Our five-year-old son, Jordan, came home from one of his first bike outings with three "souvenirs" on his knees. They looked like they really hurt but that hadn't slowed him down.
"We shouldn't be surprised," Brian said, "most falls come early on in the learning process."
Marriage and riding a bike are a lot alike. Coordination, cooperation, and determination go into both. They can be both exhilarating and good for the heart. The training wheels on a bike keep you from falling while you learn the balance and coordination required to ride. The training wheels for marriage are pure and wholesome dating relationships and heeding the advice of wise and experienced "riders." Unfortunately for many of us in this media-bombarded society, we assume we know what's involved in nurturing both marriage and genuine intimacy without any real experience or wisdom. We often forfeit the training wheels and race full-speed over hills and around curves on an impetuous course for oneness. This dangerous ride is called premarital sex and causes bigger scars than a skinned knee in a bike fall.
Premarital sex wounds the sanctity of a heart and, left untreated, can scar a marriage for a lifetime. We speak from experience; our relationship began with a fall. And we have the scars to prove it.
We started dating in high school. Brian was the president of his church youth group, a National Honor Society member, and a star athlete. I grew up a few doors down from my church, had near-perfect attendance in Sunday school, and cheered Brian on from the sidelines at school sporting events as a pom-pom girl. Through most of my high-school career, we both remained virgins, yet the physical progression of our emotional attachment seemed natural. Our defenses lowered and eventually we were rushing headlong down a dangerous hill, our hormones skidding over our reasons to remain pure.1