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[updated: 4/20/21]

Prom night. Perhaps the biggest night in the lives of those who attend.

The biggest night so far, that is.

The exhilaration of the “biggest night of your life” can inspire teenagers to do crazy things, like, oh I don’t know, give up their virginity.

Should they?

Here are three reasons why you might not want to do that, no matter how “magical” the evening, no matter how “right” it feels, no matter how “long” you’ve been waiting.

#1: Mathematics

If you’re attending your senior prom this year, you’re likely no older than 18. That means by your prom night you will probably have lived barely one fourth of your life.

Here’s the simple math:

18 years old now
18 more years takes you to 36
18 additional years gets you to 54
+18 more and you’ll be…
72 years old

Or for those who prefer advanced math:

18 years old now
72 years old in three more 18-year-old lifespans

I know, it’s hard to imagine turning 72. That’s hard for me to imagine for myself and I’m closer to 18×3 than I am 18 x 2. However, consider this: I would be a blooming idiot to jeopardize the peace and joy of my remaining years on this planet by cheating on my wife and family now.

What’s true for me is even more true for you, because you likely have far more of your lifetime left to regret today’s mistakes than I do. And if you’re thinking, “Well it wouldn’t be cheating since I’m not married yet,” you need to face the truth that cheating is cheating: whether it’s carried out before, during or after the test… or marriage.

You feel like you’ve been waiting so long? You think it won’t be that big a deal to give yourself away; the part of yourself that belongs to your future spouse; your body which is the temple of God’s Holy Spirit (if you belong to Christ)?

You’re only 18! You don’t have your entire life ahead of you, but you do have the vast majority of it left to live, so…

Please don’t cheat your God out of the delight of your faithful obedience and yourself out of a greater future joy!

50+ years of regret will make 18 years of longing look like nothing. Which leads us to…

#2: History

As the philosopher, George Santayana, so eloquently put, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” So I encourage you to learn from the lessons of history, particularly the history of the important mentors in your life.

Ask adults you respect, how important their prom experience was in their own life.

Odds are you won’t come across a single person who says anything along the lines of…

“Yep! It was the night of my life. Gave up my virginity and it was so worth it. I reminisce about it all the time.

College graduation was meh. My wedding night OK. The birth of my first child, worthy of note.

But once I had kids I then fixated on their lives building up to their own prom. You know what I mean?

Life is pretty much prom and then everything else.”

Despite Santayana’s quote, you can’t literally repeat your senior prom, but you do have to live with the memories, so make them ones you actually can reminisce about with your future spouse and children.

#3: Science

There’s a lot of chemistry going on in your brain when you’re in love. It can make you crazy. Not certifiable, but definitely as impaired as someone under the influence of narcotics.

Add to that the neurological impact of sexual touch and you can feel like you’re being pulled out to sea by a tide you can’t resist.

Of course, God made sexual intercourse to be like this. He designed the entire sexual experience, from foreplay to climax, to be an unparalleled act of blissful surrender and wild abandonment. That’s one of the reasons it’s so often portrayed (and pornified) in pop music, film and television.

That’s also the same reason God intended for this act of extreme vulnerability to take place within the safe confines of a life-long marriage covenant.

Think about it. Letting yourself get carried out to sea when you can’t even swim isn’t a recipe for blissful surrender. It’s a prescription for promptly drowning.

Whether you’re talking about the science behind gravity, ocean tides or sexual attraction, you can attempt to defy the laws of nature, but in the end science will win and you will lose.

So be smart and keep your dating life out in the open, so sexual temptation can’t get the better of you.

Prom Night Date Hacks

Want more encouragement to make prom night a night of pure fun? Check out the 5 Prom Night Date Hacks shared in this MAN2MAN memo on our FMUniversity YouTube channel.

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s Date Night Advice (DNA)? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to grow beyond our DNA blog?

Our LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to grow spiritually and date wisely, so you can marry well.

This discipleship series is NOT for couples, but for the wise individual who wants to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

This discipleship series is NOT about dos and don’ts. It’s about learning the life lessons, mastering the life disciplines, and making the life decisions necessary for relational success.

Check out all three study guides. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!