Sex Before Marriage

Sex before marriage is commonplace. Even among Christian Singles, it is not strange to find intending couples who have already known each other the sexual way.

There's debate whether sex before marriage is sin. And sometimes, there may be questions on "who determines that a couple is married or not? Isn't their mutual love important.

Cultures differ. For Africans, the bride price contracts the marriage, even though most couples wait until after the white and civil wedding to consider themselves husband and wife.

Whatever the circumstances, I believe that a couple that is married knows they are married. They aren't just shacking up.

What does the Bible say About Sex Before Marriage?

Sex before marriage is a sin. It is called fornication.

1 Corinthian 7:1-3 NKJV

...It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:8-9 NKJV


But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; 9 but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

These scriptural passages, along with others clearly spell out the sinful nature of sex out of marriage. God made sex to be indulged only in a heterosexual marriage union. Anything out of this is sin.

For more biblical proof of the sinfulness of sexual immorality, check the following references:

I Corinthians 5:9-11 13, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Ephesians 5:5-7, Hebrews 12:16, Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, 1 Corinthians 6:13, Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, 1 Corinthians 10:8

It is sin because God says so.

Contrary to what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:13- 2o that our bodies belong the Lord, society is basically saying our bodies are ours to do as we like, including having illicit sex.

As such there's no moral standard. Feelings determine truth.

But that is not true. Having sex with someone who is not your spouse is sin.

Is sex before marriage sin if you love the person?

Yes. Love should lead you to do the right thing. Get married, and then sex can come after.

Are there disadvantages to not having sex before marriage?

I'm trying hard to think of any. I might update this page if I find one disadvantage.

On the contrary, there are several disadvantages to sex before marriage.

  1. You sin against God and against your body
  2. You can acquire sexually transmissible infections which can also result in infertility.
  3. You lose respect and trust
  4. You are exposed to psychological effects such as degraded self-esteem and insecurity.
  5. You can miss out on some opportunities to end up with someone you love. For example, in our African culture, you can't sleep with siblings or close relations. If you slept with a man or a woman and never got married to them, the chances of you ever ending up with any close relations in the future are almost zero, even if you've repented.

Is Sex Before Marriage Sin if You Both are Virgins?

I actually read someone teaching that it is not sin for virgins who are not married to have sex. They made  references to the Old Testament laws where a man who slept with a virgin was obliged to marry her.

God did not condone the sin. The emphasis about the law was the compulsory marriage. Whether the man liked the woman or not, he was obliged to marry her.

I can't find where the Bible says sex before marriage is not sin if the partners are both virgins.

I think it is more beautiful and a wonderful testimony to marry as a virgin, instead of using your virginity as an reasonable excuse for premarital sex.

I had sex before marriage, and I regret it terribly.

A youth counselor said, "it doesn't take pregnancy or disease to make you feel awful about sex before marriage".

Personally, I know that to be true. Sexual sin is ugly.

It degrades you to an object for self-gratification. Even if the other person loves you and you love them, sex out of marriage is sin and selfish.

When you love someone, you treat them with respect. That means seeing them as a person beyond their bodies. That means getting married and connecting beyond the sensual level.

Whether you've had sex before or you're still a virgin, God can help you live a pure life.

That is only possible when you accept the standard set by God in His Word and make the decision to live for Him, daily looking up to Him for strength to overcome sexual temptation and to abstain until marriage.

Find here is a list (PDF format) of verses that proof sex before marriage is sin

If you are in a relationship, check out this other article

How to maintain sexual purity during dating.

God bless,