Sex. I’m sure there is a lot that you already know about it, but do you know what God has said about it? You probably know its effects and can name a few people that are sexually active. In fact, I bet that it’s safe to say that all of you here have been sexually active before. Maybe with a partner or not with a partner. Either way, I do not come to you as a sex ed. teacher. I come to you as a concerned brother in Christ. I want to show you the beauty and value of sex so that you will wait until marriage and remain pure.
Let’s look at a few statistics. According to Facts on American Teens’ Sexual and Reproductive Health by the Guttmacher Institute, “. . .fewer than 2% of adolescents have had sex by the time they reach their 12th birthday. But adolescence is a time of rapid change. Only 6% of teens have had sex by age 15, compared with one-third of those aged 16, nearly half (48%) of those aged 17, 61% of 18-year-olds and 71% of 19-year-olds. There is little difference by gender in the timing of first sex.” These stats are not surprising but they are discouraging. Another that stood out to me read “. . .Among sexually experienced teens, 70% of females and 56% of males report that their first sexual experience was with a steady partner, while 16% of females and 28% of males report first having sex with someone they had just met or who was just a friend.”
Something is definitely wrong there. The problem that we run into when these numbers and percentages are laid on our desks is that this isn’t just the “world” we are talking about here. That “one-third of those aged 16” includes believers. If that is true, then 1 out of 3 teens (Christian and non-Christian) are sexually active.
What Does the Bible Say About Sex Before Marriage?
There is no Hebrew or Greek word used in the Bible that precisely refers to sex before marriage. The Bible undeniably condemns adultery and sexual immorality, but is sex before marriage considered sexually immoral? From a clear observation of 1 Corinthians 7:2, the answer is yes. “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” (ESV) Some Corinthian Christians appear to have adopted the view that sexual relations of any kind, even within marriage, should be avoided. Here’s what they said: “. . .It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” (v. 1b) Paul seeks to carefully refute this view throughout this chapter. In v. 2 Paul states that marriage is the “cure” for sexual immorality. It is essentially saying that, because people cannot control themselves and so many are having immoral sex outside of marriage, people should get married. Then they can fulfill their passions in a moral way. There are numerous Scriptures that declare sex before marriage to be a sin (Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7) Sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations of which God approves “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Hebrews 13:4 ESV)
Sex Within Marriage is Pleasurable: God Designed it That Way
Far too often we focus on the “recreation” aspect of sex without recognizing that there is another aspect—procreation. Sex within marriage is pleasurable, and God designed it that way. God wants men and women to enjoy sexual activity within the confines of marriage. He did say to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 9:1b) but He also has said much about the pleasure of sex to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage. Some examples are the entire book of the Song of Solomon, Proverbs 5:19 “a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love,” and other Scriptures. However, the couple must understand that God’s intent for sex includes producing children. Thus, for a couple to engage in sex before marriage is doubly wrong—they are enjoying pleasures not intended for them, and they are taking a chance of creating a human life outside of the family structure God intended for every child.
If you’ve messed up sexually, there is hope in the gospel. You know what the gospel is. It is the good news of salvation found in Jesus Christ. If you will trust in Him, He will forgive your sin and make you a new person (Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17).
Remain sexually pure. Ask God for help. Avoid sexually tempting situations. Be accountable. Rely on God’s grace, not your own strength. He will empower you to do right.
References: Statistics: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-ATSRH.html
Further Helps: http://www.gotquestions.org/sex-before-marriage.html