Often in today's society, specifically in the mass media, we find that the concept or pre-marital sex is heavily promoted and advocated. While this is not always the case, more and more teenagers are not waiting for marriage. A 2006 study of 38,000 Americans found that 95% had already participated in pre-marital sex. What does it all means, what does God's Word say about it, and why is it important? (Photo credit: Huffington Post; No copyright infringement intended.)
The ideal situation for a Christian marriage is that both the male and the female are virgins. However, we do not live in an ideal society. The Bible does not specifically refer to sex before marriage in either the Greek or the Hebrew. The Bible does condemn sexual immorality and adultery, that much is certain. But does that necessarily mean that pre-marital sex is immoral? 1st Corinthians 7:2's answer is yes. "But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband."
Here, Paul is essentially stating that marriage is the cure for sexual immorality, and relations with your spouse only, no one else. Since some people cannot control themselves, Paul conveys, they ought to get married, to fulfill their desires in a morally correct way. Sex before marriage therefore is certainly classified under sexual immorality. There are many verses that clearly declare sex before marriage to be a sin (see Acts 15:20; 1st Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; 10:8; 2nd Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1st Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7).
Often the "recreation" aspect of sexual activity is focused on - and not the "procreation." Sex in the confines of marriage is pleasurable, as God meant it to be. It is evident that God intended this to be so, as a whole book (The Song of Solomon) is dedicated to the topic, as well as other passages in Scripture, such as Proverbs 5:19, "A loving doe, a graceful deer - may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love." Why was sex designed by God? Genesis 1:28 gives the answer: "Be fruitful and increase in number..."
God gave this command to Adam and Eve, so that they may produce children, and be fruitful and multiply. While sex is intended as a pleasurable experience, it is important to remember the ultimate purpose for its design: the producing of children, and this is best serviced in marriage. By entertaining sex outside of marriage, a couple is rejecting the family structure meant for marriage and risks damaging themselves as well as the result of their intimacy: children. God intended children to be brought up within a family environment, with two Godly parents.
As a ministry succinctly put it, "While practicality does not determine right from wrong, if the Bible's message on sex before marriage were obeyed, there would be far fewer sexually transmitted diseases, far fewer abortions, far fewer unwed mothers and unwanted pregnancies, and far fewer children growing up without both parents in their lives. Abstinence is God’s only policy when it comes to sex before marriage. Abstinence saves lives, protects babies, gives sexual relations the proper value, and, most importantly, honors God."
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Waiting for sex within the confines of marriage is important. 1st Corinthians 6: 18-20 states, "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." We are to respect our bodies, not degrade them.
If you allow your body to control your actions, it is a direct an act of disobedience against the Creator. Using someone else simply to fulfill a passion of the flesh is both selfish and abusive. Even if both of you as a couple are willing and "ready," you will still be helping your partner to sin and alter their relationship with God as well as others not in a positive way, but in a negative way. What was God referring to when He spoke of two people becoming one flesh?
"When God spoke of two people being joined as one, He was referring to something we’re only beginning to understand in a real, physiological way. When two people are intimate, the hypothalamus releases chemicals that induce feelings of attachment and trust. Having sex outside of marriage means allowing your body to attach to and trust someone who you do not have a committed relationship with. The definition of trust in the mind deteriorates." Not only does pre-marital sex have a spiritual implication, but a physiological and physical too. The author of the above quote goes on to say:
"To have that kind of link with someone without the security of being in the state of working together toward God is dangerous. Two individuals who are—even mildly—physiologically obsessed with each other but not committed to growing in God as a couple can be torn apart from God and His plans for them. Conversely, if two people make a conscious, deliberate choice to commit, and then allow the intimacy that releases these chemicals, the body can reaffirm the connection the mind has made. The physiological feelings of trust and attachment are reinforced by the reality of the relationship. In this way, two people become one in a physical way that reflects what God has done spiritually."
To be sure, sex is from God, it was meant to be a good thing. Because God created sex, it is rational to believe that it was created with a design and good purpose. As Proverbs 16:25 so adequately conveys, "There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death." When we give in to man's standards and to not stand firm upon God's standards, we are going down a road that leads to death. In both relationships and marriage, we are to follow the Creator's standards, for He has our best intentions in mind - physical, mental, emotional, and physiological.
Essentially, there are two big reasons aside from the physiological implications of attachment and trust that show us to wait for marriage. First off, we wait because God tells us to. Second, God's true purpose and design for sex cannot be fulfilled any other way than by marriage. Let us consider the implications of pre-marital sex aside from those already discussed. Consider the physical consequences of pre-marital sex. It is becoming more and more obvious that the physical issues are increasing.
Sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS are becoming more evident in teenagers and adults alike. In this case, sharing is not always caring. The popular "safe sex" is more adequately titled "sex at a reduced rate." The only true safe sex someone can have is by abstaining from sex altogether, which is called abstinence. Authors George Martin and Scott Myers note:
"There is also a very real risk that children could be born — and possibly grow up without two parents. Your actions affect your life, your partner's life, and the lives of your family. They can result in handicapping an innocent baby's life as well. Worst of all the willfull destruction of human life often results from pre-marital sex.." The consequences are very real. Pre-martial sex can damage relationships, not only with the partner as well as family and friends, but more importantly, the individual's relationship with God. As Christians, we are not to cherish sin.
