Biblical Foundations: The Ultimate Goals
At the deepest level, we approach the task of sex education convinced that God’s people will prosper as they handle the gift of their sexuality the way God, the gift-giver, intended. They will prosper in three ways.
Prosper in Pleasing God
First, they prosper in pleasing God. The greatest benefit of conducting our sexual lives in the manner in which God urges us to, and teaching our children to do the same, is that we can know that we are doing what our Father wants us to do and that we are pleasing Him. Scripture promises that in obedience—in living as God wishes—our faith can be completed or perfected:
“[Jesus said,] ‘If you love me, you will obey what I command. … Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. … If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.’” (John 14:15, 21, 23-24)
“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:3-6)
Prosper in Obedience
Second, we prosper in obedience. In living according to God’s law we experience the joy and blessing of sex as God meant it, free from fear. Obedience creates safety; we can live without fear of the devastation that can come from illicit sex. As you will see soon, sexual activity rates remain high among teens, with approximately 75 percent having had sexual intercourse by the time they graduate from high school. Sexually transmitted disease rates continue to climb, and teen pregnancy in the US, though down compared to ten years ago, is the highest in the developed world. Premarital chastity and marital monogamy are safeguards against unwanted pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. More broadly, obedient Christians are also safer from the relational confusion and emotional traumas that premature and inappropriate sexual intimacy can foster. We are not only safe from bad things, but we have the blessing of experiencing the good God intended in giving us the gift of sexuality.
Prosper in Marriage
Third, we prosper in marriage. Sexual chastity contributes to successful marriage. While chastity before marriage is no guarantee of having a good marriage, the evidence that it helps is indisputable. An important sociological study of marriage found results that Christians will appreciate:
- the single most powerful predictor of a good marriage was whether couples pray together regularly.
- couples able to pray together and enjoy good sex together were the least likely to divorce.
- cohabitation before marriage approximately doubled the degree to which couples themselves believe that they are likely to get a divorce; this reinforces numerous other studies that show cohabitation being bad for marriage rather than the preparation for it that so many claim.
- the higher the incidence of premarital sex, the less the likelihood the couple reported high sexual satisfaction and the greater the likelihood of infidelity in marriage.