“Sex is ok because we are committed to each other only!”
“Sex is ok because we are planning to get married!”
“There is a difference: We’re love-making!”
“We’re only doing foreplay…that doesn’t count as sex, right?”
These excuses and similar ones are used all the time to justify sexual acts among non-married couples. In each thought, the attitude seems to be that God only considers premarital sex a sin in some cases. It is like saying, “God only condemns fornication with people you aren’t dating!” or “The commands against fornication are talking about stuff like orgies and strip clubs, but me and my boyfriend having sex doesn’t count!” Thus the attitude is that God relaxes His holy justice because your situation is somehow unique. But this is not the case. On the contrary, God’s commands are in play across the board. Any sexual activity with somebody other than your spouse (of the opposite gender) is deemed sin in the Bible.
Even apart from the fact that God demands purity, these excuses by themselves do not stand. Let us quickly walk through these excuses and see their flaws:
We are committed to each other! Often couples will think their activity is acceptible because their boyfriend/girlfriend is the only person they are having sex with during the course of their relationship. What is really happening is the man (or both) is trying to get all he can without the commitment. Also, your commitment to one another is seriously called into question if this is not your first intimate relationship. If you had a previous dating relationship that involved sex, were you truly committed to that person? The answer is no. If you go relationship to relationship sleeping with each partner pretending to be committed, it will end in countless broken relationships that truly involved no commitment at all. Commitment for a time, sure, but any promise that doesn’t last a lifetime leads only to sorrow. You got to a level of intimacy that is reserved for one man with multiple men all spitting out the same fickle promise.
We’re getting married anyways! or We’re ‘lovemaking’, it’s different! I don’t mean to scare you, but I have heard stories of couples breaking up within weeks, or even days, before their wedding. Either way, assuming that you somehow can see the future and it is guaranteed beyond any doubt that you are going to marry your current partner (obviously this is not your or anybody’s case), it still doesn’t work. That logic is basically saying that, “God says we must wait until marriage,” only applies to couples that are not going to get married. But that defeats the whole purpose of the command! God’s Word repeatedly prohibits “fornication,” which refers to sex outside of marriage period, regardless of (hypothetical, imaginary, future) circumstance.
It’s just foreplay! But if Jesus says that merely looking at a woman lustfully is sinful (Matt. 5:17-18), how can actually touching the person somehow not be sin?! Also, vaginal intercourse is not the only practice that is reserved for married couples. Even the touching and so forth of breasts is to be reserved for “the wife of your youth” alone (Prov. 5:15-20). Often the attitude is to say, “We fell into sin” after a couple fornicates. It is good that they recognize that and confess it, but in reality they have been sinning the whole time! They should have nipped their sin in the bud back when it was only making out or fondling and it would not have gotten this deep.
The issue of self control
Girls, you don’t want to be in a relationship with a guy who is willing to have sex with you before marriage. Stay away from guys who use the above excuses (or any excuse really). What it all comes down to is: he lacks self control. And if he lacks self control now, what makes you think he will be able to handle himself after the wedding?
Right now, he is susceptible to temptation. There is nothing wrong with that per se, for even Jesus Himself was tempted. But if he is unable, and especially unwilling, to fight and resist his temptations, do not think that things are going to change after the vows are made! Think about it. If he is pressuring you for sex, or if you two are having sex, then he has a particular weakness in the area of having sex with somebody who is not his wife. This will carry over into your marriage and he most likely will still have the same weakness in the area of having sex with somebody who is not his wife–only this time the object of his passions won’t be you!
Boys, do not dupe yourself with excuses such as:
“But my girlfriend is the hottest girl I know, so I won’t lust after anybody else!”
“Once we’re married and having sex regularly, I’ll stop having temptations.”
I think all of these excuses can be trumped by 1 Corinthians 10:12: “Let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (see also Prov. 16:18; 18:12; 29:23). The second trump card would be learning from history. Far too many men were just like you and me, thinking they were above temptation, and they all fell.
But examine the logic in these excuses for a second. Sure your girlfriend may be incredibly beautiful. We will even grant that she is the only girl you lust after. But she is not always going to look the way she does! When she is 40, maybe even 30 she will not be nearly as attractive as she is now. Then what? Then just about every college-age girl will seem like a better option. The grass will very soon be greener on the other (younger) side.
As for the other excuse, you are living in a bubble if you think married couples have sex every day. Maybe at the start while everything is new–but most couples may only have sex once or twice a week if they’re lucky. If you are depending on a daily dose of sex to keep under control, how will you tame yourself while she’s on her period? What will you do to release your sexual tension if she is sick for days on end? What about when she’s uncomfortable during her pregnancy? And what if she flat out doesn’t have the same sex drive as you do?
Thus, we cannot expect to stay pure on our own, or by behavioral modification. We should not expect the battle against lust to be a cake walk. The Christian attitude toward sexual sin is to be warlike! The Bible says that our fleshly lusts wage war against our souls (1 Pet. 2:11). Therefore, how can we live our life nonchalant about lust? If you are at war in a video game and leave your controller to make a sandwich, you’re going to lose rather quickly. This is the Christian who is unaware of the devil’s wiles and of their own weaknesses and tendencies.
But the Christian life is one constantly on their feet. Christians are to be sober and always alert concerning the devil (1 Pet. 5:8-9). Christians are to flee youthful lusts (2 Tim. 2:22). We are to flee the devil and cling to God (Jas. 4:7). We are to put the deeds of the flesh to death by the power of the Spirit (Rom. 8:13).
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, stop making excuses. Don’t fall away with our culture. Don’t seek the instant gratification held before you. Rather, utilize your blood-bought bodies as instruments of righteousness, which will lead your observers to glorify God (1 Cor. 6:19-20; Rom. 6:13; 1 Pet. 2:11-12). If you have been fornicating with your partner, immediately end those practices and run to Christ for forgiveness. Although it may be one of the hardest decisions in your life, it is good to end that relationship (at least for now). It will hurt, but the heartache is far worth it to follow Christ. Your sin was destroying you anyways.
Jesus shed his blood so that those who believe will die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). Through our union with Him in His death and resurrection, our flesh has been rendered powerless, and we can now live in obedience to God (Rom. 6)! You do not need to remain trapped in this pattern of sin. Stop making excuses!