So Does The Bible Really Say Its Wrong
Before you book a hotel room and call up your girlfriend with the good news, please keep reading! Yes, the Bible does say that all forms of sex outside of marriage are wrong. Heres how.
The early chapters of Genesis give a basic blueprint for marriage, and even though it never says Thou shall not have sex before marriage, it certainly suggests that sex outside of marriage flows against Gods design. Gods command to be fruitful and multiply is joyfully heeded by Adam and Eve after they are joined in marriage . The same goes for their descendants. Noah, Shem, Abram and others all have sex and therefore have children within the confines of a marriage covenant.
When they turn to other women, such as Abrahams sexual relations with Hagar , the act was not considered an affair. Hagar was more like a modern day surrogate mother who bears a child in the place of an infertile wife. Nevertheless, these acts dont appear to be sanctioned by God, even though they were widely accepted in Israels culture.
Throughout the Old Testament, its assumed that God designed sex for marriage. Deuteronomy condemns a soon to be wife who has had sex before marriage , and the love poetry contained in the Song of Songs delights in the joys of sex but reserves it for a husband and wife. Extra-marital sex is never looked upon with divine approval in the Old Testament, no matter how bright the love-flame burns.
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Does Marriage Mean Precede Or Follow Wedding
: Marriage is the union between a man and a woman.
WEDDING: A wedding has two conflicting definitions both of which cannot be simultaneously correct. Look at them below.
1 A wedding is a marriage ceremony and the party or special meal that often takes place after the ceremony.
2 A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage.
Before I proceed I would like to define what a ceremony is.
What is a ceremony? A ceremony, otherwise known as a rite or ritual, is a formal act or set of formal acts established by custom or authority as proper to a special occasion, such as a wedding, religious event, etc.
Now, the first definition points out that a wedding is a ceremony associated with marriage while the second concludes that a wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage
Both definitions were formulated by humans based on what various people believe about marriage. However, the fact that a definition was formulated by humans does not necessarily mean that it must contradict Biblical realities.
In this case, both definitions are contradictory but not both of them contradict Biblical matrimonial truth. This means that one of them is correct and does not contradict Biblical truth about marriage while the other one is incorrect and does. It is the first definition of wedding that is correct and agrees with marital Biblical perspective.
Across History Cultures And Laws
|The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this section, discuss the issue on the talk page, or create a new section, as appropriate.|
A survey undertaken by the American Sociological Review between 2000 and 2008 covering 31 developing countries found that “94 percent of Jews… reported having premarital sex, compared to 79 percent of Christians, 65 percent of Buddhists, 43 percent of Muslims and 19 percent of Hindus.”
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When And How Marriage Occurs
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.~GENESIS 2:4For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate..~MARK 10:7-9Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, The two will become one flesh. But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. ~1 CORINTHIANS 6:15-17
The above Bible portions shows us when and how marriage, the union between a man and a woman, occurs. No wedding is involved here.
Doesnt Sex Produce Intimacy
During their discussions about premarital sex, Rob insisted that it was good to engage in sex with a dating partner because it brings you closer.
Cindy believes that this is true, and not true. On one hand, the Bible says that sex causes two people to become one. Therefore, its more than just a physical act, its also a spiritual encounter .
Additionally, Dr. Patricia Love, the author of The Truth About Love, writes that a feeling of intimacy is created by a chemical cocktail that is produced in the brain during sex and stays with each person for up to 24 hours after intercourse. Perhaps this physiological bonding is what Rob was referring to.
On the flip side, having sex is no guarantee that the deep emotional intimacy that everyone longs for will develop.
Alice Fryling, in an article titled, Why Wait for Sex? writes:
Genital sex is an expression of intimacy, not the means to intimacy. True intimacy springs from verbal and emotional communion. True intimacy is built on a commitment to honesty, love and freedom. True intimacy is not primarily a sexual encounter. Intimacy, in fact, has almost nothing to do with our sex organs. A prostitute may expose her body, but her relationships are hardly intimate.
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Scripture Is Outdated Right
Like many singles, Rob thinks the scriptures on sexual purity are outdated and archaic. Those parts of the Bible arent relevant to today, he told Cindy. After all, when the scriptures were written, the people during that time got married when they were teens so they didnt have to struggle with sexual temptation like we do now.
In response to Robs argument, Cindy found verses about sexual purity and showed them to him. When Cindy read 1 Corinthians 6:9, 2 Corinthians 12:21, Galatians 5:19, Hebrews 13:4 and Deuteronomy 22:13-28, all which condemn sex before marriage, she asked Rob, Are these scriptures relevant to today?
Nope, Rob responded.
Do you have a pair of scissors? Cindy asked.
Because I think we should cut those scriptures out. After all, if theyre not true because people cant control their desires, why not completely eliminate them? After all, we can just pick and choose the parts the Bible that we want to believe on sexual purity, right? Give me your scissors, she said.
Youre crazy, Rob responded.
Crazy or not, Cindy had made her point there are holes in Robs its-not-true-because-people-cant-control-their-desires theology. Why? Because, if his beliefs were based on truth, they would stand up in every circumstance, but they dont.
Not surprisingly, when Cindy asked Rob if it was OK to engage in pornography, his theology changed. Pornography isnt OK because its damaging to the people who are doing it, and its not very Christian.
Its Still Your Choice
So is sex before marriage forbidden in the Bible?
No, it isnt.
Is sex before marriage recommended in the Bible?
Not at all.
The Bible simply presents some of the issues and consequences involved in sex without the intent to marry vs. sex within marriage or with the intent to marry.
Its still your choice.
