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What’s the Point

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 5, 2021 1:00 am

What’s the Point

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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March 5, 2021 1:00 am

What's the big deal about having sex before marriage? The statistics may surprise you! On FamilyLife Today, hosts Dave and Ann Wilson talk with author Shelby Abbott about his book, "What's the Point," and being intentional with your most important human relationships.

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sex before marriage

The cultural view of dating and sex and marriage is very different than the biblical view Shelby Abbott says we need to examine God's design for relationships before we start making decisions that can have harmful consequences. Their culture tends to view sex was another sticky note we just stick to this person here for a time and then you peel away and you stick to this person feeling sick this person find out what works for you, but sex wasn't designed to be like that. It's more meant to be like an envelope when you use an envelope is meant to be used once you seal it and then it stays sealed and if you ever try to open it and then re-use it again.

It's destroying the way that sex was designed was supposed to be in a marriage context with one person. This is family like today hosts are name and Wilson on Bob Payne someone family life, whether you believe the Bible is God's word or authoritative or not there are plenty of good practical reasons why you want to think twice about what the culture is peddling when it comes to dating, sex and marriage stay with us and welcome to family life today. Thanks to joining us that a friend of mine who is a pastor who texted me the other day and said so I got a dilemma couple just reached out and said were get married and and will you marry us and he said I learned that there together and I thought okay do I say yes. Do I say maybe do I say no, not until so you been a pastor for years you have not hear you say to me want to know you face this.

I haven't faced it as a pastor you have right oh I faced it for two decades more often than not today. Couples were yelling to get married and live together prior right so it's a touchy hard decision.

This happened many times my Detroit Lions ministry you know players that were followers of Christ, and they want to get married or living together, and like to I hold him to a standard that's a Christian standard when the non-Christians is this decision I make in a prevent them from taking another step toward Christ. And so that's the tension you live in right and I said to my friend. I said I don't think there's a one size fit all answer for this. I think it's a relational issue that you gotta gotta be able to sit down and there there's an opening here to be able to talk about that the bigger issue which I said is not that they're living together. The issue is to they know what God's word says and are they choosing to put themselves above it and if that's the case then they're headed into a lot bigger problems in their marriage.

It's even trickier when it's your own family your own kids who decided to live together, and they know you're not ready for that but you still want to have a relationship with your kids, whether there's a new book that is addressing this so somebody please I am too. Shelby Abbott has written on this subject in Shelby's been on family like today a number times shall be welcome back. Thank you. Yes, this is a subject that you have had to address as you been in campus ministry with crew for more than 21 years. Shelby's a writer and a speaker as well and I remember sitting with a social scientist a while back and he said it used to be that this was the normal pattern for people you date. You fall in love. You get engaged. You get married you have sex you have kids they go on the bachelor and do it all backwards letter that I said that when that was built pattern. Today's pattern is you date you have sex you fall in love. You move in together. You have kids you get married let shall be the expert. What is the pattern today.

Is that true, you know, there are certain patterns that exist in the culture. Now that are a lot more present than they were a long time ago but I'd hesitate to even say that this is what people do, because there are certain people who may still go the old-fashioned route and they they don't sleep with one another before they get married. We call it the biblical route not to seal the yeah the old old-fashioned books of the biblical and but you know it is increasingly rare and saying that that's true though. The reason that I wrote this book, though, is not necessarily to try to convince Christian people that they shouldn't be sleeping with her boyfriend or girlfriend. This is more of a book that that reaches out toward a skeptical or maybe nonbelieving audience of people who are already living together and help them to see that there are better solutions out there, and the majority of the research that I quote in the book is actually secular research because the whole theory of the got a test drive the car before you drive it and that'll lead to like a better marriage relationship in the future actually just not true to it all and this is in front necessarily Christian resources.

This is from secular once the myth of more satisfaction, more money it axes like a safety net just in case of economic deal, it just is not true in the research communicates it over and over and over again now.

Have you found is when a junior book.

