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What Does the Bible Say About Sex - Is Sex Before Marriage A Sin?

dating & relationships Jun 18, 2021

I used to think that having sex before marriage wasn’t a big deal. Everyone else around me was having premarital sex, so why shouldn’t I?

But as I kept getting my heart broken, I turned to God and started to pray for my future husband.

And God showed me that my sexual lifestyle of having sex before marriage was preventing me from receiving the husband that God had for me.

I was new to reading the Bible and I had so many questions about sex in the Bible.

What does the Bible say about sex before marriage? Is sex before marriage a sin? Where in the bible does it say not to have sex before marriage?

To understand what the Bible says about sex before marriage, we have to first understand what the Bible says about sex and why God created sex in the first place.

In this blog post, we will discuss:

  • Christian sex in the Bible, including bible verses about sex
  • Why God created sex to bond a husband and wife together
  • What the Bible says about sex before marriage & why it’s a sin
  • Oral sex in the Bible, and whether oral sex before marriage is a sin

What Does the Bible Say About Sex?

Bible Verses About Sex & Why God Created Sex

To understand what the Bible says about sex before marriage and whether having premarital sex is a sin, we need to first understand why God created sex and what the Bible says about sex.

In the verses below, you can see that God has a lot to say about sex.

“Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘ woman, ’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:22-24

"But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband." – 1 Corinthians 7:2-3

We see in these bible verses about sex that God created sex to be a bond between a husband and wife in marriage.

The verse below from Hebrews 13 also emphasis that sex was intended in the context of marriage, and I love how the MSG version tells us that ‘God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.’

"Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous." – Hebrews 13:4 ESV

"Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex." – Hebrews 13:4 MSG

Notice the emphasis on sex being intended for a husband and wife in marriage. We also see in the bible verses below that the purpose of sex in marriage is to create intimacy and to bond the husband and wife together for life.

“As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”” – Ephesians 5:31

“Don ’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never!” “And don ’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” – 1 Corinthians 6:15-16

God created sex to bond a husband and wife together.

The scripture in 1 Corinthians 6:15 addresses whether God intended for sex to be enjoyed between a man and woman outside of marriage. And we see that God does not call us to have sex with someone that we aren’t married to because we will be joined or bonded to them.

So, in these bible verses about sex, we see that God intended for sex to be between a husband and wife in the context of marriage.

Not a man and woman who are dating or who are even planning on getting married. And not between a husband and husband, or a wife and wife.

What happens during sex? How is a bond created?

We see that God designed sex to bond a husband and wife together in marriage, but it’s important to understand how this bond is actually formed.

As Marian Jordan Ellis talks about in her book, Sex and the Single Christian Girl, during sex, hormones are released in both the male and female. In the woman, a powerful hormone called oxytocin is released; this hormone is what causes women to emotionally bond and glue to the man.

The more oxytocin is released, the more bonding ensues. Researchers know that oxytocin is produced naturally in the brain and that it is released when a couple becomes physically intimate, most especially during sexual orgasm, producing strong bonding in both men and women.

For women, it increases trust and immediately produces feelings of attachment. This attachment is both physical and spiritual and is called a soul tie.

According to Live Science, oxytocin is sometimes known as the "cuddle hormone" or the "love hormone," because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially.

This means that oxytocin can be released during other physical activity or intimate touch; it’s not only released when a couple has sex.

When oxytocin is released, this forms a bond or attachment between two people, often referred to as a soul tie.

And while God intended for this bond or soul tie to be formed only in marriage, this bond or attachment still forms between two people that have sex before marriage.

This results in ungodly soul ties and attachments being formed between two people that were never meant to be formed. And over time, these bonds prevent a person from being able to bond in a healthy way to the person that they actually want to bond with.

This is why it’s so important to establish physical boundaries in a relationship to protect yourself from forming ungodly soul ties or a soul tie too soon before you are married.

So we see that sex is more than just physical. Sex creates intimacy and a spiritual and emotional connection that was created to bond a husband and wife together for life.

God created sex to be enjoyed in marriage – it’s a good thing!

We also see in the Bible that God created sex to be enjoyed in marriage; it’s a gift and God intended for sex to be a beautiful, passionate experience between a husband and wife.

Christian sex can sometimes be perceived as dirty or wrong, but we see in Song of Songs & in Proverbs that there is no shame in enjoying passionate & pleasurable sex. And that there should be no shame in Christians having sex.

"How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!" "You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.” – Song of Songs Chapter 4

“Let your fountain be blessed, and take pleasure in the wife of your youth. A loving deer, a graceful doe[d]— let her breasts always satisfy you; be lost in her love forever.” - Proverbs 5:18-19

So, we see in the Bible that God created sex to be a beautiful and passionate experience between a husband and wife.

We even see in other scriptures how God is emphasizing how important sex is between a husband and wife. He knows how powerful sex is and how important it is for a couple to continue to enjoy sex in marriage.

“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.

Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” – 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 NLT

Sex is a good thing and should be enjoyed as a passionate experience in marriage!

Abstaining from Sexual Immorality

We also see sexual immorality a lot in the Bible. But what does sexual immorality really mean?

"For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;” - 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

"Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming." - Colossians 3: 5-6

God tells us to flee from sexual sin & to abstain from sexual immorality.

Sexual immorality comes from the Greek word porneia, which means any sexual activity outside of marriage, illicit sexual activity or fornification.

So while God does not explicitly say we are to refrain from sex outside of marriage, he makes it clear in the Bible that we are to abstain from sexual immorality, which includes sex before marriage as well as other sexual activity that would be considered sexual sin.

