Alison Griswold

Real Sex & Respect

Lest you be mistaken, God, the Catholic Church, myself, and everyone at LifeTeen.com isn't trying to say 'NO, NO, NO!' to sex. We're just all about saying 'yes' to real sex . . . sex as God intends it to be ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù within the Sacrament of Marriage.

But we live in a world that doesn't really get that.

A world where people sing songs about how they're perfectly good at being 'bad' and radio edits of songs switch 'love' in for the 'f' word like there's no difference. Society has taken something sacred, designed by God to unite couples in the Sacrament of Marriage and cooperate in bringing new life into the world ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù and categorized it as just another extracurricular activity.

What is Real Sex?

So what did God intend for sex? He intended that sex be about two things: babies and bonding. When you look at the nature of sex – at what sex is and does – you'll see it is procreative (babies) and unitive (it unites and bonds the couple). When one aspect is removed – that's not real sex; that's not what God made it for.

And is sex outside of marriage a big deal? Only if lying is a big deal to you.

Sex is like the language of the body and it says, 'I give you all of myself, forever.' You can't truthfully and fearlessly say this until you're committed for life to someone inside the Sacrament of Marriage.

What Do You Want?

Consider what you want for your life. Don't you want the real thing when it comes to love and sex? Because we've had so many examples of love and marriages that have failed, when I think of what I want, I think of Bill and Joan.

Bill and Joan are a couple who ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù after decades of being married ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù are still obviously in love. They stopped by our youth group and the teens present were so impressed and said to me, 'he looks at her like she's the most amazing person he's ever seen!'

When I asked Joan what the secret to their happiness and love was, she explained to me, 'well, dear, it's respect. The more you really love someone, the more you respect them and want what's best for them. And the more you respect someone, the more you love. Be sure you marry someone that you don't just find attractive, but whom you really respect.'

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

As a single gal, that resonated. Much like Aretha, I want R-E-S-P-E-C-T and I'm convinced that in a relationship, that begins by respecting God's plan for sex and marriage. This can be backed up with years of dating experience in which I've learned the following:

  1. Saving sex for marriage brings clarity to your life. Dating is a time of discernment’Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûùin high school and college this means learning what qualities you appreciate in the opposite sex. Sex was created by God to bond a husband and a wife’Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûùspiritually, emotionally and physically. This bond is great for marriage, but terribly inconvenient the morning after the prom. Not having sex allows you to see the gifts and faults of the other with clarity, without the bond of a sexual union blurring your judgment.
  2. Saving sex for marriage keeps you grounded in the reality. Based on my outside observations, within the sacrament of marriage, there are hours ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù even days ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù when sexual intercourse is not happening. In between 'celebrating the sacrament' there are jobs to work, bills to pay, floors to vacuum, dinners to cook, and a million other things in life. However, when you look at couples who truly love each other, it's obvious that while it may not always be easy, they find joy in tackling life with their beloved.
  3. Saving sex for marriage brings creativity to dating. It encourages you to always be thinking of new ways to show love and respect. Anyone can give a kiss (or more) goodnight, but it takes creativity and respect to write an old-fashioned love-letter, figure out how someone takes their coffee, or special-order their favorite color of M&M's. I've observed that while a couple will have sex hoping to bring more romance to a relationship, often the opposite happens. Instead of feeling confident and respected, the guy or girl will feel frantic that now that they've shared the deepest part of themselves ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù they'll be rejected.
  4. Saving sex for marriage is the holy and virtuous way to live. In no way is scripture ambiguous about our bodies and sex ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù plainly stating that we are not to commit adultery or covet our neighbor's wives (Exodus 20:14, 17). However, we are also encouraged by St. Paul to remember that we have been purchased at a price and to, therefore, 'glorify God in your body' (1 Corinthians 6:20).

Is not having sex before marriage an easy decision to live out day to day? No. I made the commitment to save sex for marriage at a summer conference on June 22, 1997 and believe me, there have been times when I've felt left out or passed over for a girl that was perceived as an 'easier' date.

But at the same time, I can look back at those fifteen years without any regrets ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù knowing that I've met some good guys and not so good guys in my search for 'Mr. Right' and know that in my search for love, I've always found respect.


Want to read more about God’s plan for your sexuality? Check out these blogs!

Alison Griswold

About the Author

I love being Catholic, coffee and buying shoes on sale. I'm afraid of catching things that are thrown at me, heights, and food on a stick. My first pet was a fish named Swimmy, whom my mother found creepy and flushed down the toilet when I was at school. She told me he died of natural causes.