In The Bible Acceptable Sex Is Connected To Marriage
But consider the pragmatic meaning of that law about sex before marriage. If two people engaged in sex before marriage, they were required to get married in order to preserve the womans honor and hold the man responsible for his actions.
Another way of saying this is that in Old Testament times, the laws about sex were aimed primarily at enforcing the sanctity of marriage.
In the New Testament, there are no such detailed laws about how to handle various cases of sex before marriage. Instead, there are more general injunctions to avoid fornication and adultery, and to honor marriage through faithfulness and purity in ones marital life.
From this brief survey of what the Bible says about sex and marriage, we can draw two conclusions that support the ones I stated above:
- Promiscuous and especially adulterous sex with no intent to marry is forbidden in the Bible.
- Premarital sex that leads to marriage, though not ideal, is tolerated in the Bible, and is handled in pragmatic fashion to preserve social order.
This is what I meant when I spoke earlier of the Bibles yellow light on sex before marriage. The Bible does not forbid premarital sex as many Christians claim. But it does consider it non-ideal, and either requires or encourages those who engage in it to move toward marriage.
In short, the Bible generally teaches that sex should be connected with, or lead to, marriage.
The Bible On Why Premarital Sex Is Wrong
There are many biblical passages forbidding premarital and extramarital sex
The prohibition of premarital sex is not at all obscure in the Bible. For example, I would note the one flesh motif:
Matthew 19:4-6 He answered, Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.
This is obviously a reference to intercourse, so that becoming one flesh is clearly morally done after being married, not before. St. Paul expands the argument and ties it in with the notion of the Church and Christ:
Ephesians 5:28-33 Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
The Role Of Tradition
The Jewish tradition that flows from the Old Testament and cradles the New Testament was even more explicit in condemning pre-marital sex. For instance, it was believed that Joseph was adamant that he and his future wife, Asenath, remain pure until their wedding day. Theres nothing in the Old Testament that validates such concern Josephs marriage to Asenath is only mentioned in passing . But the later retelling of Joseph and Asenath reflects a widespread Jewish view: Sex before marriage is sin.
And this is the ethical world that Jesus and His followers were raised in. Jews and Christians had many disagreements about what constitutes right and wrong . But when it came to sexual immorality, they found much in common. Sex before marriage was clearly condemned in Judaism, and the same goes for Christianity.
For instance, Paula Jewargued that the only proper outlet for sexual desire is within marriage: because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband . Again, if unmarried people cant control their sexual desires, Paul doesnt tell them to head to the brothel, or to their boyfriend, or their betrothed loved one. Rather, they should marry since it is better to marry than to burn with passion . In other words, we should not satisfy our sexual passion with someone other than a spouse.
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Bible Verses About Premarital Sex
Bible verses related to Premarital Sex from the King James Version by Relevance
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What Is Premarital Sex
As per the dictionary meaning, premarital sex is when two adults, who are not married to each other, are involved in consensual sex. In many countries, premarital sex is against societal norms and beliefs, but the younger generation is quite okay to explore the physical relationship before getting married to anyone.
Premarital sex statistics from the recent study shows that 75% of the Americans below the age of 20 have had premarital sex. The number increases to 95% by age 44. It is quite shocking to see how people are quite okay to establish a relationship with someone even before getting married.
Premarital sex can be attributed to liberal thinking and new-age media, which portrays this as perfectly fine. However, what most people forget that premarital sex exposes people to a lot of diseases and future complications.
Bible has laid down specific rules when it comes to establishing a physical relationship before marriage. Lets have a look at these verses and analyze them accordingly.
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Thoughts On Does The Bible Prohibit Sex Before Marriage
I think for this blog to make any sense we need to be clear that we are defining marriage as the registration of the relationship with the statea modern phenomenon.
In ancient Israel marriage was a matter between the families involvedno priest, elder, or temple involvement. This is not my area of expertise, but it seems that this concept carried through to the early church until the Middle Agesit was not finally brought into church until the Council of Trent as I understand it. Subsequently, many countries brought it into the statebut not until 19th century in the UK.
