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4th & Inches: Wedding Engagement

When Christian’s get engaged to be married it’s as if they are 4th and inches from the goal line, the goal line in this instance of course being sex. I speak of this because this is a strange concept in the world, to wait to have sex until after you are married? Even in the church it is becoming more common to hear advisors saying to explore each other a little sexually before you are married to see if you are “compatible”. Whatever happened to Jesus’ teachings on looking at a woman lustfully (Mat 5:28) or Paul’s teaching about not letting even a hint of sexual immorality be among you (Eph 5:3)? This is simply the world’s understanding of relationship and meaning; it is not God’s.

From the scriptures we learn from God’s point of view that marriage is about so much more than sex, about so much more than selfish fulfillment. Is there enjoyment in sex and in marriage? Of course. But these are not its primary purpose according to God. It’s primary purpose to God, like everything else, is about eternity, not about selfishness (for a great book on this topic, see here). From the world’s point of view I can understand why marriage is looked down upon in general, for what purpose does it have, what benefit does it offer? None. From the world’s point of view, to please myself, “friends with benefits” would be the most logical relationship option.

Returning to the point at hand, when Christian’s get engaged, they enter a cultural ‘last phase’ before they come to know each other more intimately, sexually. And trust me, just because someone is a Christian doesn’t mean that they no longer have the hormones to help propagate sexual relations (unless of course someone has interpreted Mat 19:12 literally, which is beyond the scope of this writing). This is where I see many people (including myself) struggle, to remain sexually abstinent, indeed sexually pure (Eph 5:3, 1 Tim 5:2), for if you are marrying someone in Christ they are, and will remain, first and foremost your brother or sister in the Lord (for that is the relational connection that will last for eternity – c.f. Mat 22:30).

Many people think that since they have fought to be sexually pure throughout their courtship (with whatever degree of ‘success’ they had) they tend to now think that since they are so close they can relax and loosen the boundaries and practices that got them to this place. This can be a spiritually, and even relational, fatal flaw. I have seen more than my fair share of engaged couples give in to sexual temptations, jeopardizing, and even ending at times the future of the relationship. You can imagine how hard it would be to come ‘all that way’ only to break things off because of a consistent lack of control through the Holy Spirit. That is of course if the people involved are interested in having a Godly relationship.

What I have learned first hand is that Christian engagement is a time to double down the efforts to remain Godly and continue treating one another in a Godly way, not to loosen boundaries or push the proverbial envelop. It is 4th and inches from the goal line, the team in that situation doesn’t simply relax and say, “Oh we have come this far, surely we will coast in to the goal”. The reason they don’t do that is because they have an opponent trying to stop them from their goal, and as Christian’s so do we. He is a most formidable opponent and hates your Godly relationship with a passion that is difficult for us to even fathom (Rev 12:17).


He is a most formidable opponent and hates your Godly relationship with a passion that is difficult for us to even fathom. [tweet this] #TheDragon


So if you are engaged currently, or ever hope to be (of if you were at one point, find someone to share these things with) please don’t let up the fight to be Godly when you are only inches away from when the real battle begins, marriage (even then you must maintain and fight for a Godly sexual relationship – c.f. Heb 13:4)


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