If we are engaged to be married, is sex before the wedding day acceptable to God?
You may think that if it was understood that the only “God approved sex” is between a woman and a man within the covenant of marriage, then nothing else would have to be taught on the issue. The 20th chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus is filled with rules concerning sexual relations. As I have said before, people are people regardless of the time and place in which they live. Even in the beginning days we were trying to rationalize God’s guidelines.
The people in the ancient city of Corinth were living as some would describe “sexually free.” The Apostle Paul addressed the concerns he had for the Christian believers in that city, saying, “I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. But if a man thinks that he’s treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitably give in to his passion, let him marry her as he wishes.” (I Corinthians 7: 35-36)
Paul was providing an argument as to why the immoral people in the church should remain single without engaging in sex, but then he points out that the goal is to serve God with one’s best. Having sex with your fiancée would inhibit this.
In our current society, our proposed question could probably drop the engagement part. A more appropriate question might be, “is it acceptable to have sex with someone we really love?” Or maybe, “someone we truly care about?” Or, “with someone I date?” Or, “what about friends with benefits?”
With questions like these, I again, offer my argument that sex is God’s wedding gift. If we attempt to develop any other rationalized mentality, then we are being self-focused and not God-focused. A better question to ask at this point would be, “am I more concerned about my relationship with God, or fulfilling my sexual desires in a manner other than the way God intends?”
The dilemma here is not a concern for our relationship with God versus our relationship with our girlfriend or fiancée, because that dilemma would be impossible. If we truly cared about our relationship with our girlfriend or fiancée, then we would first focus on our relationship with God. Focusing on a desire for intimacy with someone outside the covenant of marriage only ruins the relationship and ultimately serves a destructive selfish ambition. But, focusing on our relationship with God and conducting our relationships with others including friends, a date, girlfriend, or fiancée in a manner consistent with the Bible’s teaching serves not only you but the other person until the day of your marriage…and beyond!
Don’t think you can successfully bypass the consequences of ungodly behavior. The Bible states in Galatians 6: 7-8, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.”
So, if you are a believer and are currently involved in a dating relationship or are engaged and you have involved yourselves in sexual activity, I encourage you to:
- Ask God for his forgiveness
- To stop the sexual behavior
- Start to focus on your relationship with God
- Conduct yourself in a manner pleasing to God
- Focus on being your girlfriend or fiancée’s friend
And if your relationship does result with marriage, wait to be lovers until after the wedding, then you can be confident that you marriage has a foundation of being God-focused instead of being self-focused.