Why Wait for Wild, Crazy, Awkward Honeymoon Sex

I grew up being taught that sex was for marriage and I made a decision before I started dating that I would be a virgin on my wedding night. I saw that as a very precious gift that I could give my husband and started praying that he too would be a virgin when we got married. I dated through high school and college, choosing guys who respected that decision. One boyfriend, in fact, I dated for nearly two years and his hands never roamed to places that were sexual. My rule to myself for having guys touch me or me touch them was “If it gets covered by a bathing suit, it doesn’t get touched.” It was a simple way to have my boundaries clear in my mind and I knew how far was too far.

So why does it matter? What is really wrong with sex outside of marriage? Does the Bible really say that sex outside of marriage is wrong?

Let’s start by looking at the Bible to understand what God’s intention was for marriage and sex. God created Adam and Eve to work together in the garden and from the beginning He said they would be one flesh. This is a reference to sexual oneness. God arranged it so that when a man and woman have sex it is a union of their spirit, soul and body. In the right context this is a very good thing, but in the context of having multiple partners before marriage it is a very dangerous thing. Why? Because ties you have to other people which are only intended to be had with your spouse become a block to intimacy.

There is no verse that says “Thou shalt not have sex before marriage.” It isn’t that clear, just as the concept of the Trinity isn’t overtly stated anywhere in scripture. We need to look at scripture as a whole to understand God’s view of something and included in the category of sexual immorality is this concept of “fornication” which is simply premarital sex.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Ephesians 5:2-3

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

God doesn’t establish what is right and what is wrong to punish us or make our life hard. The truth is that the way He calls us to live is perfect in every way and will result in blessing and joy if we follow it. So by giving us parameters by which we are free to release ourselves sexually, He is giving us a safe place to be who He made us to be. It is damaging to us if we participate in acts He has instructed us to avoid.

The only problem with sex is that it’s wonderful and the secret is out. We have explored the spiritual reasons for committing yourself to abstinence before marriage, but on a practical level, apart from God having established that sex is to be enjoyed in the safety of a committed marriage relationship, why would anyone choose to remain a virgin until marriage in a world that doesn’t value purity.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and unexpected pregnancy without the security of a marriage in place are among the higher, most practical reasons to commit oneself to sexual purity. Most of the people being infected by STIs are between the ages of 15 and 24 and teenage pregnancy is overwhelmingly rampant. Once a teenage girl becomes pregnant her life is changed forever. Whatever she does at that point will affect her for the rest of her life. And with STIs that can affect your ability to have children later in life, cause a plethora of very uncomfortable infections, and possibly even become fatal I am saddened and surprised that the message is so strongly on safer sex when the real solution is to remain abstinent. I do not sit on the side of “they are going to do it anyway, so let’s minimize the damage.” I believe that our young adults possess a tremendous ability to stand with sexual integrity and I find it insulting that so many “professionals” don’t believe that unmarried and sexually aware young people can control their sexual behavior. They certainly can, but they need to be empowered with the knowledge to do so.

Apart from these reasons, it is intensely gratifying to know that you have shared every sexual experience with one person only. My wedding night was amazing, and my husband was a virgin too. We have enjoyed years of exploring each other and finding out what we find erotic and pleasurable without thoughts of prior partners. Whether we are referring to body parts, sex acts or technique, I know that I am the best he has ever had because I am the only one he has ever had. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Having said all this, if you have made mistakes in your sexual past and given away more than you wanted to, it isn’t to late. God can bring forgiveness and offer you a second chance at renewed virginity. If you want to recommit yourself to purity and abstinence it is a simple as coming to God the Father, acknowledging your sin and asking His forgiveness in the name of Jesus, and then inviting Him to cleanse your heart and mind and empower you by His Spirit to remain pure. He can take your broken heart and make it whole again.

43 Comments

  1. I just wondered but if you only had one sexual partner but never married them, would that still be a sin?

  2. All sex outside the bounds of marriage is sin. So yes, if you had sexual relations with one person, and you were not married to that person, then it would be sinful.

