Susan Nemeth, together with her husband, has been involved in youth ministry for nearly twenty years. After witnessing countless youth succumb to the pressures of sex, Nemeth began educating others on how the word of God does not shy away from discussing physical relationships, but instead provides valuable guidance on the values and proper perspective of sex. Nemeth answers actual questions by youth about sex and shares the facts about the results of wrong decisions while specifically explaining how to:
- Share responsibility for actions on a date
- Distinguish between lust and love
- Grow spiritually first before finding a mate
- Tell how far is too far when it comes to a physical relationship
- Accept God's forgiveness for past mistakes
God's Word on Sex and Dating provides encouragement and much-needed spiritual guidance to young adults who want to have happy, fun-filled dates while remaining pure.
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God's Word on Sex and Dating
By Susan Nemeth
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2009 Susan Nemeth
All right reserved.
Chapter OneAll about Sex
You're pregnant! The test is positive. What do you do now? You have to tell your boyfriend. When and how do you tell your parents? You wonder how you let yourself get to this point. How will you reach your goals now? Is abortion really wrong?
I wrote this book to give you more knowledge about sex and dating so the scene you just read won't happen to you. We hear about sex every day, but not many people actually look at the behind-the-scenes events that happen. As you read, I hope you will see sex and dating in a new way. It is a wonderful part of life if done right. I don't want to force my religious views on anyone, but the contents of this book include a lot about the Bible. It is your choice to believe it or reject it. I just know that it works.
What Is Sex?
Sex is not just a man and woman coming together physically; it can and should be so much more. The greatest sexual relationship comes from communication, understanding, and trust. In the Bible, the words used for sexual intercourse are "to know." A husband and wife need to know each other in the deepest part of their emotions. Good sex begins in your head, not in the bed.
Sex is one of God's good gifts. God thought it up, but, like many other of God's good gifts, man has distorted it today. Sex can be compared to fire. It is warm and wonderful on a cold night in a fireplace, but that same fire can also burn your house down.
Most people think of sexual intercourse as a physical commitment, but it is also an emotional and spiritual commitment that two people make to each other. If you have the physical without the spiritual part (which is marriage), two things can happen: You will either feel guilty and have low self-esteem, or you will become hardened to your emotions and the spiritual tug in your life. Both results lead to unhappiness.
Sex is meant to bond a married couple together so they become one flesh. It is more than physical. It is an expression of a commitment made for a lifetime. Married couples spend more time talking, solving problems, and doing practical things than having sex. Dating is not a lifetime commitment, so sex should not be part of dating.
"While sex is an expression of love, love is much more than sex; while sex should be fun, it is not a toy; and while one's sexual feelings are very important in the development of personality, sex is not the most important thing in life."
The Bible and Sex
The Bible is a very sexual book. It speaks about sex without embarrassment or shame. It openly shows the sexual sins of people. You can read about Lot's daughters having sex with him in Genesis 19:30–38, or David's adultery with Bathsheba in II Samuel, Chapter 11. These are just a couple of the many examples in the Bible.
Have you ever received a love letter? Do you remember how romantic it was to you? The Song of Solomon in the Bible is a drama of two lovers. The way it is worded might sound funny to us today, but it is the correspondence between two people madly in love. God is just reminding us that romance was His idea in the first place. It begins with "Kiss me with the kisses of your mouth, because your love is better than wine" (Song of Solomon 1:2). "My darling, you are like a mare among the king's stallions" (Song of Solomon 1:9). "My lover's left hand is under my head, and his right arm holds me tight." (Song of Solomon 2:6). "My bride, your lips drip honey; honey and milk are under your tongue" (Song of Solomon 4:9). You get the picture, right? (These scriptures are taken from the New Century Version Bible.)
The Bible teaches us that sexual actions have consequences. The tragedy of David and Bathsheba is only one example. (See II Samuel, Chapter 11). Bathsheba was the beautiful woman, Uriah was her husband and one of David's generals in his army, and David was the king. David lusted after Bathsheba and sent for her. They acted on impulse, had an affair, and Bathsheba became pregnant. David then sent Uriah to the front lines of battle where the chances were high that he would be killed. Here began a history of tragedy. Later David repented, but history could not be changed, and scars could not be erased. And, even though God forgave him, David reaped the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life.
The Bible is not a manual on the techniques of sex. It is a guide to the values of sex and the proper perspective of sex.
Chapter TwoChrist and Sex
Don't be afraid to give your sex life over to Christ. When you do, you will find that He gives you a new way to look at it. Sex, like everything else surrendered to Christ, will have new meaning. Don't pretend that sexual desires don't exist, but learn to make other traits more important in your life. When you focus on honesty, loyalty, self-control, being kind, and having respect for others, the need to please yourself will diminish. Abstinence is something you will want to do so you can develop these other, more important qualities. People will naturally be attracted to you because of your inner beauty.
