Auditioning for marriage? How many tryouts is too many for a Christian?

A friend posted a link to My Big Virginity Mistake on Facebook to get me to respond.  For the sake of context, the friend isn’t a Christian but the author of the link claims to be one.  The final line of her article was, “I learned that sex is important enough not to wait.”  So she claims the name of Christ while explicitly opposing God’s word.

The issue isn’t whether people will always meet God’s standards.  We never have, which is why the truths of Jesus and God’s grace are such Good News!  But if we really know and love him we won’t teach the opposite of what He says.

Here’s the comment thread (Snark alert: We go back a long way and aren’t bashful with each other).

  • Me: Yeah, she definitely should have slept with hundreds of guys until she found one that was perfectly compatible with her. That never has any negative consequences. That is so much wiser than doing it God’s way and making a commitment for life. 

    I hope you are smarter with your daughters than you are on Facebook.
  • Him: i think the point of the story was that if she slept with the man she loved prior to marriage, she would not have married him. one is not 100s. and aren’t we being a wee bit hypocritical?
  • Me: If your premise was accurate, it would have been an error on my part, not hypocrisy. But let’s examine your premise more closely. You think that it would be better for the number to be more than zero. So in her case, if this person (who claims Christianity but obviously disagrees with what God clearly said) had premarital sex with the man she “loved” then she wouldn’t have married him. That’s a victory if you are right. 

    But wait, wouldn’t she have to have sex with the next guy as well before she married him? Oops, another one that isn’t perfectly compatible. So another victory for you and her! The system works. 

    On to number 3: D’oh! Still not a match. But your system is working just fine! I mean, once you, in your infinite wisdom, established that God is wrong and the number should be greater than zero, then the burden of proof is on you to establish the upper limit. In this case she would have had to have at least two out-of-wedlock encounters (assuming #2 was “the guy”). So if 2 is OK, why not 3? Or 4? or 100? 

    You haven’t completely suppressed the truth, so deep down you know something is wrong with 100. In fact, you thought it was outrageous that I brought it up. So that’s a good sign! There is hope for you. (Interestingly, the liberal Dear Abby said something similar once. While opposing God’s design for sex she was still aghast that at her current pace a reader would have 100 “lovers” by the age of 25. But she never explained the contradiction in her worldview.)

    But you and the sad author have some work to do to explain precisely what the upper limit is. And you have to explain why 5 is fine, but 6 is not. Or why 99 is fine, but 100 is not. Good luck!

    And then for extra credit you can explain why people who practice violating God’s design for sex before marriage will feel obliged to follow it afterwards. We all sin, so I’m not saying this as an expectation for perfection from anyone, but if we can’t even point to the right standards then that is a sad thing.

    You might consider if your premise is false. Perhaps sex isn’t something you audition for to see if you are compatible (If one is male and the other is female then you are compatible. Trust me.) or good enough. Perhaps it is “God’s wedding gift” so that you can enjoy it under the safest possible conditions — emotionally, physically and spiritually.

9 thoughts on “Auditioning for marriage? How many tryouts is too many for a Christian?”

  1. For me, one of the many purposes of chastity is to show that you actually accept God’s moral law above your need to be happy. When a man saves himself for marriage, he is saying that God has authority in his life to deny him immediate pleasure. And he can tell his wife that he has the ability to restrain himself no matter what his feelings are. Here is what a man tells a woman when he has had sex before marriage for love: “I will be faithful to you unless I fall in love with another woman, in which case it will be OK for me to have sex with her, just like I had sex with you outside of marriage when we were in love”. All I am saying is that it is a good sign for a prospective mate if you can show her your previous girlfriends and have them report to her that you can be self-controlled. Then she can trust you, and trust IS important in marriage.

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  2. A few thoughts:

    As a woman with married (and otherwise sexually active) woman friends, I hear something a little bit different. Without being too crass, men are all but guaranteed to absolutely love it; with women, the range of response is much, much broader (and can often be “This is terrible”). Women worry about getting themselves into a lifelong situation in which she gives him pleasure that she never experiences. That’s alienating, not intimate, and sounds like a frighteningly horrible way to live one’s life.

    To the substance: the girl’s ex-husband sounded like a total jerk. “Just the tip doesn’t count”? Who the bloody hell MARRIES a guy like that? I dated a guy who thought like that for exactly four month; when I dumped him on Christmas Eve, I considered it a Christmas present to myself. If you’re dating a girl who wants to wait for marriage, and you’re a good person, you’ll respect that, not pressure her – nor to play the “is this far too far?” game with her. You especially won’t play that game when you’re basically arguing over a few inches, a la Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic.

    It’s not like this is unconnected with her marital difficulties: the selfish swine who put his own sexual gratification above her morals before marriage put his own sexual gratification above his love for her after marriage. You don’t say.

    MAYBE the problem was that she married a selfish swine, whom she could have known was a selfish swine before she walked down the aisle. Maybe her dad joking about giving her a five-minute head start was less in jest than she thinks, and more an expression of trepidation about the union. (Girls, listen to your dads about your boyfriends. They see straight through men in ways that you’re not able to.)

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    1. Great points. I think her article would have been much better if the angle had been, “Here’s how to spot if your boyfriend is lousy and doesn’t have your best interests at heart.”

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  3. Basing who you marry off of sex is completely idiotic and very American. No wonder divorce is so rampant in this society. The first month of my marriage sex was difficult due to some “issues” my wife had that made it not exactly enjoyable and a bit frustrating for me. Had I had sex before marriage I may have just labeled my wife incompatible and moved on. What a colossal mistake that would have been! Now things are fine and my wife is the best gift I’ve ever received.

    I can only think of one type of relationship that is sexually incompatible however society is trying really hard to make me think it is. 😉

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    1. Interesting point. Apparently, sexual compatibility isn’t really the issue, is it? Apparently (to the politically-correct crowd), if you “love” someone, being “sexually compatible” isn’t important – as long as you’re gay. If you’re straight, sexual compatibility is very important and you absolutely must find that out before marriage. So backwards!

      The truth is, any man and woman that can and will commit to each other and are willing to be self-sacrifing can be sexually compatible. They might not have mind-blowing sex the first time (or the 25th time), but they will be able to work together to eventually make it good. And, of course, good sex comes from having a good marriage – not the other way around.

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  4. I think so much discussion about sex misses the point that love (not self-centeredness) is the Biblical key to sexual satisfaction. Love will drive one to serve the other person

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  5. From my observation of me over the past 43 years of my adult life, women don’t really pay attention to the whole man they are attracted to, and get wrapped up in a first-class jerk who won’t treat her well in the long run. If a guy really loves a girl, marriage will take place before sex, and if he focuses on the wife instead of himself, he will always please her sexually. So if the man complains about the woman not being good in bed, perhaps he needs to look in the mirror for the answer to the problem.

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  6. The “auditioning” thing needs discussion. If I were to audition for a role in a play, I wouldn’t perform the entire play from start to end, for free, throughout half of the first run in a city. Rather, I would read the lines and perhaps come back for a callback or two.

    The more crass “test driving” analogy is the same: you take the car out for a few miles. (When I bought my new-to-me car in 2011, I test-drove it for about two miles, put down a deposit; the salesman let me drive it home and then he drove it back to the lot. I also drove it to my mechanic’s.) You don’t take the thing to your family reunion five states away to check its reliability, out in a snowstorm to see how it handles in poor weather, or with you to work for a month because it’s too darn inconvenient to commit to that car.

    So why the heck would “auditioning” for a marriage, or “test driving the car before you buy it,” involve sex? WHY?

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