  3. My fiance and I are sexually active, he was my first and will be my only. He was not a virgin, but only had one other partner, and participated in sex only 3-4 times. I know that it is a common belief that the Bible dictates sex outside of marriage is wrong, but what about me? If I know, and knew from early on, that he was going to be my husband, is the joining of our bodies wrong? I will never have previous experiences to compare to, and I love that about him, but I wonder if I am continuing in sin, even though we are engaged.

  4. Marissa, are you and your fiance Christians? You say that you “know that it is a common belief that the bible dictates sex outside of marriage is wrong…” but do you not believe that yourself? The way you are wording your sentences makes me pause and wonder.

    There are no gray areas here and no exceptions to the rule. Premarital sex is sin, no matter how badly you just know in your heart that he is the man you will marry. Being engaged isn’t the same as being married.

  5. When are we considered “married” in God’s eyes? What courthouse, church or synagogue did Abram & Sarai or Noah & his wife (not named in Genesis) go to for their marriage certificate and ceremony? Rob Bell posed an interesting question in his book, “Sex God”, asking if that couple engaged in a one night stand are not, in fact, entering into a marriage relationship…

    Gen 11:29a And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, …

    They TOOK?!?! I wish it was that easy nowadays!

    I have to say, I DO NOT condone premarital sex, but I challenge us to step outside of our modern western ideas when interpreting the ancient eastern texts of the Holy Bible.

    Gen 2:22-25 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (ESV)

    So Adam and Eve were husband and wife straight away, now did they have sex between their meeting in v22 and her being referred to as his wife in v25? I don’t know! Did they need to to become one flesh? I guess not… She is his rib!

    There is a lot to think about.

  6. To reply to AskMore’s question: “When are we considered married in God’s eyes?” . I think you suggest that maybe a couple are married when they ‘know that they that they will be together forever’. But my question is how do you know? Do you feel very strongly in your heart of hearts that he is the only one for you for ever and ever? I believe you do, but biblically ‘feeling’ is only one form of love and it is not the greatest form (though it’s still important). The greatest form of love is called ‘agape’ in Greek, and it has everything to do with commitment, and nothing to do with feeling. The most striking example of this is ‘the agony in the garden’ when Christ feels like doing anything but going to the cross to be tortured and executed, but yet He does, out of commitment. And can you think of a stronger act of commitment between two people than to stand in front of everyone they know, and make a covenant in the Name of God that everything they are and have will be the other person’s until death do them part? I suggest their is no greater act which is what makes marriage holy. Marriage is a public affair, to do with not only the couple but also the community in which they live since the community also vows to uphold them. Marriages still legally have to take place in a public place today. Thats what I think, but hey it’s still 10 days away for me so what do I know?)

  7. That is a great explanation!

  8. @SoontobeMr from “askmore”:
    Thanks for your insight, BUT A. I am already married (and I’m the husband). and B. You missed the point. My suggestion is NOT that you are married when you know in your heart of hearts. My suggestion is that the act of SEX is the physical act of marrying two bodies, souls and spirits. If you never have sex you can have your marriage annulled easily according to most U.S. state laws. Do you think the U.S. came up with that idea? No way! In Jewish tradition the new couple would consummate the marriage with everyone waiting outside ready to have the “reception” party. That is why sex outside of the formal commitment of marriage by law and public confession is so damaging. Sex = marriage of two hearts, bodies, souls, spirits. So again I ask: ‘When are we considered “married” in God’s eyes?’ …

    And again: ‘What courthouse, church or synagogue did Abram & Sarai or Noah & his wife (not named in Genesis) go to for their marriage certificate and ceremony?’ Not to mention Adam and Eve… Those three couples were married before God had given ANY laws about sex or marriage and before there was such a thing as Israel or Hebrew. I think their only option for official marriage was be before God, make a commitment and have some sex. But I could be wrong! Educate me!