Your spiritual, mental, and physical lives all work together. Each one affects the others. You are made up of spirit, soul, and body. If you sin with your body, your spiritual walk will be damaged. As a Christian, you have the promise that Jesus will help you resist temptation (I Corinthians 10:13). You can "walk in the Spirit" and not feel forced to give into the desires of your human nature.
With God's help you can have freedom ...
from outward peer pressure to have premarital sex
from inward obsession for premarital sex.
from a fear of the unknown about sex.
to be comfortable spending time with the opposite sex.
to save sex for marriage·
to accept God's forgiveness if you have already blown it.
Biblical freedom is not the ability to do whatever we want, but the power to do what is right. We have freedom in Christ, but not an "anything goes" type of freedom. No one has that freedom; every group has patterns and rules. True freedom is an honest and open acceptance of sexuality and the freedom to talk about it. Hundreds of years ago, sex was a private thing and no one talked about it, especially in church. Young people knew it was wrong outside of marriage, but no one ever said why it was wrong. Today we can talk about it openly.
The World's View of Sex
The world says that anything goes. They do away with rules such as the Ten Commandments. ("Thou shalt not commit adultery" Exodus 20:14.) The world lacks an important part in its belief. With all of its emphasis on the worth of persons (putting the individual person first), they seem to crowd God out of the picture. "Love your neighbor as yourself" is the second great commandment (Matthew 22:39). To love God with your entire being; heart, soul, strength, and mind must take first place. (See Matthew 22:36–38.)
The world falls apart in its idea of love. It fails to distinguish between shallow love that says, "I love sex and want you" (as a sexual partner), and true, romantic love that wants to honor the one loved and says, "You are the only one for me." When you really love a person, you will not want to use that person to satisfy your own desires. Instead, you will want to commit yourself to your lover. That commitment is the foundation of marriage. Real love, then, means much more than making love or feeling sexually attracted to another person.
Chapter ThreePremarital Sex
Here are some reasons why young people have premarital sex:
It's a progression—Holding hands leads to hugging, to kissing, to French kissing, to petting, and finally to sexual intercourse. You want a little more each time because sexual desire grows. When you begin holding hands, you won't go back to not holding hands. When you end your date with a kiss, soon you will greet each other with a kiss and say good-bye with several.
Began dating early—The younger kids are when they begin to date, the more likely they are to have sex before graduating from high school.
Age dating begins Percent who have sex before graduation
* 12 yrs 91 percent * 13 yrs 56 percent * 14 yrs 53 percent * 15 yrs 40 percent * 16 yrs 20 percent
* "The percentage of high school students who have had sexual intercourse increases by grade. In 2003, 62 percent of twelfth graders had had sexual intercourse, compared with 33 percent of ninth graders."
* "The younger a girl is when she has sex for the first time, the greater the average age difference is likely to be between her and her partner."
It's a great feeling—Emotions are created and given to us by God, but they are not meant to determine our decisions and set the boundaries of our values. (Having sex can also be painful and unpleasant for the girl, and afterward both can feel guilt, hurt, pain, and regret.)
Lack of knowledge about sex—Friends and even a health class at school may teach some basic anatomy and the basics of using protection, but they won't teach the sanctity of sex. (They rarely ever teach you that having sex can ruin your life.) The church should be involved in educating its young people about God's way.
A broken home—With few adult role models these days, young people lose sight of right and wrong. Influence and pressure from friends becomes stronger than that in the home, so the closeness and sharing that should take place in the family is sought elsewhere. Lack of security in the home may cause a young person to look for intimacy with other people.
Fear of being alone—Some young people are embarrassed or afraid of being alone. They try to buy security by "giving sex." What they really want is a steady relationship, not sex.
Rebellion—Some kids choose a lifestyle based on what Mom and Dad don't want, either to hurt their parents or to get attention. (You will hurt more after you have sex than you will if you just get mad at your parents. Think of the consequences to you before you go and do something stupid like that.)
Peer pressure—Some kids fall into the trap of doing what friends pressure them to do for the sake of popularity or reputation. Friends tell you that if you don't do it then you are not cool.
Why does God say to wait until marriage?
It's a sin against your body—"... abstain from fornication; that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor" (I Thessalonians 4:3–4). "... he who sins sexually sins against his own body" (I Corinthians 6:18). Also see I Corinthians 6:15–20.
It affects your walk with God—Your relationship with God will be damaged. When you begin to go down in your spiritual life, you will be more apt to fall into other types of ungodly behavior. When having sex becomes more important to you than what God says, priorities in general will change.
It affects your influence on others—The Bible says that you should not cause other Christians to stumble in their walk with the Lord. (See Romans 14:21.) What kind of example are you being to non-Christians? You can get hurt· —The chances of getting hurt are high. Everything has a price, and sex without real commitment is no exception. "Not many teenage girls accept sex for the sake of sex; she thinks, 'I love.' He feels trapped and stops calling. Her world shatters. Picking up the pieces isn't easy. Afterward, other guys figure her for an easy mark. It's not a hard decision to make when a teen asks, 'Will I like myself if I make this choice?" A little selfishness helps. 'Whom will I hurt? Will it be myself?'"
