I'd argue that it depends on the couple. Personally, I see no problem with having sex if both parties are mature enough and it's not a casual hookup, but part of a loving relationship. Kids? I think that ought to wait until marriage.
Sometimes I wonder why two people in love would want bring in a third party called the state into their marriage. But this is another discussion.
Like Mr. Oracle it's up to the couple if they want to wait to have sex. Personally, I know i wouldn't be able to wait a couple of years. I value my sexual self too much to exclude it from the relationship. Just doesn't make sense. Now, children, hmmm, I'd say wait at least five years after marriage before having kids.
I too agree with oracle989 especially when it's not a casual hookup and even about babies and about the old-fashioned ideas, I think they do hold some merit but were made up so that people wouldn't fool around here and there and understand the situation and act responsibly.
No, they should definately not wait until after marriage, and especially not remain virginal until marriage. I'm not saying folks should run around just willy nilly having sex all over the place, but it is just practical and wise to be sure that you have more chemistry than disfunction before you devote the entire rest of your life to someone, or at least give yourselves the time to iron out whetever problems are there. Also, you may get stuck in "is the grass greener" daydreams and curiosity that you may act upon or may torment you for the rest of your life if you marry the first person you have intercourse with. That being said if you have had a lengthy enough relationship with someone and you have had sex with only them and you don't care what the rest of the world has to offer and you heart is loyal to that person then I wouldn't suggest going against that either just for matters of practicality.
I would definately reccomend marriage before baby making for practical reasons as well. Or at the very least a marriage of the heart.
I agree with this 100%. Sex before marriage is wrong from a Bibilical and moral position. Those who wait until after marriage are rewarded and blessed beyond what the eye can see. The world today has drifted so far from the truth on this issue that they cannot grasp this concept any longer because they no longer recognize the Bible as an absolute authority for man and life. Think what you like and believe what you want to believe but the fact still remains that God is incharge and that will never change. If I am right and you are wrong you have everything to lose but if you are right and I am wrong I still win. I would rather follow Gods plan and be sure for eternity.
Biblically there is instruction for sexual immorality to be avoided but sexual immorality is not defined in the bible explicitly as premarital sex. There is even instruction to avoid sexual immorality within the bonds of marriage listed seperately from adultery or fornication (Hebrews 13:4). This ambiguity makes it possible for there to be the possibility of sexual immorality both inside and outside of marriage.
God himself impregnated Joseph's betrothed Mary. This could have led Mary to have gotten divorced, humiliated, possibly stoned to death. It is actually immoral to impregnate someone elses wife especially without the prior consent of both parties. God was not married to Mary, Joseph was, not only that but Mary was a child of God's creation which would make it further immoral for him to impregnate her. Speaking of God's creation...God blessed the union between Adam and Eve without a formal ceremony or legal documentation and they populated the planet with incestuous offspring.
Jon-The religious aspect of the discussion was inevitable as religion and philosophy are inextricably intertwined within the minds of many. It seems that the only motive for trying to exclude it from the discussion would be to keep certain flaws out of sight or out of the line of fire. Obviously you yourself would not deny that your own position on the matter is shaped by your religious beliefs.
I hate to assume that the parts of my statements that you discounted were the parts that you did not have a rebuttal for.
I did not forget of Mary's consent to be impregnated by someone besides her husband. I was speaking more towards the fact that Joseph did not consent. It was fundamentally wrong for Mary to agree and begin to be a surrogate without consulting Joseph, for they are supposed to be of one flesh withing the bond of marriage.
The point of this being not that the Bible is evil and lies all of that blah blah blah. The point was that we cannot always look to the bible for moral guidance especially in approaching marriage, due to the sliding scale of morality found within its pages in connection to marriage. (Blessed in Genesis and abomination by Leviticus cannot be denied).
So excluding religious bias what cocerns can we address with premarital sex?
1. The possibility of contracting an STD.
Solution: Wear a condom, choose your sexual partners wisely.
2. Pressure from partners and outside influence.
Solution: Mastery of self. Cultivate within your daughters, sons, and yourself the mental fortitude to stick to your guns and not cave under the pressures of someone else. Move on and away from someone that would pressure you to have sex before you are ready. You cannot control them but you can control yourself. So have sex when you are ready. This mastery of self should carry over into all things.
3. Guilt from past encounters. The guilt or baggage you carry especially when disclosing your sexual history to a longterm partner or potential spouse.
Solution: Moderation in all things. Choose your partners wisely. Be sure that you can in honesty say that you have been true to yourself and have also in doing so you have not exploited ot taken advantage of others.
4. Possiblility of pregnancy.
Solution: Wear a condom. Use birth control. Choose your sexual partner wisely.
