What does the Bible say
about sex before marriage?
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to our team of mature Christians known as the Email Evangelists.
Question: Are there any explicit passages in the Bible about sex before marriage?
Answer: Sex before marriage is usually discussed along with other forms of adultery in the Bible. Jesus gave us the clearest spiritual as well as physical application of God's Commandment to not have sex with another person outside of marriage when he stated we are not even to LUST after another person in our hearts. Doing so, according to Christ, is the same as adultery (Matthew 5:28)
In the Old Testament women were never permitted to be close enough to any male until they were betrothed and then only under chaperoned conditions. Sex before marriage not only was not permitted, it came with penalties - some of which were severe. A betrothed woman was legally bound to her future husband even if she had never met him - so if another male took her virginity she was considered immoral and could be stoned to death for adultery along with the male. If an unbetrothed woman and a single man had sex, the man was to pay the woman's family a certain amount of money and was forced to marry her - and never be able to divorce her (Deuteronomy 22:28 - 29).
God promises blessing to his people when they obey Him and do not sin. When we do not commit adultery, we are protected from a variety of things in this world such as diseases related to illicit sex, unhappy relationships, divorce, and a unwanted pregnancy to name just a few.
There are several reasons why God gave humans a sex drive. One of the most important is to insure not only that the human race continues, but that God ultimately has BILLIONS of potential beings who can ultimately become his spiritual children, be just like him, and live forever. Couples sleeping together that are not married, even with the best intentions, are putting themselves into a situation where it is easy to be tempted and sin. Humans were made with a DRIVE (and not a suggestion or simple desire) to have intercourse, primarily through hormones and other chemicals within the body. Couples who place themselves in such tempting environments are underestimating (or lying to themselves about) the power of this drive and how an 'innocent' situation can quickly turn into fornication.