Sex Outside of Marriage
This subject is similar to pornography in that it can have a very harmful effect on your Christian walk. Unlike pornography though, the consequences can be even greater than those of Pornography, and can last a lifetime. Consequences such as pregnancy, disease, the regret of an abortion and possibly the inability to ever conceive again, ruining a marriage, losing a job . . . you get the idea. In addition to these consequences is the incredible hurt that this can cause to others, damaging relationships.
Sex outside of marriage affects both those who are married as well as those who are single, in that any sex outside marriage, is outside of God’s design. Because of the damage to relationships, and the potential for damage to relationships now and in the future, God has instructed us not to engage in it. In regards to sex outside of marriage some have said “God doesn't want me to have fun”. But is this true?
In actuality, could it be that God doesn't want us to be hurt or experience the negative consequences listed above, so that we can truly enjoy this gift within His guidelines which are designed to virtually guarantee we won’t be hurt?
Consider a couple who is married, and their wedding night is the first time either of them were ever intimate sexually with another person. If they remain faithful to each other for the rest of their lives, will they ever need to worry about any of the dozens of sexually transmitted diseases that exist? Would they ever need to go through the emotions felt by those who have been dropped by another after sex, and feel they have been used for sex? Would they ever need to go through the hurt caused by the unfaithfulness of the other? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO!
In addition to the other links in this section, I have included one that responds to, “God doesn’t want me to have fun”, which is sometimes spoken by those not, or not yet married.
The following are some of the Bible verses related to this subject, and links to be able to research further.
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
1 Corinthians 7:2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
1 Corinthians 6:13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
2 Corinthians 12:21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.
What Does the Bible Say About Sex Before Marriage?
What does the Bible say about sex before marriage?
No Sex Before Marriage
What Does the Bible Teach About Sex Outside Of Marriage?
If I've had sex outside of marriage, can I still be forgiven?
Engaged couples will sometimes feel that since they are getting married, there isn't any real issue. Since they would be intimate with the same person they will be married to, this almost sounds logical. However, the reality is that an engagement is not a guarantee of marriage. If large percentages of marriages don’t stay together, with all the commitments in marriage, do you think there is a greater or lesser motivation for an engaged couple to stay together, with lesser commitments? And are the potential issues already indicated any less possible for an engaged couple?
If you are a woman reading this section, ask yourself the question,
“If I am intimate with a guy before marriage, which of us has the most to lose?”
It should be pretty easy question to answer. You do! This was illustrated briefly in just the first few paragraphs. Considering being sexually intimate with a guy, you are considering giving him the most intimate part of yourself that you can ever offer anyone, and you are also putting yourself at risk for issues which could last the rest of your life.
Men are typically visual, while women are typically relational. The relationship and security aspects are typically more important to a woman initially. So what a man will often be drawn toward initially is the visual impression a woman makes on him, while a woman often thinks more long term, and places importance on a man she could see herself in a relationship with. It’s not that a guy’s looks aren't important to a woman, but if a woman is thinking long term, the relationship is usually as important, if not more so. If both looks and relationship are present in the guy, so much the better from the woman’s perspective.
Now, while the above has been the typical motivations of men and women in the past, this has probably changed as well because of the emphasis our culture places on sex. Our culture tries to get us to believe that men and women aren't different, and like pornography, women should be motivated primarily by a man’s looks without much regard to his character. You see it throughout advertising. Use this product, and get someone who looks like the person in the advertisement. If we think back to the question as to who has the most to lose in a sexually intimate relationship outside of marriage, again it is the woman. If you are a woman reading this, what is the characteristic of a man that has the greatest appeal to you, and do you think you have been influenced by the culture?
Also, as we all have a tendency to conceal what we believe would be found negative by others, men won’t typically acknowledge how strongly they are motivated by the physical appearance of a woman. Considering the impact of a woman’s appearance on a guy; how a young woman dresses has a significant effect on guys whether intended by a woman or not. If you have not yet checked out the links in the Modesty section, I really encourage you to do so.
