What’s so wrong about sex before marriage?

Since starting on my quest to discover the Gospel in August and to understand the teachings of Jesus Christ I have been asking questions about some of the “laws” of being a good Christian and the toughest one for me is no sex before marriage.

No drinking is flexible. You can drink but not to the point you get drunk (well at least in the eyes of some Christians) and its all about moderation. There are a few churches who just don’t allow it.

Smoking. You can continue smoking until such time as you make the decision to stop because you know its not good for your long term health.

Bad language – profanity needs to end. It’s just not acceptable and I need to work my way towards being in a place where I don’t use it. Its not a major part of my vocab but when I get going the air can turn a darker shade of blue! It’s only around people I am comfortable with and close friends so most people don’t even know how much I use it. I’m happy to let it go though and am working on it.

There are a couple I struggle with though…..

The gay community are welcome in church but at some point if they want to truly be a Christian will have to give up being gay – as if they can just give it up like you can smoking. That’s like asking me to give up being black! If being a Christian is all about love and acceptance then shouldn’t everyone be accepted exactly as they are????

Sex before marriage. There is just no give and take on this one at all. You just CAN NOT do it. Sex before marriage is not allowed and that’s it. But what I cant understand is WHY… and please dont tell me about it being wrong in God’s eyes because that’s not enough. I need to know WHY it is wrong in His eyes, who says it is and where. I understand its important not to sleep around and pick people up for one night stands but if you are in a loving committed relationship why not?

If I decided to never get married again does that mean I have to spend my life without intimacy?

Speaking to my cousin and my Pastors wife made me realise that I have been touched by the Holy Spirit and this is all now about my relationship between me and God. I enjoy thinking about it that way otherwise I would question alot of negative stuff that happens in the name of religion. So rather than focus on what others are doing I will focus on my own actions and how my actions impact my relationship with God.

I can understand the desire that develops when you wait.

I can understand the importance of sharing yourself with one soul that “belongs” to you because you are married.

I can appreciate the bond that develops as you spend time getting to know each other without sex being in the way (I guess you just do a lot of talking 😉 )

I can see all of that and yet ultimately isn’t it about personal choice? I don’t even get to choose whether I want to wait until I get married I just get told that I HAVE to wait and I guess that is what bothers me the most. Doing something I feel I HAVE to do rather than something I choose to.

I have more questions than answers, know less than I know more (and need to keep learning) and am losing the happiness and feeling of being uplifted that comes from attending church because it is being clouded by some “rules” I am not happy following.

These are very frustrating times 🙂

11 thoughts on “What’s so wrong about sex before marriage?

  1. To get this ball rolling… This seems to be to be one of the questions where the needs of society get mixed up with the personal relationship with God.

    It is much better for society (and certainly was a few hundred years ago) that the children who often result from sex have married parents to look after them.

    But I agree with you – this is something that should be a personal decision, and my personal view is that getting to know someone sufficiently well to know that you want to commit to spending the rest of your life with them absolutely must involve getting to know them sexually.

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  2. I was just asked a question that I wanted to share to continue to “get this discussion going” and I hope the person who asks leaves a comment too. Its midnight and I really need to go to bed…..!!!!

    The question I was asked is…..

    Is the love strong enough to endure the test of WAITING?

    It stopped me in my tracks…. 🙂

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  3. Hi again, Diane,
    This is, indeed, a great question you asked and I’m glad to see that you subsequently included the question I asked off list: ” Is the love strong enough to endure the test of WAITING?”

    Diane, as a man, I know all too well the pull of our bodies towards intimacy, towards , let’s just face it: sex.

    But, having been blessed with a good deal of physical experience, I’d give anything to have been in a relationship where love was FAR greater than what we could accomplish with our bodies –

    Just imagine that no matter how breathlessly challenged we were, no matter how much on the edge of yielding that there was this ultimate power which says, “You know, though I want to jump all over you, I want something more from you. Yes, I want to mess your hair up and tickle you and whatever but, even more than those things, I want to honor you. And, I insist on being strong enough to do so. But, THEN… you’re going to OWE ME – and I’m gonna collect!! 🙂

    More seriously though, as someone who grew up as a natural borne lover who BELIEVES in the POWER OF LOVE, I wish, I wish, I deeply wish and pray that I’d been able to enjoy physical love making as a RESULT of loving my woman strongly enough to WAIT for her…(I think some women are improved by a man who can help her to wait…)

    Besides, while waiting indulge in eating sweet potato pies, lemon meringue pies,Chunk Monkey ice cream, pineapple slices, mangoes, strawberries, chocolate and any number of other things which would do TWO THINGS: Relieve stress in a pleasant way AND push up the wedding date because the two of you couldn’t afford to keep eating too many sweets for fear of putting on too much weight while you’re waiting! 😉

    But, the bottom line is LOVE, Diane… Put that as the focus, and you’ll both be just fine.

