What does the Bible say about sex before marriage?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
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 ...

July 01 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Eced7a1f c81d 42f4 95ea 9d5719dce241 Singapore Moses Messenger of God, CEO in IT industry, Astronaut, Scientist
God forbids pre-marital sex. A widower cannot have sex with anyone else outside his marriage.

Widower may marry another unless he or she has been widowed or divorced or freed from the marriage bonds on scriptural grounds (Mt. 5:31- 32 19:1- 8 1Cor. 7:10- 17).

Bible teaches "One for One—only!", otherwise it will be polygamy, fornication or adultery.
"Marriage should be honoured by all and the marriage bed kept pure" (Heb 13:4)

Chastity is a virtue common to both sexes. Because of social, cultural restraints and legal prescription, one may not have actually indulged in adultery. But it is rather more important that we must keep inwardly pure in our thoughts and feelings, for that is the requirement in God's eyes regarding this matter.

Physical union though instituted by God is not the basis of marriage. Marriage is first spiritual, then physical. When that order is reversed infidelity creeps in. We may be bodily pure but the heart can become corrupt and adulterous. Joy and laughter fill and freely flow the newlyweds. But the initial endearing expressions of love pass with a passage of time and that is when the couple must take extra care to continue in love. Malachi 2:15 admonishes, "Guard yourself in spirit and do not break faith with the wife of your youth."

The only commandment that is sort of repeated within the Ten Commandments is with reference to adultery. Commandment Seven: "You shall not commit adultery;" Commandment Ten: "You shall not covet your neighbour's wife" (Ex 20:14,17). Almost all the New Testament Epistles speak against adultery and fornication (Rom 13:12-14; 1 Cor 6:13-20; 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 4:17-24; Col 3:1-7; 1 Thess 4:3-7; 2 Tim 2:21,22; 1 Pet 2:9-11; 4:1-3; 2 Pet 2:9,10).

Here are a few practical suggestions to help you remain faithful to your spouse: Realize whom God has given you as partner is the best for you. God knows all about us and our times are in His hand and knowledge. We can trust God our Father that He has given us the best. At any cost avoid comparing your spouse with another person. This is extremely dangerous. It is unavoidable that a person's defects become obvious when you live long enough and close enough with him or her. Satan tempts you here to dream of a perfect person. His suggestions will be appealing but deadly. The truth is that there is no perfect husband or perfect wife or perfect couple!

Learn to enjoy things together. When you visit families, do go as a family. No saint on this earth is beyond the reach of the devil. We don't become sin-proof on this side of eternity. By mutual consent you may for a time of special prayer stay apart; but get back to each other soon (1 Cor 7:5). Sort out differences through patience and dialogue as and when they arise. Shalom to your home!

June 17 2014 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Me Lynda Hickman Homemaker, plumber, carpenter, all around gearhead
As a woman widowed twice I felt impelled to answer this Q in regards to widows & widowers. However, it really doesn't matter why an individual is not married, His Word remains the same.

First I will say that both of my husbands were devoted & faithful to the LORD. And they were supportive & faithful to me, according to Scripture.
I could not have asked for more.

English dictionaries today, define "fornication" as being consensual sexual intercourse between two people who are not married to each other.
And I must add that in an old Webster's dictionary the wording is different, instead of "two people" it says "man & a woman."
Sadly, that small change in wording reflects a huge change in morality!
I didn't meant to get off on a rabbit trail but I thought that was an interesting side note.

In the OT, the meaning of the word "fornication" is clear: harlotry, prostitution, being unfaithful to GOD.

In the NT, it comes from a Greek word (pornos) from which we get the word PORNOGRAPHY! According to my Greek Lexicon, the word pornos is a masculine noun but the NT does not use the word gender specific. So while we most often think of pornography as something men get involved in, according to the Internet, at least 20% of women take a daily dose of porn.

What does all of that have to do with being single or with widows/widowers? Actually, it has everything to do with all Christians.

There is a misconception even among "believers" that "fornication" is only a physical act. But the truth is, just as Jesus said about adultery (Matt 5:28), if looking at a woman (or man) with lust (covetous desire) is adultery, then it only stands to reason that if a person seeks sexual pleasure by looking at porn, they are committing fornication.

In Mark 7:20-22 Jesus spoke of what comes out of our hearts; adultery, fornication, murder...
Whether we are single by choice or by circumstance, or whether we are married, we are admonished to live as His saints, those who walk & live according to His Word. And fornication & all uncleanness must not be found in us. Eph 5:3
We are to put to death in our flesh those things: "fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire & idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of GOD is coming upon the sons of disobedience." Col 3:5-6

We must not be numbered among them! Hebrews 13:4 tells us that GOD will judge fornicators & adulterers. 

