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Understanding True Love series
Very important information concerning sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and what makes for the best sex.
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Lesson 9: The Priceless Gift
Suppose a wealthy relative gave you a very expensive jewel. It was the most beautiful diamond you had ever seen! It was priceless! This exceedingly valuable gift was given to you with the understanding that sometime in your life, you would have the privilege of giving it to someone very special to you. You could give it to only one person and only one time. When you gave it away, it was given away for good. How would you handle this gift?
Would you give it to the first person who saw it and admired it? Would you give it to a casual friend whom you had just met and might not be seeing again? Would you give it to someone who demanded that you prove your love for him by giving it to him?
Would you give it away carelessly because others were pressuring you or making fun of you for wanting to keep this gift until you met the right person?
You would say, “Of course not! I would keep it until I met the right person—someone who was worthy of my priceless gift.”
Every young person is given a priceless gift—his or her virginity. You can give this gift to only one person and you can give it only one time.
Whether you realize it or not, your virginity is priceless! Yet many young people give it away carelessly, not realizing what they are doing. Others give it away because someone demands that they do so “to prove their love.” Still others give their virginity away because of peer pressure.
If you give away your virginity carelessly, you will one day regret it. Giving your virginity away is like giving someone your priceless diamond and discovering later that you gave it to the wrong person. Now that person is gone…and so is your diamond.
Every romantic relationship you are involved in will some day come to an end—except for one. The only one that will last is the one that leads to marriage. If you give away your priceless virginity in one of those other relationships, you will regret it.
How can you know when you meet your “one and only”? You cannot know for sure at first. That is why it is best to settle it in your mind to make sure you are keeping yourself for the right person and the right time. Make sure that the person you marry is the right person and your wedding time is the right time.
You may say, “But most of my friends are having sex.” Even if 100% of your friends are doing it, that does not make it right. It is still a sin. Most of those who have had sex before marriage look back and feel guilty or “used.” But once you give yourself to someone, you can never get your virginity back.
Some girls were making life miserable for a 17-year-old girl who was still a virgin. They teased her, made fun of her, and pressured her. But one day, the right answer came to her. She said to them, “I can become like you any day, but you can never become like me!”
No matter what your friends are doing, you need to realize that it is definitely to your best interest to treasure your virginity. When you meet the person you want to share your life with, what better gift could you give to him or her than your virginity?
There is absolutely no other gift which would be as precious and meaningful. This is true for both fellows and girls. It is a priceless gift that lasts a lifetime.
The greatest gift that a man can give his bride on their wedding night is his purity. It says to her, “You are so special and our marriage is so special that I kept myself for you.” Any girl would be thrilled with a husband like that!
The greatest gift a bride can give to her husband on her wedding night is her purity. Keep it for the right person and the right time. The right person is the one you marry, and the right time is your wedding night.
May I share a personal word? Many years ago, I stood at an altar with my bride. She was the most beautiful girl in the world to me and she was as pure as she was beautiful. We exchanged vows and wedding rings. But we had a gift far more precious to give to each other—our virginity.
There is no gift my wife could ever have given me that I would have appreciated more than the gift of her virginity. And I have appreciated it every day since then.
She will say the same thing about me. My wife and I have been married now for 65 years, and we are more in love than ever. God’s way is best!
Decisions... decisions... decisions...
Like it or not, we all have to make decisions continually. The fact is: You can make 99 good decisions and make a single bad one, and spend the rest of your life regretting it.
“What do YOU think about having sex before marriage?” is one of the questions most frequently put to counselors by young people. What they want to know is this: “Are there any good reasons for saying NO to sex before marriage? If so, I would like to know what they are.”
There are many good reasons for saying NO to sex before marriage. They can be summed up in this statement: You will reap what you sow. God’s Word says,
“Do not be deceived…whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption [bitter fruit]…” (Galatians 6:7-8).
There is an old saying which goes like this: “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” The problem with this is that we do not usually die “tomorrow.” Instead, we live to reap the fruits of our actions. Let us consider some of the bitter fruits that come from sex before marriage.
the bitter fruit of mental agony
For a young girl who finds herself pregnant, there are few choices and none of them are good. Many choose abortion, thinking that this offers a quick and easy solution. It may be quick, but it is not an easy solution. Abortion is killing your unborn baby. This is a sin which can result in long-term guilt and mental agony.
