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Nobody likes a regifter. Have you ever received a gift that you either didn’t like or had no use for? It sat unopened in your closet or drawer for months. Then your best friend’s birthday came up—he or she could really use the item. Should you give it to your friend? Well, the answer is yes—but not for a birthday present. How would your friend feel if he or she found out that you “regifted” your old gift as if it were “new” and “just for him or her”? This could be likened to Ananias and Sapphira giving some of the money from the sale of their land but behaving as if it were all of it. Their giving of “some” was fine; the sin was in their presentation as “all”—a deception (Acts 5).
Now, let’s take this to a different level. Is your body your own? Scripture tells us that it’s not—it is God’s (1 Corinthians 6:19). When you marry, He says that it also belongs to your spouse (1 Corinthians 7:4). Since your body ultimately belongs to your Creator (and your spouse), what right do you have to give it to someone else?
Additionally, imagine yourself asking your future spouse if you have permission to “use” your body with another first. What would he or she say? What would you say if you were asked? When it comes time to give your body to him or her, are you being worse than a regifter? You’ve used that gift—and now you’re going to give it to the most important person in your life as a “special” gift? How “special” is that?!
But what if you love your boyfriend (or girlfriend), and he or she loves you? You may even have plans to get married. Isn’t it worth waiting—primarily to be obedient to God? Yes, God forbids sex before marriage. Don’t kid yourself. There’s no question about it—it’s not a “grey area” sort of thing. But don’t take my word for it; read 1 Corinthians 7 and Ephesians 5:3.
God has a special plan regarding marriage. One that is very dear to Him, and one that we should not want to defile.
God intended marriage to be a symbol (with the additional benefits of being for companionship and procreation). It was set up in Genesis 1 and 2, corrupted in Genesis 3, and then restored and perfected in Christ. We have the privilege of being a part of this beautiful symbolism, explained clearly in Ephesians 5:25–29:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church.
Note that the bride is presented holy and without blemish (verse 27). How can the “bride” wear “white” when she’s given her body already in an unholy act prior to the ceremony? And don’t be deceived, men: you are also the bride of Christ and commanded to keep your chastity. The symbolism is of Christ as the husband and the whole Church—male and female—as the bride. Speaking to the Church, Paul says, “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2).
First, you must seek the forgiveness that God so graciously provides. There are no sins so big that Christ’s blood cannot cover them. But you must turn from the sin (that means not continuing in the sin). And God has provided freedom from the bondage of sin so that we are able to turn from it. Paul exhorts us in Romans 6:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? ... In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
We must put away sexual sin because it is particularly dangerous. (ChristianAnswers.Net offers some practical pointers on how to keep yourself pure while looking or waiting for your spouse.) Paul warns:
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18–20)
That’s right. Honor God with your body. Your body is important to God. We can honor or dishonor Him with it. Many don’t want any part of Christianity because they see no difference between Christians and the world. This is one of those areas that our conduct can speak volumes and honor God greatly—or, sadly, the opposite can occur.
Let me leave you with this thought: Solomon, the wisest man that ever existed, in Proverbs 13:15 says, “Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard [my emphasis].” One needs only look around briefly to see the pain and death (yes, death in the form of abortion and STDs) that playing around with sex leaves in its wake. Solomon gives a stern warning about sexual sin in Proverbs 5, but in this chapter he also shares the alternative, wise path—one filled with blessing, pleasure, and peace. I exhort you to choose the wise path and only “rejoice with the wife [or husband] of thy youth (Proverbs 5:18).”