8 years ago, I was a seventeen year old 6th Form Student at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. Most of my peers had already had their first kiss and some were looking to explore and take things a step further by engaging in sexual intercourse. I can’t say that I ever felt pressured to join the band-wagon. Kissing, sex and boyfriends were very low on my interest totem pole. But it did get me thinking and asking a lot of questions. Why was I doing what I was doing? And though I wasn’t interested then, my thoughts were if I became interested at say, 21, why would I wait until marriage to have sex? Why had I made this promise to my 11 year old self?
As Christians we are taught that sexual intercourse should be reserved for the marital bed. We are taught that intercourse if not practiced within the right boundaries – right boundaries being marriage – is a sin, not just against God but against our own bodies. But still we ask the question. “Why?” There has to be something behind the request by God.
Some people will reply “Because the Bible says that we should not fornicate” and others will say, “because every time you have sex with someone you form a bond with that person and any other person that he/she has engaged in sexual intercourse with.”
While neither of these are wrong answers, I still found my self questioning the merits of the principle of NO PREMARITAL SEX. So to satisfy my curiosity, I did some research, spoke to some people, and I was able to come to a conclusion. It is a bit of a scriptural lesson meshed in with some biology, and well within the grasp of understanding for almost any young person. I am most certain that most young people would have encountered the words used here in a health class.
I pray that even as I type this, that God would give me the wisdom and the right words to say to bring across the value of his request that we remain pure. I pray that lives will be changed and that the young men and women will choose to embark on a path of purity.
For The Ladies: Old Testament & New Testament Meets Up
This verse is not gender/sex biased but for the purpose of this explanation, we will look at only the woman’s body as a temple.
Now that this has been established, think about the temple in the Old Testament. There were rules and restrictions which governed the housing place of the presence of God, and there was a process which preceded entry into the the place of complete intimacy with God. Before entering the Holy of Holies, it was necessary for the priest to unveil a number of openings: the outer courts, the holy place, the brazen altar, etc.
By the time the priest arrived at the point of complete intimacy (Holy of Holies), he was naked and vulnerable. He had already done so much. He had unveiled all these other openings, he had risked his life several times because if there was any violation of rules and process it was equal to his death; but most of all, he was just plain grateful to be chosen for the privilege to meet with God on such a deep and intense level.
Ladies if you think about the way in which you establish intimacy with a man – or gentlemen if you think about the work that you need to put in to be able to get a girl – you will begin to see parallels between what the priests had to endure and what a woman may require of a man before she fully allows him to unveil her.
Most women require men who will reach them mentally, spiritually and emotionally. After he has unveiled all these parts then the woman may allow him to fully unveil her whereby he can reach a point of complete intimacy with her. This is the point where one may choose to engage in sexual intercourse.
I keep making reference to the word priest because in the Old Testament not just anyone could enter the Holy of Holies. A human being not ordained as priest would not be given the privilege of entering this inner sanctum.
Furthermore, not just any human being could be ordained as priest. The priest had to come specifically from the lineage of Aaron (a particular spiritual lineage) and the priest had to meet certain dress and conduct requirements. In other words, the priest had to be clean or he would defile the temple.
I feel like a cave holding the value of content that could make me a billionaire has just been opened. It is tempting to explore the requirements that the priest had to meet and compare it to the requirements that a woman’s mate would need to meet but I will restrict myself because this blog post isn’t about how to choose a mate. I’ll keep it simple and say that in this case, the requirement that the priest has to meet is the requirement of being your husband.
This means that every man who is not your husband that you allow to get to that point of complete intimacy as achieved via sexual intercourse is defiling your body. You are doing him and yourself an injustice and just as it led to death in the Old Testament it will lead to death in some form in your life. It may not be a physical death, but it will lead to some form of death; emotional and certainly spiritual.
In short, allowing a man to engage in sexual intercourse with you means that you are allowing him to enter the Holy of Holies.
