I’ve been married for almost three years now, and finally, I no longer blush bright red when the word “sex” is mentioned out loud.

It’s more of a faint pink tinge.

Growing up, sex wasn’t talked about very much. Not at home, not with family, and certainly not in church! There, the very mention of the word would have turned ears to scarlet and had the deacons popping antacid pills. Sure, every year the youth group did a “True Love Waits” program, but we never got down to the real nitty-gritty. We dutifully signed cards and pledged to “wait for true love and marriage” - whatever that meant.

Many Christian youth today are in the same rapidly sinking boat. They have plenty of questions, but not enough people willing to give answers. Or worse, the wrong kind of people are giving the wrong kind of answers.

For those getting no answers, sex turns into "This Great Mystery." Lack of information inspires intrigue and sex becomes even more appealing. The lure of the unknown consumes the mind, and much like Eve, regret blooms after one taste of the forbidden fruit.

How many young men and women could have been protected if they had just been told that sex was not some guilty pleasure denied them, but rather, a part of God’s plan for their future marriage and well worth the wait? How many babies could have been saved if only these young girls had realized not just the negative consequences of sex outside marriage but the positive truth about sex within marriage?

Silence Outside Marriage, Confusion Within

After the wedding, one of the hardest things for young Christian couples to adjust to is the fact that sex is suddenly - okay! All the years of silence on the “forbidden topic,” all the years of feeling guilty for asking questions, all the years of wondering and dreaming, all the years of thinking sex as a "four letter word," suddenly diminish. Sex is expected, allowed, and not only that, but – gasp – it’s a part of God’s plan!

During their most formative years Christian teenagers, especially young girls, are often expected to push the topic of sex aside. The good girls are the ones that sign their pledge cards, sit on their hands when dying to ask questions, and polish their purity rings once a week.

However, I think those years are equally hard if not harder for young men. Those who remain pure during the trying years of hormone overload get married and suddenly expect to experience everything they’ve seen on TV, read in books, or heard in the locker room at school. And why wouldn’t they? It’s all they know.

Suddenly, we have two Christians who’ve done their best to remain pure but may be facing some challenges ahead. Because the mindset “sex is bad” has been drilled into the young woman’s mind for as long as she can remember, she finds it hard to relate to her husband physically. This creates tension between the newlywed couple. The woman creates a false sense of guilt in her head, and the young man develops insecurity – he misreads the situation and assumes something is wrong with him or thinks he is not appealing to his new wife. And what God has purposed for good between a husband and wife becomes distorted.

The couples who failed to protect their purity may be facing even greater challenges. Flashbacks from the past, unmet expectations, and recurring guilt plague this couple. Soon distance forms between the man and woman as their pasts begin to consume much of their emotional energy.

I firmly believe that nothing makes the Enemy happier than a loveless marriage. Which leaves only one option – fighting back. Stand up for your marriage. Give your concerns, your guilt, your insecurities, your fears and your past to God. If you remained pure until your wedding day yet still struggle with your emotions and mindsets, pour out your heart to God. Ask Him to change your way of thinking to a mindset that will be honoring and pleasing to both Him and your husband.