Scripture calls sexual intercourse outside of marriage sin. It’s adultery when it occurs with someone’s wife and fornication when it happens between non-married people.
As Christians, God telling us not to do it is reason enough for not having premarital sex. But we can still ask why a loving God calls it sin and prohibits it. There may be many reasons but I’d like to share one of them.
God made humans sexual beings, male and female. The pleasures we enjoy in relationships are different between those of the same sex and with the opposite sex.
Relationships with the opposite sex progress from less intimate to more intimate. You start as friends, then move to dating, being engaged, and finally becoming a married couple. God grants us different pleasures as our relationships progress: from the wonder of seeing things through the opposite sex’s eyes, to being anxious in knowing if the other person is interested in you, holding hands, the first kiss, and finally sexual intercourse after making marriage vows.
God wants us to enjoy these diverse experiences in our relationships. When you go straight to the ultimate pleasure of sexual intercourse, bypassing other pleasures in between, you lose out on the full pleasures God wants you to enjoy, pleasures that come from first being friends, sweethearts, and fiancees.
Suppose that a famous chef painstakingly prepared beautiful dishes with exquisite flavors and beautiful presentation, and proudly presented them to you. And that when it was given to you, you asked for a large bowl, put every course in it, and made bibimbap (the Korean dish of rice mixed with assorted ingredients) and wolfed it down. How disappointed the chef would be! He’d consider you an animal, because animals eat food only to satisfy their hunger, not to savor it.
God feels the same way if we’re only interested in sex when we date. He has provided many different pleasures in relationships between men and women, but if we only seek the pleasure of sexual intercourse, we look to Him like animals, driven only by our base desires.
Non-Christians don’t have the power to control their desires because they don’t have the Spirit. They are driven by their sexual desires and don’t feel guilty or ashamed by it because they don’t know God’s commandments. But Christians are different. The Holy Spirit who resides in us helps us control our sexual desires. Christian men and women can enjoy all the pleasures God provides when they wait to have sexual intercourse after making their marriage vows before God.
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