Question:

A friend of mine, age 19, recently told me that he and his fiancée have made the decision to "make love" before they are married. They have been in love for several years and have prayed about their decision a lot. He told me that they feel that if they are engaged and will be married that it is OK for them to have sex before they are married. I don't think that it is right, but I kind of wanted to have the opinion of someone who probably knows the Bible better than I do -- I'm learning more every day. Please let me know what you think about this. Thank you very much and God bless.

Chuck's response:

Thanks for the note about your friends who feel it is OK to have sex before marriage because they are engaged. I smiled when you said they "prayed" about it. Their prayer didn't reach the ceiling because this is one of the fundamental principles God has set up. If a couple is married, then there are NO RULES with regard to sex (except both partners need to be comfortable with what is going on). The marriage bed is "undefiled," the Bible says.

However, if the couple are not married, then God's viewpoint changes. Sex was designed BY GOD to be the icing on the cake of MARRIAGE, not dating relationships. The Bible tells us not to defraud each other, in other words, don't bring another person to sexual passion without having a God-approved way of releasing the pressure (marriage). God condemns adultery -- where one person is married -- and fornication -- where both are single. God says that adultery in the mind is just as if the person committed adultery in the flesh. I believe the same is true with regard to singles committing fornication. When couples touch each other intimately and arouse passions, their minds are filled with sexual thoughts and scenes. But the only God-approved way to consummate this passion is in the marriage bed.

Marital sex is the highest ecstasy this life offers. God is not some spoilsport. He placed these power charges in our bodies. However, He asks that all of this activity -- raising intimate passions -- be done in the sanctity of marriage. Your friends are single, and if they want to please God, then they need to abstain from ANY sexual play until after they are married. I realize this will mean some cold showers for them, but it is well worth the wait. There's another factor, too. I've seen sex before marriage take the edge off the delight after the marriage. It becomes old hat, it is not special with a person's wife or husband because it is not something new and exciting. In fact, most of the time there is guilt, and sometimes resentment that the partner was not stronger in resisting sex during the dating years. A sweet, 15-second goodnight kiss is wonderful. Holding hands on the way to church or a ball game is fantastic. Putting an arm around a person at the school play is marvelous, but anything further contaminates this whole area of life that is meant to be the glue to keep a married couple contented and satisfied.

I don't know if your friends will take instruction from you, but here are some scriptures they might consider:

2 Chronicles 21: 11
Isaiah 23:17
Ezekiel 16:26
Ezekiel 16:29
Matthew 5:32
Matthew 19:9
John 8:41
Acts 15:20
Acts 15:29
Acts 21:25
Romans 1:29
I Corinthians 5:1
I Corinthians 6:13
I Corinthians 6:18
I Corinthians 7:2
I Corinthians 10:8
2 Corinthians 12:21
Galatians 5:19
Ephesians 5:3
Colossians 3:5
I Thessalonians 4:3
Jude 1:7
Revelation 2:14
Revelation 2:20
Revelation 2:21
Revelation 9:21
Revelation 14:8
Revelation 17:2
Revelation 17:4
Revelation 18:3
Revelation 18:9
Revelation 19:2

Thanks for being so concerned about your friends. I hope they want to do the right thing. Let me know if you want to talk further.

With God's Love,
Chuck Snyder

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