Saving Sex for Marriage
Recently I saw an article discussing at what point in a relationship it was appropriate or best for people to begin having sex. The article really did not provide much clarity. It quoted people who thought a couple should engage in sexual relations early in the relationship and others who thought people ought to wait longer. If a conclusion was reached, it seemed to basically suggest people should wait until they both were comfortable/confident in the relationship before having sex. Very little was said in the article about waiting until a couple is married before having sex. The article reminded me of how different the world’s thinking on this topic is from what God’s word teaches on this topic. When does God say it is appropriate for a couple to begin having sex?
The Bible teaches God created mankind as sexual beings. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (NKJV). God told mankind, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28, NKJV). We see Adam and his wife Eve began obeying that mandate when Adam knew his wife Eve (a euphemistic expression for having sex) and she conceived and bore Cain, Abel, Seth, and other children (Genesis 4:1-2, 25; 5:4). God created mankind to reproduce sexually. The sexual relationship is pure when people follow God’s plan for how it is supposed to work. Sadly, mankind has departed from God’s plan when it comes to the sexual relationship as well as in other areas.
God’s word teaches sex is something to be reserved for a husband and a wife who are lawfully married. Hebrews 13:4 plainly states, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (NKJV). According to this passage, marriage and the sexual relationship which goes along with it is something honorable and not impure. The passage plainly teaches those who engage in sexual relations outside of a lawful marriage are going to be judged by God. Hebrews 13:4 clearly teaches a couple should not have sex until after they are married. 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 provides us with more information upon this topic. It says, “Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (NKJV). God expects us to avoid sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). The only way to have sex and avoid sexual immorality is to be lawfully married and have sex with one’s lawful spouse (1 Corinthians 7:2). God has plainly taught sex is to be saved for marriage and sex outside of marriage brings about scars and long-lasting consequences we would be better without (1 Corinthians 6:15-20). Proverbs 5 encourages a man to avoid the immoral woman and instead to find satisfaction in the sexual relationship with his wife (Proverbs 5:15-20). Sadly, many people in the world decide to engage in sexual relations prior to or outside of marriage. Studies done by men may debate whether such is beneficial or not. God’s word, which is true no matter what various studies claim (Romans 3:4), tells us such is sinful and harmful. Like with many decisions in life it comes down to who do we trust. Will we trust the so-called experts in the world? Will we trust the latest poll done on when people thought was the best time to start having sex? Will we trust our own fallible feelings? Or will we instead trust God knows what is best for us in this area as well as all other areas of life (Deuteronomy 6:24; 10:13)?
Like many in our society, the article did not make any distinction between heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Since the Bible teaches sex is reserved for those lawfully married to one another and the Bible plainly teaches marriage from the beginning is between a man and a woman (Genesis 1:27; 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6), the Bible does not permit the practice of homosexuality. In fact, the Bible would even specifically identify homosexuality as a sin which will keep one from inheriting the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Additionally, homosexuality is described as being against nature and sinful (Romans 1:26-28).
Our society’s attitudes toward when it is appropriate and best to have sex have certainly changed and are not the same as God’s standard. Let’s be resolved not to be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2) but rather to save sex to be between a man and a woman in a lawful marriage.