The other day I was reconnecting with an old friend when we both got to reminiscing about our college experience. The two of us had attended the same Christian university, and while those four years were easily some of the best of our lives, we began to ask ourselves what we could have done better. Suddenly out of the blue my friend said, “You know, I wish we had talked about sex more.” This caught me completely off guard, so I asked him what he meant.
“It’s just that, most of us grew up in Christian homes and were already taught to wait until marriage.” He explained, “But we never really learned how to effectively dialogue about sex with people who weren’t Christian. I have friends who came to Christ later in life, the new dynamic of waiting is hard for them, and I don’t how to help.”
I couldn’t deny that my friend had a point. The Church offers strong guidance on a number of spiritual topics, but we’re pretty lousy when it comes to discussing sex. After all, it’s awkward, it’s volatile, and most Christians consider the rules fairly self-explanatory. However, not everyone grows up in a Christian household. Many people come to faith after a lifetime of sowing their wild oats, and the change from free love to patient waiting can be jarring for them. So, what does Biblical purity look like when you’ve already had sex?
Over at Relevant Magazine, Lindsey Maestas reflects on how one of the most painful, yet hopeful, moments of her life was learning how to stay chaste after becoming a Christian. Following years of broken relationships physical flings, Maestas bought herself a promise ring as a way to remind herself that she was a new creation. This didn’t just mean accepting Jesus as her savior, it meant changing her entire outlook on the past and the future. She writes,
“You are more than your mistakes. You are loved, precious and worthy. Whatever it is that you are dependent on or in bondage to, God is offering you a fresh start. You may be married now and bear the burden of guilt for your past decisions. Or you are in the midst of living out these mistakes today, seeking a way out without any direction. Either way: You are loved. You may not have deserved a second chance, but you are offered one. And today you have the choice to choose Him—over yourself—and begin afresh.”
“It’s never too late to start over. God moves in us. God heals us day after day from the brokenness we cause for ourselves. He fills our lives with a fullness that we can’t even fathom without Him. And He loves you enough to set you on a new path.”
Maestas isn’t wrong when she says God offers us a fresh start. Accepting grace doesn’t just mark the beginning of a person’s Christian journey, it is a radical transformation of their life as a whole. The actions of the past are wiped away and the slate is made clean. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states,
“If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation. Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
With Christ we are able to discover a new purpose and meaning to our relationships. Singleness doesn’t become the mark of failed romance, but a privileged calling with unique blessings. Marriage moves from being a social construct to a holy union between two souls. As for sex, we get to see it for what it is; a powerful, emotionally binding agent that is designed to strengthen the heart of marriage. Those who come to God later in life are not less because of their sexual past, they are proof of God’s abounding love and fathomless grace.
What about you? What are your thoughts on waiting after you’ve already had sex? Be sure to leave a comment in the space below!
*Ryan Duncan is an Editor for Crosswalk.com
(image Courtesy of Thinkstock)