I was somewhat blown away by the stats and the data that you compiled and there.

I mean it's like. It is overwhelming, especially as you read page after page, and you keep going through your book you like, well, this is compelling to say this is a dangerous thing to consider, yet you find people that say okay I know the evidence I still want to move in there about the book called sliding not deciding right. Many couples to say I just happened.

We just didn't really talk about it, but my toothbrush was over there and then I just decided to stay one night and then I went and grab some clothes and I have my own drawer and now like Bob about this like lots of things that they don't really talk about it just ends up happening and so what I'm encouraging people to do is to pause and be intentional about it in a way that you might be intentional about getting a job and so what I can do compared to is likely if you're looking for employment. You don't just go to the building of the company want to work for and stand around in the lobby in your sweatpants waiting for someone to walk up to you and say hey do you need a job you like get dressed up. You get cleaned up. You remind yourself to make eye contact you. You send your resume.

You like set up an appointment. You work at it or how much more important is a relationship, a romantic relationship, then a potential job, especially if that relationship ends up being your spouse in the future you should be intentional about it and you should make decisions with purpose as opposed to just sliding into things because it just can't happen to most people are not saying let's let Saddam explore the pros and the cons of this they are and in their nonobjective observers when there they are asking the question, they've got their hormone saying this is what I want to do, and they've got the culture saying this is what's normal to do and and so they're not hearing a lot of dissenting voices saying there are some dangers here that you need to keep in mind, everybody Sam, come on in the waters fine him and that's really one of the things this way and allow the culture which shifts by the minute to tell us how to live our lives or we can rise above that and help people to see that there is a better way. The Christian worldview. In general, offers a better apologetic for going the quote unquote old-fashioned route. It just does.

It is whether or not were willing to stand up and talk about it and defend it in a way that we should be willing to defend it wit not only with like friends study that because what you're saying and with our kids as well.

We need to show them that this is the better way to go about it. Not because we want squash your fun, it's because we care about you week we care about you living life in a way that's enriching that you will flourish as opposed to destroy yourself. Things he said, which I can't wonder woman I would want to know this because you say that you were a woman. I think if I were a Jan, if I were a young single woman, I would want to know this because you talk about how women are more likely to be living together as a step toward marriage like how will this is just a natural thing looking will live together, and they will get married but you also said, men are more likely to see it as a test to the relationship and maybe even postpone the commitment to do different things here and so I think we need to protect ourselves and know what the future is to know what the intent is behind this living together.

Space yeah there's lack of communication. The offense happens in the in the sliding and not deciding they just kind assume that the other person thinks the same thing about why they're moving in together, and that they couldn't be more wrong about it and you know I read this one thing about a girl who is living with her boyfriend for think it was like five years and then they ended up breaking up and she confessed she was that I felt like I was on a multiyear tryout to be his wife and he just would never actually do it because he was getting what he wanted and ultimately if he didn't want anymore. They were married so he could just ditch it and that you deserve so much better than yeah if I'm right, Shelby, you said what you do in your next relationship as she moved in with her other boyfriend, right after that these seem to make the same mistakes over and over and over again and you know so what I offer is a is a is a solution in the book for the audience that I wrote it for is the solution ultimately is what you're looking for in your relationships can only be found in one relationship that you are made to have ultimate relationship with your creator through the person of Jesus Christ. Then and only then I would get to see better decision-making.

That's more healthy for our souls.

My daughter and her boyfriend then boyfriend were living in New York when they were dating and my daughter was working for a company there and she announced her engagement and shared with everybody and somehow the conversation about the engagement they were getting married.

It came out that they were not living together and people were incredulous that there was such a thing to people getting married who aren't living together. It is so much the cultural norm that was kind of like look a black swan out of yeah I remember when Rachel and my wife and I got engaged and then we got married we were unapologetic to talk to people about the fact that both of us were virgins. When we got married and my then brother-in-law, my sister's husband at the time he just could not fathom the fact that I was 29 and I never had sex. He just could not understand it. I really was like a unicorn didn't make any sense at all, but it was incredibly impactful in his life. It was deftly one of those noteworthy things that goes. I never thought this was possible yet here I see an example of this.

