Sexual Activity Outside of Marriage
INSTANT INTIMACY is a fact of life for many young adults who ardently resist making any long-term commitments. There is almost nothing young people will not post on Facebook, and quick trysts or one night stands are fairly commonplace in their world. Yet they resist long-term relationships that might foreclose their options and limit their experiences. They want to be loved and cherished, but the whole idea of contending with someone else’s expectations seems way too constraining. Most young people expect or hope they will get married and have families—someday. But many are none too eager for that someday to arrive, nor do they seem to understand that what they are doing in the here and now might actually jeopardize their chances of realizing these goals.
The natural desire for physical and emotional intimacy with another person is one of the great gifts of human nature. It propels us to participate more fully in all the fundamental values. For most couples, marriage results in the highest participation in life (through children) and friendship (through commitment to each other until death). The full enjoyment of this gift, just like any other, requires that we use it well. And that means choosing to do some things and avoiding others. If young men and women hope to have meaningful friendships and enjoy loving and enduring marriages, they have to act in ways that make that possible. They need to question the reasonableness of today’s social mores and look for something more rewarding and fulfilling.