There is going to come a time in your life, perhaps one morning upon waking, or one night just before sleep comes, when you are assaulted with the following jarring realization: I am an adult. I am responsible, uniquely so, for a finite province of existence; namely, my own. Fast forward a couple of years, and I may be responsible for a somewhat-less-finite province of existence, an infinite province of existence in fact. Like, say, the immortal souls of whatever children God may one day entrust to my care...
At this point in my pondering, sleep is no longer a pressing concern. Convenient preparation for eventual parenting, I suppose. But there I lie, awake and alarmed and wondering (rightly so!) do I have what it takes? This is not a crisis of self-esteem or a question of competency, this is an inquiry into the state of my soul, an examination of the formation (or lack thereof) of my conscience. And it is very serious. The weight of responsibility that falls on the shoulders of parents is immense! In what other arena are we called to emulate God more closely? He is not a Father like an earthly father, but rather, my own father is an imperfect and finite approximation of "fatherhood" par excellence: our Heavenly Father.
No pressure, right? I wonder how may one night stands are considered with the real end in mind: if we conceive an immortal soul through our sexual activity tonight, are we fully prepared to address the ramifications said conception will have on eternity? I'd venture a guess that this isn't a pressing concern, what with the proliferation of cheap and readily-available birth control and casual sex.
The point is this, our decisions, our choices today and tomorrow and next week, they are weighted with unfathomable responsibility, rife with consequences we cannot begin to comprehend. In opening your body to another human being through sex, you are yielding your creative capacity to your Creator, whether or not you "mean" to. That's the whole problem with "unplanned" pregnancy... there is no such thing. All pregnancies are planned from time immemorial, and there are no mistakes on His part. Whatever our intentions, our disposition of heart, our plans, His response to our act of self-giving remains the same. We can lie with our actions, with our bodies, with our words... He cannot, and He will not.
Unfair? You bet.
On our parts, though. Amidst cries of outrage and indignation and sweeping generalizations about "my body" and "my choice", do we ever stop and wonder at the sheer idiocy of these claims that essentially imply self-creation? We perpetuate a myth of control where there is none. Any control we lay claim to is rooted in our free will, and only when properly operated. Some would call this determinism. I guess so, if it's deterministic to put unleaded gasoline into a car in order to drive it.
Sex and its supernatural consequences are a product of His design, and not our own. Any attempt to alter what does not belong to us to begin with will ultimately fail, and so often does. In unplanned pregnancies. In broken relationships. In strained and struggling marriages. In surviving children left with gaping doubts of self-worth and value.
Take a moment to consider the immense import of the decision you're about to make with your body, with your soul. Maybe take a moment more. Maybe (and this is just a thought), maybe try following His timetable, archaic and restrictive though it may seem. Because ultimately our true freedom exists as a freedom for, not a freedom from. Kicking and screaming though we may go, when we decide to follow His path and play by His rules, we've got to go all the way. No exceptions, no exemptions, and no alterations. Anything less is a waste. Pre said it best:
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift"
- Steve Prefontain