10 Reasons Not to Have Sex Outside of Marriage
by Ed Arcton
Examples of couples engaging in extra-marital sex are all around us. There’s no way to avoid it—today’s culture fills our minds with hundreds of reasons to just go ahead and have sex outside of marriage.
But as Christians, we don’t want to follow everyone else. We want to follow Christ and know what the Bible says about sex before marriage.
10 GOOD REASONS NOT TO HAVE SEX OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE
REASON #1 – GOD TELLS US NOT TO HAVE SEX OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE
In the seventh of God’s Ten Commandments, he instructs us not to have sex with anyone other than our spouse.
If you fully obey the LORD your God … [he] will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God … (NIV)
God has a good reason for giving us this command. First and foremost, he knows what’s best for us. When we obey him, we trust God to look out for our best interests.
REASON #2 – THE EXCLUSIVE BLESSING OF THE WEDDING NIGHT
There’s something special about a couple’s first time. In this physical act, the two become one flesh. Yet sex represents more than just physical oneness—a spiritual union takes place. God planned for this exclusive experience of discovery and pleasure to happen only within the intimacy of marriage. If we don’t wait, we miss out on a unique blessing from God.
1 Corinthians 6:16
Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” (The Message)
REASON #3 – BE SPIRITUALLY HEALTHIER
If we live as carnal Christians, we’ll seek to gratify the desires of the flesh and please ourselves. The Bible says we cannot please God if we live this way. We’ll be miserable under the weight of our sin. As we feed our fleshly desires, our spirit will grow weak and our relationship with God will be destroyed. Complacency over sin leads to worse sin, and eventually, spiritual death.
Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live … (NIV)
REASON #4 – BE PHYSICALLY HEALTHIER
This is a no-brainer. If we refrain from sex outside of marriage, we will be protected from the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
1 Corinthians 6:18
Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. (NLT)
REASON #5 – BE EMOTIONALLY HEALTHIER
One reason God tells us to keep the marriage bed pure relates to baggage. We carry baggage into our sexual relationships. Past memories, emotional scars, and unwanted mental images can defile our thoughts, making the marriage bed less than pure.
Certainly, God can forgive the past, but that doesn’t immediately free us from lingering mental and emotional baggage.
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (NIV)
REASON #6 – CONSIDER YOUR PARTNER’S WELL-BEING
If we put concerns for our partner’s needs and spiritual well-being above our own, we’ll be compelled to wait for sex. We, like God, will want what’s best for them.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; (NASB)
REASON #7 – WAITING IS A TEST OF TRUE LOVE
Love is patient. That’s as simple as it gets. We can discern the sincerity of our partner’s love by his or her willingness to wait.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Love is patient, love is kind … It is not rude, it is not self-seeking … (NIV)
REASON #8 – AVOID NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES
There are consequences to sin. Its effects can be devastating. An unwanted pregnancy, a decision to have an abortion or place a child for adoption, broken relationships with family—these are just a few of the possible outcomes we could face when we have sex outside of marriage.
Consider the snowball effect of sin. And what if the relationship does not last? Hebrews 12:1 says that sin hinders our lives and easily entangles us. We are better off to avoid sin’s negative consequences.
REASON #9 – KEEP YOUR TESTIMONY INTACT
We don’t set a very good example of godly living when we disobey God. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:12 to “be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” (NIV)
In Matthew 5:13 Jesus compares his followers to “salt” and “light” in the world. When we lose our Christian testimony, we no longer shine the light of Christ. We lose our “saltiness,” becoming flavorless and bland. We can no longer attract the world to Christ. Luke 14:34-35 puts it strongly, saying that salt without saltiness is worthless, not even fit for the manure pile.
REASON #10 – DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS
When we choose to have sex outside of marriage, we settle for less than God’s perfect will—for ourselves and our partner. We may live to regret it.
Here’s food for thought: If your partner wants sex before marriage, consider this a warning sign of his or her spiritual condition. If you are the one who wants sex before marriage, consider this an indicator of your own spiritual condition.
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