  9. Hi everybody I thank God for this websites where christians can debate about real issues facing us. My reply goes to shawnandsarah! First of all sex indeed is a form of convanant that we commit ourself too. Thats why it is a sin when we have sex before marriage cause we commit spiritually but not Verbally before God and men as witnesses. The problem I have with your opinion is that there would be thousand of christian who would be married to 2 or more woman because He/She slept with them. Whiles the bible says we should be the husband of one wife. (not of two)!…..
    Here comes the problem of sin, for we cheat on them that we finally give our commitment to by verbally confessing before God and witnesses that, yes we do for better and for worst.
    Now I want to say that Abraham didn´t just had sex to get merried to sarai. In the first place in those days it was wrong for a woman to go out of their fathers house (home´s) unless somebody comes and asks the father and mother for the hand in marriage. Then if there should be an agreement then the family gives their blesseing to it. Was Saria an orphan if yes then please show me if no, then there must have been some sort of marriage going on there, even if the bible did´t go into details.
    One Biblical example I can give is when Abraham was looking for wife for his son. He sent out His servant to go forth. When the servant saw one he didn´t just pick her but had to go to the family to ask for her hand. When they agreed they blessed her and phisically she became married the spiritually part followed later.
    So to close it what ever we loose here on earth shall be loossed in heaven and what ever bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, therefore there must be vow orally to bind the person to their word and then follows the union of the bodies by sexual intercoure in connection with blood also a sign of convenant.

  10. Just a few interactions on what you have said, sadot….

    The Bible says that leaders in the church (overseers, decons, elders) should be the husband of one wife. While I agree that God’s plan is for one man and one woman in marriage, that specific biblical reference is for leaders, not everyone.

    Also, another application of the scriptural references to binding and losing have more to do with authority over good and evil. As heirs of God’s Kingdom we can lose the spiritual implications of previous sexual sin. I agree that when we speak blessing and unity over a couple that a spiritual influence is made, but also that the Words of God regarding binding and losing reach much farther than that too.

    Good ideas that you shared. Thanks.

  11. Its a bummer to hear Christians excuse their sin by saying they are pretty much “married in their hearts” or “married in god’s eyes” or “it’s okay because we are monogamous” or “marriage is just piece of paper”. It’s a load of crap. And it’s a double bummer to hear the ladies say these things to themselves because it’s the excuse that the guys have given them when the subject of marriage comes up. Those guys need other biblical godly men around him to call him out on his lack of leadership and responsibility.

    I’ve prayed many times for God to protect the ladies from these lying boyfriends, and prayers are answered. I’ve seen couples go to Jesus and redeem their relationship before moving forward. And when it comes down to it, no matter how much the girl kicks and screams that it’s okay to shack up, when the Lord gets a hold of her heart, she repents and moves out/ stops sleeping with him until their marriage night. which consists of a piece of paper and a ceremony.

  12. I have something to add, since this has become a topic about (for lack of better terms) the marriage papers. My DH and I believe that you can be married in the sight of man, and still not be married in the sight of God. His first marriage was out of lust. She is not a Christian and decided to leave. He was not under the bondage of that divorce. I am a Christian and so is he. We fully believe that our marriage is in the sight of God.

  13. It is my understanding from scripture that it is sinful to have sex with someone who is not your spouse.

  14. It’s interesting – the comment you made about feeling no conviction at all. We were in the exact same situation a couple of years back ‘cept that we never quite had full blown PIV till after the wedding. However I don’t know for sure that I’ve fully forgiven myself and my DH certainly has not forgiven himself. So I find it interesting that you should say that. Understand that I’m not trying to judge you (we’re both standing on the same side of the dock) but WHY did you not feel ANY conviction, both then and now???

  15. My husband and I also pushed the line while we were engaged. For the longest time we thought that we did not feel any conviction either. But somewhere in the back of our minds and hearts something was growing and dividing us. Just this year, after 8 years of marriage, we finally admitted to each other and ourselves that what happened was sin. We prayed together, asked God to forgive us and asked the other for forgiveness as well. But, we do still treasure those memories. It is hard not to. It was a very precious time in our relationship, our engagement. Yes, we went too far, yes we sinned and have acknowledged it but we also have felt the ok from God to treasure those times and still talk about them. I realize that this may not make much sense but it is a journey we have had to take. Maybe you don’t think you feel that conviction because those memories are something you want to treasure. That I totally understand. But it is possible to do so and still admit to God and you spouse that you sinned. Oh and this revelation and asking for forgiveness has done wonders for our marriage. It is healthier and so is our sex life. Admitting you sinned won’t imprison you, it will free you from a prison you don’t realize you are in.

