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Do you have to have sex on your wedding night?

Do you have to have sex on your wedding night?


I am a college student, and about to graduate next year. It’s what many deem as that part of life where “it’s time to find a wife.”

I am not pursuing anyone, nor is that my goal by the end of college, but I still have a burning question. I have made the decision to save my next kiss for the altar, and feel very strongly about saving that for my future wife. I get the chance to explain this idea of purity to my friends, and one once asked me, “So you’re going to go from the first kiss, all the way to sex, in one day? Isn’t that a bit awkward?”

I thought about it, and then another question popped into my head: “Do you have to have sex on your wedding night?” I honestly don’t know the answer, and perhaps you could shed some light on the issue for me.


You’ve asked a great question. Here’s the answer: What you
do on your wedding night is between you and your new spouse.
As long as you are both in agreement, and your actions honor
and respect one another, then there’s no set physical

The wedding night can be terribly intimidating, especially if
there are expectations of hours of rapturous sexual ecstasy, an
idea fueled more by Hollywood than reality, and one that most
assuredly will leave one or both spouses disappointed. You’ll do
yourself a favor by getting the perfectly-timed hot and steamy
love scene from the movie out of your head now. Somebody
wrote that script for two actors, and they’re getting paid to fake
you out.

There’s nothing magical about saying “I do” that suddenly
makes a person an expert about the other person’s body. The
wedding night is the first of hopefully thousands of nights (and
mornings and days and afternoons) together — there’s
plenty of time to learn and discover.

The process of discovery is a blast, as long as you know the
key: COMMUNICATION, which means TALKING. The couple
should talk with one another about their wedding night (a good
pre-marriage counselor will help facilitate this) and what are
proper expectations. Even two of the world’s greatest musicians
would have difficulty suddenly having to play a duet that neither
had ever heard before. There would be plenty of notes missed.
But as they took time to practice, things would begin to

Here I’m speaking from experience: if the couple has
reserved sex for marriage, they can expect plenty of notes to be
missed early on as they begin the process of physical discovery.
But not to worry, with patience, practice and good
communication, each will continually enjoy the song more and
more as the years go by (now 13 years for my wife and me and
still getting better). Continual discovery for a lifetime is, in fact,
the way God designed marital sex, and He wired it so that the
two must communicate in order to fulfill its design.

One more thought. There could be issues that make sexual
expression especially difficult for a couple, such as pre-marital
promiscuity, a past abusive relationship or event, past
pornographic addictions, etc. These issues might require help
from a trained counselor to work through. No couple should be
afraid to ask for help as they learn to navigate new and
sometimes difficult waters. They’ll be glad they did.



Copyright 2006 John Thomas. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

John Thomas

John Thomas has been a Boundless contributor since its beginning in 1998. He and his wife, Alfie, have three children and live in Arkansas, where he serves as executive director of Ozark Camp and Conference Center, a youth camp and retreat center.


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