It's the $64,000 question: when should a couple have sex? The answer is probably a bit different for every couple. But at the 2001 Smart Marriage conference, Dr. John VanEpp recommended the following sequence of events, which applies to all couples considering a serious relationship.
1. Know--you must know someone before you get too serious with them. You must know about their family, their habits, their values and their lifestyle.
2. Trust--When you start knowing someone, you begin to trust them more. Trust is something that should be earned and not easily given.
3. Rely--Once you know someone and you trust them, you can start relying on them.
4. Commit--Once we know, trust, and rely on someone, we can then make a stronger commitment to them. That is why the marriage commitment is so important.
5. Sex--Finally, sex. If you start off with sex, you have started in the wrong place. In order for a relationship to be healthy, you MUST know each other, you must trust each other, you must rely upon each other, and you must be committed to each other. It is at this point, and only at this point, that sex is wise and healthy.
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