With some trepidation, I’m bringing up the topic of having sex with people to whom one is not married. This isn’t about lgbtq people’s inability to be married in the legal sense in most states in the U.S., and it’s not really about affairs either. It’s about people who are not married in any sense having sex with anyone at all. Or people who are engaged having sex before the wedding.
A couple of times I’ve seen people on YAR say they don’t hold to the same ethic on this as the Christian Church has taught during at least our lifetimes. I have always heard from the Christians in my life that it is a sin to have sex in any form (or get close to it) with anyone other than the person to whom one is married. Having sex at any point before the wedding ceremony (in whatever form it takes) is a sin, they tell me.
Any manner of consequences for such behavior are predicted, ranging from the believable (you might compare your life-long spouse with past lovers in bed) to the outrageous (God has a special Hell set aside for such transgressors.)
Someone posted the following list of Bad Things That Happen Because of Premarital Sex on a message board. I haven’t changed it.
>> Disobedience to God (Rebellion against his Holy standards)
Idolatry (becoming a slave to sexual desires)
STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases)
Dealing with sexual attachments with former lover(s)
Having offspring by former lover(s) that could be abusive of offspring, child becoming rebellious against the absent parent who’s moved on and married someone to raise children with, child being withheld from parent/other family members etc… pregnant lover having abortion.
Sexual sin passing on and generational curse
Developing an attitude of premarital sex is ok as long as you love each other.
Single parent who has child struggling in poverty
Increase risks of out of wedlock children getting involved in drugs, premartial sex, crime/prison.
No respect for God
Lack of self esteem
Difficulty forming lasting commitments.
Making comparisons between spouse and exlover
Daydreaming more about former lovers than of your spouse
Inability to have great sex with spouse
OK, Skylark talking again. I don’t want to mock the person who made this list in earnest, hoping to persuade people to avoid bad situations. But, part of me wonders… It strikes me that all of these things can happen with or without sex in a relationship, and I know many people who have healthy marriages now, when they did sleep together before they got married. On the other hand, some never even talked about sex before they married, believing that would be a sin. And now they discover they’ve got opposite libidos, or they don’t find each other sexually attractive… or whatever. Yet I constantly hear Christians promising if both people are virgins when they get married, the sex will be great. C’mon, virginity’s not a cure-all for every possible problem.
Where’s the middle ground? Is there One Truth on this that can be applied to everyone? Does God have clearly-communicated expectations on this? I’ll leave the Scripture-citing for someone else. Perhaps some of you who are more scholarly than I can tell me where the academics are leaning on this.