As regards, In biblical times, a man was not prohibited from having sexual relations with a woman, as long as it led to marriage I am not convinced by this. The mohar was dependent on virginity on a first marriageand was a big deal, as Deuteronomy 22 indicates. It was the fathers responsibility to ensure her virginity until marriagewithout that her subsequent marital prospects were considerably diminished.
Maybe that explains why adultery is seen as the major category rather than one sexual sin among many.
You say in the link that marriage is a Legal/Social bond = The public ceremony that was officiated by community elders/certified licensed officials.
Where in the Bible does it say that?
John 4.3942 rather strongly suggests reconciliation doesnt it?
50-60 years is of course common but depends on lifespans, so we could say lifelong.
What About Premarital Sex Today
We are no longer living in the ancient Biblical cultures that existed two to four thousand years ago. At least in the West, premarital sex no longer carries the stigma for women that it did in those days. And the standards for men are, if anything, even more relaxed.
Is that good or bad?
Thats for you to decide.
However, if, as Kimberly says, two unmarried people who genuinely care for each other choose to engage in safe sex with each other, is that really so bad?
Of course, in some families and in some segments of society, there are still major stigmas attached to sex before marriage. Those who engage in premarital sex will have to deal with the attitudes of their families, their friends, and their community.
Beyond social strictures, though, is sex before marriage really so bad?
These days, many people are sexually active from their teenage years onward, and still go on to get married and have good marriages. Yes, I know, many also get divorced or have unhappy marriages. But that also happens to people who dont have sex before marriage. The point is, engaging in sex before marriage doesnt necessarily destroy the hope of entering into a long-term, faithful, and happy marriage.
It all depends on your attitude toward commitment and marriage.
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Be Part Of A Church That Will Help You Fight Fornication
Especially in a sexually permissive culture, you need a church that engages sex biblically. While sex is good , sexual sin makes us lawbreakers in need of redemption the church cannot waffle on this. But faithful churches will also provide hope for all sinners. Pauls Corinthian audience was exhausted by sexual sin and weighted down by guilt. He preached Christ as the only one who could cure restless desires . We should not expect to see fornicators, adulterers, and homosexuals converted to Christ if we do not meet them with the grace of the gospel.
More concretely, believers must open their homes to single people, providing a haven of companionship and a respite from long hours alone in which temptation can gain strength. We should prepare to respond with prayerful and sympathetic love to those courageous enough to confess sexual sin. In this way we help bear their burden . Caring friends will also offer to singles the platonic physical affection practiced by Jesus and his disciples . One single friend put it this way: If appropriate intimacy doesnt come from somewhere else like God or friends, it is pretty much a given that singles will be either emotionally suffering or falling into sin. We can learn from many non-western cultures the sacramental art of appropriate physical contact.
Gods Design For Sex Within Marriage
God created sex to be enjoyed between a husband and wife in a covenant relationship of marriage.
It is to show us how close God desires to be with us and wants to be in an intimately know each person and be in a relationship with them so they can know Him.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:25-27 NKJV
The Bible also tells us that the Church, the Bride of Christ, is to keep herself unstained from the world and prepare herself for her Grooms coming.
This is to be a glad day of celebration!
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb! And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God.
Revelation 19:7-9 NKJV
As Christians, we of all people should know what marriage represents and why sex is forbidden outside of marriage.
Sex is not evil, but God clearly states that sex before marriage is sexual immorality.
You shall have no other gods before Me.
Exodus 20:3 ESV
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When And Why Is Sex Before Marriage A Sin
Is premarital sex a sin? Short answer, yes . But Ill ask you thisdo you actually understand the reason why the Bible asks us to save sex for marriage? I can tell you this muchits not to shame us if we have a past were not so proud of, its not to interject itself in an unhelpful way in our daily lives, its not to make us miserable, and its not a test to see how much we actually love God. It is, in fact, for us, not against or opposed to us.
