What Does the Bible Say About Sex Outside of Marriage?
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s… Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. - 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 & 1 Corinthians 7:1-2
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness… – Galatians 5:19
The dictionary definition of “fornication” is ‘voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other.’ The Biblical definition of the word “fornication” means to have unlawful sex. What constitutes unlawful sex? Whose laws do we live by? Worldly standards or laws often do not line up with the Word of God. The United Kingdom did at one point have many laws that were originally based on Christian standards and the laws of the Bible. However, through time the United Kingdom has drifted far from these standards and at the present the moral standards (or lack thereof) fly in the face of what the Bible says. However, immorality is not only found in the UK, but is a world-wide epidemic. Societies throughout history and around the globe have embraced sexual standards that are called sins in the Bible.
Fornication is not just tolerated in our society but is actually being encouraged. The sin of fornication is being committed even among Christians, as many couples “live together” and have sex before marriage. The Bible tells us to flee this sin. There are also Christians of the opposite sex who share an apartment and who are not having sex so they think this isn’t wrong. The Bible declares these words in 1 Thessalonians 5:22-23:“Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Our lives as Christians are a living witness to others and we cannot break the laws of God without hindering others from coming to Christ. We must live our lives in purity before a sinful and wicked world. We should not be living according to their standards but according to God’s standard in the Bible. No couple should live together outside the bonds of marriage.
Many say they live together before marriage to see if they are compatible as they don’t want to divorce. This may sound like a justifiable reason for committing the sin of fornication, but in God’s eyes it is still sin. Statistics however, show that those who live together before marriage are more likely to get a divorce than those who do not. Living together shows a total lack of trust in God and a failure to commit to Him the choosing of a mate. Christians who are living in this situation are out of the will of God and need to repent and seek God as to whether this person is the right one for them. If it is God’s will for them to be together they should marry. Otherwise, they need to change their living arrangements.
As Christians, the goal of any relationship should be to cause the people in our lives to love and know the Lord better. Living together is shameful and selfish as the parties do not care what others think or how they might affect their families and others. They are living to please their own lust and selfish desires. This type of lifestyle is destructive and especially so for children whose parents are living a bad example before them. No wonder our children are confused about right and wrong when parents degrade the sanctity of marriage by living together out of wedlock. How can living together cause children to love and honour God when their parents break the laws of God before them because they are lustful?
Young people today need to be taught to abstain from sexual intercourse and remain pure virgins before marriage. So many problems in marriages today stem from the fact that they are not virgins when they marry. Young people are bringing wounded emotions and diseased bodies into their marriages because of prior promiscuous affairs. STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) are so widespread that the statistics are shocking. The Bible is right when it says fornication is a sin against one’s own body.
God gave us the laws in the Bible for our good. They are not meant to deny us any good thing but they are given so we can enjoy the proper sexual relationship in the proper time. If we obey the words of the Bible and “flee fornication” and glorify God in our bodies, the Lord will bless us beyond what we could believe.