So, a friend of mine commented on the absurdity of Jessica Simpson complaining that she hasn’t been able to marry her man yet because he keeps getting her knocked up… which made me search the scriptures and shockingly, completely changed how I saw the issue of sex before marriage!
I have always been under the impression that the scriptures taught that if you have sex with a young lady, you are to be married to that lady. Mostly from the law found in Deuteronomy 22:28-29
If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.
Which is all fine and good, do not have sex with girls or you are going to be her husband forever. Luckily, our society does not follow these laws! But if we look at a few verses after this one, namely, Deuteronomy 22:23-24
If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife.
We see that it was a death sentence if you had sex with a young lady who was engaged to another man. By the way, the word “virgin” here can also mean “young lady”, they are almost synonymous. We assume that “virgin” is applied to both of these verses because the loss of virginity is the problem.
Based on these two verses, it can be logically concluded that you can have sex with your fiancée, you do not need to wait until marriage! There are no laws that state it is punishable for a man to have sex with his fiancée, only laws that state that it is punishable for a man to have sex with a young lady who is not his fiancée or with a young lady who is someone else’s fiancée. Surely this cannot be true! For all my life, especially my Christian life, I have been told (and accepted) that the scriptures taught us that we should not have sex before marriage. But it looks like these two verses indicate that we simply should not have sex before betrothal, and if we do, we should/must get married.
So, I decided to take a step back and Googled, “What does the bible teach about sex before marriage”… every verse that I found in the New Testament said absolutely nothing about sex before marriage. Seriously, almost every verse that is used to defend the biblical idea that we should abstain from sex before marriage is a verse that just says that we should not be sexually immoral (or sexually illicit). In other words, it is a completely circular argument — people are assuming that sex before marriage is included in the Greek term for sexually immoral, but that does not seem to be what the term means. Each of these verses use the same Greek word πορνεἱα (porneia), from which the word “pornography” is derived. Basically this word means, “having casual sex with people, especially without the intention of marrying them.”
Look it up for yourself, these are the common verses I found:
- But that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. – Acts 15:20
- Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. – 1 Corinthians 6:13
- But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. - 1 Corinthians 7:2
- I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced. – 2 Corinthians 12:21
- And these… Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Hebrews 13:4, Jude 1:7
That is it… that is all the Bible says about sex before marriage. In other words, as far as I can tell (unless someone can show me a verse that I missed) the scriptures merely state that if you have sex with someone, you should marry them; and if you are going to marry someone, you can have sex with them.
With all that said, I could be completely wrong, but I have been married for a long time, so I do not really need to worry about it. You should, however, err on the side of caution and follow what you and your partner believes to be true.
P.S. I am told by my wife that many young horn-dogs knew about this “loop-hole” when she was a teen. Of course they never had any real intention of marrying the young ladies they were trying to persuade. So, do please be discerning and do not fall for the trickery of boys who have no honorable intent.