  16. Maureen,
    Great comment!!

  17. It is interesting to hear both Mike and Maureen’s perspective. I myself am engaged, have been for a year, and still have about 8 months to go. It is a slippery slope, and a narrow path to stay true to, but my fiance doggedly continue to strive for purity. We do occasionally go too far, as it is so difficult to resist when you love the other person so deeply… but we very strongly believe that God clearly states sex is meant for marital intimacy alone.

    Maureen, thank you for your honesty. I fully understand how you and your husband look back to those memories (though wrong at the time, they were still intimate moments together), and I pray that my fiance and I can continue to fight temptation despite the desire for intimacy.

    Sometimes I feel that it is such a futile fight… but even though we can be so sinful, and slip so many times, so long as we continue to fight, to strive, to repent, to confess and begin afresh, I believe God understands our weakness and our efforts. Can any other engaged/married people relate?

  18. Hi YoungLadyLove,

    I have been married 4 montths now, after a 13 month engagemen (NOT our choice, visas make things complicateded!). I know it can feel futile, but it IS possible to begin afresh.

    My husband and I went way too far on a frequent basis early on in our engagement, but we both became seperatly convicted about it. We repented, have been forgiven and essentially have moved on. So far we have avoided any apparent consequences that didn’t arise at the time in terms of VERY difficult conversations. I do believe you are absolutely right that God understands and appreciates the efforts we make, but the reality is that sin still hurts and angers Him. It is the same story with all of our sins, it’s just that with this one, this particular way, the ‘end’ is in sight and that makes it so much more tempting again!

    Instead of saying, well, we’ve already done this so it doesn’t matter if we do it again, we stopped outright. The only way we managed that was through God’s grace, and avoiding almost all affectionate touching. We went by the rule of ‘if you don’t do it in public…’. To be honest, it about killed me! My primary love language is physical touch, but once I realised how truly my affection distressed my fiance by the temptation it caused him, it was easier to back off.

    I will be praying for you. It IS worth the wait. The freedom of making love to your spouse is wonderful. But, I think I will also take on Maureen’s perspective of treasuring how we felt about each other, because I’m sure there will be a day when we need the memories of warmth and the ‘I just can’t keep my hands off you’ to help carry us through a more difficult phase later on.

    Anyway, I hope that all made sense. All I really wanted to say was ‘FIght the good fight’ and that you really are not alone in this. I know that the seeming futility of it can be so frustrating, but you can do it!

  19. My husband and I met when I was almost 16 and he was 18. We liked each other and kept in contact for four years as my family moved back overseas. Our relationship deepened during that time by letters, e-mail, and phone. I came back to the US and went through college (all four years!) before getting married. We were engaged for a year and a half of that time.

    We set up some pretty strict standards for ourselves. It was not fun to tell ourselves no, but it was SO worth it. We limited time alone (in public, in the car–with others knowing when/where we were going, at home with others home, never in bedrooms, etc….) We kept ourselves busy with work and school, and chose to work at different locations/states the summer before we were married, when we still had a year to go. The unstructured time on weekends seemed like too much of a temptation. We did not want to ruin a good relationship!

    Intimate conversations (about physical intimacy/desires about honeymoon…) were something we did not spend much time on until about a month and a half before our wedding. The college I was at required no physical contact, and we kept the rules while there. We also had our own “rules” we came up with for when we weren’t at school.

    It is not a futile fight. Keep fighting. If you truly love each other deeply, you can learn to choose what is best for each other–and moral purity is best. Watch your day-dreaming, too!

  20. I think the biggest thing that would have stopped us is to have gotten married sooner. We had a 15 month engagement. We did fine for the first 9 months or so and then as we grew closer (as we should have) the natural desires (which God created) began to grow. So, the best advice I can give you is not only make strict rules that others can hold you to, but also, if at all possible get married sooner. Move the wedding up if you can. People can think what they will, venues can change and dresses can be bought off the rack if necessary. But purity can not be refound. I don’t know why you have to have such a long engagement but if you can, shorten it. You will be glad you did.

