This article is about sexual purity in dating, and how to view sin in your relationship.

Source: De Reformatie. 4 pages. Translated by Bram Vegter.

Bothersome Sin

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:6

Communion (1)🔗

In the past, the word “communion” had a clear meaning. That is shown from the classic Lord’s Supper formulation: “The bread which we break is the communion of the body of Christ, and the cup of blessing, for which we give thanks, is the communion of the blood of Christ.”

With that we say that an unbreakable unity exists between bread and cup and Jesus Christ.

Just like the flag of Israel is inextricably linked to Israel itself. Whoever burns that flag, does not only damage a piece of cloth. And just like the passport picture is inextricably connected with your girlfriend herself. You can cherish that picture , or you can tear it up. In both cases you are not only doing something with a piece of paper.

People are being warned against this. When you celebrate the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner, you do not just swallow some bread and wine, no, you sin against Christ himself (1 Cor. 11:27)! While the intention is mainly positive; with the bread and the cup, our Saviour wants to let you feel and taste how real he gives himself to you. And he lets you experience how a real communion arises between him and you. “He in us, and we in him”, we confess. That does not only happen when you celebrate the Lord’s Supper, this is the reality that arises for everyone who embraces Jesus Christ in faith. At the table this is being made concrete. It is being celebrated. Jesus truly gives himself, and we really receive him.

This is the communion which he establishes for ever!

Communion (2)🔗

The Lord uses a word here from the life of a man and a woman. He likes to compare his covenant to a marriage. It is necessary to emphasize how real, trustworthy, and two-sided God’s covenant is, for us and for our children. “Promise and demand” became notable words. That is understandable, but unfortunate, for a marriage is much more than a promise and a demand. Love is surrender, communion.

The question however, is: how clear are these words still?

Does “communion” still mean the solid, unbreakable unity? Is that what is meant when you have intercourse as man and woman? It is good to talk about this. The world is full of self-satisfaction, and egocentric activity. You can also do this with two people, then each person focuses only on him/herself and their own pleasure. But “communion” is a way of “giving” yourself to the other person. It is a sealing of your love, your unity.

How does that work in today’s world? It seems to be common practice for young people, while dating, to go to bed together. When I speak to young people about this, they say: “Everyone does it”.

Sin That Bothers You🔗

It seems so great. But the practice is often quite different. For suddenly your dating is not dating anymore. It should be a time in which you get to know each other, in an open manner.

Open also in that it is not a foregone conclusion for you to marry each other. For it is still a question whether you will want to when you get to know each other better. You may want to continue the relationship, but you may also want to end it. When you have already decided to have intercourse, then you are taking something that should not be within reach yet.

You are doing something while pushing healthy questions out of the way. You do not give away a bag of sugar; you give yourself, your body. You are making it difficult for yourself to end the relationship, something you should be able to do in a healthy relationship.

Sexual intercourse prevents you from having a regular time of dating and from appreciating the value of that time. In fact, you pass over many things.

This often leads to much damage. I am convinced that some relationships are being continued while they should have been ended. But neither person dared to do that, it was actually already quite impossible to do so at this point. There has already been too much intercourse, while the unity was not really there yet.

Yes, then just get married…, and within a few years you discover that it would have been better not to have done so.

It is a sin!

For God calls it a holy matrimony. Because he brings the two together. We can choose each other, but he is the one who makes man and woman to become one, just like Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:4-6). It is the unity for which he asks respect, even when as spouses you cannot live under one roof anymore (1 Cor. 7:10-11).

Therefore, the first question is always: do you want this unity? Do you want to promise loyalty and receive loyalty for life? This is a question that you better not treat lightly.

Subsequently, when you want to answer “yes” to this question, then go to God so that you may receive each other as husband and wife from his hand. Ruth wanted to just crawl under Boaz’ blanket, to give herself to him on the threshing floor. But Boaz sent her away. He wanted to marry her, but in the gate, before the government. You receive marriage from God, the lawful authority (however that looks) regulates this on his behalf.

