Sex Before Marriage: How Far is Too Far?

One of the most important issues Christian young people can decide on today is how they are going to maintain their purity – moral, spiritual, and of course, sexual – in an increasingly impure culture.

#1 Most-Read Article at CCEF.org of 2010!
This article is adapted from the minibook, Sex Before Marriage: How Far is Too Far? copyright © 2008 by Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation. Used by permission of New Growth Press and may not be downloaded and/or reproduced without prior written permission of New Growth Press.

Sex Before Marriage: How Far is Too Far?
Tim Lane

“We love each other and are faithful to each other, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having sex before we get married.”

“Isn’t it a good idea to see if we’re sexually compatible before we get married?”

“Don’t make sex before marriage into such a big deal— everyone does it.”

“I’m not going to let other people make me feel guilty just because I don’t buy into their value system.”

Have you ever thought or said things like this? If your answer is yes, you have a lot of company. Most people, at least in some circumstances, think premarital sex is okay. What was once frowned upon is now an accepted part of Western culture, and sex education usually means learning about “safe sex,” and how to take steps to avoid unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. But you have probably noticed that education about “safe sex” hasn’t protected those around you from experiencing hurt and broken relationships as they have experimented sexually. Since God made you and also created sex, why not take the time to look at what he has to say about your sexuality and how it should be expressed? You may be surprised at what you learn.

Christians haven’t always done a very good job talking about sex. Some avoid the topic all together, and others give the impression that sex is somehow inherently degrading and tainted. But God, in the Bible, doesn’t avoid the topic of sex or say that it is bad. Instead, God has a positive view of sex and also specific guidelines about how to express your sexuality. God is not a kill- joy—his guidelines for your sexuality are for your help, protection, and good.

What God Thinks About Sex
While the church has not always addressed the issue of sex in helpful ways, the Bible does. The most realistic, hopeful, and wise handling of sex is found there. You can always count on the Bible’s realism and directness. Biblical writers never shy away from controversial topics. They teach that the physical world is good and give guidance on how to rightfully enjoy it. This is true of sex as well.

Many people think that God, in the Bible, says that sex is inherently bad and sinful, but nothing could be further from the truth. At the very beginning, God looked at everything he created and said it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Even after sin entered into the world, the Bible never speaks of the physical world as inherently sinful. People do use physical things in wrong ways, but that doesn’t make physical activities like eating or sex wrong. Continue reading: “Sex Before Marriage…”

About blund

Brian J. Lund is minister of Word & Sacrament at Zion Evangelical & Reformed Church. You can follow him at his website or @BrianJLund.
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