Thinking of my body as a temple and viewing complete intimacy as akin to reaching the Holy of Holies gave my purity an extreme sense of worth because I have understood the extreme closeness and vulnerability which getting to that place requires. I also understand the profound pleasure which it brings and if sex under the right conditions can be compared to, or even come close to the intimacy that I find in God’s presence – the Holy of Holies – then I must conclude that it is absolutely phenomenal. I also understand that the person who is allowed to enter the Holy of Holies must be my priest for everything to fall into place.
For The Priests: Gentlemen?
I came across a Latin phrase often used by historians, “testis unus, testis nulls” meaning “one witness, no witness.” I like this phrase because it helps me to establish the understanding of the word testes as plural of testis and thus plural of the English word witness, thus witnesses.
“Witness to what?” you may ask.
Your testicles (testes), in the most basic or primal sense are witness to your virility as a man, but the testes also act as witnesses to the acts of the penis. They can sometimes be such telling witnesses that they will leave/give great evidence of the whereabouts of the penis. And by that, I mean that they are the origination of a man’s seed, and thus they can leave evidence in the form of a child.
But let’s look at how this is interpreted in regards to your purity.
For a man, intercourse establishes priesthood of the temple. Every time a man engages in intercourse with a woman there is entry of the phallus (penis) into the vagina. For a Christian man, your testes have borne witness of entry into the temple. You are testifying that you are the priest and that you have the right to enter the Holy of Holies. You are emphatically stating that you have met the requirements to enter the temple. You are in essence bearing witness to being this woman’s husband.
Gentlemen, please do not allow your body to be false witnesses. Do not enter a temple if you are not qualified to do so. As noted above, if you do not meet the requirements for entering the Holy of Holies then you are in essence asking for death. It may not be death in its literal form but death in a spiritual form or death in an emotional form. Therefore, my brothers, I urge you to enter temples only where you are the priest, temples where you have the right to go, and temples that you are incapable of defiling (Yup, I sounded a little like Paul here but you catch my drift). You may only have sex with your WIFE.
I am hoping that if you think of your girlfriend’s body as the Holy of Holies, that place of complete intimacy, almost reverence, then you will be persuaded to wait until you have met your requirements. I am also hoping and praying that when you understand the consequences which defiling a temple holds that this understanding will also persuade you to wait.
The Significance of Blood
When most women have sex for the first time, a vessel located somewhere at the opening of the vagina filled with blood (the hymen) is broken. For some men, loss of their virginity also results in bleeding.
Blood also continues to play a significant role in sexual intercourse post virginity. It is common knowledge that a man’s erection is formed as a result of blood, but it isn’t very well known that blood is what also stimulates the arousal of a woman.
This is very significant because in the Old Testament anytime blood was shed it was symbolic of the ink which seals a contract.
Blood was also used during a priest’s ordination. In the Old Testament, the ordination of a priest would include the sprinkling of blood on the garment of the priest. I see this as also very significant to the understanding of the covering of blood upon the man’s penis when he engages in intercourse with a woman who is a virgin. It is akin to the sealing of a contract. It is the establishment of specific spiritual roles. For a Christian, the terms and agreements of a sexual contract should always be as follows: WIFE and HUSBAND.
I hope that this blog post clarifies why sex before marriage is not something that should be taken lightly. It’s not as simple as deciding on whether or not you’re going to have a fantastic honeymoon.
First, and most importantly your decision to wait is pleasing to God but it is also important to remember that there are physical and spiritual implications.
Having said this, there are young men and women who will read this post and will feel like they have already violated the terms and agreements of sexual purity; there are those who feel that their temples have been defiled and those who feel that they have defiled temples. To you, I say that all hope is not lost. God is the God of restoration. These temples can be cleaned out and you can be restored to a point of sexual purity. All you have to do is to dedicate your body to God, make the commitment and He will honor it.