THE pressure to engage in premarital sex today is powerful in many places. The world, in fact, is caught up in a “sexual revolution.” The New York Daily News explains: “Sexual relationships without marriage are now broadly recognized by parents, colleges and the public generally. There is a sort of quiet tolerance of immorality, as if it would be futile to stem a new irresistible tide.”
Many people demand freedom to have sexual relations with whomever they wish and in any way that they choose. Such attitudes cause uncertainty for many individuals. A college girl tells of a typical problem she encountered on a date: “He would say, Why not? I would spend half the date trying to explain to him what was so special about morality. Then afterward I would ask myself, Why not?” Might you, too, have wondered, “Why not?” Does sexual morality really make sense?
Youths commonly believe that, since they are physically capable of having sexual intercourse, and since it reportedly is ‘a lot of fun,’ this is something for them to do. But is it really? Is sex prior to marriage proper? Does it help to make life worth living?
GOOD EFFECTS OR BAD?
What about the claim of some that sexual freedom brings greater personal happiness, that it’s ‘a lot of fun’? The Journal of the American Medical Association reported this conclusion of a youth who had premarital sex relations with many girls: “I have learned that this did not bring me happiness.” Girls are even less likely to realize happiness from premarital relations. A tearful young college student said of such an experience: “It sure wasn’t worth it—it was no fun at the time, and I’ve been worried ever since.”
Such worry often is justified for a number of reasons. Pointing to one reason, a health official said that gonorrhea threatened to infect 50 percent of United States teen-agers in just five years! And medical authorities say that modern drugs are proving ineffective in stopping the growth of both gonorrhea and syphilis, the major venereal diseases. All too often those affected realize it too late to avoid serious and irreversible damage to their bodies. Does it make sense to risk the chance of suffering permanent damage, perhaps even blindness or sterility, as a result of immorality?
Also, there exists the strong possibility of becoming pregnant. Millions of unmarried girls do. Many of these go through the dangers and emotional strains of abortions. Others are forced into unhappy marriages. Still others face a long, unhappy struggle to rear an illegitimate child. So it is easy to see that, although contraceptives are becoming more easily available to teen-agers, they don’t give “guaranteed” freedom from pregnancy.
Really, there is nothing new or “modern” about sexual looseness. It has been around for a long, long time. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah practiced it nearly two thousand years before the birth of Jesus Christ. If you read the history of the old Roman Empire you will see that it was notable for sexual looseness of all the kinds carried on today. In fact, its fall came largely because of moral decay. Surely, it is a wise thing to heed the Bible’s command to “flee from fornication.”—1 Corinthians 6:18.
MORALITY A SIGN OF WEAKNESS?
However, you may be challenged to commit fornication and, if you refuse, others may accuse you of being weak. In some places fornication has become an accepted practice. Two doctors writing in Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality observe: “Young people have come to feel guilty for refusing to have ready sex, and there are instances where young women have expressed shame at still being virgins at the age of 25.” Is it a sign of weakness to refuse to enter sexual relations before marriage? Well, which would you say takes more strength—to give in to passion or to contain it?
Actually, any weakling can give in to the sex urge. But it takes a real “man” (or a real “woman”) to control that urge until taking a mate in marriage. It takes even more strength now when the global trend is going the other way, because it means bucking the current.
The Bible book of Proverbs presents an account illustrating this point. It relates the way a young man from among the “inexperienced ones,” lacking in good heart motive, wanders down into a street where he is approached by a prostitute. Under the pressure of her shrewd persuasiveness, he caves in and “all of a sudden he is going after her, like a bull that comes even to the slaughter, and just as if fettered [or shackled] for the discipline of a foolish man.” (Proverbs 7:6-23) He did not have the moral strength to resist.
But earlier in this publication we read about the attractive young maiden of Shunem who resisted all the enticements that wealthy King Solomon could offer, preferring to remain true to the young shepherd she hoped to marry. Yes, instead of being like a “door” that could easily be swung open, she proved to her older brothers that she was as firm as a “wall” in her determination to keep her virginity for the man she was waiting for.—Song of Solomon 8:8-10.
WHY SEXUAL MORALITY MAKES SENSE
The main reason sexual morality makes sense is that it is the way set out by the One who knows the most about human happiness: Jehovah God. Think about it. Jehovah God has lovingly made provision for the transmission of human life by means of sex relations, and this is a very wonderful and sacred thing. We have all received of its benefits, because we are living. If we accept its benefits, doesn’t this place an obligation on us to accept God’s regulation of the entire process? Surely, as our Life-Giver, Jehovah God has the right to set forth rules of conduct as to the use of our procreative organs with the life-transmitting powers.
Through the apostle Paul, God tells us: “Let marriage be honorable among all, and the marriage bed be without defilement, for God will judge fornicators and adulterers.” (Hebrews 13:4) Fornication includes not only
To be continued
Information Supplied By
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc