Many years ago I saw the Niagara River. When you go up on the Steam Tram that follows the river, the river seems calm and peaceful. The Niagara River must be respected above the falls as it is one of the fastest and most dangerous rivers in the US. People may ask the obvious question, “Why is it so dangerous?” Obvious answer, the closer the river gets to the Niagara Falls the faster it flows, until you reach the “Point of No Return.” By then, if you are in a boat or barrel, you’re going over the Falls. A boat trip on the river above the falls could be like any other river cruise: the water is smooth, it’s moving and as pleasant as can be. Pleasant, until you feel and realize the increasing speed of the water. Experienced river captains know the “Point of No Return” and will turn their boats around. The first person to go over the Falls in a barrel was Anne Edson Taylor, after which she said, “No one ought ever do that again!”
This experience of the irresistible power of the river is a perfect example of how temptation works in life and especially in relationships. Women, and sometimes men, are tempted into doing things in pursuit of relationships or trying to save relationships they know are wrong, either from their proper rearing in a Bible believing family or just intuition will often tell you you’re headed in the wrong direction. Advice from friends can sometimes be the worst advice in these areas. For a young lady the advice from a potential mate can be just as bad.
A young lady in one of the many churches where I have served told me how a number of her friends talked about them spending the night in motels with men who had talked them into having sex or who they had previous sexual experiences with. The young lady told them, “My goodness, I could never do anything like that.” Still, she kept hanging out with the same crowd (stayed on the river too long), and eventually she gave in to this temptation. The experience and outcome, an unwanted pregnancy, turned out to be nothing like all her friends had told her. She knew from her upbringing that real love always gives more than it takes and knew that remaining a virgin until marriage is important (Proverbs 30 v 19-20 “and the way of a man with a maid —“). The various methods and artifices which young men sometimes use to slide into the hearts of young virgins and win their love may persuade the women either to honorable marriage or to unlawful lust (Bensons Commentaries). Why would anyone abandon what they know is right? When you pick and eat apples before they are ripe they tend to be harder, rough and grainy rather than smooth, and they are not nearly as sweet as ripe fruit. The same can be said of many human experiences. This is an excellent analogy for trying out adult human activities before you are prepared or before those experiences are sanctified by marriage.
There was a time when people knew and believed that the purpose of Holy Matrimony was to produce Godly offspring. Now, here in Post-Modern America and most of the rest of the world, people hook up and break up more casually than changing shoes. While culture and societies’ mores and folkways have changed, the standards presented and confirmed by the experiences of believers in Scripture never change and for good reason. Mores and folkways change with winds of public opinion and cultural acceptance. Christian standards are as timeless as the creator himself and they don’t change to suit society. It is, in fact, much more important for society and culture to accept and understand the “Unchanging Nature of Biblical Truth”. Romans 12:2 (NIV) says, “Do not conform to the pattern of the world , but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will”
If you wait for sex until you are married, you may have some of the same problems all beginners have. However, everyone falls off of the bicycle some while learning, they skin the knees and elbows a few times. This is nothing like the potential falls and pitfalls of adult relationships when they are not within the confines of marriage. Aside from the possibilities of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, STDs, and the chance of an “out of wedlock” child being conceived and born, these sort of relations may color your regard for sexual relations in bad ways for the rest of your life.
In my own experience with raising girls I always told them when they were growing up, “If you don’t drink then you should not spend time with someone who drinks. There is the chance they might become alcoholic and they would never be able to make you happy.” Temptation may tell you “they might change.” All that glitters is not gold! The desire for love, understanding and the need for acceptance is so strong in human being, sometimes the temptation is too strong and it will cloud our judgement and allow us to accept things and do things we know better than to do. This was the case with this young lady.
Sadly, it is the way with so many people. Men and women try things when tempted in spite of knowing that the potential outcomes can be very painful. Temptation is always there and will almost always lead us to say and do things we know we should not do. Wisdom can be gained from temptation experiences. Unfortunately experience can be a painful instructor.