Sex with anyone other than your spouse will always be sinful. This is because the Catholic Church is very clear that the only context in which sex isn’t sinful, is when it takes place within a marriage.
Is Premarital Sex A Sin Our Conclusion:
What the Bible says about premarital sex should serve as a reminder to us all. I think most people wondering whether sex before marriage is a sin or not have an innate hunch to the answer. While this article references multiple Bible verses on the topic, it barely skims the complete wisdom via Bible verses about sex before marriage.
If you have found yourself becoming defensive or angry as you read this, youre not the only one. In response, I encourage all of us to truly reflect upon the why, before jumping to fight the Bibles answer on the question of sex before marriage. Sex was meant for marriage, and God will give you the grace to live a life faithful to that if you continually turn to Him in true humility and ask.
Contrary to what the world will tell you, Christianity isn’t about living your life the way you want to all the time, it’s about doing the right thing, even when it’s hard. Sexual purity isn’t always easy, but it’s crucial to keep in mind that sex is a gift, sex is sacred, and sex is created for marriage. So, waiting until marriage is the right choice.
If you find yourself struggling with this, pray to St. Joseph, as he is a saint who lived with great chastity! Consider starting a devotional or novena to him with the intention of living a chaste life.
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Dr Bill Arnold Responds:
For the Old Testament side of things, its interesting that the only text your student interlocutor mentions is the Book of the Covenant stipulation that a man who seduces a virgin should pay her bride-price and make her his wife . What the student fails to observe is that the premise of this legal stipulation is that the man has, in fact, gotten the process reversed. He should have negotiated the bride-price, then married her, then had intercourse. The point of the law, as with many other laws in the Book of the Covenant, is that he has willfully done something wrong and must now make amends. The text the student is citing in your discussion actually supports your position, and not his.
Also, although perhaps not directly related to the question of premarital sex, the single most neglected datum from the OT related to marriage is Gen. 2:24-25. I never thought in my wildest dreams that this text would become controversial in our day, but it elevates the idea of heterogeneous marriage between one male and one female, regardless of how we conceptualize a state-defined and sanctioned certificate of marriage. The biblical concept is clear enough.
The Temptation Of Sexual Sin
Paul says, “No temptation hastaken you but such as man can bear. God is faithful, who will notallow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with thetemptation make also the way of escape, that you may be able toendure it.”
James says, “Let no man say whenhe is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God,’ for God can’t be tempted withevil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted, when heis drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when ithas conceived, bears sin and the sin, when it is full grown, bringsforth death.”
It is important to realize that we aretempted by our own lusts. Claiming that God made us a certain way isthe same as saying that God is tempting us.
Why Premarital Sex Is A Sin
Jonathan Pokluda | 07.30.12
Talk about dating and the subject of sex is bound to come up. Sex within dating. Premarital sex.
It is amazing the wide range of opinions on the subject. Some within the church would wonder why we even need to be talking about it of course you shouldnt have sex outside of marriage. At the other end, a big percentage of people outside the church would think that viewpoint is crazy, and would argue that you not only can but should have sex before marriage. Somewhere in the middle you would have secularists who agree that premarital sex is a bad idea, and Christians who try to argue that it is not actually a sin.
Truth is truth, though, whether you choose to believe it or not. Premarital sex is a sin. Even if you dont believe that or dont believe in God at all, premarital sex is still, at best, a bad idea.
Clearing up misconceptions about premarital sex
Ill talk about why it is a bad idea, even for readers who do not believe in God or sin, in an upcoming post. First, I want to address Christ-followers here to clear up any misconceptions about what the Bible has to say about it.
Secondly, and more importantly, the Bible does say that premarital sex is a sin. Many times. Here is one of them:
It is essentially impossible that Biblical authors wrote the word with that suspiciously narrow definition in mind, though. Look at how Paul, the author of 1 Corinthians, used the exact same word just a few sentences later: