Why is sex before marriage wrong? And how far is considered too far?
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
“Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
THE RIGHT PATH
Breakaway receives tons of letters every day from guys with all kinds of questions about manhood, sex, love and dating. Maybe you have sent us a letter, too.
For some solid answers, let’s visit a construction site. (Stay with me—you’ll soon get my point!)
The first thing you notice is the chaos: wood, wire and pipes scattered on the ground. Then you see a bunch of hardworking men moving in every direction. Hang around for a while and you quickly learn something about the crew: World-class construction guys build world-class structures.
They always demand world-class blueprints. Their skilled hands follow the design to the 16th of an inch. The carpenters, masons, electricians, plumbers and excavators huddle around the blueprint throughout the day, like a football team huddling around the quarterback. Then they break the huddle and work together like a family.
Guys, God has designed your bod and brain with intense care. He knows your sex life is the most intricately connected mental, physical and spiritual part of your entire being—that it has incredible potential for intimacy and fulfillment, but equal potential for absolute disaster (for example, AIDS or abortion).
Since sex is so powerful, the Bible gives clear directions and limits for its use. In essence, follow God’s architectural blueprint for your sex life and you’ll build a lifetime of happiness with your future bride.
GOD’S DESIGN FOR SEX
In the passage above, notice God clearly called it “the marriage bed”—not the motel one-night stand, the fraternity formal after-party, the we’re-in-love-now Saturday night, or even the engagement party. No, this is way too special for anything less than a bonded by holy marriage for life relationship.
Check out another passage: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18).
When God says that sexual sin is not only sin against Him, but also against your bod, He couldn’t give a more descriptive warning. But our blatant selfishness in this area continues to create the same painful scenario day after day. Most of the pain mail I receive involves another gutted victim of sexual sin. As one pregnant and abandoned 15-year-old girl said, “I feel like I had 200 knives go through me.”
When God says “flee,” He means “run for your lives,” as my friend Josh McDowell puts it. If the movie gets lusty, walk out. If the “how are you” hug borders on sensual, quickly exit. If the kiss leads your thoughts further, it’s time to go home. If a lonely apartment is available, stay a million miles away. If she continues to proposition you, break up. When you think of this great Bible verse, just say a little phrase to yourself: “Run, baby, run.”
In 1 Thessalonians 4:3, we read: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.”
As much as I’ve studied God’s blueprint for life, I’ve seen only two places where He says in exactly these words, “This is God’s will for you.” He couldn’t be more directly to the point when He says, “Hey guys, you’ve gotta get this straight. Sexual immorality—any sex outside marriage—is a huge mistake. I’ll give you the strength to resist. I’ll give you the power to follow the plan I have for you.”
Face it, guys, the maze of sexual choices can be tough to resist in this day and age. The typical relationship-advice column is the biggest joke in the newspaper. But we have the Master’s plan—God’s Word—and His promise to guide us.
Joe White runs the Kanakuk-Kanakomo Kamps in Missouri and is the author of several books.