Paul explained (2 Cor 6:12) that we are constrained, that is restricted (straitened) by our own affections. While it is true that in magnets, opposites attract, that is not the case with people, regardless of what the common saying is. 
The truth is, the things we like, attract us. And we can get bound by the "straits" of those desires. That is why he emphatically told us not to be "unequally yoked." (2 Cor 6:14)

We as Christians, who serve the living GOD of all creation, must not form relationships (bonds, intimacy, connection) with those on the "outside."
(Mk 4:11; 1 Cor 5:12-13; Col 4:5; 1 Thes 4:12; 1 Tim 3:7; Rev 22:15)

While we are not judge them (1 Cor 5:12), we are not to keep company with those who claim to be Christians but are "sexually immoral, covetous, idolaters, a reviler, a drunkard or an extortioner," we are not even to sit down to eat with such people. 1 Cor 5:9-11

And those of us who are single, are much more at risk if we do not heed Paul's warning. For we have no one to rely on to help discern the risk.

While my husband lived, he protected me & I him. We stood as watchmen for each other. A solitary person has no such protection. 
So it is much safer to keep our distance from those things that might entangle us.
And that is sound reason that all believers should be in fellowship with the body of believers in a solid Scripture believing church. That is protection. 

And I will end by saying to all those who are single, do not tempt your flesh!
Instead, find your joy, happiness & fulfillment in your relationship with Christ.

September 10 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

9aa51e4b447252291b959c696fb96539 400x400 Jeremiah Kaaya Pastor at Springs of Power Church, Teacher by professional
I do not think we even have to bother ourselves as Christians as to whether it is sin to have sex before marriage or not. The Bible which is our supreme Constitution, God's letter to us, God's will to us has been and is always clear on this. Sex itself is not bad and it was in God's plan for it to be the way it is. How we do it is what should be discussed if we are to do so.

Man in his own sinful way has tried with the help of the devil to manipulate God's creation, idea and intention to the extent that we have reached the extent whereby we have sometimes been reduced to discussing issues such as homosexuality. 

Sex before marriage is Biblically, ideally, morally wrong. In the book of Mark 7:21, Jesus in His own words clearly lists FORNICATION as one of the sins that proceed out of some one and which do lead to condemnation by God. FORNICATION is none other than having sex before marriage. God does not only want us to have children, but covenant children. Covenant children can only be gotten in holy marriage. The reason Jesus manifested in the flesh was to put right all that went wrong, if our fore fathers erred on this, we of today should endeavor through the help of the Holy Spirit to bring things back to normal. If you are caught to have gotten saved while in an unholy marriage, you have no other choice but to put things right by going to church and be joined in holy marriage. After that, you should never again bother yourself with whatever happened before you accepted Jesus to be your LORD and SAVIOR. When we accept Jesus to be LORD and SAVIOR, we are cleansed from all the past.

The Apostle Paul also was clear on this in Galatians 5:19. He mentioned FORNICATION as one of the sins that will lead many to eternal damnation.

October 30 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Ema Sabau
Matthew 19
9And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for FORNICATION and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Matthew 5
32But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Acts 15
20But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 

Matthew 5
28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

There are two different words in entire Bible about the sexual sin,before or after marriage. 

In Old Testament the word "fornication" is used to describe an sexual act between girl unmarried and a man. That explain clearly the fact fornication is sexual sin before marriage.

If somebody wants to find out about what I said,please take a Bible concordance. There so many thanks to the internet. Reading careful you will find very interesting things related to this sin.

Today many so called theologians try to make one word describing this sin,sexual sin. Please,please do not believe them . Take a Bible but not any translation because not all the books with this word "Bible" printed on cover is indeed the real Bible. Pray and read, read and pray to God to revel the truth about this. 

I have to make clear this; sexual sin is like all other sins FORGIVABLE in one condition if it is confessed and give up on it.

October 29 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

052 Dannie Murdoch Father and Grandfather. Former Deacon for maintenance.
As followers of Christ we need to live our lives as an example to others as best we can and with the leading of the Holy Spirit. The fact that you've asked the question leads me to think the Holy Spirit is prompting you to change you're life style. Like all sinners (me included) our walk with God needs to grow and change and in your case getting married and committing to Christ is the next step. Remember if we accept Jesus our lives will change however will still sin but we can't keep on committing the same sin. That continual sin needs to be addressed, find a church where Jesus is the centre of worship and praise and the Pastor speaks Gods words from the Bible he will take you through the reasons for marriage and show you the way forward. God Bless,

October 28 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Votc profilepic2 Joe Colling
For those who are born again, consult the holy spirit on this matter - He lives inside you. He WILL talk to you concerning this. Ephesians 5:3-5 could be helpful too. 