    This is the one thing we truly regret. Letting others dictate when our wedding should be. We would have gotten married sooner if it had been our own choice. We didn’t make it on our own so we gave in to temptation.

    Also, have accountability partners who will ask you how you are doing. My husband and I did not have that at all. If you know that someone is going to ask and you are going to have to be honest you will be more likely to keep to the narrow road. Especially if moving the wedding up is not an option.

  21. Long engagements are hard. I am the oldest of four girls, and my parents made me finish college before we could marry. I started college when I was 20. They realized that it had not necessarily been the best guideline. So–the next two sisters married while in college. (The youngest still has not been discovered by Mr. Right.)

  22. I believe some replies misunderstand hiswifeypoo. She isn’t saying she thinks she is married in God’s sight without having been married before men. Apparently, the couple has observed all the formalities. Her point is that her husband wasn’t married in God’s eyes to his first wife, so his marriage to her is his first marriage in God’s eyes. I don’t know if I agree with that or not, but I don’t think she is saying that she has a “spiritual marriage” and doesn’t need the papers.

  23. Comment to: askmore

    You ask some interesting questions. I have also been questioning when the marriage actually takes place. I think that we too easily use the modern day ceremony as being the point after which we can have sexual relations. But, as you said there is no reference to that in the Bible. I think maybe we look to a marriage ceremony to make it simpler to follow God’s law.

    My fiance and I have been dating for 7 weeks and we are going to be married next week. We have made a commitment to ourselves, God and our Church brothers and sisters. Next Sunday we will go through the ceremony that makes it a legal union.

    Are we not married in God’s eyes?

  24. Hello Rachel,
    Much has been written on this topic…here are my two pennies worth.

    I have been married for 25 years, am 47 and we have 7 children.

    I lost my virginity when I was still single and before I gave my life to Jesus Christ. For years I have dealt with that premature sexual commitment which left me sexually frigid in marriage and non-responsive. I carried huge disrespect for myself. Was I married to the former dude? Not in a technical sense but I do believe in soul ties and the so-called ‘divorce’ I suffered, when he dumped me, still affects me today.

    Yes, I do believe there can be a type of soul marriage when two share sexually and the break up can be just at devastating as a divorce. A death happens in a heart.

    When I met and became engaged to my husband, we made a commitment, as Christ followers, to not touch sexually. It was REALLY hard as we had both been sexually initiated before. We prayed for strength and used sense by keeping ourselves away from temptation and not being together too long in dark places or lonely spots. It worked. We married as ‘virgins’ to each other and have been totally in love for our entire marriage.

    We became married in soul, body and spirit and, no, the official ceremony was not the deciding factor in our commitment to each other. However, it was an important spiritually dedicated step towards severing ties with former lovers and showing each other that we were committed to a life-long partnership shared by only us two.

    By exchanging marriage vows, therefore joining together in front of witnesses, a crucial sign is shown by both spouses of their seriousness in having chosen each other over all others.

    I wish you much love and passion in your marriage. Although I was asexual for many years, my man never stopped passionately adoring me and I still love him beyond measure. God’s blessings be upon your union with your chosen man.

  25. Just stumbled across this today but thought I’d chime in – in case someone is still reading this one.

    Since when is the biblical focus of marriage a legal ceremony? If you read the old and new testament they make it quite clear that a marriage is a reflection of God and His people/ Christ and the Church. Look at the Prophets they are full of marriage metaphors or the Gospels/Epistles again lot’s of marriage metaphors… so first and foremost our marriages as Christians are meant to be a living example of Christ and His Church. That means that everything we do as DH’s and wifeypoo’s (I think those are the terms you use) is to be first and foremost a reference point for others to see how God loves His people.
    Marriage is a mystery. It is a gift. It is not to be treated lightly or thoughtlessly by those involved in it. This is where the need / idea for a covenant/ceremony comes into play. Just as we entered into our walk with Christ through repentance and surrender and commitment to Him so to our marriage must reflect that need to commit before God and Man as to what we are doing.
    Sex is the icing on the cake. It is celebration. It is praise to our Father and Creator for the goodness of His covenant with us and the beauty of creation! It is man and woman at their most intimate reflecting the fullness of God’s intensity toward His people and our almost uncontrollable ;) response to that passion.
    I love sex, but it is not the fullness of marriage any more than praise and worship is the fullness of the Christian life. When we make it or the legal stuff the focus of these issues we lose sight of the point – am I reflecting, glorifying and honoring God to the best of my abilities in my relationship with my boyfriend, fiance, husband and if not how can we get to a place where we are!

