Question: “What is an appropriate level of intimacy before marriage?”

Answer: Ephesians 5:3 tells us: “But among you there must not be a hint of sexual immorality, nor of any kind of impurity… because this is unbecoming of the holy people of God.” Anything that even “hints” at sexual immorality is inappropriate for a Christian. The Bible does not give us a list of what qualifies as a “clue” nor does it tell us what physical activities are approved for a couple to engage in before marriage. However, just because the Bible does not specifically address the issue does not mean that God condones “presexual” activity before marriage. At its core, foreplay is designed to prepare you for sex. So logically, foreplay should be restricted to married couples. Anything that could be considered foreplay should be avoided until marriage.

If there is any doubt as to whether an activity is appropriate for an unmarried couple, it should be avoided (Romans 14:23). Any and all sexual and presexual activities must be restricted to married couples. An unmarried couple should avoid any activity that tempts them toward sex, gives the appearance of immorality, or could be considered foreplay. Many Christian pastors and counselors strongly advise a couple not to go beyond holding hands, hugging, and light kissing before marriage. The more a married couple has to share exclusively with each other, the more special and unique the sexual relationship in that marriage becomes.

Recommended Resource: Why True Love Waits by Josh McDowell

“What does the Bible say about sex before marriage?”

Answer: There is no Hebrew or Greek word used in the Bible that specifically refers to sex before marriage. The Bible undeniably condemns adultery and sexual immorality, but is sex before marriage considered sexually immoral? According to 1 Corinthians 7:2, “yes” is the clear answer: “But since there is so much immorality, every man should have his own wife, and every woman his own husband.” In this verse, Paul declares that marriage is the “cure” for sexual immorality. First Corinthians 7:2 essentially says that because people cannot control themselves and many have immoral sexual relationships outside of marriage, people should get married. So they can fulfill their passions in a moral way.

Since 1 Corinthians 7:2 clearly includes premarital sex in the definition of sexual immorality, all Bible verses that condemn sexual immorality as sinful also condemn premarital sex as sinful. Sex before marriage is included in the Biblical definition of sexual immorality. There are numerous Biblical passages that declare sexual relations 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 that God approves (Hebrews 13:4).

Too often we focus on the “recreational” aspect of sex without recognizing that there is another aspect to it: 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 intention for sex includes having children. Therefore, for a couple to have sexual relations before marriage is doubly wrong: they enjoy pleasures that are not intended for them, and they risk creating a human life outside of the family structure that God designed for each child.

While practicality does not determine right from wrong, if the Bible’s message about sex before marriage were obeyed, there would be far fewer sexually transmitted diseases, far fewer abortions, far fewer unmarried mothers and unwanted pregnancies, and far fewer children growing up without both parents. In their lifes. Abstinence is God’s only policy when it comes to sex before marriage. Abstinence saves lives, protects babies, gives proper value to sexual relations, and most importantly, honors God.

Recommended Resource: Why True Love Waits by Josh McDowell

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