For those NOT born-again, consult the Torah (Mosaic Law). Review Deuteronomy and Leviticus.

Have a nice day.

October 28 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Open uri20150122 31549 1ruiwsl Jyotish Mishra Saved by grace through faith in JESUS CHRIST.
In addition to what has been stated I would like to add that Abraham went into Hagar after Sarai gave her to be his wife Genesis 16:3-4. Jacob went into Leah and Rachel after marriage and he also went into Billah after Rachel gave him to be his wife Genesis 30:4. Jacob went into Zilpah after Leah gave him to be his wife Genesis 30:9.

Our Lord's foster father kept Mary his espoused wife a virgin till she delivered our Lord. Please read Matthew 1:25. The Holy Spirit reiterates this point in Luke 2:5. Up to this time Mary is being addressed as the betrothed wife.

Further in Exodus 22:16 we read about the provision of punishment for a person who tries to violate the modesty of a virgin. 

Our Lord says we are to be holy because He is Holy. Moreover believers bodies are the temple of God as we read in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. It is interesting to note in the following chapter ie Chapter 7 of 1Corinthians Paul extensively deals the issue of sexual immorality and marriage. The younger widows are also permitted to marry to avoid sexual immorality as we read in 1Timothy5:14.

I know and understand that sex is a powerful emotion and wants its outlet but God says first marriage and then go for sex. Our God is a faithful God and He in His faithfulness protect us from this temptation as per His promise contained in Corinthians 10:13. So pray and wait for His time who makes beautiful in His time. Let everything be done decently and in order 1Corinthians 14:40. It is just like first we believe and then take baptism and then only the baptism becomes honourable in the sight of God as we read in Mark 16:16.

February 18 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Danny Hickman Supporter Believer in The Gospel Of Jesus Christ
Is this question about marriage? I don't think it is; I think it's a lot deeper than that. I think it's more about trying to assess what God thinks about "sex for fun." I believe the question is 'What does God think (not 'say,' He doesn't say anything about it) about us having sex strictly for fun? I don't think it has to be phrased that way for us to know whether God thinks it's a good way for us to live.

That is what we're to keep in mind, the fact that God is greatly concerned about the quality of our lives. Does 'sex strictly for fun' enhance the quality of our lives, or are our lives devalued by it? The answer to that depends on whom you ask. 

The scriptures don't offer a single example of a woman having sex just for the fun of it. Did women in antiquity not enjoy a roll in the hay 'just for fun?' I think so! Then why is there no example of it? 

There is at least one example of a man "going in to a prostitute" that constitutes him wanting some sex just for the pleasure of it. 

Genesis 38 records the story of Judah, one of Jacob's sons, unknowingly impregnating his daughter-in-law, Tamar. His wife had died. The bible says, 'When he got over her death,' he and his friend Hirah went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers. His daughter-in-law Tamar, to whom he had not kept a promise that he'd made about arranging for her to marry one of his sons, heard that he was coming to town and started plotting about how to get even. She dressed up like a prostitute, hid her face and camped out in the "red light" district.

Sure enough, he sees her and says, "Come, let me come in to you" (Genesis 38:16). He wants to have casual sex with no strings attached. This is very normal. His wife was deceased and he had normal fleshly needs and desires. 

There's no example in scripture of a woman behaving this way. Tamar isn't said to be doing this because she needs to "get some." Her husband, Judah's son Er had died. That's why Judah was in debt to her via a promise he made her. His second son Onan was supposed to provide Tamar with offspring after Er had left her a widow, but when he 'went in to her,' he would emit his semen on the ground, thereby selfishly denying her an offspring that would be considered not to be his, but belonging to his deceased brother. It was evil in the sight of God, so God put him to death also. 

His third son Shelah was too young to marry, so Tamar was to wait for him to grow up and they would be married. (This woman was in real limbo). The boy had grown up and Judah had not kept his promise. 

Here's the lesson I receive from this: Judah, like many of us, wanted what doesn't exist; he wanted 'sex with no strings attached.' He wanted sex just for pleasure. This story tries to teach us that it's never that way. 

There's more to be learned from this:

Men are given an awesome responsibility to be supportive of women in our society. But instead, we often try to use them for our selfish wants and desires. Judah wasn't a bad guy; he was just 'being a man.' Tamar wasn't a prostitute, she was a widow in a difficult situation. She took off her widow clothes and "played the harlot." 

About three months later Judah finds out she's "pregnant by immorality," and passes judgment and sentences her to be burned. But she had (DNA) proof that he was the father. 