Called to Honor God With Our Bodies

God also calls us to honor Him with our bodies.

"The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:13

"The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but “Don ’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

In these Bible verses, we are called to honor our bodies and pursue holiness. God lives inside of us through the Holy Spirit.

If you have surrendered your life to Jesus, you’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit. And we are called to honor our bodies that are a temple of the Holy Spirit living inside of us.

Engaging in sexual sin or having sex before marriage would not be honoring God with our bodies.

Does the Bible explicitly talk about sex before marriage? Is Having Sex Before Marriage a Sin?

As discussed above, since God tells us that sex was created for a husband and wife in marriage and that we are to refrain from sexual immorality; this implies that sex was not created to be enjoyed outside of marriage and that having sex before marriage is a sin.

In the above bible verses about sex, God makes it clear that he designed and created sex to be enjoyed between a husband and wife in marriage. And like the Bible talks about in 1 Corinthians 6, we are not to have sex with someone, or attach ourselves to someone that we aren’t married to.

Having sex outside of marriage would not be honoring God’s design for sex and would be considered a sin.

A lot of people try and argue that since the Bible doesn’t explicitly talk about sex before marriage, then it’s not a sin or not a big deal.

But this is not the right way to think about whether sex before marriage is a sin.

If you are still not convinced that sex before marriage is a sin, ask yourself these questions.

Is sex before marriage pleasing to God? Based on what you do know about sex in the Bible, do you still think God would support you having premarital sex?

The Bible also tells us that if we have any doubts about whether it’s a sin to do something, then we are sinning if aren’t following our convictions.

“But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.” – Romans 14:23 NLT

So, if there is any doubt in your mind or in your heart about having sex before marriage, you shouldn’t do it.

What About Oral Sex? What Does the Bible Say About Oral Sex? Is Oral Sex Before Marriage a Sin?

So far we’ve discussed sex in the general sense, but it’s important to understand all forms of sex and how far is too far.

While you may be convinced that having intercourse before marriage is a sin, you may be wondering, is oral sex before marriage a sin? What does the Bible say about oral sex? Does Christian sex include oral sex? Is it okay for Christians to engage in oral sex?

“As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” – Song of Solomon 2:3

“A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a spring locked, a fountain sealed. Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits, henna with nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all choice spices— a garden fountain, a well of living water, and flowing streams from Lebanon. Awake, O north wind, and come, O south wind! Blow upon my garden, let its spices flow. Let my beloved come to his garden, and eat its choicest fruits.” – Song of Solomon 4:12-16 ESV

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” – Hebrews 13:4

We see in the above bible verses from Songs of Solomon that the Bible does reference oral sex. Again, we see in Songs and Solomon that God created sex to be passionate and enjoyable between a husband and wife. And this would not exclude or prohibit oral sex in marriage.

I love how One Extraordinary Marriage, the #1 marriage podcast in the world, talks about oral sex in the context of marriage. And as long as both parties agree and it’s enjoyable, there is nothing wrong with having oral sex in marriage.

However, outside of marriage, instead of asking yourself, is oral sex before marriage a sin, ask yourself if having oral sex before marriage would be pleasing to God.

Since the Bible talks about honoring God with our bodies and fleeing from sexual immorality, oral sex would not be honoring God.

And as mentioned above, oxytocin can be released during other physical activity besides intercourse. This results in the bond or soul tie being formed, even from engaging in oral sex.

But what if you’ve already had sex before marriage? Is it a big deal to wait until marriage? Is it even possible to wait until marriage?

If you’ve already had sex outside of marriage, don’t panic. Just like God showed me, you have a decision to make. I almost didn’t give my life to Jesus because I didn’t want to stop having sex. But God showed me that surrendering sex before marriage was a big deal.

You can choose to continue engaging in sexual sin, or you can choose to repent and honor God in this area.

As I talk about in this blog post, Why I Stopped Having Sex for God, God showed me that my sexual past and lifestyle were holding me back from experiencing his blessings and the future husband that he had for me.

And he showed me that by continuing to disobey his Word, that there would be consequences to continuing to engage in sin.

And even if you’ve had sex before, it is possible to stop having sex and to save sex for marriage. As I talk about in my Pursuing Purity course, I was able to stop having sex before marriage and was able to wait until my wedding night to have sex again.

It is possible, but it isn’t easy. But honoring God with your sex life is so worth it.

If you’re dating or in a relationship, learn how to set physical boundaries that will help you wait until marriage to have sex. It isn’t easy, but it is possible to wait. My husband and I both had a sexual past but we were able to wait until our wedding night with the boundaries we had put in place.

Are you ready to surrender your sex life to God?

I know how hard it is to stop having sex, which is why I created this free, 7-day resist temptation devotional, which includes bible verses and prayers to pray when you are tempted.

I also created an online course, Pursuing Purity, that walks through the steps I took to overcome my sexual past and walk in purity.

If you’re ready to receive the blessings and future husband that God has for you, Pursuing Purity will give you the tools to throw off your sexual past and walk in purity.

If you’re ready to surrender this area to God, pray and confess your sins and sexual past to God. Choose to repent, turn and run in the opposite direction from the people, places, or activities that had caused you to sin in the past.

And break off ungodly soul ties from your past so you can be free from those past relationships that are holding you back.

Prayers for Your Future Husband

As you wait to have sex for marriage, get a free prayer guide with prayers and bible verses to pray over your future husband.

If you want to learn more about how you can pray for yourself & your future husband as you wait on God to bring you together, join my free, 14-day Attracting Your Future Husband challenge to get access to daily devotions and prayers to pray.

With Love,

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