Is Sex Before Marriage Still a No, No?

By Darryl Izzard

If you really want to know how people feel about the answer to this question just look around you! Judging from the actions and lifestyles in our world today, it is apparent that many people agree that sex before marriage is NOW acceptable; but how does God feel about it?

Statistics show that In the U.S., 7 in 10 women had sex before age 14, and nationally, nearly one million young women under age 20 become pregnant each year. That means close to 2800 teens get pregnant each day. (Facts in Brief: Teen Sex and Pregnancy, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York, 2006). These are startling numbers but there\’s more. Teen childbearing alone costs U.S. taxpayers nearly $7 billion annually for social services and lost tax revenues. (Kids Having Kids: Economic Costs and Social Consequences of Teen Pregnancy, Prebecca Maynard (ed.), The Urban Institute, Washington, DC, 2007). Are people cool with having sex before marriage now…yes? Is God cool with it…NO?

How can we be so sure how God feels about it? Many youth and young adults both feel that sex is a vital part of their lives and that it was given by God for them to enjoy. Moreover, sex is everywhere and everybody\’s doing it! It’s in many commercials, movies, TV shows and it\’s also infused in just about every hip hop and R & B hit that\’s on the music charts today. So, how can you say it\’s wrong and why would God give us a sexual organ and not want us to use it? Well, let\’s take a closer look.

As noted on “” there is no Hebrew or Greek word used that precisely refers to sex before marriage. The Bible clearly condemns adultery and sexual immorality, but is sex before marriage considered sexually immoral? According to 1 Corinthians 7:2, the clear answer is yes: But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. In this verse, Paul states that marriage is the “cure” for sexual immorality. First Corinthians 7:2 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.

Since 1 Corinthians 7:2 clearly includes sex before marriage in the definition of sexual immorality, all of the Bible verses that condemn sexual immorality as being sinful also condemn sex before marriage as sinful. Sex before marriage is included in the biblical definition of sexual immorality. 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). The Bible promotes complete abstinence before marriage. Sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations of which God approves (Hebrews 13:4). 

So are we supposed to enjoy sex? Yes, but God\’s intent was not just for pleasure. Far too often we focus on the “recreational” 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. Song of Solomon and several other Bible passages (such as Proverbs 5:19) clearly describe the pleasure of sex. However, the couple must understand that God\’s intent for sex includes producing children. Thus, for a couple to engage in sex before marriage it is doubly wrong: they are enjoying pleasures not intended for them, and they are potentially creating a human life outside of the God intended family structure. Additionally, they are also putting themselves at risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

While practicality does not determine right from wrong, if the Bible’s message on sex before marriage were obeyed, there would be far less sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, unwed mothers and unwanted pregnancies. Abstinence is God\’s only policy when it comes to sex before marriage. It saves lives, protects babies, gives sexual relations the proper value, and, most importantly, honors God.