Thats as it should be. These are very personal issues, and very personal choices. No one else can make them for you.
However, before you decide to go all-in physically, do consider what you want from the relationship.
If you simply want to enjoy sexual intimacy with someone you feel close to, that is quite doable. But that may be all youll get out of the relationship. If youre good with that, then you can at least go in with your eyes open.
However, if what you really want is a long-term, committed, faithful marriage, consider the possibility that starting out with sexual intimacy early in the relationship may make the kind of marriage you long for less likely rather than more likely.
If you spend the time to find and create an inner connection with your partner before fully engaging your physical drives and hormones, youre more likely to start the relationship on a solid and lasting foundation of inner oneness. That inner oneness is at the heart of every true and lasting marriage.
This article is a response to a spiritual conundrum submitted by a reader.
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Does The Bible Prohibit Sex Before Marriage
In my experience, there is a very broad range of answers to this question. It has generally been assumed by moral conservatives that the answer is self-evidently yes by contrast, it has generally been assumed by moral liberals that the answer is no, since there does not appear to be any specific prohibition in Scripture. The massive changes in our culture around sex and sexuality since the 1960s and the advent of contraception have put us at a very big cultural distance from the world of the Bible, and particularly the Old Testament, so there are significant challenges in the task of translation here.
I was recently pointed to this :
In biblical times, a man was not prohibited from having sexual relations with a woman, as long as it led to marriage. The Bible never explicitly states a woman and man may not have sexual intercourse prior to marriage therefore, no sanction was imposed for premarital sex, but it was considered a violation of custom.
The question immediately raise is: what is the status of such custom? I therefore offer here the piece I wrote for Premier Christianity the other week, in response to the less-publicised half of the motion passed at the Methodist Conference, and add a few reflections.
There is a good Grove booklet exploring this question by Gary Jenkins.
PS to my regular readers, apologies for having two consecutive posts relating to sex. 91% of my posts dontregular service will be resumed in the next post!
Does Having Sex Create A Marriage
However, once married, the religious laws and customs of the time strongly prohibited adultery and provided physical and financial protections for the spouses and their children ” rel=”nofollow”> Exodus 20:14, , , , , , , , , , ).
In today’s world, it is the legal marriage that provides similar protections. Merely having sex or living together does not fulfill the functions of the Biblical model of marriage.
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The Communal Aspect Of Marriage
Different cultures have different ways of arranging marriage and marking the marital bond. Not surprisingly, then, the Bible doesnt require all marriages to be sealed in a church ceremony or with a state-authorized license.
Still, whatever the time and place, biblical marriage always includes a distinctly communal aspect. Its first understood in a couples decision to leave their parents and cleave to one another. With that step, they start a new family unit as a part of general human society.
In other words, marriage involves a couples public commitment to build a strong and lasting relationship. That relationship isnt only a foundation for the nurturing of their own children its also a building block of social stability and a contribution to the well-being of the broader community.
In Bible times, that communal part of marriage was overseen almost exclusively by the family. However, in 21st-century America, it also involves the state and for serious believers, the Church.
What about Mary and Joseph? Well, betrothals in ancient Judaism werent like modern engagements. A betrothal did require that the couple not have sex until after the wedding ceremony. But aside from this, the relationship a betrothal established was every bit as binding and permanent as what we normally think of as marriage.
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Sex Is For Marriage And Marriage Is For Sex
God wants us to save sex for marriage not because its bad or dirty but because its unique, exclusive, and wonderful. Sex isnt just casual fun. And its not just a feel-good way of expressing mutual love. Its about two people becoming one flesh.
- Jesus says, Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? .
- This fits with the apostle Pauls warning in 1 Corinthians 6:16: Do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, The two will become one flesh .
- The same concept underlies the commandment against adultery . In the biblical view, adultery includes any sexual activity outside of marriage. This is why the Bible says, Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous .
Sex is a holy mystery. Its a powerful bonding agent that shapes and affects the relationship between a man and a woman as nothing else can.
Thats why the Bible often compares idolatry to the sin of fornication or adultery .
And its why the Bible uses sexual purity and faithfulness between spouses as an image of our relationship with God .
So, what about Isaac and Rebekah, or Joseph and Mary?
Is Kissing Before Marriage A Sin
In order to flee sexual lusts and to help others to whom we are not married flee sexual lusts, it is recommended that kissing and French kissing be avoided until the wedding day when the preacher announces the groom may kiss the bride. A young woman once said, When the kissing starts the thinking stops. Therefore, be careful what fire you start.
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Sex Before Marriage Is Not A Sin
No sex before marriage-When asked what the Bible has to say about sex, most people will have this response. However, when asked to provide exactly where this rule is listed in the Bible, the answer from many Christians is much less confident. My belief that premarital sex is sinful has been shattered.
So what is the truth about having sex outside of marriage?
The truth is that we are having the wrong conversation over and over again. In an attempt to justify what is believed to be common knowledge, we are pulling at any verse that has an inkling of resemblance to premarital sex. We are using these verses, devoid of their context and circumstance, in order to justify a belief that does not have much merit.
Many source the Ten Commandments as a call to wait until we are married to have sex. In particular, the seventh of these commandments.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
The problem here is that adultery and premarital sex are being equated, when in reality, they are two distinctly different things.
Adultery really is about violation of relationship or violation of contract. Its about not keeping your promise, Dr. Colleen Windham-Hughes, a professor of religion at California Lutheran University, said.
This verse can be interpreted to mean that God is in control of our bodies. While it is undeniable that glorifying God through celibacy or through your body is a way to honor God, this verse is also getting at the submissive role of women at this time in the world.
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