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What Does the Bible Say About Sex Before Marriage?

What Does the Bible Say About Sex Before Marriage?


Sex as a Sacred Union

The Bible holds sex in high esteem, framing it as a sacred union intended to occur exclusively within the covenant of marriage. This view is rooted in the creation narrative, where God creates man and woman and ordains marriage as the foundational human relationship (Genesis 2:24). The physical union of a husband and wife is seen as a profound mystery that mirrors the union between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32). This elevates the act of sex beyond mere physicality to a significant spiritual and emotional connection.

Moreover, the Song of Solomon celebrates sexual love within marriage, portraying it as a beautiful and integral part of the marital relationship. This poetic book, filled with vivid and passionate imagery, underscores the idea that sexual intimacy is designed to flourish within the secure and committed context of marriage.


Sexual Immorality and Premarital Sex

The Bible is clear in its stance against sexual immorality, a term that encompasses a wide range of sexual behaviors outside the bonds of marriage, including premarital sex. In 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Paul urges believers to flee from sexual immorality, emphasizing that the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and should be honored accordingly. This passage, along with others, highlights a recurring theme in scripture: sexual purity is not just a physical matter but a spiritual one, deeply connected to one’s relationship with God.

Additionally, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 instructs believers to control their bodies in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust. This directive, along with others in the New Testament, reflects a broader biblical principle that sex is a gift to be enjoyed within the specific and sacred framework of marriage, and any deviation from this design is seen as contrary to God’s will and harmful to the individuals involved.

The Design and Purpose of Sex

The Bible outlines a clear design and purpose for sex, which is intrinsically linked to the concept of marriage. In Genesis 1:28, God commands Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply,” indicating that procreation is a fundamental aspect of sex. However, the purpose of sex extends beyond mere reproduction. It is also about the deepening of emotional and spiritual intimacy between husband and wife. As Proverbs 5:18-19 suggests, the sexual relationship within marriage is to be enjoyed, cherished, and nurtured.

The New Testament continues this theme, with passages like 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 encouraging married couples to engage in sexual relations regularly, not only to fulfill marital duties but also to strengthen their emotional and spiritual bond. This mutual, self-giving aspect of sex within marriage aligns with the biblical principle of love and service to one another (Ephesians 5:21-33).

The Consequences of Sexual Sin

Scripture does not shy away from discussing the consequences of sexual sin, including premarital sex. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul lists those who will not inherit the kingdom of God, including the sexually immoral. This severe warning indicates the spiritual gravity of sexual sin. In addition, Proverbs 6:32-33 warns about the personal and societal harm caused by sexual immorality, highlighting the emotional, physical, and spiritual damage it can inflict.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, the repercussions of sexual sin are evident, from the pain of broken relationships to the disruption of communal harmony. The story of David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11) serves as a stark reminder of how sexual sin can lead to a cascade of destructive consequences. This biblical narrative underscores the need for adherence to God’s design for sex and the dangers of deviating from it.


The Bible presents a clear and consistent perspective on sex as a sacred union designed to take place exclusively within the covenant of marriage. It emphasizes the importance of sexual purity, condemns sexual immorality, and provides guidance on the design and purpose of sex within the context of marriage. The consequences of sexual sin are also discussed, highlighting the spiritual, emotional, and societal harm it can cause. Ultimately, the biblical teaching on sex is rooted in the belief that following God’s design leads to a fulfilling and harmonious life.

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