    I’ll leave you with one of my acronyms:

    Concentration On God Is The Answer To EVERYTHING! (C.O.G.I.T.A.T.E.)

    Keep STRONG, Diane!
    Vincent Wright

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  4. My stance on this topic is supported by the Word of God which I am sure you will agree is the ultimate authority…

    BIBLICAL LOVE IS NOT A FEELING
    Most people think that love is that elated, “high” feeling we get when we “fall in love.” This kind of “love” is something that lasts typically less than a year. Most couples decide to live together during this period of time when their decisions are often based upon emotions and passions. According to the Bible love “rejoices with the truth… always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres… never fails” One will notice from this description that love isn’t what you get from someone, it is something you give to someone. The Bible confidently says that love never fails, because as long as these things are done, love cannot fail. However, if we are interested in getting rather than giving, then selfishness always succeeds in shipwrecking a relationship.

    SEXUAL RELATIONSHPS IN TH4 BIBLE
    The doctrine of keeping sexual relationships within the bounds of marriage is so important that it is spelled out in the second chapter of the first book of the Bible (Genesis 2). The marriage covenant is spelled out in the original narrative that describes the meeting of the first man and first woman:
    “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed”. (Genesis 2:24-25)

    The Bible actually encourages married couples to enjoy their sexual relationships within marriage. The New Testament confirms that sexual relations within a marriage is not sinful. Paul says that those who marry have not sinned. The writer of the book of Hebrews states, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure”, indicating that sexual relations within marriage are “pure” and not sinful.

    OLD TESTAMENT LAWS ABOUT SEX
    The Bible has a lot of bad things to say about being a harlot. In fact, it was so frowned upon in Jewish society that, among all the laws in the Old Testament, spiritual unfaithfulness (idolatry) is compared to harlotry. These days, people tend to think of harlots as those who engage in multiple sexual relationships. However, the Old Testament indicates that engaging in even one sexual relationship before marriage (i.e., not being a virgin) makes one a harlot. Engaging in consensual sexual relations with a married person was a capital offense, and those who were found guilty (both the male and female) were executed. Consensual sexual relations between an unmarried man and unmarried woman resulted in the man being fined and required marry the woman without the possibility of any future divorce. Essentially, there was no premarital sex, since once you were caught you were married.

    NEW TESTAMENT LAWS ABOUT SEX
    The New Testament confirms the laws of the Old Testament. Specifically, adultery is condemned,( (Matthew 5:32) even including mental adultery (Matthew 15:19), incest (1 Corinthians 5:1) and homosexuality ((1 Corinthians 6:9). Other sexual sins, including premarital sex, are condemned through a couple Greek words (the original language of the New Testament) that can refer to a number of sexual sins, depending upon context. These words are porneia and pornos, from which the English word “pornography” is derived. English Bibles will translate these words different ways, so it is important to know some of the ways in which the words are translated. For example, the New American Standard translates the words as “fornication” (e.g., premarital sexual relations) and sometimes as “immoral persons”, which seems to be some kind of generic immorality, although it specifically refers to sexual immorality. Other English words used to describe premarital sex include “unchastity”. The fact that these words refer to premarital sexual relations can be seen in the Pharisees answer to Jesus, where they insinuated that He was born of fornication. The severity of this kind of sin can be seen in the descriptions of what will happen to people who practice sexual immorality at the judgment (1 Corinthians 6:18).

    The New Testament directly states that sexual activity is to be restricted to marriage in the book of Hebrews, where it condemns both adultery (engaging in sexual relations with a non-spouse while married) and fornication (engaging in sexual relations before marriage):

    Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)

    SUMMARY
    Premarital sexual relationships are strongly condemned in both the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible. Therefore, Christians who engage in premarital sex are breaking God’s laws and are not following Jesus Christ. Under such practices, God is not honored, and one’s walk with Christ and your partner is hampered. In addition, one’s witness for Jesus is nullified, since even non-believers know that you are not living a Christian lifestyle. If you are involved in this kind of relationship, you need to repent and start living according to biblical standards. It is not okay to keep living a sinful lifestyle “until we get married.”