"She is more righteous than I" since I didn't keep my promise to her. His response reminds us of how David responded when it was revealed to him by Nathan the prophet that he had sinned against God, Bathsheba, Uriah, and his own body (2 Sam 12), when he got Bathsheba pregnant and had her husband Uriah killed to cover it up. 

These stories tell us what God thinks about us having casual sex. 

The women, however, made out alright. Tamar gave birth to a son called Perez. "May your house be like the house of Perez," is how the elders blessed Boaz (Ruth 4:12). That speaks for itself of his importance in Judah's lineage. Bathsheba gave birth to Solomon.

God can't be outdone.

December 05 2022 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Open uri20160825 6966 rhyaou John Matthews Retired Professional Singer, Conductor and Seeker
My opinion is that there is no act or concept which is in conjunction with today's concept of marriage. In biblical times, relationships were arranged for the most part. It was considered a barter system of "marriage." Oh, love might have entered into the equation, but it was not necessary. The simple act of a man "laying" with a woman was considered a contract of betrothal. Compensation was paid and the contract became binding. 

If a woman, after this betrothal, lay with another man, making her an adulterer, she was to be put to death. If the man lay with another woman who was not married, then she became his wife. If not, then he was to be considered an adulterer. In Deuteronomy 22:22-29 these rules are laid out for conduct concerning "laying" with a woman. Adulterers shall be put to death.

Female adulterers are women who are betrothed to another and have sex with a different man. She would be considered something else if she was not betrothed and was sleeping with several men. This would constitute sexual immorality.

Male adulterers are men who have sex with women already betrothed or have sex with unbetrothed women and don't take them as his wife (sexual immorality.) 

Biblically, a man is betrothed if he lays with a woman who is not betrothed already. It's pretty clear to me. In most translations, sexual immorality only exists if a man or woman disregard the practice of taking a woman as his "wife" or lays with someone already betrothed. 

1 Corinthians 7:2 says nothing about pre-marital sex. It just talks about sexual immorality. Sex outside of marriage is a sin for a woman. It is a sin for a man if he does not take the sexual partner for a wife. Since "marriage" is a legal condition, the act of premarital sex means that if the act is done, the couple are betrothed and become "one" in the Lord. If she is faithful, she fulfills the contract. If the man lays with another woman, he is betrothed to her. Sexual immorality exists only if these rules are broken.

In today's world, a Christian couple can live together and have sexual relations without a legal marriage certificate and still be "married" in the eyes of the Lord. A legal document does not constitute a marriage in God's eyes. There is no such thing as sex before marriage in the Bible. The act of sex itself constituted marriage as long as both were single and the woman not betrothed. 

I seem to be somewhat pedantic in my explanation, but in the long run, it is best to be chaste until a couple decides to commit to each other for life. Sex usually complicates the matter. Since bigamy is not legal in the United States, a man can only have one wife. Biblically, a woman could only have one husband anyway so she was covered by biblical and civic law.

So, to make a long explanation short, according to the Bible, having sex before legally binding the union has no bearing. The the act itself constitutes marriage in God's eyes. If the relationship continues until death, then that is a wonderful "marriage." If not, then immorality and sin come into the picture. It is best to make the union legal according to civil laws so both parties are protected. In the United States today, 95% of married couples have sex before legally binding the relationship. Are they sinning? Not according to any biblical passage I can find as long as they get married and "seal the deal."

November 02 2020 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
In the old testament law, Deuteronomy 22:28-29. if a man find a damsel who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and lay hold on her and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man who lay with her shall give the damsels father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her and he shall not put her away his whole life. 

Under the new dispensation of grace, the penalty for sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23. John 3:18 Believers can no longer be condemned, but we still reap what we sow on earth and in heaven. 

First Corinthians 3:11-21 We can lose our life, and our rewards in heaven, First Corinthians 3:15, but not eternal life.

March 14 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
When asked this question, I usually refer this person to the last half of Hebrews 13:4, "4 Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex." So, sex is good only within the confines of marriage, which God Himself ordained (see Hebrews 13:4). —Rhodes

Wiersbe says, "Sex outside of marriage is sinful and destructive. Sex within the protective bonds of marriage can be enriching and glorifying to God. Fornication is committed by unmarried persons and adultery by married persons.” (However, in the New Testament, the term “fornication” can refer to many kinds of sexual sins. See Acts 15:20 and 1 Cor. 6:18. --"Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.")

Sex outside of marriage is like a man robbing a bank: he gets something, but it is not his and he will one day pay for it. Sex within marriage can be like a person putting money into a bank: there is safety, security, and he will collect dividends.

May 26 2022 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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