As far as Joseph and Mary being married is concerned. That depends on who you ask. For example..If I were attempting to discredit or smear Jesus somehow by claiming that he was illegtimate because Joseph and Mary were described only as betrothed and not married, in the bible then biblical scholars would rush to point out that betrothal was recognized as marriage in that time period and even in Matthew 1:19 Joseph is explicitly described as Mary's husband. Either you agree with the Bible that they were indeed married, or you somehow argue that it is something lost to semantics or in translation. If you for some reason decide prove that they were married then still in that case God and Mary have "some splaining to do".
And as far as being careful in my exclusion of religious bias is concerned. As an atheist addressing the concerns of premarital sex without a religious perspective or inexplicit pretense, I have still managed to cover moralistic concerns and circumvent pitfalls with practical reasoning.
Finally, As far as a sliding scale in biblical morality is concerned you cannot see the difference between Gods initial blessing and creation of incest in Genesis to his declaration of Egyptian incest as an abomination in Leviticus 18? Consistant in diverse ways could easily be the definition of inconsistancy. An abomination to God clearly isn't always an abomination to God according to those books.
The first point sounds like double talk. These same "many who hold an authoritative view of the scripture" that would suggest a figurative or culturally relative interpretation of the Bible. Would probably not be as broadly interpretive of other scripture such as the ten commandments and the sexual code in Leviticus. These "authorities" probably don't want to explain the earth only being 7000 years old, dinosaurs, and Adam living to be 930 years old, but they would surely not suggest that "Thou shall not kill" is open to be interpreted as "Thou shall not kill usually unless you really really need to kill someone and in that case give yourself some time, mull it over, sleep on it, talk to a friend about it, and if you still really really need to kill someone then go ahead, just give it some thought first", given the proper cultural and historical context.
Attempting to redefine atheism is a religion is a weak attempt to disarm criticism of religion by implying some sort of hypocrisy.
1. Coupled with choosing your partner wisely (learning/observing what kind of person they are, learning about their past, discerning what is real and what is bs about them) condoms are effective. Using a condom correctly you are 10,000 times safer from contracting HIV, and 30% less likely to contract herpes. Good judgement and protection equal an excellent defense. If you have an std phobia then by all means abstinance is the only option.
2. You can only truly control and be responsible for yourself. You cannot live anyone's life for them. Mastery of self goes for everyone even your partner. And going back to 1. hopefully you have gotten to know them well enough. You are not morally culpable for exascerbating problems that have been hidden from you.
3. I agree this goes back to both 1. and 2. Knowing your partner and self mastery. Guilt is felt when those two things are lacking.
4. Condoms are 98% effective against pregnancy when used correctly, versus prayer which is 50/50 at the most.
I was raised Catholic, and according to them every sperm is sacred (hums Monty Python song). Christians seem to have an odd attitude towards sex - it's dirty and shameful, yet it's something to be saved for the person you love most in your life. Your mileage may vary - this is based only on my own experience, and I by no means tar all Christians with the same brush.
I'm not Christian any more. My beliefs are closest to Heathens/Asatruar, but in my own way. The way I see the sex question comes down to logic. Bringing a child into this world is almost universally held to be a miracle. Sex is like shouting up to God and asking him to give you a child. If you are using protection or whatever, it's muffled but still there, and if He answers you've got a bun in the oven and it's your responsibility. Therefore, if you aren't ready to have a child with a woman, you had best not have sex with her, even with precautions.
How do you know if you are ready to have a child? Are you willing and able to accept all of the responsibilities of raising said child? Providing a home and a stable, nurturing family to raise the kid into a productive adult member of society? That's a pretty serious commitment, and if you aren't ready for the commitment of marriage, which in this day and age can be ended by a divorce (at great expense), IMNSHO you aren't ready for the obligations you have to that child, which cannot be ended.
Aside from the patriarchal obligations, sex makes people do dumb things. People sometime stay in relationships just because the sex is good, even if the rest of the relationship is poison. This can lead to many more bad decisions and a seriously messed up life situation. See any TV/movie classified as "drama" or "romantic comedy" for examples - you don't want your life to get like that, not even a little bit. Better to keep a clearer head and evaluate everything else about the relationship to make sure it's not a mistake first. When you are sure, really sure, sure enough to call all of your friends and family and all of hers together and make a big deal about it and get married, then it's time to go for it. If the relationship is otherwise sound, you can make the sex part work, so stop worrying about it.
If you just can't get the sex part out of your head, you have a few options - hit the gym, cold shower, polish the rocket... none of those have potential permanent consequences.
So if sex is dirty and wrong, don't go around doing it with reckless abandon. If it's something beautiful and sacred that potentially triggers a miracle, that's really not something to be trifling with. If all you care about is consequences and responsibilities and you don't care about religion and God, marriage first still wins. If you don't care about the sacred/profane or taking responsibility for your actions, you need a serious smack with a clue-stick.
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