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  5. The problem with these rules is that they are way out of touch with today. Do we still do what Shakespeare discusses today? Look at the difference in our language alone and that was so long ago in comparison! And yet, of course the MESSAGES remain..

    Yes, I believe in God and to me being a good person is to be kind and compassionate to other living beings.. simply that! And I think God would like that! I could play by the rules but be a bigot and be judgmental!

    If God were to offer a new bible to today’s people, I think the rules would be a little more flexible because this is how far we have come! We accept difference and embrace it.. in the name of God… we are not closed minded.

    In yesteryear – the world revolved around marriage and now such a short time on in the scheme of things it is different. Divorce is prevalent – way too much so..

    You only have to answer to God and to know one else and I intrinsically feel we all know what is right and what is wrong – it you love the one you are with it is a good thing..

    If you are mature adult that can make the decision that it is the right thing – then it is the right thing.. I say believe in the inner voice.. the voice that knows what is right and wrong because i believe this is God’s voice and we have no-one else to answer to..

    We all know what is right and what is wrong to us as human beings. And God will support us in our decision..

    Randa

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  6. Hello Diane

    My name is Richard, 25, and after leaving my work in Accountancy behind I am now studying Christian Counselling with a UK Charity in Surrey.

    I am saving myself for when I get married as God advises in scripture – like all aspects of Christianity I feel I am not doing this out of a law-type rule but instead I love and trust God and have a lifetimes worth of experience which tells me it’s best to do things his way first time every time.

    Natrually as a Christian young person I’ve had many a debate about this with other young Christians and would like to contribute the following point:

    What is Marriage?
    I believe marriage is not the piece of paper we sign before the registrar but rather a committment to God of the relationship between man and wife. For example, if I were stuck on a desert island with a girl I wanted to marry we would be quite able to commit our relationship to God and marry in his eyes without the help of a lawyer. God looks on the heart and if I seriously do commit myself to a girl for life in my heart I believe he would most certainly recognise that. As a member of society and a responsible adult I would most certainly include the legal aspect required by law however – I’ve yet to hear any good reason not to do this but I must confess I have not been looking!

    I would like to suggest you ask God to reveal his heart to you about sexuality. Just blindly following a rule is not what he is looking for (though it would save you from lots of future trouble, confession and healing!). You might try attending one of the weekend courses on Godly Sex & Sexuality at Ellel Ministries (www.ellelministries.org) – they are superb.

    May God bless you as you search for the truth. This article and your openness are excellent – be encouraged!

    Rich

    PS: While typing I must declare in response to some of the comments here that the Bible is most definatly completely relavent today and we are very wise to make it the authority by which we live. Also, God has not made us to be simply a ‘good person’ but has created us to be in relationship with him. That’s why he created us andthat’s why he sent Jesus to save us instead of squash us back into clay and start again! As I’ve developed this relationship and come to understand more of his word my heart chooses to follow every bit of his advice as I love him and trust his soverignity.

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  7. Thank you all for your comments (keep them coming) I definitely do appreciate the different views. It was great to hear from you Richard as a young man actually living it!

    I have had some wonderful insights through private emails from women who refuse to wait despite being Christian.

    If you would like to comment (because your comment may help someone who is reading it) then remember that you don’t have to leave your real name. You can call yourself anything and your email address is only seen by me so is very safe.

    I appreciate all the views so far and the ones to come. I have heard from a few women who have waited and are now in their late forties and are wondering if the right Christian man will ever come.

    I also wonder how young people are taught how to deal with their changing bodies, raging hormones and being told “just don’t do it!”
    Seems there is no support is helping people understand how they should manage the feelings/emotional side of it.

    Thanks again
    Diane

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  8. I’m sorry but, I have to respond to Rev. Norma Fontaine-Philbert’s statement that “BIBLICAL LOVE IS NOT A FEELING”

    To me, that’s one of the very un-healthiest things possible to try to teach healthy people on this planet.