- When she was 16, Tansy had an abortion while “stoned” on drugs. A year later, while in a hospital for surgery, she spent many hours thinking about her abortion experience. She felt that no one could love her because she had “killed her baby.”
- Joan, a 17 year old, had an abortion in the first twelve weeks of her pregnancy. She seemed to cope well. But during her second pregnancy she “heard” babies crying all night and all the pain came back to her.
- Miriam was brought into the emergency room after deliberately overdosing on drugs. The attending psychiatrist probed to find out why she, an apparently normal young woman, had attempted suicide. Finally, after several interviews, she explained that she had overdosed on the expected delivery date of her baby she had aborted six months earlier.
the bitter fruit of pregnancy
One of the “bitter fruits” of premarital sex is pregnancy. It is easy to think that it may happen to someone else but not to you.
Tonight, as she has for several haunting nights, 14 year old Denise lies awake rehearsing how she will tell her father. Repeatedly, her mind freezes like a video frame on stop-action. She imagines that some unknown force is manipulating her by remote control.
Denise does not know what to do next. Her jaw tightens as she thinks of Ronnie. He is gone. All his promises to pay for the abortion were just words that came as easy to him as his insistence that she “prove her love” by having sex.
Denise is an eighth grader trying desperately to hide the inevitable from her father. That night in Ronnie’s bedroom has played through her mind so many times. It has no color, no life, everything is just a pale gray memory. “Why me?” she wonders. Denise never thought this could happen to her. Never.
the bitter fruit of big problems for young mothers
A high percentage of unwed, pregnant teenage girls drop out of school and end up with low-paying jobs or on welfare. Those who decide to keep their babies find life is hard for unwed, young mothers.
Before the baby came, her bedroom was a dimly lighted chapel dedicated to the idols of rock ‘n’ roll. Now the posters of rock music favorites have been swept away and the walls painted white. Angela’s room has become a nursery for six-week-old Corey Allen.
Angela, who has just turned 15, finds it hard to think of herself as a mother. “I’m still as young as I was,” she insists. “I haven’t grown up any faster.” Indeed, sitting in her parents’ living room, she is the typical adolescent, begging her mother for permission to attend a rock concert, asking if she can have a pet dog, and complaining that she is not allowed to do anything.
Babies are a big step. I should have thought more about it.
The weight of her new responsibilities is just beginning to sink in. “Last night I couldn’t get my homework done because of my baby,” she laments with a toss of her brown curls. “I kept feeding him and feeding him. Whenever you lay him down, he wants to get picked up."
In retrospect she admits, “Babies are a big step. I should have thought more about it.”
The offspring of teen mothers have high rates of illness and mortality as infants. Later, as they grow up, they often experience educational and emotional problems. Many are victims of child abuse because of the immaturity of their parents.
the bitter fruit of problems after marriage
One of the most disastrous results of premarital sex is that a person can have a bad experience and get so turned off on sex, that when they get married, they do not accept and enjoy the sexual side of marriage.
Another disastrous result of sex before marriage is the problems caused by “flashbacks.” Whether you realize it or not, the sexual experiences you have before marriage are stored in your mind’s computer. Later on, even if you are happily married, you can have “flashbacks” in which you will remember vividly those premarital sexual experiences. Those reruns in the theater of your mind can cause serious problems.
A 33–year–old woman was having difficulties in her marriage. She was married to a man who was everything she had always wanted in a husband. They had two lovely children. He was a good husband all around, but she was so distressed by her “flashbacks” that she went to a psychologist. She told him that when she made love to her husband, as she looked into his eyes and felt his arms around her, the thought of one of her previous lovers would pop into her mind.
She said, “As I look into my husband’s eyes, I can see Jack or Ron or Steve. I didn’t even like Steve; it was a terrible relationship. But the thought of these men is affecting my desire for my husband. And now Michael and I are having tremendous sexual problems in our marriage.” This is bitter fruit.
the bitter fruit of sexually transmitted diseases
Every day hundreds of thousands of young people become infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). One problem with sexually transmitted diseases is that people can have them, not know it, and pass them on to others.
