The Bible’s Viewpoint
Does Romantic Love Justify Premarital Sex?
IN ONE survey almost 90 percent of teenagers polled felt that premarital sex is not wrong when the two parties love each other. This thinking is reflected in and often condoned by the media. Television and films routinely portray sexual activity as a normal result of a romantic attachment.
Of course, those who want to please God do not look to the world for guidance, recognizing that it reflects the thinking of its ruler, the Devil. (1 John 5:19) They also take care not to be governed purely by their feelings, knowing that “the heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate.” (Jeremiah 17:9) Rather, those who are truly wise look to the Creator and to his inspired Word for direction.—Proverbs 3:5, 6; 2 Timothy 3:16.
Sex Is a Divine Gift
“Every good gift and every perfect present is from above, for it comes down from the Father of the celestial lights,” says James 1:17. Sexual intimacy within the marriage arrangement is one of those precious gifts. (Ruth 1:9; 1 Corinthians 7:2, 7) It enables humans to procreate, and it also helps a husband and wife to bond physically and emotionally in a very tender and pleasurable way. “Rejoice with the wife of your youth,” penned ancient King Solomon. “Let her own breasts intoxicate you at all times.”—Proverbs 5:18, 19.
Naturally, Jehovah wants us to benefit from and rejoice in his gifts. To that end, he has also given us the very best laws and principles to live by. (Psalm 19:7, 8) Jehovah is “the One teaching you to benefit yourself, the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk.” (Isaiah 48:17) Would our heavenly Father—the very personification of love—deprive us of something that is truly good?—Psalm 34:10; 37:4; 84:11; 1 John 4:8.
Sex Before Marriage Is Unloving
When a man and a woman unite in wedlock, they become “one flesh,” as it were. When two unmarried people have sexual relations, also called fornication, they too form “one body”—but one that is unclean in God’s eyes.* What is more, such unions are unloving. How so?—Mark 10:7-9; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, 16.
For one thing, fornication is sex without genuine commitment. And besides undermining self-respect, it can result in disease, unwanted pregnancy, and emotional pain. Above all, it violates God’s righteous standards. Hence, fornication reflects little or no regard for the present and future welfare and happiness of the other person.
For a Christian, fornication is also an encroachment upon the rights of his or her spiritual brother or sister. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6) For example, professed servants of God who indulge in sex outside marriage bring uncleanness into the Christian congregation. (Hebrews 12:15, 16) Also, they deprive the one with whom they commit fornication of a clean moral standing and, if the other person is single, of entering into a possible future marriage morally chaste. They also stain the good record of their own family, as well as wrong the family of their sexual partner. Finally, they show a disregard for God, whom they have hurt by violating his righteous laws and principles. (Psalm 78:40, 41) Jehovah, in turn, will ‘exact punishment’ for all such bad deeds committed by unrepentant individuals. (1 Thessalonians 4:6) Is it any wonder, then, that the Bible tells us to “flee from fornication”?—1 Corinthians 6:18.
Are you in love and planning to marry? Then why not use your courtship to build a solid foundation of mutual trust and respect? Think: How can a woman fully trust a man who has shown himself lacking in self-control? And how easy is it for a man to cherish and honor a woman who disregards God’s law in order to satisfy her romantic feelings or to please the man?
Remember, too, that those who reject God’s loving standards reap what they sow. (Galatians 6:7) “He that practices fornication is sinning against his own body,” says the Bible. (1 Corinthians 6:18; Proverbs 7:5-27) True, if a couple who engaged in premarital sex truly repent, work hard to restore their relationship with God, and strengthen their trust in each another, negative feelings may eventually abate. Still, their past conduct usually leaves a scar. One young couple, who are now married, bitterly regret having committed fornication. ‘Are our marital disagreements somehow a result of this unclean foundation?’ the husband sometimes asks himself.
True Love Is Unselfish
While it may be accompanied by romantic feelings, true love “does not behave indecently” or “look for its own interests.” (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5) Instead, it works toward the other person’s welfare and everlasting happiness. Such love impels a man and a woman to honor each other and to accord sexual intimacies their proper, God-given place—the marriage bed.—Hebrews 13:4.
The feelings of trust and security that make for a truly happy marriage are especially important when babies arrive, for God purposed that children grow up in a loving, stable, and secure environment. (Ephesians 6:1-4) Only in marriage do two people truly commit to each other. In their heart, and often orally as well, they vow to care for and support each other through good times and bad for the rest of their lives.—Romans 7:2, 3.
Sexual intimacies between a husband and wife can strengthen their bond. In a happy marriage, partners also find sexual intimacy more pleasurable and meaningful—and without cheapening the union, troubling the conscience, or disobeying the Creator.
The Greek word translated “fornication” applies to all sexual activity with another person outside marriage that involves the use of the sex organs, including oral sex.—See Awake! of July 22, 2004, page 12, and The Watchtower of February 15, 2004, page 13, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
HAVE YOU WONDERED?
▪ What is God’s view of sex before marriage?—1 Corinthians 6:9, 10.
▪ Why is fornication harmful?—1 Corinthians 6:18.
▪ How can two people who are romantically attracted to each other show true love?—1 Corinthians 13:4, 5.