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Christian Sex Ed


Waiting Until Marriage—It’s Your Choice



A Jesus-loving, sex researcher and educator, on a mission to provide shame-free sex education to Christians in every life stage. 

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Alright, my friends. We are going to tackle a pretty big conversation in this blog post—whether or not to wait until marriage to have sex. 

Now, to be clear, we aren’t covering reasons why you should wait until marriage (no soul ties, no saving your gift, nothing like that). Part of the reason I won’t address those “reasons” is because I think they are primarily scare tactics that don’t come from God. But that is a conversation for a different day. 

Today, we are simply discussing the fact that this decision is yours to make and why that is so important. 

I recently posted about this topic on instagram. I want to share with you you what I wrote in my post caption and then an email that I received afterward, as I think we can learn an important lesson from it.

Here’s my caption from the post: 

“Waiting until marriage to have sex is a BIG deal.

I believe it is a worthwhile and godly pursuit, yes. But it is definitely no walk in the park.

Many of us made some sort of commitment, internally or publicly, to wait until marriage before we really understood what that meant. In fact, we probably didn’t fully understand what sex even was at that point.

In my opinion, it is a good thing that our parents and leaders taught us values around sex as we learned about sex itself (with the exception of any guilt or fear tactics used).

But, your conviction to wait until marriage, if that is what you choose, needs to come from a place of understanding.

You now know what sex is (and are building on that understanding here). You have likely experienced sexual arousal and desire. The idea of having sex excites you. Some of you are in a serious relationship and the desire for sex is strong.

With all of that in mind, do you still want to wait?

Do you want to choose this?

Do you feel strongly that this is what God wants you to do?

If so, you can choose it now. With a much more complete understanding and eyes wide open.

Decisions connect us with God when we purposefully choose His path, His word. Not out of guilt or fear, but out of a sincere love for God and a desire to follow Him.

Sweet little 12-year-old you may have wanted to wait until marriage to have sex. But you likely did not know what sex was. And you may have been afraid of it. Perhaps you were even more afraid of disappointing God and your parents.

But now things are different. Do you still want to wait?

You always have a choice. And acknowledging that is the only way, in my opinion, to truly choose God.” 

Now, like with most things that I post, the large majority of responses were positive. People are, for the most part, kind and supportive (even when they disagree with me). 

But, a couple of days after posting that, I received this email: 

“Hi, I read through some of your material and IG posts and in a few you explicitly and in all you implicitly suggest that you should weigh the pros and cons to waiting until marriage to have sex and make sure whatever you do, its what you are choosing, free of pressure. I’m wondering (fairly sarcastically) what Bible passage you are pulling this individual discernment from even though it is extremely anti-christian?

If you could point me in the direction of the passage that tells me waiting til marriage to have sex is only right if I think its right it would be very helpful. It’s just so frustrating sometimes when God has these rules and guidelines that lay out the best way for us to live our lives but you seem to have found a loophole so it would be awesome to cite that source!

Thank you, 


Aren’t people just fun sometimes? 

While the overall tone of this email was quite sarcastic and insincere, I can understand why this person disagrees with my message of waiting until marriage being a choice. We have been taught all of our lives that Jesus is the way and we need to follow His teachings. And while I believe that He is, in fact, the way, I also believe that agency (the ability to make our own choices) is a phenomenally important part of His plan for us. 

This conversation isn’t just about choosing to wait until marriage. It’s about a much larger issue—the ability to choose in general and why it’s so important to acknowledge our capacity to make our own choices. But, we are going to use the choice of waiting until marriage (or not waiting until marriage) as the example. 

So, let’s explore what God has taught us about making choices. 

We will start at the very beginning. 

In Genesis 2:16-17 KJV, we read, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:” 

Now, we are not going to get into the nitty gritty of Adam and Eve’s actual decisions in the Garden in today’s blog post. 

Rather, I want to focus in on the fact that, in the garden, Adam and Eve had two things: commandments and the opportunity to make choices. 

God is all-powerful. He could have definitely made Adam and Eve be perfectly obedient if He wanted to. But He didn’t. He gave them commandments and then let them make their own decisions. 

Why is that? Wouldn’t it just be easier if God made all of us be obedient?

Well, I’m (obviously) not God, so I don’t have all of the answers. 

But, I do know that we are to try and become like Jesus. And the ability to make our own choices is a necessary part of that becoming.

1 John 3:2 says, in part, “when he shall appear, we shall be like him” (that’s the goal, right?) 

Christ teaches us over and over that we need to try and do the things that we have seen Him do. That we should be practicing living like He lived. 

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” 

Philippians 4:9 “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do:”

If we are to try and become like Jesus, then us having the capacity to choose is vital. Jesus is good. All the way to His core, He is good. I also believe that He chose to do what He did for us. Was it His Father’s will? Yes. But did His Father force Him to do it? I don’t believe so.

He chose us. Over and over and over He made good and right choices. 

Will we make all the right choices? Of course not. I’m not even sure if we are getting close to 50/50. But having the capacity to make choices is necessary to becoming like Jesus. 

We do not become truly good if we are forced to be good. Or are guilted into being good. Or manipulated into being good. We can only become good people, good disciples, if we choose it. If we choose Him. 

It’s helpful for me to think about agency in terms of parenting a small child. 

If you force your child share whenever other children are around—if you just take the toys out of their hands and give them to the other children—you aren’t actually helping your child to learn to share. They aren’t developing the capacity to consider other’s feelings or to take turns. They are sharing because you are physically making them share. It doesn’t lead to change or growth or the development of empathy. 

The same is true for us. If God forced us to make good decisions, we wouldn’t learn or change or become good. 

The capacity to choose is vital for our development and our becoming like Christ. 

So let’s return to the conversation about waiting until marriage. 

In the email I read to your earlier, I was accused of teaching that, “You should weigh the pros and cons to waiting until marriage to have sex and make sure whatever you do, it’s what you are choosing, free of pressure.” 

Now, I never said to weigh the pros and cons. But if a pros and cons list helps you, go for it. 

But the rest of the sentence, the part about making sure that whatever you do, it’s your choice? That part, I am 100% behind. 

In Joshua 24:15 we are taught “choose you this day whom ye will serve.” 

Nobody should be forced into waiting until marriage to have sex. I also don’t think that God is big on guilt trips or manipulation. 

It does need to be your choice. 

Do I believe that God want’s us to wait until marriage to have sex? Well, based on my understanding of His teachings I would say yes. But I don’t want you to do it because I say you should or your parents say you should or your pastor says you should. I want you to study and pray and seek your own conviction. 

It’s the different between “No, I can’t.” and “No, I’m choosing not to.” 

And that, my friends, is a HUGE difference. 

So yes, I will continue to encourage everyone who cares to listen to make their own decisions. Take into consideration the thoughts and opinions of those who love you. Put in the time and effort to try and understand God’s word and will. And then choose

God gave you the gift of agency and He did it on purpose. He wants you to use it. 

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