Only when this unity has truly been established, may it be sealed. Is that not logical?! God has created us in such a way that there is much to enjoy in such communion. But when you turn the order of things around, what is beautiful will turn against you.

Sin That Haunts You🔗

And say your dating time comes to an end. You find it necessary to break up the relationship, or the other person makes it known to you, after all those times that you have had sexual intercourse. Do you have any notion how drastic it will be?

Sometimes, many years later, women are plagued by this somewhere in their consciousness. They discover (with help from others or not) that they have given something unique to another person, who left with it. That can, even then, come across as being very wrong. Communion is something you share, not only in the moment itself, but also afterwards. The “first time” is an experience that you cherish and save together, it is special to the marriage.

It is a sin!

When married people go too far with their boyfriend or girlfriend, end up in bed and have intercourse, then this is extremely damaging for their marriage and an insult to God.

Almost everyone will agree with this. Adultery can be a reason to separate, it is not automatically so, but that is how entrenched it is. For what was unique, has been disturbed, the communion was given to someone else. Even when things are patched up again between the spouses, it can still be disturbing.

For the experience remains, the memory, the comparison with how the other person did things.

Someone broke into what you had between the two of you, what was strong and sealed.

After the wedding day this is generally recognized: it is sin, it is damaging, it continues to haunt you, etc. Would it be different when you start with this before you get married?

If you want the communion that you so desire together to be a true communion, then save yourself for the true person who stays with you. Otherwise, every experience with someone else will be disturbing later on in your relationship with the person you marry. You build experience and you can compare later on, but that is not the intention at all. And what is the meaning then of sealing your matrimony?

Children love stickers. They stick those stickers on everything. First on their bike, then on the door of their room, then on their hand and subsequently also somewhere else. They finally discover that the sticker does not stick anymore. They learn that the first time they stuck it on something, it had the best adhesion. This is exactly how it is with communion.

It is a very strong bond, a seal of unity and communion.

But when you peal it off and go out with someone else, you must count on the fact that the power of bonding has lost (some of) its strength. Once you start this, it will become more and more difficult to really bond with someone. I am firmly convinced that through different relationships that end up in bed, many marriages are already robbed of their power before the day of the wedding.

Sin That Paralyzes You🔗

The question is also: what do you expect from God while you are dating? And how do you involve God in your time of dating?

A while ago I mentioned that you could have a relationship with someone who does not know God. This is not necessarily wrong, as long as you realize clearly that Jesus owns you.

You already have communion with him. Say honestly what he means to you, and that you can only marry someone who shares this communion with Jesus, with you. Even then, it is difficult enough to remain standing (in this communion) and not to sin.

For the other person, who does not know God, usually does not see it as a problem to sleep together sooner. You will be looked at in amazement when you do not want to, and then you must explain yourself. Try that sometime when you also have a body that desires…

“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” it says in his Word.

Let him know about it, pray, discuss, ask, but whatever you do, do not put him at a distance/push him aside.

Who else will make your paths straight? Who oversees your life better than he? And especially:

Who loves you more than the Lord?

Peter warns married men that their prayers will be hindered when they do not live with their wives in an understanding way in their marriage. The one communion touches the other communion, and that is mutually so. Your communion with the Lord will be a blessing for your time of dating each other, and for your marriage on earth. But vice versa, a wrong communion on earth can destroy your relationship with the Lord. As a result, you are doing things more and more on your own. That is sad, but it is to be expected. When you turn onto a path the Lord does not want (you to go on), you cannot count on him to travel along with you.

With the result that it will paralyze you, you will not know anymore what the best thing is to do.

Confessing Your Sin🔗

When you realize and see your sin, then you can break with it. That can also be done afterwards. It is never too late to include the Lord in your life. Start anew with him.

His communion is healing (to you). Your heart becomes free and your path will be straight.

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