Away if the Relationship isn’t Working

When you choose abstinence, you feel more free to question whether you should continue the relationship if things aren’t going in the right direction. Sexual relationships have the power to strongly unite two people and can extend an unhealthy relationship based on physical attraction or the need for security. A person may feel trapped in a relationship that they would like to end, but they can’t find their way out because of their sexual bond to the other person. A person who is not having sex can more easily break the emotional bond to the other, because there has not been such powerful intimacy on a physical level.

In addition, if you decide to break off the relationship, it will hurt less. The ties that sexual activity forms bind us strongly to the other person, so if there is a break-up, the resulting pain is more intense. When you have not been physically intimate and decide to break up, the separation is less devastating.

Sex is one of the biggest steps you can take in not only in your relationship life but also your personal life. If you are one that is choosing abstinence, you should never regret the choice or feel guilt because you waited. When you choose to wait, more often than not, you’ll feel better about yourself. Too often, sexually active adolescents lose their self-esteem and admit that they live with guilt. When they decide to let go of physical intimacy, they feel new and grow as people. Instead of focusing on physical intimacy in your relationship, focus on building true intimacy by really getting to know the person you’re with. Don’t listen or succumb to the pressures of the world.

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