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    Q: #291. Why is sex before marriage wrong?

By: Steve Shirley

    A: The Bible calls sex before marriage "fornication" (some Bible versions use "sexual immorality"). Fornication, is primarily sex between unmarried people, or between a married and unmarried person (also called adultery, see Mt 5:32, 19:9). Jesus called fornication an evil sin (Mt 15:19)(Mk 7:21).

     The Bible gives us many warnings about not committing this sin. We are told to "flee from fornication" (1 Cor 6:18-19), "avoid fornication" (1 Cor 7:1-2), and "abstain from fornication" (1 Th 4:3-5). Our "body is not for fornication, but for the Lord" (1 Cor 6:13). Those who commit this sin shall not enter the kingdom of God (Eph 5:3,5)(Gal 5:21)(1 Cor 6:9). Paul tells Christians they should not even keep company with a fornicator (1 Cor 5:11).
*** It is interesting to note that in the lists of sins Paul mentions, fornication is listed first in most.

     It is important to understand that God created sex, and it is GOOD in His eyes (Gen 1:28)(Gen 9:1,7)(Gen 35:11), but ONLY when it is within the confines of the marriage relationship (1 Cor 7:1-2)(Heb 13:4)(Prov 5:15-20)(Mal 2:14-15). While obedience to God is obviously the main reason why sex outside of marriage should be avoided, there are other problems with associated with it as well. Here are a few for you to consider.

Every time you have sex, you ALWAYS open yourself up to the possibility of an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy (no matter how careful you are). This could alter your future FOREVER! For women, there is a good chance that you will be raising this child without any help from the father. Children from single parent homes face a number of disadvantages.

Many who get pregnant outside of marriage will abort that unborn child. Nearly all abortions are associated with unwed mothers. (Life begins at conception, so abortion is murder... Go here for more on abortion.)

Sex outside of marriage can increase your chances of getting a sexually transmitted disease. The more partners, the greater the risk. (It is important to keep in mind that technically you aren't just having sexual contact with your partner, but also with everyone your partner has had sex with, and also everyone your partner's previous partner had sex with too, and on and on...)

If you plan to marry in the future, you run the risk of comparing your spouse to your past sex partners. Comparing your spouses' sexual performance or their body to past sexual partners is unreasonable and unfair to your spouse. It can leave you feeling unsatisfied, and may damage your marriage. (This is primarily a man issue.)
*** Note: Viewing pornography can also cause this damage.

Sex before marriage is often linked with low self-esteem. There is a saying I have never forgotten, "Women have sex to get love. Men have sex to show love." I don't know if this saying can be related to the low self-esteem issue or not, but in my opinion, it is something to consider.

You are robbing your future spouse of the gift of your virginity. Could there be any better gift than telling him/her that they were so important that you waited just for them?

     In the Bible, a woman's virginity was of utmost importance. The word "virgin" (or a form of it) is used 65 times in the Bible. The Bible emphasizes the "virginity" of numerous prominent  women: Mary (mother of Jesus)(Mt 1:23)(Lk 1:27)(Isa 7:14), Esther (Es 2:2-3,17), Rebekah (Gen 24:16,43), The 400 virgins of Jabesh-Gilead (Judg 21:12), Philip's 4 daughters (Acts 21:9), Anna (Lk 2:36).

     Usually in the Bible, marriages were arranged. There was no dating or physical intimacy   before the marriage. The first time there was physical intimacy was in the marriage bed. At this time, the couple had sex for the first time, and the sex act was what consummated the marriage or made the couple "officially" married (see: Gen 29:21-30). If a man had sex with a woman outside of this, it was considered a disgrace, and the woman's reputation was destroyed. (Joseph thought Mary had done this after she was impregnated by the Holy Spirit: Mt 1:18-25.) (Tamar's life was ruined when her half-brother Ammon raped her then refused to marry her: 2 Sam 13:1-22.) In fact, God made a rule that if a man had sex with a virgin outside of the marriage bed, He was to make her his wife immediately (Ex 22:16-17)(Deut 22:28-29).

     And, look at what God said to do with a woman who had mislead her husband into thinking she was a virgin before they married:

(Deut 22:20-21) But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: (21) Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her fathers house, and the men of the city shall stone her with stones that she should die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

     As you can see.... God takes virginity pretty seriously....

     For those of you who believe that it is ok to have sex before marriage because you love your boyfriend or girlfriend and are planning to get married in the future, I would add that delaying sex until your honeymoon is SO worth it. It honors God, can be a powerful testimony to others (and your partner), and will make the intimacy of that night something you will never forget. The Bible says that "Love is patient" (1 Cor 13:4). True love will wait.

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