Another thing to realize is that guys are usually goal oriented. One of the phrases I was reminded of while writing this section is that of a man telling a woman, “If you loved me you would”. Can you tell what the goal is of someone making this kind of statement? Considering the influence of today’s culture on women, this might not only be said by a man to a woman but also by a woman to a man. If you are dedicated to remaining pure until marriage or have made mistakes in the past and you are dedicated to remain pure from now until you get married, there are a few responses to the above statement you might find helpful.
It is not my intention for anyone reading this to be made uncomfortable by my bluntness, but as in other areas of this guide my desire is to provide you with tools and resources to be able to respond to the challenges you may be confronted with.
I believe that the following statement has a lot of truth to it,
“Guys use love to get sex, and girls use sex to get love”.
Being that many guys are typically goal oriented and not initially relationship oriented, they have been known to promise love to a woman to achieve their goal of sex with that woman. The unfortunate truth is that many guys lie when they tell a woman that they love her. They do this to try to convince her to give them this gift intended for the wedding night.
Unfortunately many young women have given into this deception only to find out that the guy didn't really mean it when he said that he loved them. The guy got the sex he wanted but the girl didn't get the love, the relationship, the security she wanted. I've seen this happen more than a few times, and remember a group I was with which went skiing. This young woman in the group liked one of the guys who looked to have everything going for him. I heard the next day that they had slept together the previous night. The next day this guy was only interested in skiing, and the young woman was very hurt. Was this guy caring about what she wanted or only what he wanted?
When challenged by the statement, “If you loved me you would”, it might seem that the intent of someone who says this is to provoke the other person to actually prove their love to the one who is making the statement. Unfortunately, many young women have been tricked into actually believing they can prove their love by sleeping with the guy. Isn't this statement requesting the proof of love one-sided by the one saying this? Why is it that one person has to prove their love to the other by sacrificing the most intimate gift they will ever give their future spouse? Since they are asking the other person to sacrifice this gift, shouldn’t they be the one proving their love?
In reality, the person making the statement is incredibly selfish. If you are a young woman and a guy says this to you, he is basically saying that he wants you to give your most personal and intimate gift to him, to prove that you love him. He’s asking you to give up your confidence in; not contracting an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease), not getting pregnant and then not going through a 9 month pregnancy, not going through a long and likely painful delivery of a child, and not potentially having to raise the child by yourself. Or the other position you are put in, having to consider even the possibility of ending the baby’s life through abortion, and possibly be rendered sterile through the process of an abortion.
And he is asking you to do this why? So that he can satisfy his desire for a few moments of pleasure, at your expense! This sounds like a fair trade-off, right? . . . . . NOT!
How much concern for your safety, your physical and mental well-being, and your confidence does a guy like this have for you? Hopefully you understand why I feel this is an important subject to cover, and to provide you with answers to this challenge.
“If you loved me you would”,
a direct response is,
“Well, if you loved me, you would respect my choice/decision”.
When you think about a person “proving their love”, who has provided the greatest example of proving their love? God has! God loves you so much that he sacrificed his life so that you could spend eternity with Him. The Creator of the entire Universe, 100 billion galaxies containing 100 billion stars each, it was He who did this to prove his love for you, and did it before you or I could change and become better!
How highly are you valued by God? You can tell by what He was willing to sacrifice, His Son? You are of infinite worth to Him! If you know that God loves you this much, how much do you need the selfishly motivated affections of the kind of guy who would ask this question of you? Yes, another question with an obvious answer. You don’t need the kind of selfish “love” that one like this has.
If this selfish immature guy persists further by saying,
“But everyone is doing it”,
you should respond,
“Great! You shouldn’t have any problem finding someone to satisfy your immature need”.
I thought of one more possible follow up response if the guy is very persistent (and not getting the hint),
“But I want to do it with you”.
Your response should be,
“No, you want to do it with anyone”.
And considering the number of failed engagements, could a guy deep down use getting engaged as a justification to be sexually intimate? Is there a significant difference between a guy saying, “If you loved me you would” and “Since we’re engaged, we should”?
Remember, you are of infinite worth to God, as evidenced by Christ’s decision to die on the cross to pay the incredible price required because of our sin. If you are worth this much to God and he loves you so much, do you think you need to get any proof of your value from a person who is only concerned about their own selfish desires; a person who has such disregard for you, your safety, and your confidence?
