There is a reason God says to wait until marriage for sexual intercourse. In today’s sexually-charged culture this may seem like a tall order, but Christian men need to realize that this is actually for their own protection. God commands this not because He is a harsh taskmaster, but because He created sex to be a committed, joyful connection between a married man and woman. When a man tries to find sexual pleasure outside of the boundaries of marriage, he is falling short of the intended fulfillment and life that God truly wants him to have.
A man has to be vigilant to not sexualize the relationship, especially when dating someone. If the bridge of sexual activity is crossed prematurely, a man’s reasoning and priorities can quickly become skewed. His desire for sex can become the primary motivation for pursuing the woman that seems like “Ms. Right Now”, when he should actually be looking for “Ms. Right”. Even if he’s not sexualizing the person he’s dating, but he’s secretly looking at pornography or struggling with masturbation, the results will be the same. Eventually he will want to bring sex into the relationship, because he won’t be able to compartmentalize his private acting out for very long.
It is crucial for a man to practice openness during dating. This will help a deep friendship to develop between him and the woman he is pursuing. Having this deep friendship with one’s eventual spouse will provide the emotional spark that can be cultivated as the relationship progresses. If a man cannot be vulnerable and share his deepest needs, dreams, and fears with his girlfriend now, then marriage will not cure him. This is especially true if he’s hiding his involvement with sexual sin outside of the relationship, as there’s nothing to stop him from continuing to hide it once they are married. A man who gets married without having the skills or courage to disclose these very important areas of his life is sure to feel lonely and isolated, which will breed a continual cycle of hiding and shame.
A man can begin this process by taking some risks and starting to share his painful or difficult feelings with the person he’s dating. Women respect men who share their feelings, particularly feelings that are hard to share, or that have been kept secret. Men don’t usually place such a premium upon this need, so if they can develop that shared experience with their girlfriend now, it will help the relationship grow. Most women desire a deeper connection, and will be accepting of a man’s fear and shame, especially if he is honest about his struggles.
This increased level of openness will encourage a man in his fight against sexual addiction and will help him honor and respect the woman he is dating. He can look forward to marriage because couples with secure relationships are far more likely to have highly gratifying sex lives. The special bonds of deep friendship and devoted love for one another that have been built and strengthened before the marriage will help their sexual intimacy to thrive. If he’s unsure where to start, a licensed Christian counselor can help him navigate the process of healthy dating. Even in today’s culture, he can walk in sexual integrity and find his “Ms. Right”.