This is a question that comes up time and time again when discussing with people, our partners, in our head and sometimes in arguments: “We’re in love. We’re planning to get married. Why should we wait to have to get intimate?”
It is understandable why this has become such a pressing issue for young people in their twenties and thirties, as this is an issue most people struggle with but here are a few pointers as to why you should save intimacy for marriage.
THE ARCHITECTURE FOR INTIMACY
Truth be told; We live in a sex-saturated society. Intimacy for its own sake is the focal point of hook-up culture that penetrates a majority of young individuals. To make matters worse, our society has combined this over-sexualization of culture with a trend toward delayed marriage. Financial concerns, advanced academic degrees, and careers are persuading large numbers of people to indefinitely postpone marriage. This is the new normal, and it gives rise to frustration.
When done right, intimacy is like one of the several forces that hold marriages together. Its purpose is to bond two individuals together so that they become one. Intimacy is designed to promote selfless love as partners wholly participate in the process of intimacy, taking mutual ownership of their relationship, and finding profound satisfaction in it. The goal is connection and closeness, fidelity, and an ability to empathize with your partner.
However, abstaining from intercourse until marriage does not guarantee satisfaction intimately. Too often we save intercourse till marriage under the assumption that our intimacy will be more fulfilling when we wait, but this may not always be the case. When you understand how it is supposed to work, you begin to see that it was reserve for marriage because it’s such a unique, exclusive, and wonderful thing. Stated simply, intimacy is a holy mystery that we’ll spend our lives trying to unravel.
THE GROWTH PROCESS OF INTIMACY
It’s hard to deny that intimacy feels good under any circumstances. It was designed that way. Scientifically it has proven that it activates the pleasure center of the brain, releasing dopamine into the system, a “feel-good” hormone so powerful that we can actually become addicted to it. It also triggers the release of oxytocin (brain’s bonding mechanism).
Our experience of sexual attraction and pleasure is progressive in nature. It grows by stages. When a guy and a girl first start to sense a mutual attraction, they can get so thrilled by just sighting each other across the room. From there they progress to talking, looking into each other’s eyes, touching, holding hands, and kissing. What is titillating in the beginning eventually becomes familiar and routine, and they feel compelled to advance in order to renew the excitement.
The advice regarding intimacy is simple: “It’s your life and I can’t tell you what to do”. But I am going to make a simple request. As you go forward in your relationship, I want you to keep close tabs on your attitude toward your partner. Ask yourself how sex is impacting the way you see her. Is it generating more love between you? Or is it simply creating more demands?
Some couples try to counter the arguments I’ve presented by saying, “But we’re going to get married anyway. We’ve already made a commitment. What difference does it make if we become ‘one flesh’ right now or wait until after the wedding?”
First, you haven’t actually made a commitment yet — not even if you’re engaged. In certain cultures, engagement doesn’t amount to that kind of promise. It’s not the sort of commitment that requires you to step over a line you can’t re-cross without some serious social and legal consequences. The real promise will be given when you officially married. Until your vows are said, it’s still fairly easy to bail out.
That leads to the second point. It’s not uncommon for weddings to be canceled a week before the event. Such things do happen. When they do, couples who have already had intercourse end up carrying more emotional and psychological baggage than those who have made the decision to wait.
So how does one lay a strong foundation for marriage? You can do this by implementing four practical strategies: pause, reflect, understand, and decide.
“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Many young partners try to put this saying into practice by delaying marriage, but they fail to see how it applies to premarital intimacy. Before allowing yourself to be swept away by hormones and passion, take a deep breath, get your bearings, and figure out how you really feel about intercourse and marriage.
Reflect majorly purity and whole, satisfying relationships. Pay special attention to the following: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” These nine words present a complete picture of the man or woman who walks in truth. Patience and self-control are especially pertinent to the question here under consideration. There is no better way to prepare for marriage than by cultivating these qualities.
Understand what intimacy is in true and have a full grasp of your conviction. Otherwise, your convictions will crumble when temptation comes knocking.
Finally, take control. As said earlier:?It’s your life, and you have to make up your own mind. Find out exactly what you believe and put it into action.
You and I may think that the true plan for intimacy is too narrow. We may not see it as a gift that should be saved for marriage. We ruin this gift, to be given in the way and timing it intends when we engineer things to go our way, and when we do things our way, we step into a place where there are consequences.
Jenny Soul is a passionate relationships expert, dating counselor and sales coach. She is also a songwriter, performer and mum. When she is not writing, she engages in counselling sessions and motivational speeches to young people.