Tim Keller contrasts the difference between a guy like this and Jesus. Tim mentioned that a man who does this is essentially saying
“I want you to give your life for me, to fulfill my wants",
while Jesus says,
“I’ve given my life for you, to fulfill all your needs and give you eternal life.
Jesus wants so much more for you than to fulfill some guy’s selfish desires.
Can you see now why God has designed the intimacy of sex to be shared only within the marriage between one man and one woman, and only between those two people for life? As a young woman, if a man is willing to wait until you are both married to be sexually intimate with you, he is proving his love to you. God doesn't want you to settle for anything less than the best, since you are so valuable to him.
Considering how valuable you are to God, think about the comments we've all heard people make which are critical about the physical aspects of another person. If those comments have been made about you, how does that make you feel? If you have made those comments about another, do you realize now that you have made those comments about a person who the Creator of the entire Universe died and shed his blood for?
If you have had those comments made about you, especially about something about you that you have no control over, these comments have probably caused you to feel inferior to others and also to the person making the comments. As such, you might be willing to compromise your virtue and change yourself in some way, to make yourself more accepting to this other person or group. I hope you realize that the approval of this person or group is meaningless when compared to the love and affection of the God of the Universe. And he already died to prove his love for you! Isn't waiting till you meet a real man worth it, (or a real woman, if you are a guy), who is willing to love you the way that God has intended?
Ever since I've heard the following songs, I've thought of those who have questioned their worth, or allowed their worth to be determined by others. Watch and listen to the lyrics and know that the God of the Universe loves you so much and wants the best for you.
Again, how did he show His love? By paying the debt for the sin we have committed, that He didn't deserve. He did this to provide us the opportunity to spend eternity with Him, which we don’t deserve. The following links and songs contrast God’s love for you and for each of us as compared to the selfish and hurtful comments and actions of people.
He Knows My Name - Francesca Battistelli
Furious Love - Veridia
Jonny Diaz - More Beautiful You
Lyrics - www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BWI1PxWrcw
Something Every Girl Needs To Hear - Alyssa Bethke
10 Things Every Teenage Girl Needs to Know
10 Lies Christian Teens Tell Themselves About Sex, Dating, and How Far Is Too Far
When my wife and I were dating and then engaged, we had already made the decision that we would not be sexually intimate till our wedding night. One of her friends asked her,
“Don’t you want to make sure you are both compatible physically before you get married? Shouldn’t you both ‘try it out’ so that you know everything will work, like trying on a pair of shoes?”
Using the shoes illustration, my wife responded to her,
“Hugo doesn't want to buy a pair of shoes that have already been ‘tried on’ by other people.”
Also, think about this logically. With millions and millions of marriages happening since the beginning of mankind, it is pretty easy to conclude that the physical aspect of the marriage relationship is virtually guaranteed to work just fine.
If you are a virgin, hopefully you have decided to remain so till marriage. Hopefully, knowing how valuable you are to God, how much He loves you, and that the earlier illustrations show how much you stand to lose gives you encouragement to wait until marriage. You may have “friends” who have already made the decision to give away their virginity, and they are giving you a hard time and/or are pressuring you to lose your virginity. An effective response I’ve heard to answer someone who is really pressuring you is,
“Any time I want, I can become just like you.
But you can never again become just like me”.
Sure, it's a blunt response, but are they showing you and your decision any consideration, or just contempt?
You may no longer be a virgin because of a mistake you’ve made in your past, and have now decided to remain pure until marriage. If you’ve not already asked God to forgive you of these mistakes I encourage you to do so. He is the God of forgiveness and second chances. If you have given away your virginity in the past but are committed to remaining pure till marriage, you may still be wondering how God can give you a second chance in this area. Check out the following links for encouragement in your commitment to now honor God in your physical life:
What is Secondary Virginity?
Can You Become a Virgin Again?
My wife was a virgin when we married, but I very regrettably was not. While she had committed to save herself for her future husband - even though we had never met - I had not saved myself for her. I had given in to the lies of the culture; “cost-free pleasure” and “it’s not hurting anyone”. In doing so, I sacrificed the gift I should have been saving for her on our wedding night.
