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Many years ago, I used to teach at the kindergarten department of the children’s ministry of my church. One day, I went to class and the children were already in. The boys had gathered at one place examining a video cassette recorder we were going to use. The girls too had gathered in a group and were chatting and giggling. I decided to get closer to the girls and find out what their discussion was about. Remember these were kindergarten children with ages ranging from four to six. One of the girls replied ‘its about Eric’. ‘What has he done? I asked. She again replied, ‘He likes girls a lot’. I pretended not to understand what she was saying. She said ‘He loves them’. ‘Wow! I shouted, that is good. He loves girls means that if has two biscuits or toffees he would share with them’. Suddenly they all burst into laughter. They were laughing at my ‘ignorance’. One of them put it boldly ‘oh no, you have got it wrong, it means he is in love with them’. I said, ‘wait a minute, what do you mean by that? She said ‘it is just like… (she mentioned the names of two characters in a soap opera which was very popular in those days). I feigned interest and I couldn’t believe my ears. The girls narrated the whole story to me. The whole scene set me thinking.

Love is one of the concepts of life which is very confusing and doesn’t lend itself to easy definition. When you go to church, they talk about love. When you go to the discos too, they talk about love. What then is love?

Many people in relationships and courtship think that love is just having nice feelings or thoughts about that special person in your life. That is love in a sense. But that kind of love is not a solid enough foundation for a lasting relationship like marriage. The kind of love you need to build your future marriage must have these seven pillars I am going to talk about. If you don’t see these seven things in your courtship, then it’s time to sit down and review the relationship. I will talk about the first pillar today.

Some people enter into courtship and start having sex. They have the wrong notion that sex in a relationship means love. No! sex is never the same as love. Anybody who demands sex from you outside marriage doesn’t really love you. True love waits. False love must be satisfied now because it is selfish. There are two people in the Bible who both claimed to be in love. One was Amnon, David’s son (2 Sam 13). He claimed he so loved his half-sister that he couldn’t wait to ask for her hand in marriage and he raped her. Was that love? No. That was LUST at work.

Another man, Jacob, also claimed he loved a lady called Rachael and he was able to wait for seven years (Gen 29:20). Sex before marriage is a sin and as such should not be countenanced in any Christian relationship. These days many young couples are divorcing. The rate is alarming. Marriages that are as young as five years and below are crushing. One of the main reasons is the fact that they worked against their future marriage while they were in courtship by engaging in sex.

When you practice sex before marriage, you sow seeds of mistrust and infidelity in your future marriage. You cannot really trust each other because you will always think that ‘if he or she could give his or body so easily to me, why can’t he or she do same for another person’.

The other thing is this. If you practice sex in courtship, you are training your future spouse to break boundaries. Once boundaries are broken, it is very easy to keep breaking boundaries. Therefore when the two of you get married, it is easy to look beyond the boundaries of marriage. There must be a good reason why God instituted that couples should not engage in sex before marriage.

The Bible is very clear on that.

Genesis 2:25
And they were both naked, the man and his WIFE, and were not ashamed.

Notice that it was the man and his wife, not the man and his girlfriend who were naked. This means it is wrong for your fiancée to see your nakedness. If you allow him or her to have sex with you, remember you are digging the grave for your future marriage. Now you may not see because of the ‘nice feelings’ you are having, but it is a foundational defect in any marriage.

The third reason, and the last I will give under this discussion, why you should not engage in sex in courtship is that you are not wiser than God. Everything God created followed a divine order. Look at how we get the mango fruit. The seed is planted, it grows into a matured plant, bears flowers, bears fruit, the fruit grows into its full size, gets ripened before we pluck and eat. Anytime you engage in sex before marriage, remember that it’s like eating a mango that is not ripe. It will leave a sour taste in your mouth.

What to do if you have engaged in sex in a relationship
Break it immediately and see your pastor for help and restoration. The two of you must go your separate ways and seek to grow in your spiritual lives. You can only come together after you have been fully restored and that should be under the guidance of a matured person who also has the spiritual stature to help you.

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