Question:

Hey, I have a quick question for you. I want to know your view on this. OK, well, you know how it is when you have a girlfriend and you have temptations from sexual desires. I love her so much and everything. I want to express my love to her. We talk about marriage all the time, how it will be, the difficulties and the benefits of it, and we also talk a lot about sex. Sometimes we get really deep into it and start saying the things we want to do and everything. Now, is this wrong? We aren't touching each other and doing all that bad stuff, we are simply talking about it and making our love for each other grow. Of course, this is not what our love is based on. We are deeply in love and we talk about everything else. My future job and how it will be together, having children, etc. Let me know. God bless you!

Answer:

In the Song of Solomon, a book I recommend you study since you are considering marriage serious, the heroine finds herself thing about her future and getting physically romantic with her future husband. In the first example, she is at a feast and from the way her fiance is looking at her, she suddenly realizes he is deeply in love with her. The excitement of it nearly makes her swoon. "Sustain me with cakes of raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am lovesick" (Song of Solomon 2:5). This naturally leads to sexual thoughts. "His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me" (Song of Solomon 2:6). If you think a moment you will realize that only way two people can be in this position is by lying together either face to face or her back laying against his front in a reclined position side-by-side. But even as her thought head in this direction, the actress in this play steps out of her role for a moment and addresses the women in the audience, "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases" (Song of Solomon 2:7).

We'll take about what that means in just a moment, but first this phrase appears again just before the wedding day. The heroine just had a nightmare that she couldn't find her fiance. Just as panic was setting in, she suddenly finds him. "Scarcely had I passed by them, when I found the one I love. I held him and would not let him go, until I had brought him to the house of my mother, and into the chamber of her who conceived me" (Song of Solomon 3:4). In her dream she was was so determined not to lose him again that she dragged him to her parents' bedroom for the implied purpose of bedding him. Again the actress breaks out of her role to deliver this warning to the ladies in the audience, "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases" (Song of Solomon 3:5).

If you have seen gazelles or deer, you know they are flighty creatures. The least sudden move will send them bounding away. You lose track of them before you realize what happened. What the heroine is warning is that love is similar when it is developing. It is a fragile thing -- Song of Solomon also compares it to blossoms on a grapevine which can be easily knocked off. But also if you push it too fast or try to force its development you can lose it before you realize what happened.

We live in a culture that is in a rush. You pull into a fast-food drive through and your tapping your foot because you have to wait for the two people in front of you to be served. Even though you are out of there in less than five minutes you're in a huff from having to wait so long.

We treat love the same way. Young people just can't let it develop at a natural pace. So they do all sort of things to push it along, justifying it "because we're going to get married anyway."

Sex has a proper place, but it is after you get married. Talking about what you want to do to each other sexually now only stirs passion without a proper outlet. Notice how you try to minimize it by saying, you're not touching each other or actually doing anything bad. So is pornography acceptable because you aren't touching the lady you're drooling over and aren't actually doing anything "bad?" You pad your words nicely, but I left with the impression that you two are engaging in verbal porn, or what is popularly called "phone sex." Perhaps not the full blown raunchy version, but definitely its lesser cousin.

Stirring sexual passions between unmarried people is referred to as lust. "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). While you are not looking at a married woman, still the principle applies. Filling your heart will sexual passion for someone you aren't married to, even though you have intentions of marrying, is not proper at this time. One reason is that even though we make plans, we don't have full control over our lives. "A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). Until it actually happens you can't say you will actually marry this lady. Now if the unforeseen happens would you say your thoughts and words were proper toward a woman who becomes another man's wife?

But another problem is that you are stirring sexual passion without an outlet. People don't think clearly when they are sexually aroused. That is why you hear of so many "accidents." Things get out of hand and you go further than you intend. Plus, it is the nature of sin to constantly creep a bit further. You excuse your behavior because you can look back and say "well, nothing bad happened last time, so it won't this time." It is a part of the deceptiveness of sin.

One avenue many people don't consider is that talk is just imagination. You really don't know what sex will be like until you're faced with doing it. But when you supply all sorts of imaginary details; well, people tend to imagine things better than reality. In other words, you have a strong potential for setting your expectations too high and becoming disappointed.

Finally, you need to consider the warnings against sensuality (or lewdness or licentiousness). Flaming your sexual desire when you aren't married falls under this term. "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:13-14). The last phrase is especially important. As a Christian you give Satan as little material to work with as possible. It's hard enough resisting the Devil without cracking open the door for him.

Now having said all that, there are some things concerning sex that you do need to talk about before you get married. Things like how many children you would like to have, when you want to start a family, and which methods of birth control, if any, are acceptable to both of you. But for the most part these are general topics which do not require getting into deep details about the intimate relationship of sex.

Thank you for your detailed response. I totally agree with you. Last night, my girlfriend and I decided to stop talking about sex even before you responded. Why? Because I found that it's taking over my mind. It's all I think about now and I don't want that. It's like a disease. I want to think about God and good things. I read and pray every morning but this doesn't matter. It's like someone who eats very healthy in the morning but then for the rest of the day, they eat Oreo cookies all day. It will do them harm. So I definitely agree with everything you said and my girlfriend and I ARE going to stop because it's not doing us any good in our spiritual walk with Christ. Thank you so much for your response! God bless you!

Excellent! And a good observation regarding sin. I always find it amazing when people think that can sin "a little bit" and believe they won't be affect. Such is not the nature of sin.