The “Wedding Gift” I ended up giving to my wife for our marriage was to cause my wife to question herself for the first year of our marriage. She questioned herself, wondering how she compared to the other intimate relationships I had experienced in my past. Even though we talked about my past before we married and my commitment to her, she still had concerns and doubts for the better part of the first year we were married. Even though I repeatedly told her that she had nothing to worry about, it didn't lessen her concern for almost the first year of our marriage! I share this with you to encourage you to remain committed to save yourself for your spouse on your wedding night so that you don’t bring this “gift of doubt” into your marriage, as I had.
Something to think about regarding my wife’s feelings that first year which I didn't realize at that time. No matter how much reassurance I gave her, it didn't lessen her concerns about being compared. What caused this was that my previous decisions had really touched her emotions, and the only solution for this was time and my proving my commitment to her.
You may not have realized it before either, but emotions are so very influential to what we feel and the decisions we make. Advertisers know this, and that is why the best commercials are the ones that you connect with emotionally. Companies who market a product that makes you “feel” an emotion, are the ones who usually sell more of that product. Politicians also use this to appeal to voters.
We see these examples throughout the Bible of stories told to touch an other’s emotions. Read the account of King David and the impact of his affair with Bathsheba, and how the Prophet Nathan brought the King to the realization of his wrong actions by telling him a story. Considering the following reaction by King David, it is easy to see how effective a story can be in impacting the emotions.
"As the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die!"
Nathan then revealed the truth to King David that he, the king, was the wealthy man in the story. The story touched David’s heart.
2 Samuel 12 - Nathan Confronts David
Jesus used parables throughout the Gospels, to touch people and bring them to the realizations He wanted them to reach: The Woman at The Well, The Prodigal Son, The Sower and the Seeds, etc.
The Parables of Jesus
Hopefully you now see that when our emotions are involved, we can be hurt very deeply. Both men and women are affected by emotions, but I believe in the area of physical relationships that women can be affected to a much greater degree than men because they have so much more to lose. So guys, you want to be very careful as to the emotions you stir in a woman. You can leave her with a very lasting and painful impression of you. And if you are a young women, you want to make sure you guard your heart against persuasions designed to influence you to compromise your standards.
I also want to stress the importance of deciding your limits before you are in a situation where you could be compromised. The saying I've heard which best describes this is,
“You need to decide what you are going to do in a parked car before you are ever in the situation where you are in a parked car, not once you are there.”
I guarantee that if you choose to be in that type of situation, you will not be thinking clearly about your limits of intimacy and potential consequences. You will be caught up in the emotions of the moment, and much more willing to make your limits flexible. A discipline to practice in situations like this is to not allow yourself to be alone with that other person. If going on a date, make it a double date. If at a house, make sure other people are there.
When we are alone with the other person we have feelings for, it is easy to find ourselves having good intentions, but remember what happens to good intentions when you don’t have a plan. And if you don’t have transportation, call a friend or your parents. If you are thinking that you don’t want to inconvenience them, think about this question. Do you think they would consider it an inconvenience if they knew they could help you hold to your standards? Of course not.
Lastly, many students try to think about limits in this area using the question,
“As a Christian, how far can I go?”
Our former youth pastor recommends a change in one word of the question. Instead of the above wording, ask,
“As a Christian, how far should I go?”
To illustrate this idea, if you were at the Grand Canyon, would it be better to ask, “How close to the edge can I go?” or “How close to the edge should I go?”
If you are really committed to honoring God in those moments, change the statement to
“How close to God can I get?”
Remember, God will always honor your life if your decisions and actions are to honor him.
I would encourage you to work with Godly adults and/or your youth pastor/leaders to get their perspective on potentially compromising situations and how best to prepare/deal with them.
What does the Bible say?
Why Should I Save Sex for Marriage?
Sex Has A Price Tag – Pam Stenzel
Great Presentation on the significant potential negative impact of sex outside of marriage!
Public School Version
Is Sex Essential for Happiness?
The Gift of Sex
My boyfriend wants to have sex. I don't want to lose him. What should I do?
(Could also apply to a Christian guy by his girlfriend)
6 Reasons God Created Sex for Marriage
I’ve Got Sex On My Mind
Answering the “God Doesn’t Want Us to Have Fun” argument
Sex, Love, & Relationships - Josh McDowell
Statistics, Reality, and Resources