There's gotta be something to this Jesus guy that I just don't get how I remember Shelby being a week and remember marriage get away and young men came up to me after the engage session. He said I work at this place with these guys and I'm I'm engaged to my girlfriend and I told them that we've not slept together and Mike, my friends are like are you out of your mind. You can buy the car without a test drive.

What if you guys are are not sexually compatible.

What are you going to do them and so is is tossing it to me and saying so do I need to worry about whether we are sexually compatible and I said she's a woman right exactly. I you are by God's design sexually compatible. You were meant to be sexually compatible but don't mean there will be some hiccups along the way and you might have to get some help along the way but trust me testing out the merchandise is not the way to figure out whether you have an enduring lifelong thriving marriage exactly an illustration using the book is a sexy topic of paper products to talk about so I thought about how their culture tends to view sex like you're a Post-it note or a sticky note. You just stick to this person here for a time and then you peel away and you stick to this person you peel away and you stick this person find out what works for you, but sex wasn't designed to be like that.

It's more meant to be like an envelope, which I make fun of myself for saying that but when you use an envelope it's meant to be used once you seal it and then it stays sealed and if you ever try to open it and then reuse it again it's destroyed and that's where I'm trying to get at it the way that sex was designed was supposed to be in a marriage context with one person, because eventually a sticky note loses its stickiness.

You start to become numb to the idea that sex is a beautiful thing if if you don't do it the way that God has called you to do it now. Again, this is an apologetic that hopefully will resonate with some people and hopefully help them to see the merits of what it means to have a relationship with God and how that can change everything in their lives all the way up to their sex life and I've heard stories of people who come to Jesus the engaged couple. They been living together, they realize what the Bible calls into and then they move out from the apartment that they're in together for the remaining two months until they get married when they moved back in together would cause a person do that Jesus changes lives.

It's so funny. Dave and I were doing weekend, remember conference back when we had an engage session and we talk about why God says not have premarital sex before marriage and just God's design for marriage and down. This woman came up to me afterwards and she came up and she was older and she said hey this is my name Anton I just want you know my boyfriend and I have been living together for 15 years and we have three kids and like they're getting a little bit older and works so excited because we've given Jesus our lives this weekend and as we said in the engage session, we realized all God doesn't want us to have sex before marriage. So we've decided to move out and so excited had this conversation with our kids of why were moving out because there can I think it's the craziest thing they've ever heard the word I can have sex in working to get married in a month and she's like, we can't wait to begin this new see anything. All I seek is that all we've been together 15 years.

He now that Jesus. I think when we have this encounter with him. He does radical things in our lives that can seem foolish to people but man it is something that changes every aspect of our life is a similar story and there's a podcast. Your posters would like to listen to the family like I the conversation years ago with a couple who had come to one of our weekend to remember getaways they were living together at the time and we challenge them not to continue having sex before they got married and to hear their story. Later they had grown up in the church they had met one another on a missions trip. A long term a nine month missions trip that started having sex while they were on the mission strip when they got back home. They moved in together into his parents house and they said nobody ever said anything to us about this being wrong, I mean we really did not have any clue that this was against the biblical warm until we went to the pastor at the church we were going to and we said we'd like to help with the three and four-year-olds. The pastor said well we got this deal you know you guys are married in your living together. You can't do that all what's the deal like they they did not understand that there was anything about this biblically. The come to the weekend. Remember the heroes challenge people don't have sex before you get married if you're having sex, stop having sex before you get married and the husband to be is convicted and and he goes to his fiance and he says I think we need to do this and stop having sex until we get married. Here's what she heard Shelby, she heard him saying I am breaking up with you because in her mind if he was, stop having sex with her. The relationship was not going to survive thought the only reason you want to be with your primary reason why you want to be with me this week and have sex with me on it now. You're not going to do that, you'll fall away, so she was saying no, we've got to keep having sex because I want to keep the relationship there while he held firm.

