If I were to write an article aimed at turning young people off of Christianity, it would be this well intentioned article from the Christian lifestyle publication, Relevant Magazine.
The author, Rachel Pietka, acknowledges that one of the problems with the “no sex before marriage” policy is that it requires couples to be married before they begin to discover their sexual identity. Their first encounter with sex will be on their wedding night, and until then they have no way of knowing if they are sexually compatible.
It’s like the old joke from mother to daughter: don’t sleep with a man before you’re married, and never marry man who snores. How is the young woman supposed to know?
Pietka faces this problem head-on:
Although sex is indeed God’s gift to us, Christians are not directly commanded by God to have great sex. Couples may find themselves incompatible in the bedroom, and they should not be bombarded with pressure from the Christian community to start having good sex and lots of it. Instead, they should find support and comfort—support that sex is not the only thing that makes a good marriage, and comfort that historically all Christians have been called by God to suffer through numerous trials.
Christians are, and should be, hopeful people. After all, we believe in the resurrection of the dead, heaven and miracles. Some couples may find themselves miraculously gifted with good sex well after their vows, and books such as the LaHayes’ and Leman’s have helped a lot of people in this area. But in this world we will certainly have trouble. The world and all who dwell in it are imperfect. Sex, too, is bound up with the world’s imperfection. Some couples may spend their whole lives struggling with their physical relationship, and it is deceptive to teach that all Christians will, or are somehow biblically required to, have good sex.
I want to like this author. She’s stuck with a problem and she is honest about it. She’s sympathetic to those who suffer. She rightly points out that there is more to a relationship than sex, and that pressure from the outside isn’t likely to help. And she takes a shot at Mark Driscoll, which earns her points in my book.
The author could easily have copped out – “Of course your first time will be great, because you waited!” – but instead she chose to be honest. But still, the idea that your sex life may be one of those trials that God calls you to suffer through …