Fornication is a fun word that has been abandoned by modern society due to the judgmental tone. However, it’s an important word that we need to understand if we hope to avoid being a fornicator and the consequences that follow.
What is fornication? And what does God have to say about it?
Sex before marriage is called Fornication; it is consensual intercourse between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is a strong temptation that almost everyone must deal with and it’s a sin that Christians must avoid.
The true biblical meaning of fornication involves all forms of sexual activity, vaginal, oral and anal sex.
Fornication vs adultery
What’s the difference between fornication and adultery
Adultery is different from fornication. Adultery occurs when one or both people involved are married to someone else. If you’re married and you have sex with anyone other than your husband, you’ve committed adultery.
Whereas fornication occurs between two unmarried people.
Choosing abstinence or celibacy prior to marriage means that you’ve made a commitment to not to engage in the sin of fornication.
Some people wonder if adultery is worse than fornication. In my opinion, the sin is equal but the consequences of adultery are often greater.
Fornication in the Bible
Does the bible ACTUALLY say that sex before marriage is a sin?
The answer YES
Fornication is discussed in the bible mixed in with a bunch of other evils
“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies”
Clearly, it’s on God’s TO DON’T list.
The Consequences of Fornication and Adultery
There are many emotional, mental and physical consequences of being sexually active. Within marriage, the consequences are beneficial results. Feelings of commitment, desire, selflessness, protectiveness, and more bind newlyweds together.
But when those feelings are tied to someone you just met, or who has no desire to be in a long-term committed relationship, those same positive feelings turn into possessiveness, jealousy, and insecurity.
Our bodies were created by God for pleasure. The head of a man’s penis has over 8000 nerve endings. And a woman’s clitoris has only one purpose- PURE PLEASURE!
We were created to enjoy sex.
Unlike animals, we don’t have breeding seasons. We are able to enjoy intercourse all year round.
But that doesn’t mean we are allowed to abuse this gift. It was given for a specific purpose. Great sex between a husband and wife can actually bring them closer to God.
Sexual immorality does the opposite. It brings shame and creates a wedge between us and our savior.
After all, do you really feel like going to church on Sunday morning to worship God when you wake up beside your boyfriend after a night of dirty dancing?
Back to the Bible
Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 6:13-20 – This is the main Bible verse Christians refer to when talking about fornication.
13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”a]”>[a] 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.b]”>[b]18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
God Wants You To Enjoy Your Body
God wants you to be able to enjoy your own body and the body of your husband within the context of marriage. But outside of that, we should learn to FLEE TEMPTATION.
But in today’s society, the idea of saving all forms of sexual expression for marriage seems practically impossible. Especially if you’re not constantly fully immersed in the word of God, prayer and church life.
For the average Christian, it feels like saving sex for marriage is a cruel and unachievable standard. One that is out of reach for all but the most committed and over saved Christians. Or maybe those who are so socially awkward the temptation never even comes up. 😏
Because if you’ve ever spent a night out on the town, or indulged in a romantic date with a man with dreamy eyes, you know;
The Temptation Is OVERWHELMING!
You might be able to put sex off for a while, but eventually… It’s going to happen.
So how do you make sure that it happens after the marriage vows are said and not before?
How do you actually say no?
Can you shut down those feelings?
What about when the pressure isn’t coming from him, but from your own body! When everything inside of you is screaming yes!
Is there a way to step away from the edge and back up when you’re about to cross the line? And where exactly is the line anyways?
These are really important questions.
Consider This Your Advanced Guide To Fleeing Fornication.
Perhaps you’ve tried a few tactics to avoid impulsively jumping into bed with a man your interested in but not married to.
- Purposely leaving your legs hairy
- Wearing extremely ugly underwear that you’d be embarrassed to be seen in
- Putting on a pair of spanks that are impossible to remove in a dignified way.
But sometimes even our best intentions for creating roadblocks can be overcome if the mood is strong enough. And suddenly your mind will be racing and you will remember all the people who told you that sex before marriage is good. You’ll justify what you’re doing by temporarily believing that having sex right now is an important step towards marriage
And you’ll say to yourself, we love each other. It’s not like we’re hurting anyone.
When all those thoughts are racing through your head and your body begins working against you,
What’s a girl to do?
First of all, it helps to have a solid understanding of the true reason God wants us to save sex for marriage.Unless we know that God is for us and His laws protect us, we will rebel against them. We need to know why sex before marriage is a sin. Click To Tweet
The real reason God wants us to save sex for marriage?
God is the ultimate father. Protective without overbearing. Kind but firm. He sees you as His princess, worthy of true selfless love from a man who will treasure you.
God wants to protect each of us from all of the painful consequences that occur when sex takes place outside of marriage.
Sex comes with a lot of responsibilities. Like I said earlier, human beings are different from animals. Both men and women can enjoy sex and be aroused outside of fertility periods. The primary purpose of sex is NOT for making babies. Sex is for connection, pleasure and intimacy. And out of that beautiful intimacy comes children.
The Disadvantages of Sex Before Marriage
When sex occurs outside of marriage the connection still occurs, our brains are literally flooded with feel-good hormones that help us to fall in love with our partner. This is designed to keep us close to one another as husband and wife, but outside of marriage, it causes emotional and physical soul ties us to someone who does not have our best interests at heart.