  26. Thank you for your reply. I admire you both for being able to wait. And 7 children? How wonderful, you are truly blessed.

    I’ll be honest and say that my fiance and I have not been able to abstain. We moved in together before I was saved and were already having sex at that point. I struggled with how having sex before marriage was a sin. But in abstaining we were pushing each other away, also a sin. No cuddles, no kissing, no touching. We had to physically push away to prevent it going any further. After talking about it we decided that we would continue. God has brought us together in a miraculous way and we didn’t want to reject the wonderful gift we have been given. I know that this is contrary to most peoples beliefs and I am struggling with it still. I am just thankful that our wedding is on Sunday and we will no longer have to question.

    But other things have changed in me. I no longer feel flattered when another man finds me attractive. I care if my fiance glances at another woman or vice versa. It’s not jealousy but a sense of right and wrong. I used to think that a man should be happy that other men found his partner attractive and that I should be happy if other women felt the same way about my partner. Now I know that it is wrong. To know that is too see someone stepping between us and disrespecting our relationship.

    Anyway, I digress. I do fell that we have joined together in front of witnesses in so many ways. We have stood in front of God and our brothers and sisters and declared our commitment to each other. In the same way that my Baptism was, to me, an outward sign of an inner change our wedding is that too.

    Thank you for your kind words. I am truly blessed.

  27. Em, I read your post, and I was unsure of what your point was. Not a criticism at all, I was just genuinely not sure what point you were trying to get across. Was your post a reply to Rachel’s post above yours? :)

  28. I remember a lesson I learned back in the days of Purity 101, aka the high school youth group (don’t mean that sarcastically – it’s a fond reference). The speaker said that for the Christian, sex before marriage is like opening your wedding gift from God early and without His permission; put yourself in that role, and think of how sad you would be that someone you loved didn’t wait for the right time to open your gift. They tore it open and used it right away, then didn’t thank you for it because they felt guilty. In other words, they cheapened it. I referred back to that while engaged to my husband, but unfortunately we took it way too far right up to the wedding (still remaining virgins “technically”). All these years later, I still wish we had not done this. Our entire honeymoon – really, our entire first year of marriage – suffered as a result. Non Christians, or Christians who have justified pre-marital sex, will chalk up a hum drum honeymoon or early married life to “reality” – but for those who waited, their reality is far more blessed. I wish I could say that I had that.

  29. I was responding to a bunch of posts that seemed to me to be missing the whole point of what God was intending with marriage: that it is first and foremost to be a human reflection of something divine. We (as christians) sometimes have tendency to focus on details or minutaé as if they are what really matters to God. There have been all sorts of standards as to what constitutes marriage throughout history, but the Bible makes it pretty clear that once you`ve entered a sexual relationship with someone in God`s eyes you`ve crossed a line – a line which should only be crossed within the commitment of marriage (however it is defined). What is more important figuring out the exact location of a figurative line or figuring out how best to move and act before God at any stage of our relationships.

    Maybe I`m still not making sense if so I`m sorry… this is my first time doing something like this… oh gravy I`ll zip it now!

  30. Hi Em

    Thanks for the follow-up post. My fiance and I tried abstinence and our relationship suffered. We were pushing each other away, physically, after every hug or kiss or anything that would lead to arousal. It’s a sin to abstain and to push our partner away too. We have announced to our Church Brothers and Sisters that we are to be married. We have made a commitment to God and to each other. We are getting married on Sunday after a very short engagement. We see our wedding as a legal union. A symbolic ceremony that legalizes our union and gives our Church an opportunity to share in that union (since they can’t be there when we ‘married’ as in consummation!). But I also see my Baptism as the same. It’s a symbolic act not for me but for the Church community to share in and see the power of faith and their prayers being answered. Make sense?

