“I think David should wear a white tuxedo,” my dad insisted. “He is just as pure as Sabrina, so why shouldn’t he dress in white for his wedding day?”

Smirking at each other, my spouse-to-be and I attempted to explain to my dad that white suits were cool in the ‘70s when he got married, but not in 2003. David’s wearing black had nothing to do with his sexual purity; it was a necessary fashion statement to save face with his friends. Still, it was sweet of my father to recognize not only the bride’s but also the groom’s determined abstinence with an outward symbol of white.

On the day of our ceremony, I donned white and David wore black, but we both walked the aisle with the confidence that our wedding night would be the first sexual encounter for both of us.

I admit it wasn’t easy. Those few, passionate months of engagement are a struggle for any red-blooded man and woman who are madly in love. I’m thankful there is so much to do to plan a wedding—keeps the mind occupied.

Unfortunately, many engaged couples give in to sexual pressure and don’t wait until the altar. In fact, premarital counselors at many churches find most engaged couples are already sleeping together.

I’ve heard excuses like, “We’re going to get married anyway. What difference does it make if we sleep together now or later?” Or, “If you have sex before you get married, it takes the pressure off the honeymoon.” Sadly, those couples miss out on what sexual purity has to offer during engagement.

It’s never too late

You might be thinking, “But we’ve already messed up!” Maybe you and your fiancé are already having sex or living together. Or maybe you were sexually active in a past relationship.

Don’t let that stop you from pursuing abstinence from this moment on. It’s never too late to start over. The beauty of God’s grace is that we always have the ability to start from a clean slate, no matter how far we’ve gone.

It’s hard work to purify a relationship, but it’s not impossible. There are a few steps that can help. Set up accountability partners, ask your pastor for help, stay away from bedrooms, and set a reasonable curfew to part ways at night. Start fresh with sexual purity as your goal and enjoy the benefits on your honeymoon.

What’s the big deal?

Abstinence isn’t just some old-fashioned trend. It has real meaning and purpose. Because God cares about us body and soul, He has given us this loving limit to live within. Here are five reasons to save sex for the honeymoon:

1. Maintaining sexual purity gives you the opportunity to practice discipline.

Christians are not immune to temptation—it’s a daily battle. But Christ gives us the power to turn from sin, so we don’t have to live under the influence of our desires. Through Christ, we have the ability to resist. When we say “no” to sin, it’s like exercising a muscle—we grow stronger, and it becomes easier to live in a way that pleases Christ.

Likewise, each time you give in to temptation, you become weaker and less able to resist the next time around. Resisting the urge to be sexually active with your spouse will not be an issue after marriage, but consider how this weakness can hinder your judgment in other areas, such as adultery or pornography. Engaging in sin is a slippery slope—if not faced with firm resolve, it’s easy to succumb to other areas of greater temptation.

2. Practicing abstinence heightens the anticipation on your wedding day.

God has clearly laid out in His Word that sex before marriage is sin. Even though the world tells us premarital sex is good for us, our hearts know when we have crossed the boundaries God gave us. The joy of the wedding day may be robbed by feelings of guilt or sorrow.

On the other hand, if you maintain your chastity, you will feel a sense of satisfaction and confidence as you walk down the aisle. The anticipation of the ceremony will heighten leading up to your wedding night as friends and family send you off in celebration of your true union as one.

3. Saving sex for the honeymoon will build trust and confidence with your future husband or wife.

Despite what some may think, marriage does not guarantee a pure mind. Many think marital bliss will distract them from any outside temptation, but this could not be further from the truth. We live in a sex-saturated culture, and temptation is around every corner.

Your ability to stay pure during engagement will boost your spouse’s confidence in your ability to stay pure after your marriage. If you can resist the greatest temptation to have sex with your husband- or wife-to-be, then how much more can he or she trust you to resist temptation outside of marriage?

4. You should maintain sexual purity because your marriage may not happen.

No one wants to believe his or her wedding may be called off, but this does happen. Any number of issues could arise between your engagement and wedding day. As a matter of fact, sexual activity can cause a break up. One partner’s conscience can begin to ache and create tension in the relationship.

Remaining pure actually gives a relationship a better chance of survival before and after the marriage, and guarantees you do not give away your body to someone other than your future spouse if the relationship does end.

5. Abstain from premarital sex because God’s Word commands it.

Christians are called to abstain from sexual immorality. First Thessalonians 4:2-4 says, “For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor.”

When you have sex with someone other than your spouse, it is an act of sin. As Christians, we should be concerned for God’s heart, His reputation, and His glory—none of these are accomplished through sexual immorality. If we want to please the heart of God, then we should hold off on sex until the marriage is official.

I know how exciting it is to be in love and I understand the yearning to be intimate with the person you plan to give your life to. That’s the beauty of sex—it is as close as two people can get to each other, both physically and emotionally. And if you treat sex the way God designed, your relationship will only benefit from His blessings.

Copyright © 2019 by Sabrina McDonald. All rights reserved.