This is the third and final part of my series in which I address some of the questions that Christian YouTube personality Jefferson Bethke and his wife answered in a Q&A video. In this third installment, I will address (not answer) the following question:
“How did you guys avoid the temptation of sex before marriage?”
The answer that the Bethkes gave was simple; avoid each other like the plague. Okay, they had a little more to it than that. They also said that they made sure that they were never, ever alone with each other. They wanted to make sure that they were either with friends or in a very public place (neither of them are exhibitionists apparently).
As an atheist, I of course have zero problem with sex before marriage. Instead, I want to concentrate this post more on the temptation part of the question… which incidentally enough, I also have zero problems with.
Warning: I’m going to get geeky. Obi Wan Kenobi never had a problem with temptation. I was perfectly fine going into Mos Eisley spaceport where you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. He also didn’t have a problem going into a bar on Coruscant. He wasn’t even tempted by the Deathsticks.
You see, the Jedi deal with temptation very differently from the Sith. The Jedi don’t avoid temptation, they learn not to be tempted in the first place. As a result, they are free to go anywhere without fear of temptation.
The Sith on the other hand, are afraid of temptation. So naturally, if they can’t control themselves, they have too control everyone else. They have to completely control their environment because temptation might creep in.
The Buddhists have a story about this and I will try to summarize it:
There were two Monks just out of training. They are walking down a road and see a young woman trying to cross a large puddle. One of the Monks offers to carry her across. She accepts the offer, he carries her across, and she goes her separate way. A mile down the road, the other Monk stops and chastises him because it is forbidden to touch a woman. The Monk responses to being chastised with a smile and says, “I put her down, but you are still carrying her.” (Paraphrased from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones)
The point here is that the Bethkes were so afraid of sex before marriage, that sex became all they thought about. They became obsessed with trying to avoid sex instead of trying to really get to know each other. Avoiding intimacy might also avoid the possibility of sex, but it also avoids building a strong intimate relationship with your partner.
We have only one life to live. If you love someone, don’t waste time. If you both want to spend time together, then spend time together. Don’t spend time together planning out how not to spend time together. That’s silly. If you both want to have sex, then have sex. Marriage shouldn’t change your relationship, it should be a celebration of the relationship you have. Love each other and live life!
- Unequally Yoked (skepticink.com)
- Balancing Your Significant Other With Jesus (skepticink.com)
- Refuting ‘Sex, Marriage, & Fairytales’ video (examiner.com)
- Refuting ‘Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus’ video (examiner.com)
- Interview: Katherine Stewart author of ‘The Good News Club’ (examiner.com)