[quote="twoangels, post:5, topic:226586"]
Yes, this one confused me a lot as a teen. When did sex begin?
Well, you're missing the point. Its not about sex being evil. Its about recognizing what marriage is, what dating is not and where sexuality fits into this.
First, its important to recognize that fertility is an innate part of sexuality. Sexuality is the means by which new human life is created. To seek to express ourselves sexually in ways that reduce sexuality to a mere seeking of pleasure or the lust for merely intimacy (to the exclusion of an open acceptence of the gift of our fertility) is immoral.
In marriage, this lust expresses itself in our drive to contracept or to approach NFP with the contraceptive mentality.
In dating, we are in a situation where we have not fully committed to each other. Our desire to avoid pregnancy is always a legitimate one. We don't have to discern our motivations to avoid pregnancy. As such, our sexual drives in a dating relationship always aim us in a direction of satisfying lust -- that is pursuing only the pleasure and emotional intimacy independant of the procreative aspects.
The other part we have difficulty in when dating is our tendency to treat dating as if it were a lower form of marriage. Dating's soul purpose is to help us avoid rushing into bad marriages. It is a process by which we actually should be putting a leash on our heart, because our hearts are like hyper puppies who want to chase after every interesting smell. Dating always involves not only a holding back physically, but a holding back emotionally as well. Now, that doesn't mean being completely closed and cold to the other person. It means rather that we need to allow our relationships to develop slowly. We need to enjoy casual small talk for a bit longer than we want. It means keeping things casual and fun rather than hot and heavy with tons of emotions.
What is appropriate to a newly forming dating relationship is different than what is appropriate for an engaged couple a week away from their wedding. Does that mean that the couple a week away from their wedding finds chastity easier because they're able to express more than when they first started dating. No. Sometimes it can be harder for the engaged couple and they may need to give up legimate expressions of affection because those expressions have become a near occassion of sin.
My point is, that if you're dating, there shouldn't be even talk about "when we get married." It shouldn't be a period of trying to strive to see how long you can keep your relationship going with a lesser form of commitment. Dating for several years isn't a sign that you'll have a happier and healthier marriage because you've already made your relationship last for "this long" as well. The success of your marriage is going to be more based on the character of yourself and the person you are with, and dating is a method to hold your heart a bit back as you get to know the character of the other person and discern whether that person is worthy of receiving your heart, or in reality of receiving you.
That's the thing about marriage. Its not some formal ritual to bless an already begun relationship. It is you giving your complete self to another person and accepting the complete self of the other person. You don't belong to each other until you're married. Its important not to cut yourself into little pieces handing those peices to people simply because you're puppy-dog heart is jumping all over the person, licking them all over, and wagging its tail.
Waiting for sex for marriage is just part of the equation. Don't turn this thing into a hostility toward our sexual natures. Strive to see the bigger picture so you can better examine your conscience and follow the heart of the law (which can be more restrictive) than the letter of the law (which our sinful nature will always try to bend over technicalities).
[quote="CuriousInIL, post:12, topic:226586"]
If, after you are married, you wouldn't mind her doing it with another man, then it's okay to do now.
That is a very good point. It reminds me of something Jason Evert said in a talk I watched on youtube. He was talking to young guy who wanted to do things with his girlfriend and was asking why not. Evert's reasoning was something like this:
Do you see yourself getting married someday? To her? Not sure? Then probably to someone else then. You are each someone's future spouse. The woman you are going to marry someday is out there somewhere, maybe with her current boyfriend right now. How much do you want that guy doing with the girl you are going to marry someday?
I highly recommend watching some talks by Jason Evert and Christopher West on youtube. They are both great speakers, but speak to different audiences, so you'll probably prefer one over the other. Evert is geared more towards teens I think, West adults. Idk how old you are. I have enjoyed watching talks by both though. West also has a great book out called The Good News about Sex and Marriage, based on John Paul II's Theology of the Body teachings. It's a very easy read, and written in question and answer format. He has also written Theology of the Body for Beginners. I have read both and found them helpful.