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Why Premarital Sex isn’t an Expression of True Biblical Love

By: Kristen Clark

Love. Sex. These are major buzzwords right now. Although they’re wonderful and beautiful words, they don’t always mean the same thing to each person. In fact, each person seems to have their own version of what love actually means. When it comes to romantic relationships, this is especially true.

As Christian women, our understanding of love and sexual intimacy will either push us towards Christ-centered holiness or toward self-centered gratification. It will make or break our relationships. It will either strengthen or destroy our future marriages.

If we’re not intentional to define love and sex according to God’s Word, we will embrace whatever version fits the occasion. 

In our society today, the word love has become the launching point for sexual activity. It’s socially normal to assume that if you “love” your boyfriend you should express your love through sex. Right?

This line of thinking sounds kind of convincing from the outside. Especially because sex is such a beautiful and intimate thing. It only makes sense that sex would be our natural expression with the one we love. However, that is precisely where the sneaky lie creeps in. This is where we steer away from God’s version of love, and into our own personal definition.

This is where our understanding of God’s Word becomes critical. If we aren’t standing on the solid foundation of God’s truth (Psalm 1), we will be easily blown over. Yes, having sex with your boyfriend sounds good, but a quick look at God’s Word will reveal why it isn’t an authentic expression of true Biblical love.

First, the Bible reveals to us that God is the designer and creator of sex and love (Genesis 1:27-28, 2:24). Sex and love are gifts from God. Secondly, as the Creator, God is the only one with the authority to tell us what love is, and how sex should be embraced.

Let’s talk about God’s design for sex first.

From the beginning of creation in Genesis 1 to the end of the New Testament, we see God’s beautiful design for sex and the parameters in which is to be enjoyed. The Bible reveals to us over and over again that sex is an expression of love to be enjoyed within the context of marriage.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled.” (Hebrews 13:4).

Despite what modern society teaches, God designed sex for marriage only.

Sex is an expression of love within the marriage covenant.

According to God’s word, having sex outside of this covenant is not considered an expression of love, but an outworking of sin and lust (Gal. 5:19, 2 Tim. 2:22, Eph. 5:3, etc).  Throughout the Bible, we see glimpses into the lives of individuals who blatantly disobeyed God’s design for sex…and with passion. (think of Judah, David, Amnon, etc). These examples remind us that passion doesn’t equate to biblical love.

On the contrary, true love as defined by God’s word is the furthest thing from lust-filled passion. It’s the furthest thing from selfishness. It’s the furthest thing from impurity.

Let’s do a quick flyby of the Bible and see how God defines true love:

True, Biblical Love Is…

  • Honorable (1 Pet. 2:17)
  • Pure (Phil. 4:8)
  • Self-Controlled (1 Thess. 4:4-5)
  • Patient (Gal. 6:9)
  • Others Focused (John 15:12)
  • Longsighted (Heb. 12:1-2)
  • Faithful (Prov. 3:3-4)
  • Restrained (1 Thess. 4:3)

God’s definition of love helps us understand why having sex outside of marriage isn’t a true expression of love. It isn’t pure. It isn’t Christ-honoring. It isn’t faithful. It isn’t self-controlled. It isn’t restrained. It isn’t patient. It isn’t honorable.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-5 says, “Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God…”

As Christian women, we are called to embrace God’s design for true love and sex intimacy in all areas of our lives. 

Having a solid understanding and sound doctrine regarding God’s design for love and sex is crucial for each one of us. Rather than buying into a worldly version of love which leads to sexual sin, we will be equipped to embrace love with holiness and Christ-centered purity. We will view sexual intimacy through the lens of Scripture and cherish it rightly within the Biblical context.

The more we understand God’s version of true, biblical love, the more we will be equipped to honor Him (and others) in our romantic relationships.

For more on this topic, I encourage you to read these other great posts:

How to Handle Your Sexual Desires as a Single Girl

7 Major Benefits of Saving Sex for Marriage – Part 1

7 Major Benefits of Saving Sex for Marriage – Part 2

For a deeper dive on God’s design for true love and sex, be sure to grab a copy of Love Defined: Embracing God’s Vision for True Love and Lasting Relationships. 

I’d love to hear from you below (and I do read all of the comments)!

  • In your own life, how have you seen a “partial truth” lead you down the wrong path?

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4 Responses to Why Premarital Sex isn’t an Expression of True Biblical Love

  1. Shanae B says:

    So true! I especially liked it when you said ‘embrace whatever version fits the occasion.’ That is such the mentality these days “do what feels right in the moment.” As a 30 year old who has clung to God to live out His ways especially in this particular it can feel like I’ve been the only one over the years, especially at my current age. This is an aspect of my life I don’t really have any regrets in! But it’s definitely a huge struggle for many people. Thanks for writing about this topic, I hope to see more articles soon!

  2. Savannah Denise says:

    My godly boyfriend of 8 months and I have been crossing this line and now we don’t know how to go back. Our families and pastor gave me hints that he will propose to me soon! So I’m unsure whether or not it even matters to change something, since we will be husband and wife soon anyway. Any words of advice? :/

    • Jasmine Herrod says:

      Savannah Denise, I’d suggest to start by asking God for forgiveness for crossing the line and ask God to sanctify and purify both of your desires. If things are already off track before marraige, how much more when you’re spiritually and emotionally connected to him? Slow down and really evaluate the situation from God’s eyes and standards. Is He really the Head and Leader of both you and your boyfriends relationship? Does God still get the final say when it comes to your best interest?…You should pray about this together. Even if you think you’ll marry, it would be wise to still be patient and honor God from this moment forward. He forgives when we come in sincerity. I was taught growing up to not settle for less. God has a good plan for you (Jer. 29:11), but you must follow His leading and instruction, that’s what The Holy Spirit is for: to ask for help. Physical affection isn’t lasting. God has more for you Savannah. I pray that God would lead you in making the decision in His perfect will and timing and that a godly woman would give you wise counsel according to God’s Word. 🙂 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

  3. Nicola says:

    Super encouraging, thank you Kristen! It’s so easy to get caught in feelings and reject purity. In my own life, I’ve seen the ‘partial truth’ of nearly agreeing to date non-Christian guys because they’re ‘sweet’ and I had ignored God’s word and convinced myself it would be ok.
    Luckily, Girl Defined has helped me set so many integral boundaries which have preserved and saved me so many times, and helped me retain God’s design for purity. Love you guys, God bless!

    P.S. Just bought Girl Defined and Love Defined, already blown away by how transformative they are. Can’t imagine this journey without your wisdom, strength and advice xx

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