They parted, they got married and then wound up teaching the pre-marriage that their church eventually taking them through the art of marriage and showing them.

This is how it's supposed to be by God's design that is just fascinating to me that there are people in the culture who have never heard that the Bible says there's a better way than to live together is a beautiful story love hearing that and it's a testament to what the culture thinks about what a romantic relationship is supposed to be in the first place that most people go into it and they just kind of intuitively think this is about me, what, what can you do for me. How can you make me feel how can you improve my reputation. How can you provide me with pleasure. How can you bend to my will and serve me, but when we are changed at the heart level and Christ comes in and replaces our heart of stone with a heart of flesh we can look at a romantic relationship from the very initial stages of just being attracted to one another all the way up through marriage as it's not about me it's about how I can serve you and care for you and when you think about it changes that that total dynamic of what a relationship is supposed to be like and when you're thinking specifically about the area of sex is like well I I want to do you service hereby. Not offending God and being the right type of godly manner, godly woman to make sure that I can let you know that I care for you by not touching you guys this is like if you if you can keep your hands off your girlfriend. Let's say you one day decide to get engaged and you get married and you decided on a business trip to three years into your marriage is your wife going to trust you on that business trip or if you have the ability in the in the future to control yourself like you did in the past. My life is never again like think that I'm doing something because I was with her for three years. I get my hands off or I have much care and consideration for her as someone who's dating her as someone who's engaged to her and someone who's married to her and she can trust me completely because I kept my hands off her in the past to the web so that the couples is if you are not married and you're having sex together. Here's what you know about each other. You are both willing to have sex with somebody you're not married to. So why do we think in the future you're going to decide.

All of a sudden now I am unwilling to have sex with people that are not married to. I mean, but that is a switch to flip or something and I know for me not income follow Christ till my junior in college in early in my Christian walk. I was presented. Now this biblical model of purity, sexual purity I thought was the dumbest thing ever want.

Woo hoo what you know and I also I don't remember ever seeing a Christian obey that. So my question was why you know, why would God say this, it doesn't seem to make sense in obviously years later and actually that year I had such a great young man pouring to me and he showed me God's trying to protect me. God wants the best for me and I love Shelby in the book says well here's some data that backs up why God would say you know prevent this until you're married to hear some data your chance of divorce is going to be higher if you live together your chance have an affair after your murders can be higher if you have sex before you married is like oh my goodness of God has our best interest in my sodas and I just don't want to enjoy this. I actually know better. I love you are trying to protect you and give you the best life possible. Just obey me, and you will see the fruit come later. I was can read my Bell stat said, those who had cohabitated two or more times in their life before marriage for 15 percentage points more likely to have been either emotionally, sexually or electronically unfaithful to their spouse and those who did not cohabitate me to put the data with his compelling, it makes you stop and really think through your choices down and might my hope is that we know what you're saying about to about like hormones swing that when the hormones kick and people, most especially people who don't have Jesus there is can I do with her and I do but one of the things I wanted to aim with this book specifically is to, metaphorically, put a rock in their shoe you have a rock in your shoe use can't keep walking with it in there. It just constantly bothers you is my hope is that with this providing of course biblical evidence for this, but also you know legitimate secular research that they will have a rock in their shoe and they will not be of the stop thinking about it, to the point that they go I need to make some better decisions here on, and that's that. That was really my goal to really to help them understand that they Christ is the solution. How do you give him a copy of this book to somebody without them interpreting that as though you are just judging me your self-righteous and I'm thinking people ago.

This would be helpful.

I will give him a copy without him think I'm a jerk. Well, yeah, I think that the relationship is important and so one of the things that we wanted to do when I wrote this, is that we wanted to pass about like take tax willing to give them to as many people as possible. The short read very very long, but it really is aimed to be a clear and concise dagger of information that cuts right to the heart of it there's humor in there as well. I try to write it so that it's incredibly readable for younger people, but handing it to them. The title of the book really gets at the heart of why there is a good argument a good apologetic for marriage and against living together and so I think since it's so permeated in our culture as we been talking about.

