Society and Premarital SexQUESTION: Society and premarital sex - Where do I draw the line?ANSWER:
When advising where to draw the line concerning premarital sex vs. just "fooling around," society needs to first grasp the definition and if any - the difference. First let's look at definitions according to the dictionary.Sex:
the sexual urge or instinct as it manifests itself in behavior.Fornication:
sex between parties not married to each other.Adultery:
sex between a married person and one other than the lawful spouse.
Thus, as defined in the dictionary, an urge or shall we say, thoughts of manifesting them, is sex. (The Bible calls this lust) To have physical intercourse is sex. Whether it is two unmarried partners or one married and one not - it is sex. Participating "up to a point" of actual physical intercourse, such as having oral sex, is sex. Societal trends don't change the definitions.
Frankly, there is no line to draw; it is strictly a decision to engage in sexual activity or not. There are many factors to consider in this choice. Included in these factors are unwanted pregnancies, unwanted children, life-long emotional effects (regret, broken hearts, and guilt are among them). We cannot neglect to add sexually transmitted diseases, the consequences of sexual immorality, and in many jurisdictions - it's breaking the law.
National speaker and author Pam Stenzel says any type of genital contact is considered sex and the boundary lines are clear. "Medically speaking, they're very clear, because any type of genital contact can transmit disease."
Each factor listed above should be a strong deterrent, but there is also a moral issue. Therefore let's look at the standard for all morality. The Bible contains many verses dealing with sexual issues. One of the Ten Commandments says we should not commit adultery. However, what does it say about consensual sex between non-married individuals (regardless of age)?
The biblical standard of sex is purity. God designed us to be sexual creatures and says sex is to be enjoyed between a husband and wife within their marriage. Within marriage, we can enjoy an all-inclusive physical, emotional, and spiritual bond that once lost elsewhere cannot be fully reclaimed. Of course, since we are designed to enjoy sex, we might wonder how it could be wrong to engage in any sexual activity.
As societies, we must set legal and behavioral boundaries in order to function properly. God has set boundaries so that we might properly function according to His supreme design. Scripture is laid out to show us God's way, which is in our best interest. God designed the path so that we might have an abundant life experiencing His love and the sacred love of a marital spouse. His word describes the perfect union of husband and wife that is meant to be exclusive. He subsequently frowns on acts of rebellion against his purpose and design.
"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" (Hebrews 13:4). Sexual immorality, as with all sin, can be forgiven but requires repentance. Repentance means to turn away from and not repeat. Once forgiveness is requested, we can begin anew in the eyes of God by after recognizing our sin, we strive to not repeat them.