If I publish this word, this site will come up as objectionable

Our sermon at church today was on 1 Corinthians 5, and the issue of sexual immorality and church discipline. It reminded me of a talk I gave teenagers once on why they would do best to wait until marriage before they 'get into it'. Apart from the fact that the Bible speaks strongly against extra-marital sex, here are some of the reasons why.

If you wait until marriage, you can know that the person likes you for who you are, and not because you’ll go all the way.

If you wait, you can have a good confidence that both you and your partner will be able to stand firm in the face of other temptations in the future. For example, they should be able to resist having affairs if they have resisted hopping into bed with you.

If you wait, you can focus on communication skills and develop a good non-sexual relationship, which will stand your marriage in good stead for the future.

Research shows that marriages that start out as live-together have a 50% higher divorce rate.

Communication relies on words ,and body language. Having sex is the ultimate body language. It sends really strong messages to you and the other person.

The messages sent are: “I really care about you, I really want to be with you. I want to look after you. I only want you.” If you say these things with your body, but you won’t say them with your words, you are lying to the other person.

Marriage is when you say these words with your mouth, and you say them with your body.

Lying to people – whether with words, or with your body - has terrible consequences. People who are lied to lose the ability to trust. They begin to lie themselves. If you lie to people, you rip them off.

Having sex is like giving the most precious part of yourself away. You need to know that the person you give it to will respect, love and look after you, so you won’t be hurt. Marriage formalises that bond, and allows you to give to each other with freedom and joy, rather than fear it will be rejected.

If you have sex with someone else, you are stealing that freedom from yourself, from your partner, and from the spouses you both might have in the future. Every person you have sex with – you will remember. It’ll be like taking them to bed with you whenever you do it with your spouse. Do you want to marry someone who’s bringing all their exes to bed with them whenever they come to you?

Instead of wishing you could have sex now (if you’re single) why not start working towards preparing yourself to be a great marriage partner for whoever you marry in the future. Work on your patience, forgiveness, love, courage, honesty, sense of humour and faithfulness.

Since the Pill, we've had 'sex without consequences' - or have we? There are still physical results of sex. Sure, you might not get pregnant if you take the pill or use condoms. But then again, you might. Accidents do happen! And when they do, they produce babies.

Babies need two parents. Better than that, they need two mature parents. Don’t rip your future children off.

STDs are also prevalent. 1 in 5 between 15 and 55 is infected with an STD. Some can make you infertile.

God is not a kill-joy. He only wants the best for you. Sex is wonderful when used how it is meant to be used.