Ummm… I think we need to talk
What do you mean by what about? Really?
Yeah..what about? I can’t read your mind, you know that
Okay! It’s about last night.
Babe, am sorry okay? I didn’t mean for it to happen like that.
(Sobbing..) but that’s what you said the last time
Well honey, you know it takes two to tango..why are you putting the blame on me?
I am not!
Yes you are!
You are always blaming me when something goes wrong. I don’t remember
You could have stopped me if you wanted to. Now you’re trying to make me feel guilty
for something we both did. I am really getting to the tipping point of this situation.
Are you really? Is that all you can say?
This might not be the typical conversation that many unmarried couples have after engaging in fornication or pre-marital sex. In most cases, the conversation might not happen at all due to shame, guilt and regret.
What is pre-marital sex anyways? Does the bible explicitly shun it? and why does the church keep silent over it especially during the dating and courtship stages of relationship? It’d surprise you to know that most people do not talk about the sexuality aspect of a relationship when they begin dating. It’s like the unwritten code or memo that you just should have got. Well, it kind of depends on who you believe in or what you call yourself. Okay , let me clarify. So, as an example if you believe that self is your highest priority and you are all about self happiness and gratification; then you have no reason or excuse not to engage in sexual activity when you feel like it. On other hand, if you identify as a believer in Jesus Christ or you call yourself a christian; then you should have hesitation or are quite cautious when it comes to sexual activity because it’s no longer about self but Jesus Christ.
Now to the questions. Pre-marital sex when broken down is sexual activity that occurs before marriage. “Pre” meaning before, marital meaning marriage as instituted by God. The definition of sex has evolved over the years especially in this era of technological development, to the point where there’s what’s called “phone sex”. So the definition of sex is quite broad and as such is left to you for interpretation.
Does the bible explicitly shun pre-marital sex? To be able to understand this, it is important to know what God deems as marriage. Genesis 2:24 sets the motion for what God considers marriage. We can deduce from this verse that, the joining of a man to his wife in the process of becoming one flesh is the biblical and God’s definition of marriage. God did not institute a ceremony or a legal documentation to validate marriage. Whenever two people come together in sexual union and become one flesh; their spirits become married or joined together. This is an aspect of what is popularly known as a “soul tie” (That’s for another day). Before God, sex is a bonding of spirits and souls. This why Jacob could not turn back from marrying Leah after he had laid with her even though he had thought he was marrying Rachel (Genesis 29:21-28). Laban as crafty as he was, I believe presented Rachel during the feast or ceremony and then in the night sneaked Leah into the bedchamber of Jacob. Why? He knew it was sex that sealed the deal not a ceremony.
Thus to God, it’s not just the issue of pre-marital sex but sex in general in his sight is not something to toy with. Sex is not an experiment to determine an outcome; whether it’s good or bad. God made us and so he sees the damage that happens when the soul and the spirit joins together but there isn’t unity in the physical realm. He knows and sees the pain, hurt and brokenness that it can bring. Hence his admonishment through Paul to flee fornication. (1 Corinthians 6:18) It is interesting and worthy of note that God is not afraid of you sinning against him but he is more concerned about you sinning against your own body. Why? Most probably due to the impact of sexual sin against your body which in my opinion, the human mind is limited to totally grasp and fully understand.
The popular Joseph and Potiphar’s wife conversation cannot be left out in the discussion of sexual sin.. An account of this story is found in Genesis 39:7-12. Joseph had such reverence for God that he could not even entertain the idea of sleeping with another man’s wife. What did he do in the situation? He fled! He passed on the “scholarship” of free sex and who knows what favors she’d have given him? Men, you don’t sleep or give your strength to every and any woman who makes herself available to you! (Proverbs 31:3)
The reason why I think the church is often silent about sex during the stages of dating and courtship is partly due to assumptions and ignorance. Assumptions, because it is presumed that people in the church “should know better”. There is a silent implication that couples who date in the church know what God says about fornication and hence what to do to avoid the snare of sexual sin. It is quite sad because, it fails to recognize that the church is a place for restoration for broken people who are gradually being transformed into the image of Christ Jesus. There is also a lack of recognition that there exists a variety of spiritual growth and maturity level in the church which is inevitably present in relationships. This leads to the ignorance that “avoiding the talk” will make the issue go away. Some argue that they don’t talk about this because, they don’t want to be sin conscious or make people feel guilty, forgetting that it is for lack of knowledge that people perish. (Hosea 4:6)
There are relationships that began with an acknowledgment of God and his stance on sexual sin, yet most often people find themselves in bed before long. It is important to evaluate ourselves and set boundaries in relationships with the opposite sex if we are to glorify God in all of our ways and present our bodies as a temple of his Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ) Joseph did not pray or ask God how much or how far he could get away with kissing, touching or petting Pharaoah’s wife. He fled! When in doubt about sinning against your own body; flee!