The thought of someone remaining pure in this day and age sounds rather archaic whilst the idea of abstaining, well, impossible if anything. I mean, why wait when everyone else is either getting the goods now or giving it up, right? Sex is everywhere these days; movies, adverts, radio, newspapers, magazines, you name it. But what’s so special about it anyway?
In a sex-saturated culture, waiting till marriage seems outdated and prudish; pleasure is the name of the game but that’s not the whole story. You see, because it connects two people in body and spirit, premarital sex leads to emotional distress, distrust, regret and emptiness, in addition of course, to the risks of contracting STDs and AIDS or getting pregnant – not to say that these risks are not there in marriage but that’s a story for another slow news day.
The whole point of marriage is to bring two people together as one and sex after marriage compliments this. This is what also leads to a lot of divorces since people would have engaged in sexual activity without truly knowing each other as scripture states. You see, sex is not something that should be treated very lightly. I believe the risks and problems associated with premarital sex far outweigh any of the benefits you could ever come up with.
There are two groups of people that would agree with the above statement; those who’ve had sex and are looking back on their relationships and lives and thinking that perhaps it could have been better if they did not, or those that are against it from a moral and religious standpoint – often ridiculed as being too old fashioned, out of touch with reality and labeled ultra-conservative religious zealots. Most forms of organized religion attempt to convey that message through their teachings but there are good reasons not to do so from both these perspectives. Some have gone as far as claiming that sex before marriage helps you to see if your partner can satisfy you or meet your needs but is that really all sex is about, meeting one’s needs? Of course that’s not to entirely dismiss it, but shouldn’t it be more about sharing yourself with your partner, using the intimacy to bond and grow closer together? If all sex is to you is about meeting your own needs, then I am sorry to say that you will never truly be satisfied by any partner on a long term basis.
And then there are those who say that premarital sex is so common now that there’s no reason why we shouldn’t go ahead and do have it. Now see, this takes me back to around the turn of the last century when smoking was the popular thing to do; and now look what we have learned since! Just because something is popular, it does not make it right at all.
Another school of thought claims that they just cannot control that part of themselves, so why bother? However, it is vital to maintain control over our sexual urges and desires. Maybe this group gives this reason because they truly cannot control themselves, or maybe because they just think it’s too hard or inconvenient to exercise restraint. Sadly, society seems obsessed with the idea of satisfying one’s needs NOW, and dealing with the consequences later.
The fourth school of thought claims that sex before marriage prevents having sexual problems during marriage that could end in divorce but I believe that regardless of whether or not one has sex before marriage, has more to do with how they actually view marriage today. Marriage is not just about sex to those who wait. Marriage means that if you have a problem, you work it out together, and it shouldn’t matter if the problem is sexual, financial, or compatibility. I think that the reason why divorce rates are so high has less to do with stress and problems and more to do with the fact that people take divorce as an easy way out of a tough bind. I am not arguing that divorce is easy here, NO!!!! Just that it may be seen as easier than working out your problems.
Diving into the realm of spirituality then, God has always stated that you should not have a consummation outside marriage and for good reason too. There is however, no scripture that precisely talks about sex before marriage. The Bible undeniably condemns adultery and sexual immorality, but is sex before marriage considered sexually immoral? YES, according to 1 Corinthians 7:2 – “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” Here, Paul states that marriage is the cure for sexual immorality. The above scripture is essentially saying that, because people cannot control themselves and so many are having immoral sex outside of marriage, they should get married. Then they can fulfill their passions in a moral way. So there you go, Sex before marriage is included in the biblical definition of sexual immorality. There are numerous Scriptures that declare sex before marriage to be a sin and here are just a few; Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1, Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Jude 7. The Bible promotes complete abstinence before marriage and sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations of which God approves (Hebrews 13:4).
Whilst practicality does not exactly 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. The Bible promotes complete abstinence outside of (and before) marriage. Sex before marriage is just as wrong as adultery and other forms of sexual immorality, because they all involve having sex with someone you are not married to.
What about couples that live together before they are actually married? You might ask. Well, if living together means living in the same house, that’s perhaps a different issue. Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with a man and a woman living in the same house—if there is nothing immoral taking place of course. However, the problem arises in that there is still the appearance of immorality (1 Thessalonians 5:22, Ephesians 5:3), and it could be a tremendous temptation for it. The Bible tells us to flee immorality, not expose ourselves to constant temptations to immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). Then there is the problem of appearances. A couple who is living together is assumed to be sleeping together—that is just the nature of things. Even though living in the same house is not sinful in and of itself, the appearance of sin is there.
Again in the above two scriptures, the Bible tells us to avoid the appearance of evil to flee from immorality, and not to cause anyone to stumble or be offended. As a result, it is not honoring to God for a man and a woman to live together outside of marriage. Sorry guys. However, not all abstainers have perfect marriages that divorce-free, NO!!!! And not all couples who have sex before marriage are doomed to troubled marriages. NO!!!! I do not know just how that works but I know that the chances of whether or not you have premarital sex affecting your marriage are high.
We live in an age where convenience rules much of our decision-making abilities. Arguments in favor of premarital sex seem to reflect this. What is not often recognized is that if you wait for something, work towards it, and not compromise your standards, you will find the results to be far more satisfying. Avoid the regrets of broken promises, unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, and other negative events that you risk by engaging in premarital sex. Waiting is not only safer, but much more rewarding. If you gave up control before marriage, you are also most likely to give up control after marriage.