Usually, you cannot tell by someone’s appearance if he or she has a sexually transmitted disease. Often it is a person whom you would least suspect. It could be that clean-looking, well-dressed, church-going guy or girl—one you would trust the most. It only takes one encounter with the wrong person, and you are infected.
Some sexually transmitted diseases are incurable. STDs can cause blindness, brain damage, heart disease, and permanent damage to the reproductive organs.
STDs—Sexually Transmitted Diseases
It has been said that sex is spontaneous and is based on the passion of the moment and not on thought or reason. Young people do not worry about AIDS and the other STDs because they think it will never happen to them. Unfortunately, it does happen to them. Every day young people by the thousands become infected with one of the dreadful, sexually transmitted diseases. An authority on the subject says,
The extent of the epidemics is unknown, since only a fraction of the cases are reported to health officials. Experts think at least 25 types of STDs strike millions each year, primarily teenagers and young adults.
The STDs cannot be dismissed as a controllable collection of “social diseases.” The open genital sores that many STDs cause can be gateways for the AIDS virus.
Like everyone else, young people pay the price of immoral sex. Like others, they think, “This may happen to someone else, but not to me.” And like others, they are in a state of shock when they discover that they have an incurable, sexually transmitted disease.
Aside from the grief and tragedy that it brings to the person who has it, it is even sadder to think of the innocent babies who contract a sexually transmitted disease from their mothers and suffer from it all of their lives.
There are over 50 STDs, and new ones are cropping up each year. We will look at just 5 of the most common STDs affecting young people.
STD: Genital Herpes
Herpes is a relatively new disease which is highly infectious. Symptoms usually show up within 2 to 30 days after having sex. However, some people have no symptoms at all, yet they have the disease.
Herpes is caused by a virus entering the body through a break in the skin or a mucous membrane. It produces painful, itching blisters on the sex organs or mouth. Blisters last up to three weeks and go away. But you still have herpes and the blisters will come back.
Herpes cannot be cured. A doctor said, “Herpes will not kill you, but you will not kill it either.” A mother with herpes can give it to her baby during childbirth.
A 17–year–old girl contracted herpes on her first sexual encounter. In her case, the menstrual cycle triggers the outbreak of herpes. The blisters last about 16 days. She can look forward to having these painful, itching sores on her body for 16 out of every 30 days for the rest of her life.
Part of the pain for herpes patients is the conviction of being damaged goods. Along with intense feelings of guilt, they feel that they are unclean and dirty. One woman said, “We are looking for someone to love. In this world our chances are slim, but then you add herpes, and you think, ‘Why should anyone want me now?’” A doctor says teenage herpes sufferers come into his office, cry, and say, “No one will ever want to marry me now.”
Syphilis is one of the older STDs, but it still does its deadly work. A painless, reddish-brown sore shows up on the mouth or sex organs within a few weeks after having sex. After one to five weeks, the sore goes away, but you still have syphilis.
If untreated, syphilis can cause paralysis, blindness, heart damage, brain damage, and death. A mother can give syphilis to her baby during childbirth. Syphilis can be cured, but you can catch it as many times as you have sex with someone who has it. Bitter fruit.
Gonorrhea has been around for a long time. Symptoms usually show up 2 to 21 days after having sex. Most women and many men have no symptoms, but they have the disease and can spread it.
When symptoms do appear, men usually experience a burning sensation when urinating. Women may experience a slight burning and itching. In cases where there are symptoms, they frequently disappear for a time. That does not mean that the disease has disappeared. It has merely gone underground where it continues to do its deadly work.
If untreated, gonorrhea can cause arthritis, heart trouble, skin disease, blindness and sterility. Because of gonorrhea, many men and women are no longer able to have children.
At one time, gonorrhea was easily cured by penicillin, but now there is a new strain which is penicillin-resistant. You can be reinfected with gonorrhea as many times as you have sex with someone who has it. Bitter fruit.
I am a girl, eighteen. I had expected to get married this month. My boyfriend broke our engagement because I can’t have children. A few years ago I ran with a crowd. We were all promiscuous. I contracted gonorrhea but didn’t know it. Last month…the doctor found it. He said it will keep me from motherhood. I wish I were dead.