  31. I’m sorry that guilt led to such problems in your marriage. But since your actions where not against God’s Law then you have nothing to feel guilty about. Maybe you should examine yourself and what you have been taught to see where the problem has been brought into your mind and your life.

    Personally, I have no guilt. And, for my fiance and I, marriage is so much more than sex. God has truly gifted us to each other and we can choose how we treat that gift. With God, our Church family and each other we have every chance of a happy Christian marriage as anyone else has who takes the responsibility seriously.

  32. On the contrary, God’s Word explicitly says that sexual immorality is a sin– which includes sex or sex-related acts before marriage. My fiance and I have struggled/struggle a lot with going too far, and it is a slippery slope and something we know is displeasing and hurtful to God. This has been validated by our pastors and our accountability partners. We are very much aware of how God feels about crossing the line!

    In response to Rachel’s previous post:
    “It’s a sin to abstain and to push our partner away too.”
    Paul says not to abstain from your partner within a marriage– this is so our spouse does not fall into other temptations from ‘withdrawal’. But you cannot apply this concept to other relationships, otherwise we would be sinning when we pushed away our boyfriend/girlfriend from going too far! We are expected to uphold our purity until we are married.

    I see that you have some very different views about “when” someone is officially married. To use your words, “Marriage is a mystery. It is a gift. It is not to be treated lightly or thoughtlessly by those involved in [or outside] it”. I don’t believe that it is up to us when we are officially married.

    Being engaged does not equate marriage, and the “symbolic ceremony that legalizes our union and gives our Church an opportunity to share in that union”, in your words again, is the public (and, in some ways, private) promise, declaration, and covenant to God that you are joining yourself with this one person for life. After that, then you are married in God’s eyes, after you have made that covenant. I think the ceremony (although more sombre than the reception, and the most brief moment of your marriage) is the essential milestone we must cross before we are considered married, and are welcomed and sanctioned by God to come together sexually.

    I understand that you are getting married in a few days, so I wish you the very best of smooth-running ceremonies and receptions. My encouragement to you, is to be open to God’s heart on this topic, even after you get married and “all is said and done”. Because judging from the testimonies of married women here, I do hope for myself and my fiance that our lack of self-control as an engaged couple will not mar our marriage.

    God Bless.

  33. excellent post youngladylove!!!

  34. Rachel,
    I understand your point completely. Its funny how people always try to improve on the perfection of God. To become part of the Bride of Christ all you have to do is Accept Him into your heart. That committment is between you and Christ and God the Father alone. From that moment on you are a Christian, and the words and traditions of man will never make you any more Christian. The same applies to marriage, it is a committment of the heart between you, your fiance, and God. Thats all that is required. The traditions of religion and the laws of Ceasar will never make you more married in the eyes of God, nor will it make it stronger or last any longer. It is only the strength of your commitment to each other and your relationship with God that will make your marriage last. I’ve seen lots of speculation and hypothisising, but no scriptural references to back up the need for a blessing by Man or a piece of parchement from Ceasar to validate your Marriage. If you have indeed made that commitment to each other and God, ENJOY

  35. If that’s the case, then why even have a ceremony and just “shack-up” with each other? I find it troubling when people twist the truth in order to either make themselves feel less guilty or to rationalize whatever activity they’re doing. And yes, my fiance and I were guilty of that before we were married but realized that what we were doing was a sin and we needed to stop and wait until we were married. Yes, the Bible doesn’t say anything about needing “a piece of parchment” to be considered “married’ but says to obey and respect the leaders and laws of the land. All you have to do is look back through history and tradition to find when the leaders or laws consider people married and that’s usually at the end of some sort of public ceremony. In Jewish tradition, everyone even waits until after the ceremony for the consummation and then you’re considered married. In the US and most other countries in the world today, you’re considered married after the ceremony and have your marriage certificate signed.

  36. But that’s a contradiction of all the proponents of a legal marriage being marriage in the eyes of God.

    In my case not having a legal marriage makes it ‘not a marriage’ in God’s eyes.

    But in your husband’s case even though he had a legal marriage he was not married in the sight of God.

