Should Christians have sex before marriage – what do you think?

By pastor michael – the christian dating coach

The question of whether Christians should engage in sexual relations before marriage has been a topic of significant debate and reflection within Christian communities and theology. This exploration seeks to articulate the reasons, rooted in Christian doctrine, tradition, and contemporary understanding, why many Christians believe in abstaining from premarital sex – Says Pastor Michael – The Christian Dating Coach

Biblical Foundations

The primary foundation for Christian teachings on sexual morality, including premarital sex, is the Bible. Several passages in both the Old and New Testaments are interpreted as promoting sexual abstinence outside of marriage.

  1. Genesis and the Creation of Marriage: The book of Genesis (Genesis 2:24) establishes the principle of two people becoming one flesh in the context of a marriage. This union is seen as a sacred bond intended to be the context for sexual relations.
  2. Prohibitions in the Law and Prophets: The Old Testament law, particularly in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, includes various prohibitions against sexual immorality, which have traditionally been interpreted to include premarital sex.
  3. Teachings of Jesus and the Apostles: In the New Testament, Jesus reaffirms the sanctity of marriage in his teachings (Matthew 19:4-6). Additionally, the letters of Paul, such as 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 and 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, explicitly admonish Christians to abstain from sexual immorality, which has historically been interpreted to include sex before marriage.

Theological Understandings of Sex and Marriage

  1. Sex as a Sacred Gift: Christian theology often views sex as a gift from God, intended for procreation and the expression of love within the confines of marriage. Engaging in sex outside of this context is seen as a misuse of this gift.
  2. Covenant of Marriage: Marriage is often understood in Christianity as a covenant, not just a contract, reflecting a deep, spiritual bond. Sexual relations within marriage are seen as a physical manifestation of this covenantal union.
  3. Symbolism of the Church and Christ: In Ephesians 5:31-32, marriage is used as a symbol for the relationship between Christ and the Church. As such, the marriage relationship, including its sexual aspect, is held to a high standard of sacredness.

Moral and Ethical Considerations

  1. Promotion of Self-Control and Holiness: Abstinence before marriage is seen as a practice of self-control and a commitment to holiness, virtues highly esteemed in Christian ethics.
  2. Protection Against Sin and Temptation: Premarital abstinence is also viewed as a safeguard against sexual sin and temptation, which are believed to lead individuals away from a God-centered life.
  3. Respect for the Body as the Temple of the Holy Spirit: Christian doctrine teaches that the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Thus, sexual purity is seen as a form of respect and stewardship for one’s body.

Societal and Relational Implications

  1. Strengthening of Marital Bonds: Many Christians believe that saving sex for marriage can help strengthen the marital bond, as the sexual relationship is exclusive and special within the context of marriage.
  2. Reduction of Societal Issues: From a societal perspective, promoting abstinence is seen as a way to reduce issues like out-of-wedlock births, sexually transmitted diseases, and the emotional complications associated with sexual relationships outside of marriage.
  3. Building Non-Sexual Aspects of Relationships: By abstaining from sex before marriage, couples are encouraged to focus on other aspects of their relationship, such as emotional intimacy, communication, and shared values.

Contemporary Christian Perspectives

In contemporary Christian discourse, there is recognition of the challenges and complexities surrounding the issue of premarital sex. This includes an acknowledgment of the reality of sexual desires, the influence of cultural norms, and the diversity of individual experiences.

  1. Engaging with Modern Culture: Christians grapple with how to uphold biblical teachings on sexual morality while engaging compassionately with a culture that often has different views on sex and relationships.
  2. Pastoral Care and Counseling: The Church faces the task of providing guidance and support to individuals navigating sexual ethics, offering pastoral care for those who struggle with or have transgressed these teachings.
  3. Education and Dialogue: Many Christian communities emphasize the importance of education and open dialogue about sexuality, aiming to provide a biblical, yet understanding and relevant perspective on sexual ethics.


The Christian stance against premarital sex is rooted in a complex interplay of biblical teachings, theological principles, moral and ethical considerations, and societal and relational implications. The view of sex as a sacred gift intended for the marital covenant, the emphasis on self-control and holiness, and the concern for societal well-being all contribute to the rationale for abstinence before marriage. Contemporary Christianity continues to wrestle with these issues, seeking to uphold traditional teachings while engaging with modern cultural realities and providing pastoral care and support. Ultimately, the Christian perspective on premarital sex is not merely about prohibition but is part of a broader vision of human flourishing, relational integrity, and spiritual growth within the context of a life oriented toward God.

In Love
Pastor Michael – The Christian Relationship Coach
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