That is just a natural thing that people think challenging that in a way that makes people go. That's interesting. I don't know how people are to hand out other people but hopefully would do it in the spirit of love and caring for people and saying hey have you ever thought about considering a different option. I think that that question in and of itself is compelling enough to open a little book and read through it. I said down the couple decades ago and they were living together and I was assigned to do their wedding and probably three or four months to share with me and for some. I met him. Scott and Jessica and they say we are so excited. We just gave her life to Christ what you and the premarital counseling thing you have set up your church. We did never understood the gospel work sucks. I would give rise Christ and man were going back to our home and so I realize are living together in a member sit there thinking so I tell him, because you know the other couples that I'd actually challenged most of them looked at me and said okay I'm to go somewhere else, get married, and I could get married here now and so I I hesitated for second.

I similarly let me show you God's plan and I showed him something they had never heard, and I I've never heard of for a long time and is what you said earlier Shelby about you think you have sex with somebody. It's like a post it note you know it's a big deal. Just move on so actually what you're doing is given a part of your soul away and you know God says I want to protect your soul. So here's why says this anyway. I go through exactly 7. I laid out a biblical plan for sexual purity, they both looked at me and I thought oh here comes your nuts dude this is crazy. I never they looked at each other. They looked at me and they said work into this. Nobody's ever told assist that makes so much sense, and ago.

We can't afford it financially or how or how to do this work and honor God. I will really yeah I knew I got all excited. I thought I wanted to follow through.

They follow through to get married there.

Forget this.

Two years later I get this call and they said they were pregnant or name of her baby boy days, because you are the first one to speak the truth to us and we've never been able. Thank you so this was a teenager and you know obviously sometimes I don't respond and they get mad at you, other times can change a legacy is beautiful. Love that store Shelby thank you for this conversation. Thanks for though the book called what's the point and we hope blisters will join us in and bought a bunch of these and have them out like to tax right for people have Dick text that you can go to our website family like get more information about Shelby's book.

What's the point asking the right questions about living together and marriage go to family like order copies or call one 800 FL today to find out how to order give the website's family life phone number to call is 1-800-358-6329 one 800,000 family L as in life, and when the word today. David Robbins was the president of family life is here with us in the studio and David R.

Blisters have a chance today to hear from a teammate from Shelby Abbott and he is increasingly a key part of what God is doing through the ministry of family we've had him as a guest on family life today before but this is the first time you've been a guest on family life today as a part of the family life team and he is fairly new addition to the family life team is the lead writer and contributor for next-generation resources and as you likely are where Jen's ears are entering adulthood with different presuppositions about marriage and whether to marry, and why marriage even exists. And we are so grateful to have Shelby as a thought leader to engage the space because of family life.

We are about helping effectively develop godly families, generation after generation.

We are committed to the timeless truth of Scripture while speaking in a compelling and needed way to the cultural moment we are in we believe in the institution of marriage that God designed for his glory and for our good. I'm really excited to bring you this resource. What's the point and introduce you to Shelby is another member of the team God is raising up here at family life. We are encouraged and committed to help the next generation of marriages and families and are so thankful for the ways you play a part in that. We sure are an order thanks to those of you who pray for us and those of you who financially support this ministry.

You make all that we do at family life possible and we are indeed grateful for you. Thank you David we hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family are able to worship together in your local church this weekend and I hope you can join us on Monday when we're going to hear from Dave Wilson about what real biblical manhood looks like not toxic masculinity, biblical masculinity were also to share with you about our plans for February 2022 to be back sailing on the love like you mean it. Marriage crew somehow you can reserve a state room for the cruise. All that comes up Monday hope you can join us think our engineer today. Keith Lynch, we got some help from Bruce Goff and our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson about the pain of a great week and will see you Monday for another edition of family life today. Family life today is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas crew ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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