  37. But what is a spouse in God’s eyes?

  38. To carpentersdream: I believe you are correct. Unfortunately too many have become tied up in a legal process and that worries me. It’s the commitment to God and between the couple involved that is what makes it a marriage.

    To Alsocurious: We have not ‘shacked up’. I find that upsetting. We have made a commitment to God and to each other. When the Bible says to respect the leaders and laws of the land it says nothing about that respect then meaning that we have made a covenant to God. The reference you are making specifically points out that God’s Law and man’s law are to completely separate things.

    As a student of anthropology I can assure you that if we look back through history and tradition to find that leaders and laws do not dictate when a person is married or that it is at the end of a public ceremony. The truth is in fact the complete opposite.

    In Jewish tradition the legal part of the ceremony is not when the couple are considered married.

    In the US you are not considered married after the ceremony and your certificate has been signed. You are considered married after the license has been signed and filed with the court. Even man’s law does not require a ceremony. You are also incorrect in saying that this is the case in most countries of the world today. Many, many countries do not require a certificate to be signed. Check with Immigration and Naturalization Services, that gives them a headache every day!

  39. Clearly we disagree. I will not debate it with you. If you believe that you can have sex with anyone who you decide in your heart you are committed to, I am not going to expend my energy trying to dissuade you from your understanding. I don’t believe it would be a fruitful discussion for me.

  40. I agree w/cinnamonsticks. It doesn’t seem that her heart will change and she’s ok with convoluting the truth to suit their physical desires. I will say that I used to use that kind of logic before and during my engagement because I couldn’t control my desires and wanted sex and didn’t want to have to wait for the wedding. But the more I read about it and talked to people about it, I realized that it was sinful…but I still didn’t want to stop until my fiance came out and said we had to stop and wait until we were married because it was not right what we were doing. I believe she’s in the minority here with that point of view.

  41. Rachel–

    You have hit a very steep learning curve/life change in the past few months, getting saved, beginning dating, getting engaged, and soon marrying. I want to encourage you and your soon-to-be husband to continue growing together, and in the Lord.

    While you are going in to marriage knowing each others’ body pretty well, I want to encourage you to grow with each other in knowing the Lord more. I don’t know if you have had time to go through a pre-marital counseling course, but I would really encourage you to do one together, preferably under the guidance of a godly couple. One I would suggest is called “Preparing for Marriage God’s Way” by Wayne Mack. The format of this is that you each have your own workbook. There are a number of Bible Studies and Questionnaires, on various topics, such as money, sex, marriage roles and responsibilities, family relationships, adding children to the family, etc…

    It is important for both of you to discuss these areas, and realize a) where you each came from (how things were done in your family of origin); b) how you, yourself feel about these various areas; c) what the Bible says about these areas; d) how you, as a couple will strive to live out life with Bible principles in mind–sometimes the way you and he have done things so far are not wrong, just different. Knowing and deciding them up front will save a lot of grief later on.

    Rachel, I hope that you understand that I care for you as a sister in Christ. I want God’s best in your marriage. I am afraid that you are starting out your marriage in a defensive manner, trying to excuse your sin.

    I am encouraged that you have reached a point of realizing that you don’t want others to covet your fiance. That is great. You are growing in the Lord. Covetousness is something addressed in the 10 commandments, as well as by Jesus, in Matthew 5. Your growth is exciting. Keep growing, and many blessings on your marriage.

  42. my 2 cents: you can’t “feel” like you’re committed to someone. the paper work is the commitment. feelings come and go, and are constantly changing. in this day and age a person’s word is worth nothing. you can’t do anything legally with just a handshake anymore, and it’s like that for your protection. the paper work is your legal protection should something happen. and the paperwork is you putting forth the effort to show everyone just how committed you are. without the paperwork it’s just a bunch of empty words. if you really are committed to each other then you should have no problem at all legally getting married. it’s a sacred covenant and the institute of marriage should be greatly respected!

  43. At this point in time, we feel that everyone has had their chance to say what they feel. Our blog was never intended to be a forum for debate, and we don’t have the time to moderate every comment on this topic, so we’ve decided to disable comments on this article for a short while. We feel like this discussion has ran it’s course and will not be approving more comments on what constitutes a legal “marriage” in the future.


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