The only “place” where this total self-giving between a man and a woman is to take place is in marriage. The action says: “I give you my whole self” – but the man and woman are really holding back their commitment, their fertility, and their relationship with God.
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This is true, above all, because – even though society may approve of the practice – cohabitation simply cannot be squared with God’s plan for marriage.
This may be why most couples who live together before marriage find married life difficult to sustain for very long. It passes on and interprets what God has revealed through the ages.
In making love, the husband and wife are saying to one another in “body language” what they said to each other at the altar on their wedding day: “I am yours, for life!
” God created sex to be physically pleasurable and emotionally fulfilling. It is, above all, the deepest sign of the complete gift of self that a husband and wife pledge to each other.
Our Christian faith teaches that a sexual relationship belongs only in marriage.
Sex outside of marriage shows disrespect for the sacrament of marriage, the sacredness of sex, and human dignity. We have good reasons for living together before our wedding. The Church cares for you as a parent cares for a beloved son or daughter.
Sexual sins, then, are not just between a man and a woman, but between the couple and God. You need to ask yourself: “When do I stop being a Christian? When does my relationship with God cease to matter? But, really, how does what we do with our own bodies affect our relationship with each other and our spiritual relationship with God?
The gift of your body in sexual intercourse is a profound symbol of the giving of your whole self.
But, more than that, the Church wishes to safeguard your relationship with your future spouse and with God.