Why Sex Before Marriage Isn’t a ‘Test Drive’

March 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

2013-Opel-Cascada-Test-Drive-1024x819I happened to catch this morning’s Valentine in the Morning show where radio host Sean Valentine posed a question to see what people thought about waiting to have sex until marriage. Of the various opinions called in, one with a few proponents was, basically, “You’ve got to test drive that car before you buy it.”

As wrong as I think it is to compare people to cars and marriage to a sales transaction, I understand the analogy. We don’t want to leap into the pool without testing the water.

This line of reasoning is nonsensical, and we can see that by asking the following question: What exactly are we “testing” for that makes a “test drive” necessary?

If it’s some kind of transmittable disease, then the results of any “tests” can and ought to be disclosed with your clothes on. If it’s some other known health issue, this ought to come out in conversation in the course of the relationship. It’s hard to imagine a deal-breaker intimacy issue that can’t be talked about in advance rather than vetted in a “test drive.”

What we’re most interested in when test driving a car is performance. If the concern is your ideal expectation of “performance level” in bed, then that becomes more important than how a person performs as a faithful and supportive spouse, as a sincere lover and leader, and as a committed father or mother to your children. These characteristics are assessed in other ways. Are you really going to judge what should be a lifelong commitment on the thrill level or whatever initial impression you hope to get from a sexual test drive? If that’s the case, you’re not ready for any kind of serious relationship.

Sex is important—critical, in fact, to the survival of the humanity. Fortunately, the important thing we need to know about sex at any stage of life is that men and women are well-capable of it. The experience of sex is meant to be discovered within the experience of a committed marriage, and is too important to tested in situations outside of that relationship. It is also too simple of a process to require practice, and too deep and meaningful of a connection to merely sample. We are really going after something like ownership without the commitment of ownership. A short-term “lease”, in fact. So the “test drive” logic fails.

Sex is fun and we want it without limitations. This is the truth behind the “test drive”, a means to justify sex in spite of where our moral conscience might be telling us it belongs.

And about that conscience: One caller expressed regret that she had NOT waited until marriage because she was now having difficulty convincing her teenaged daughter to wait. Mom didn’t so why should she? That’s a dilemma indeed. We apparently know that even though we might advocate a past lifestyle, when it comes to teaching our children, we want something better.

Even though in secular culture we’ve largely abandoned Biblical values that show us God’s design for sex within the context of marriage, it seems the values still get called upon. Those who prefer abstinence can’t always articulate why we want our children to marry as virgins, and even those who prefer to “test drive” can’t articulate why we still stigmatize others who do. But we inherently know there is a respectable standard that says waiting for marriage is just a better way to go.

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