Is Premarital Sex Okay?

Yesterday, a fellow friend and blogger posted an article titled “IS PREMARITAL SEX OKAY FOR MILLENIALS?“. I believe that the article was to spur on thought about this subject. Mike does not state any conclusions in this post. With that, I believe that Mike has really missed the boat by only sharing the “negative effects” of not having premarital sex. I think the negatives of having premarital sex are more startling than the effects of abstaining from sex. Here are some of the “negative effects” Mike mentions that stem from abstaining from premarital sex:

Sexual repression often comes with great consequences. It can lead to (1)poor self-esteem, (2)depression, and even things like (3)aggressive behavior or (4)suicidal thoughts.

I am not sure where Mike got his information but I think I am on good ground to question it. From my life and other’s lives I know that sexual immorality has devastating effects on a person and their relationships. Every person knows what is right and what is wrong. Some may claim they have different moral standards but the law of God is written on their hearts. Romans 2:14-15 says:

For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them -NET

As a Christian, my worldview is based on God’s communication with us. His greatest revelation to humanity was Jesus Christ. We know Christ through the proclamation and study of God’s word (the Bible). Jesus says these words in Matthew 5:27-28:

You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’ ESV

Everyone would agree that adultery is the act of sexual intercourse between at least one married person outside of their covenantal marriage. How then do we make sense out of Jesus’ teaching as an unmarried person? Is Jesus saying, “You can look lustfully at anyone who is not married,”? Of course not. He is saying that adultery is deeper than simply the physical action; it is a matter of the heart. He is also saying that sexual intercourse or lustful desires outside of a covenantal marriage is sin. If we stopped there people could dispute this, but Jesus has even more to say:

And he said, ‘What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’ -Mark 7:20-23, ESV

Here Jesus clearly differentiates between adultery and sexual immorality. According to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament sexual immorality is defined as:

1) illicit sexual intercourse

          1a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.

          1b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18

          1c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman

Jesus condemns fornication. He says that it is an evil thing that comes from within a person. Not only that, fornication defiles a person. If we, as Christians, believe that fornication is wrong then why would we entertain the idea of condoning such behavior and thinking? Remember the passage I quoted in Romans 2 about God’s law written on the Gentiles (those that had not encountered God’s law like the Jews) hearts? Now go back to Mike’s list of negative effects of abstaining from sex and ask yourself this question…If people’s consciences attest to the law of God and Jesus makes it clear that fornication is sinful would all of Mike’s “negatives” be true of those who have participated in premarital sex?

Lets look at “poor self-esteem”, “depression”, and “suicidal thoughts”. I have spoken with many people, young and old, that have had sex outside of a covenantal marriage. Most of them will admit that they felt guilty after the act. Many claim that they regret it. Could that lead to low self-esteem, depression, or even worse, suicidal thoughts? Here is a stat that gives insight into this, especially as it pertains to women:

A study at a Midwestern school showed that 80% of the women who had intercourse hoped to marry their partner. Only 12% of the men had the same expectation. -Robert J. Collins in the Chicago Tribune, quoted in HIS, February, 1976.

Women may have different expectations with sex now, but 80% is a staggering number. These women thought they were in a relationship that would last a lifetime. While 12% of men thought that they were in a relationship that would lead to marriage. A women has sex with a man, whom she thought she would marry, but ends up heartbroken. Could she suffer from the “negatives” Mike points out? I think yes.

God has answered this question in his Word, and the answer does not change just because our culture does. Sex outside of marriage is sin. It is a stench in the nostrils of a holy God. We, as Christians, need to better teach people how to deal with their sexuality, but we also need to point out that going against God’s Word is far more disastrous than the possible consequences of abstinence. Allow me to end with the words of Dr. Carson Daly (not the former MTV guy):

I don’t think I ever met a student who was sorry he or she postponed sexual activity, but I certainly met many who deeply regretted their sexual involvements.

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About Travis Berry

I am a blatantly honest person who loves to think, read, discuss, and write about God and theology. I have a bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College. I work at a church in Houston, TX as a Youth Director and love every minute of it! I am married to a wonderful woman named Becky and we have one amazing child! I have a love for God's Word, and a fervor to live it out in the fullest, and I pray this blog reflects that. Thanks for checking out AnotherChristianBlog!.

Posted on January 10, 2012, in Christianity, Culture, Life, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Travis,
    Thanks you for the great post!! I would be interested to see you post in the future on the question regarding contraception within marriage.

    In Christ,
    T.J. McKenzie

    • Hey T.J.,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. That would be an interesting topic. The only problem is I think that kind of subject takes away from Catholic/Protestant dialogue. What I mean is there are fundamental differences on how both of us view the gospel. I may write on contraception later but right now I think it would be lighting a fuse instead of accomplishing anything meaningful. Hope you are doing well and if there are more subjects that you would like to discuss I am always open to ideas.



  2. I have a question or two. Where is the scripture verse relating to sexual intercourse with a divorcee? Is it a sin to masturbate in order to repress feelings of having intercourse outside of marriage? Again, what does scripture say on this, if it does? I have read through the Bible well over 28 times and often read passages for separate study but I am having difficulty in finding anything on the subject except what might be construed or inferred instruction.

    Shirley Anne xxx

    • Hey Shirley,

      I am more than happy to answer your questions. Having intercourse with a divorcee comes from Jesus’ teaching in Mark 10:11-12.

      When it comes to masturbation…well you will need to wait a couple of days because I am planning on writing an article on that subject.

      Thanks for your questions and for reading,


  3. Travis,
    Thank you for all the work you put into the blog to act as a catalyst of theological discussions. If you do decide upon writing on contraception in the future, here is a nice article that draws from Luther’s and Calvin’s views on it.

    Once again, thank you.

    In Christ,

  4. How did I miss that? Yes, of course I remember those verses but I am getting older you know…..smiles.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  1. Pingback: Premarital Sex…Before and After Pt.1 « AnotherChristianBlog

  2. Pingback: Sex-versations | Holistic Body Theology

  3. Pingback: Premarital Sex…Before and After Pt.2 « AnotherChristianBlog

  4. Pingback: Teacher Fired For Premarital Sex At Texas Christian School « GoodOleWoody's Blog and Website

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