    1. It is confusing.

    2. The Bible doesn’t say so.

    3. It’s a non-answer.

    Teaching abstinence is one thing but, teaching people that “Biblical love is not a feeling” is just a god-awful approach to trying to get us to understand what love – of ANY kind – actually is.

    I hope that you as a reader will check in your own heart to see what kind of love you can experience without feeling it… without it being a feeling.

    We ARE humans. Love without feeling, love devoid of feeling is sheer, unadulterated, unnatural, unhealthy, non-sense.

    I’m sorry but not all advice should be taken without also checking inside your own head, your own heart, your own experiences.

    Does is make any sense that the God of love, Author of the Book of love would want you to have love WITHOUT feeling?

    Love IS a feeling! Else it is nothing. And I KNOW that love is not nothing. It is the living life in you.

    There is no such thing as a love which is not a feeling..

    You can believe fully in the Bible but, you don’t have to believe every interpretation of everything said about the Bible.

    Though I’ve heard the same statement from others before, for me, Rev. Norma Fontaine-Philbert’s statement, “BIBLICAL LOVE IS NOT A FEELING” is not a verifiable statement and, thus, it is not a tenable statement. Frankly, it is not a believable statement.

    Thanks, Keep STRONG, and hold on to the FEELING called LOVE, everyone!!!
    Vincent Wright

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  9. Wow – for me, this is a very loaded topic. I grew up Catholic, but went buck wild in my twenties. I definitely have the perspective now that promiscuity doesn’t pay … but I can’t quite swing the pendulum all the way to the other end of the spectrum, that all premarital sex is wrong.

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  10. the reason you feel uncomfortable with it is because it’s not natural to restrain yourself in this way… sex is a natural act…

    the fact that some people decided to make up a rule that it’s not natural before marriage is just that! ie ‘made up’… if you freely choose to live your life by the rules that some other people ‘made up’ then that is fine… but don’t feel uncomfortable or worse, guilty, about it…

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  11. Sex… Love (far too often separated)
    the subject has always, and unfortunately may always be an issue that will divide Christian opinion..

    I like to describe love as being wanting the “highest and the best” for yourself and your neighbour…

    .. using this as my template, foundation, along the lines of God, who so loved that he gave me His Son, so that my belief in Him would afford me eternal life… in God.. can we see where love and sex truly lies…

    It says in the bible that “we love for He loved us first…”
    1 John states in 4:18-20
    18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
    19We love because he first loved us.
    20If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

    This says to me it is God that defines love not my understanding, He is the single reference point when it comes to love (and also any true demonstration of love, sex)

    And also that true loves does not involve fear in anyway… if we are honest, we would admit that sex before marriage is our way of eliminating the fear we have of marrying the wrong person “the try before you buy …”

    We have adopted a spirit of credit in our churches, one which seeks to spend what we do no have… because we cannot wait… (patience)

    Not forgetting that patience is relevent when God is telling us to be… and in itself has its own work to do…

    If there is one who has “waited” it is God, for our love… the word also states that His love was demonstrated when we DID NOT love Him.

    As God is our definition of Love, this for me demonstrates what we should do…
    The decision is either not a matter of waiting or not waiting, but one of being in relationship with God so that we can clearly hear Him as he speaks..

    The word tells us the God has never changed… what He spoke 2000 years ago does not change now just because we feel enlightened by changes in society.

    As Christians we debate over many things from the age of the world (millions of years) to “is speaking in tongues necessary”…
    The question is can we come to a point of unity of the faith, or we will continue to debate ourselves into early graves of disagreement…

    Jesus did not pray to take the disciples out of the world, but for His Father to keep them whilst they (we) were (are) here…

    The word encourages, no warns is not to conform to worldy ways of thinking or doing, but to be transformed by the process of renewal that God is bringing us through, (that process is LIFEGIVING, not taking)…

    One blog entry spoke of women that “refused” to wait… interesting…

    Ultimately we are all accountable to God, Romans 14, whether we like it our not, His is the final judgement… so whatever we do we do so to the Lord…

    What is God saying is key….

    What is he saying to you… have you evidence of His faithfulness to His word… use these things to determine your walk.. in any area of your life; for the word says.. “lean NOT on your own understanding, but in ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and HE WILL straighten your path”

    This says to me, leaning (having faith in) only leads to crooked paths that God will straighten when we acknowledge His soveriegnty (King of Kings, and Lord of Lord)…

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