It's not a test of love— "If you really love me, prove it," is a phrase used since the beginning of time. On the contrary, guys are less likely to take advantage of a girl they love and admire and are more likely to care about her feelings, desires, and welfare. He will not try to talk her into something she has not asked for. Anyone who says sex is proof of love is not saying "I love you," but rather "I love it." Sex does not grow into love, but rather love must grow into sex.
It doesn't prepare you for marriage—Preparing with proper sex education, not premarital sex, will remove the fear of the unknown. The argument that "practice makes perfect" is not true with sex. Premarital sex is a casual affair that often happens in conditions that are less than ideal. Fear of getting caught and having guilt are usually present. "On the other hand, sexual relationships in marriage are a mutual sharing of oneself with your lover. The chief interest is not yours but your lover's satisfaction. To be a real sexual expert in marriage, you must know the needs and idiosyncrasies of your partner and respond to him or her as a person. Such knowledge or experience does not come from having sexual relationships with many partners before marriage, but comes from loving and living with a person. No amount of technical expertise makes one a good husband or wife." Why not learn together on your wedding night with your own spouse? How would you feel about someone practicing with your wife or husband or sister or brother?
God has an order concerning marriage—In Matthew 19:3, Jesus shows that marriage involves:
a. Leaving a. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother"
b. Cleaving b. "and be joined to his wife"
c. Becoming one c. "and the two shall (sexual intercourse) become one flesh."
The "one flesh" relationship (sexual intercourse) follows the leaving and the cleaving. It does not precede it. There is no such thing as a "trial marriage." You can't call living together before marriage a real test. If you can't commit to each other legally (by getting married) when your relationship is good and happy, then how do you expect those traits to stay with you when times get tough? The word "commit" means to bind as by a promise; to pledge. That is God's way for marriage.
The Bible warns against fornication—see definitions.
To maintain order and harmony—Our society is built on rules. Unmarried sex breaks them down. Rules are necessary in every area of life to keep order and harmony. Physically, we must eat food and drink water or we will die. In sports, if everyone did his or her own thing there could be no game. In society, we have laws against stealing from, murdering, or hurting others. Every area of life has rules. We must see the rules as helping us, not hurting us. Saving sex for marriage is God's way of having order and harmony in your life so you can have the fulfilled life God planned for you.
To close other doors—Dishonesty, greed, selfishness, war, cruelty, dirty politics, hypocrisy, willfully hurting or using your friends—these are wrong, whereas shared love seems so right. "But sex outside of marriage hardly ever lasts long before some of the wrongs creep in; for when you break one rule, others are weakened. This is especially true in teen love affairs, in which secrecy produces guilt, and uncertainty makes partners over-possessive. Guilt then moves to depression."
It hinders communication—The greatest emotional drive is not for sex, but for a closeness that will cure loneliness. Sex becomes the main focus of their relationship. "All week long I find myself just living for the weekend when we can hop into bed together." "We're finding that our whole relationship centers more and more around sex these days." "Since we've begun having regular sex relations, we're finding that our communication in other areas is breaking down." "When we're together, we don't talk much anymore; we take for granted that our time together will be spent engaging in sex. Somehow, though, I feel we're missing something—that we're not relating to each other as persons lately, just bodies."
You are not ready—The urge to have a baby is especially strong in women, but a teen affair is not a good time. As a nation, we have available to anyone the means to prevent pregnancy, but the United States still has the highest teen pregnancy rate of any industrialized country. About 40 percent of American women become pregnant before the age of twenty. Unless you are ready to be a mom or dad for the next eighteen years, you need to stay away from sex.
Somebody pays—Babies pay for their parents' "free sex" sometimes by dying as a result of abortion. Sometimes they pay with birth defects caused by sexually transmitted diseases. No sexual encounter is free if others have to pay for it. Sow obedience to the rules of God, and you will reap benefits. Sow disobedience to the rules of God, and you will reap consequences.
Virginity is desirable—If you catch a guy or girl alone they will most often tell you that virginity does make one more desirable. It is his/her desire to be the first and the last with you. Here's a comment from a teenage guy: "When you're involved physically, the line gets blurred between love and hormones. From then on, you're always wondering which factor is in play. Do I like this girl, or do I just like the physical pleasure? And that confusion totally messes things up."
Excerpted from God's Word on Sex and Dating by Susan Nemeth Copyright © 2009 by Susan Nemeth. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1—All about Sex....................1
Chapter 2—Christ and Sex....................5
Chapter 3—Premarital Sex....................9
Chapter 4—What Can You Do to Stay Pure?....................21
Chapter 5—All about Love....................27
Chapter 6—Is It Love or Infatuation?....................31
Chapter 8—How Far Is Too Far?....................39
Chapter 9—Sexually Transmitted Diseases....................41
Chapter 10—God's Word On....................59