Psalm 66:18 says, "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened." We are all bound by God's Eternal Law, the Ten Commandments. He commanded us not to commit adultery, and when He was on earth, during the Sermon on the Mount He expounded, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:27-28) Who among us has never fallen prey to lust? Likewise, this applies to pre-martial sex.
When we disobey God by committing adultery, God is displeased and disappointed. When people choose pleasure over self-control and obedience to God, this also displeases Him, and dishonors the Creator. This also damages the relationships of the person with those around Him. For example, if an individual commits adultery, others may view this person as a hypocrite and one less committed to obedience. Authors Martin and Myers go on to say, "Sex outside of marriage also damages the relationship between the persons involved. Trust is the main issue here. If two people do not cherish sex enough to wait for a marriage commitment, how can they trust one another for fidelity? Conversely, a man and woman build trust and respect for one another when they both survive the struggles of self-control — each will have the confidence that the other respects them, and cherishes their intimacy."
They also note, "Similarly, if a person has not carried sexual purity into marriage, his or her marriage relationship is affected by the past. If a man or woman has previously had sex with someone else, their marital intimacy has already been affected. One or both spouses will have to deal with real or perceived comparisons with “former lovers” and feeling that intimacy was not important enough for the other person to wait for it. But if both have waited for their wedding night, the intimacy has already begun with a solid foundation."
When an individual engages in sexual activity with someone, (outside of marriage) regardless of whether it is their boyfriend or girlfriend, friend or whomever, they are breaking the commandment given by God. By engaging in pre-marital sex, you are hurting your future. The person you are with may not be the person you will marry (if you do marry), and if that is the case, you are committing adultery against the person you will one day marry without having been married to that person first. You are sinning against your future spouse.
I have heard the expression before, "We are in love, so its just an expression of our love to each other!" I respond that I am glad the two are in love, however, is this God's definition of love, or man's definition? God's definition of love is found in 1st Corinthians 13:4-8, which says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
When we examine pre-marital sex with this passage in mind, we can determine the following: it is not patient, it does dishonor others, it is self-seeking, it does delight in evil, and it damages trust. True love must wait for marriage, which sex was designed for. I have also heard it said, "We are going to get married soon, so why not?" There is an issue with this kind of thinking. If you give into temptation now, before marriage, what's to stop you from giving in to temptation (adultery, for example) during marriage?
Now there are bound to be those reading who may beg the question, "What if its too late, and I'm no longer a virgin?" Understand that while a person cannot change the past, there are ways to prevent the further damaging of your relationship with God as well as others. Sin is sin, there is nothing more to it. Lying is a sin, stealing is a sin, cheating is a sin, lusting is a sin, cursing is a sin, many sin in their anger, putting an end to life is a sin. Again I say, sin is sin.
The first step is to recognize that you have committed a sin. God promises that those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, all you must do is confess your sin - and come to agreement with God that you are forgiven. Secondly, be pure from this moment on. Do not engage in sexual activity until the confines of marriage. You cannot change what has already transpired, but you can stop yourself and others from any further damage and similar situations. Also, be honest with whomever you are with. Do not wait until after marriage to discuss your sexual past.
It is best to discuss these things with your potential spouse. Understand that we all have a past, regardless of what that past may entail. Some have a sexually active past, others simply do not. But if we do not forgive, how then can we be forgiven? Forgiveness is the key factor here. Intimacy can be affected between two people if honesty, trust, and forgiveness is not established within the marriage. We do not live in an ideal society, and every person carries some kind of baggage. It is whether or not we choose to accept this and be open with the significant other that a better and deeper relationship can bloom.
Sex is a good thing, it was created by God. It is a gift God gave to mankind to be shared between a man and a woman. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24) A person's virginity is a one-time gift, meant to be given to your spouse. For those who have already given that gift to someone before marriage, while that cannot be changed, you can be honest, open, and have a relationship of trust and forgiveness with your spouse.
Thank you for reading this entry of "The Truth." We understand this topic to be controversial, but understand this: these are God's rules. We only seek to convey the truth to readers, not deception. If it were not so, we would not have told you. Feel free to comment below, but please remain civil in your comment or it will not be published. Also feel free to email email@example.com or The Truth Ministries team at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit our facebook page, or visit our Ministry website. Take care, and God bless you, dear reader. Troy Hillman
 "95% of Americans Have Had Premarital Sex." truthdig. Truthdig, L.L.C., 19 Dec 2006. Web. 1 May 2011.
 "What does the Bible say about sex before marriage / premarital sex?." Got Questions.org. Got Questions Ministries, n.d. Web. 20 April 2011.
 "Why is virginity so important in the Bible?." Got Questions.org. Got Questions Ministry, n.d. Web. 21 April 2011.
 Martin, George, and Scott Myers. "Why should I save sex for marriage?." Christian Answers. Christian Answers Network, 1998. Web. 30 April 2011.