The fastest growing STD is chlamydia. Three to ten million people get this “new” disease every year. Most men and women have no symptoms at all. The only way they learn that they may have it is if a partner tells them.
Some men experience a burning sensation when urinating. Women may experience vaginal itching and low-grade fever. If you suspect that you may have chlamydia, the only way to be sure is to be tested by a doctor.
Chlamydia can be cured if it is treated in time. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection. Reproductive organs can be permanently damaged. Both men and women may no longer be able to have children. A woman can give this disease to her baby during childbirth. Her baby can be born with eye and lung diseases. Bitter fruit.
“This virus is rampant,” says an authority on STDs. “If it weren’t for AIDS, stories about it would be on the front page of every newspaper.” The doctor is referring to HPV, a relatively new, fast-spreading disease that afflicts millions of people.
HPV (named after the virus which causes it) is a particular threat to teenage girls. It is sexually transmitted, painful, and often incurable. Its chief symptom in both men and women is genital warts.
What is it like having this disease? Ask any young girl who has genital warts. Who wants ugly warts? They can even show up in the vagina. It is possible for doctors to remove them by freezing, burning, chemical solutions, and surgery.
Conventional treatments cannot get rid of HPV. It can go “underground” for years; then the warts recur. Worst of all, some types of HPV have been linked to cervical and other cancers. Carriers of the virus who do not have warts are often unaware that they have the disease. They do not realize the risk to themselves or their sexual partners.
The Best Sex
If you had your choice between poor sex, good sex and the best sex, which would you choose? You would choose the best sex, of course.
What are the qualities that make for the best sex?
The best sex is when there is true love between a man and a woman. Loving someone and “making love” are not the same thing. “Making love” refers to the act of sex which can be performed without any real love.
Guys in a certain high school actually formed a club with the goal of having sex with as many girls as possible. They used “points” to keep count of their sexual encounters. The guy who ended up in first place claimed 70 points—meaning sex with 70 different girls. That is a lot of sex, but it is certainly not the best sex.
You cannot help wondering what a girl feels like when she realizes that she has been just another “number” on some guy’s list.
You may be able to have a lot of sex with a lot of different partners, but you will find that it will not satisfy your heart. Whether you realize it or not, what you need and what you are really looking for is not sex, but someone who truly loves you and cares about you.
Young people rush into sex, hoping to find real love, but it does not lead to real love. In fact, it can destroy your chances of finding real love.
The best sex is with someone whom you respect. It is possible to enjoy having sex with someone you do not respect or care a thing about. But that is certainly not the best sex.
The best sex is when you have complete freedom. You cannot enjoy sex to the fullest when you are fearful of getting some disease or fearful of the girl getting pregnant. The best sex is when there is no fear, no shame, and no self-consciousness.
The best sex is when there is permanent commitment between the partners. True love is committed—it hangs in there. You know your lover will be there when you need him or her.
Living together without the commitment of marriage has become popular among many people. Men usually like the “living together” arrangement. They have somebody to wash their dirty clothes, cook their meals, and provide sex when they want it—with little or no responsibility on their part. They can come and go as they please.
It is different for women. The most common complaint among live-in women is, “Sometimes I get the feeling that I am being used.” It is no wonder they get that feeling! They are hoping to get married some day, but their hopes are usually disappointed.
The best sex has time to get better. Sex is a sensitive art which takes time to learn. A man and a woman respond to sex differently. There are many ways in which they respond differently, but one simple difference is that men want to go fast while women want to go slow.
But the best sex is when each wants to please the other. And the best sex takes practice. Not practice with just anyone, but practice with your marriage partner.
The best sex takes place where there is security. Sure, you can enjoy sex outside of marriage, but certainly the best sex is within the security of marriage.
Pregnancy can be a catastrophe in a young woman’s life, or it can be a most wonderful event. An unwed girl goes to her doctor and finds out she is pregnant. She is devastated! She moans, “I’m pregnant. What am I going to do now?” She knows that she faces many tremendous problems. Her life will never be the same again.
A married young woman goes to see her doctor. She gets the same news—she is pregnant. But there is a big difference—she is happily married.
She is delighted! She cannot wait to tell her husband the wonderful news. And she cannot wait to tell her relatives and friends, “We are going to have a baby!”