Dr. Jim’s article about sex before marriage offers guidance to Christian singles about looking for what God wants from us while in a relationship and why saving sex for marriage is important for God and for both partners. Here’s how to prevent sexual sins and keep a healthy relationship while protecting what God wants for all of us.
Sex before marriage or so-called “recreational sex”.
“I recently made the comment to a friend, that ‘I didn’t feel that sex outside of marriage was acceptable to God. That God had a purpose for people having sex and that sex for recreation wasn’t accepted.’ I was told God isn’t that strict and it was recommended that I talk to a pastor, so what can you tell me?”
The above email was received this week and I suspect that it applies to many single adults. God is a wonderful loving God and wants His children to enjoy themselves – right? He is not about rules and regulations but about experiencing life to the fullest. Is this your thinking?
I realize that the underpinning of this thinking relates to much more than a question about sex. It has to do with a personal belief system and how one relates to the truth. I find this way of thinking to be very prevalent in our societies.
The response to such a question must go to a point of foundation. It is not a matter of what we want to believe or would like to believe, but is founded in the truth.
The following truths are found both in the Bible and in my personal walk:
- God did not create sin. His plan was for you and I to live in a Garden of Eden with an abundance of life and joy. However, to be able to make us in His image, He had to create us with freewill/choice. Otherwise we would be ‘things’ and more like robots without any choice.
- Out of our freewill/choice, Adam and Eve allowed their focus to move to the one thing that they did not have versus the zillion things that they did have and enjoy. This was the first move to the ‘have not’ village and the results are what you and I experience every day. Let me be quick to add that it is not the choice of Adam or Eve that convicts us of our sin, but our own personal choices and self-centeredness.
- The result of this sin allowed the influence and power of Satan to come to bear on our lives. In the Garden of Eden (as it will be in Heaven) I believe that there was no illness, no death, and no toil. The sad reality is that now Satan has great power in this world. Rest assured that there are many supernatural spirits present in this world who are connected with Satan and not of God. These are the demons of disease, death, and destruction. Because of freewill, we invite Satan to work in our lives.
- People have tried since Adam and Eve to place God in a box. The attempt is made to see God within one’s own understanding, experiences, and desires. God is not in a box and will not be placed into one. Isaiah 55:8 tells us “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
With this foundation, let’s move to what God really says very clearly about sexual activity. The Apostle Paul uses the word ‘fornication’ when describing sexual sin. Fornication is defined as any sexual activity outside of marriage. The Message translates Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6:18 “There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another.” (Here is another article on the topic of living together before marriage)
Pre-marital sex is a widely accepted practice – even among many Christian singles. This view says that God made our sexual appetites and there is no harm in mutually consensual sexual activity. Not only does Paul/God clearly state that it is a sin (outside of God’s will), it also causes us harm. How so?
The practical case against sex before marriage:
- The US Center for Disease Control web site tells us that 1 out of 5 adolescents and adults in the US have Genital Herpes. There is a direct disease connection to the practice of recreation sex.
- No one will dispute the high divorce rate that we have today. I believe that this is another illustration in how sex and the general application of selfish desires has a negative impact on our lives.
- God intended sex for two reasons:
- Procreation; &,
- The ongoing connection of two becoming one flesh in marriage. To have pre-marital sex is to play games with our inner spirit by feeding it a diet of voices that say, ‘this is the one’ – no – ‘this is the one’ – no – ‘this one is now the one.’ The fact is that we lose touch with reality and become incapable of discerning when we are in the presence of a real, potential relationship that leads to marriage.
- Pre-marital sexual relations only serve a selfish purpose. It is not about valuing the other person as a whole person but as an object of desire. It ignores the other ingredients so essential in building a healthy and fulfilling relationship. I see it more like one that insists on eating a diet completely of sugar and then wondering why they do not have the strength and stamina for enjoying life. It is so askew to one element of a relationship that it destroys the other elements. I have yet to find a dating relationship that practiced recreational sex be able to focus on the deeper elements of a relationship in a healthy manner. Once sex enters the picture it takes over the relationship and everything is dictated by how it might affect the sex life. This sets into motion the actions that destroy relationships.
Has God changed His mind about sex before marriage?
There is more and I invite you to begin an earnest study of the truth and how it applies to sexual intercourse before marriage. God has not changed His mind. Truth is not altered by desire or wishes. Truth is still the truth and God is all about the truth that will set us free.
I pray that God uses this to encourage you to make choices that move you toward the joy and fulfillment you are seeking and away from those choices that imprison and set you into a spiraling, confusing, disappointing direction.