By Love One Another! 1/2003 → Questions and answers
“I truly love Agatha and she loves me. Doesn’t
love alone give us the right to have sex ? Why should we wait
until we are married?” (Peter, 19 years old)
To understand why you ought to wait, first think about what
God is telling you about love and sex. His views on these matters
differ radically from those of modern and pagan times. The ancients
worshipped gods and goddesses of sex. Today you can see a real
cult of sex as well. You simply need to look at the flood of pornographic
material, sex shops, exotic nightclubs, etc. Many writers of popular
magazines are feeding young people the line that sexual pleasure
and its most intense experience are what are most important. Their
“morality” goes something like this: if you are physically
capable of having sex, indulge this pleasure as much as you like.
If only you have the urge and opportunity, you can satisfy your
sexual desires without fear of consequences. Anyone with anyone.
In any way. At every opportunity. These writers not only reject
Jesus’ teaching about love and human sexuality, but also
pervert these values, make a mockery of them.
As a free person you are perfectly entitled to reject the commandments.
You can chose to believe all those who make fun of what our loving
God says about sex. But first you owe yourself an answer to the
following question: is there a logical argument disproving the
truth of what Holy Scripture has to say about love and human sexuality?
Scripture tells us “whoever rejects this, rejects not human
authority but God” (1 Thes 4: 8). What does Holy Scripture
teach us about sex? From the Book of Genesis (1:27-28) we learn
that sex and sexuality are from God, and constitute a vital part
of our humanity. Our Creator willed that the sexual act should
be 1) an expression of love in marriage, 2) the locus in which
he creates every human being, and 3) a source of great pleasure
for the married couple. Sex and sexuality were created and given
to us by God. There is nothing evil about this gift. Physical
desire for the opposite sex, seeking physical union, and the pleasure
attending the sexual act, are all part of our sexual make-up as
created by God. In themselves, these things are good.
If we look at sex from the standpoint of biology, we see that
the bodies of men and women are so constructed as to achieve the
union of the sperm with the egg, and to give rise to new life.
The sexual act is a locus of God’s powerful presence. It
is there, in the physical union of a man and woman, that He lovingly
creates a new person. For this reason, Holy Scripture sternly
denounces homosexual relations, sodomy and other sexual perversions.
These are contrary to the basic law of biology – the procreative
function of sex. The only licit form of sexual union, according
to the Bible, is that between a man and a woman joined in the
indissoluble bond of marriage (Mt 19, 3-9). Naturally, not every
sexual act gives rise to new life, but God also desires that the
marital union express deep intimacy and total unity in love, so
that husband and wife might indeed become one body.
Peter, you should know that a marriage is considered valid
only when it is sexually consummated. We know from Scripture that
the most important element is not sexual pleasure, but love and
a person’s maturation in love. Everything has to be subjected
to this process of maturation, and this includes the area of sexuality.
All your sexual impulses and desire for physical union with Agatha
are a sign that you are normal. Yet this sexual energy must be
yoked to the law of love; otherwise, you will become its slave.
You must realize that people who ignore the law of love (i.e.
the commandments), and always seek to gratify their sexual desires,
become slaves each time they feel sexual desire. Technically speaking,
this is called sexual addiction. People enslaved by sexual pleasure
will be egoistically focused on themselves. They will seek to
satisfy their urges in ever more refined ways. Perhaps you are
aware of the kinds of acts writers and editors of sex columns
in magazines such as Bravo are inviting their readers to perform.
They are simply demoralizing their readers by teaching them selfishness
and enslavement to sex. Like drug traffickers, they are causing
great harm to young people. Of such people Jesus says: “Woe
to the one by whom the stumbling block comes” (Mt 18, 7).
Peter, you and Agatha have an opportunity to mature in love,
and so to prepare for the difficult yet magnificent responsibilities
of married life. As in other ways, you can learn to love each
another by harnessing the sexual drive to the law of love. If
you truly love Agatha, you will not touch her body before marriage.
Only when, through marriage, you have given her your lifelong
pledge of fidelity and promise to be responsible for her and the
children born of your union – only then will you have the
right to express your love for Agatha in the sexual act. Since
true love means taking responsibility for another person for the
rest of your life, the sexual act will be an expression of your
mutual love only when this condition has been met.
True love never dies. It is not subject to changing emotions
or moods. Jesus Christ is the only guarantor of such love. That
is why the sacrament of marriage is so necessary. It is the main
reason why you should put off sexual relations. Remember that
it is love that is most important. It is love that gives true
happiness. That is why sex has to be harnessed to the law of love.
As Scripture says: “All things are lawful for me, but not
all things are beneficial. All things are lawful for me, but I
will not be dominated by anything... The body is meant not for
fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body... Do
you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I...
make them members of a prostitute? Never!... Shun fornication!”
(1 Cor 6, 12-20). The gift of sex will become a true good only
when it is used for the purpose it is intended, that is, in the
sacrament of marriage according to Christ’s law of love.
If you truly love Agatha, you will wait. Otherwise, you will destroy
Sincere greetings to you both, along with my prayerful hope
that you will continue believing and trusting in Christ.