When someone has given themselves over to sexual urges they can get to a point where they no longer feel attraction or affection for those they sleep with. It becomes easy for them to turn off from those natural feelings of intimacy. That’s why some men lose interest in a relationship shortly after sex is introduced.
Bible Verses about fornication.
To help you in your efforts to avoid being a fornicator, here are a 9 Bible verses that can help you save sex for marriage.
I recommend reading and highlighting them in your personal bible. Memorizing them will help you to be continually renewing your mind. And this will give you the power to flee temptation.
After each verse I’ve included a little commentary to help you understand how to apply it in your own life.
“But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
1 Corinthians 7:2
Here Paul describes any sexual activity outside of marriage as sexual immorality. He acknowledges that the temptation is strong and that the solution is to create a healthy and holy place in which it can take place.
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
Here we see that marriage is sacred and that a husband and wife should share their bed exclusively with each other. When a married couple has sex, whether it’s in their bed, on a boat or under a haystack it is holy and sanctified. But as if sex occurs before marriage, or outside of it or you bring other people into it, the marriage bed becomes defiled. What was once sacred becomes obscene.
“Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality….”
Acts 15: 19-20
For a while, after the resurrection of Jesus, there was some debate about what a gentile should be expected to do or not do compared with to a jew. It was decided that gentiles were not expected to follow all the laws of the Israelite children, such as circumcision. But everyone agreed that sex should be reserved for marriage and that anything outside of marriage would be considered by God to be a sin.
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife.”
1 Corinthians 5:1
This is an example of people taking things too far. This man is has been sleeping with his father’s wife, in other words, his stepmother or mother in law. Clearly, this was taboo for even the pagan people and Paul considers it to be a serious sin.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Here’s a whole list of sexual sins which includes; “sexual immorality,” “impurity,” “sensuality,” and even “orgies.” Clearly, this does not include healthy sex between a husband and a wife, but everything outside of that is liable to keep you from entering into the kingdom of God.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God….”
1 Thessalonians 4: 3-5
Now we see that there is a call for believers to practice and master the art of self-control. Rather than indulging in the desires of the flesh, we are to please God by abstaining from sexual immorality. We can not engage in random hookups or one night stands to fulfill our desires. Instead, we must learn to crucify the flesh and burn with a love for God.
“To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
1 Corinthians 7 :8-9
In this Bible verse, Paul clearly explains that unmarried, single people should abstinence from sex because that is the will of God for them. If abstinence is not something they can live with, then they should seek to get married. It’s clear that sex within the context of marriage is not a sin, but outside of marriage, it is sinful.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
Genesis 2: 24-25
From the very beginning, God’s design for sex has been between a man and a woman in the context of marriage. This is what suppose to be normal, healthy and good for us.
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
1 Corinthians 6 18-20
Finally, your body is not your own. That’s an idea that’s really hard for us to grasp, especially with all the messages that constantly bombard us and say otherwise. But if you’re a Christian, then your body belongs to God, and He is using it as a temple for the Holy Spirit. We take the Holy Spirit with us everywhere we go, but there are places the Holy Spirit doesn’t want to go. Like to bed with a guy you met that day. When indulging in one night stands we are raping the Holy Spirit. We are bought by the blood of the lamb and that means something to God. Until we get a true revelation of the significance of that transaction, it will be challenging to appreciate how valuable we are before God.
Why is it so hard to save sex for marriage?
After talking with hundreds of women, I’ve learned that the number one reason women give up on abstinence is: Their own sexual desires are too strong.
Most people assume that women give into sex outside of marriage due to fear. Because they are afraid p if they withhold sex, the person they want to marry will leave.
Fornication: The Battle Within
The truth is that the battle occurs within. Your own body becomes the enemy and many women are honestly surprised by how forcefully the desire comes.
The number one reason women give up on abstinence is: they want to.
At least in the moment.
And here is the problem; Society tends to emphasize the sex drive of men while portraying women as reluctant.
How many times have you heard stories about women who would rather be doing laundry that having sex with their husbands?
We wrongly believe that sex is easy for most women to avoid because most women don’t really like sex.
But the reality is; When ladies want it, they want it bad!
And that’s a hard thing to admit. It’s hard to acknowledge the fact we are constantly being bombarded with erotic images and video and that it’s not just turning the guys on, it works on women too.
As a result, we are painfully unprepared to do battle against our own flesh. We lack the discipline and skills to reign it in and put a stop to the sin.
What every woman needs is a toolbox full of things they can say and do to prevent sex before marriage.
That’s why I’ve created a nice little eBook that will help you know what to say to the 5 most common lines men use to get women into bed.
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If you’re going to successfully save sex for marriage you’re going to need to amp up your level of self-discipline. Whether your a virgin or not, you can choose that from this day forward, you’re not going to be a fornicator, you’re going to save sex for marriage.
In order to avoid fornication, you need to begin renewing your mind.
- Review the Bible verses above.
- Write them out on cue cards and memorize them.
- Take time to journal about what those verses mean to you.
Confess your sin and repent.
- If your virginity is long gone, don’t worry. God is in the business of restoration.
- Ignore those stupid “virgin again” kits and focus on the restoration of your spirit with God.
- Say a prayer of repentance.
- Ask God to forgive you
- Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you.
For more details check out this article I wrote on what to do if it’s too late and you’ve already had sex
It’s very easy for Satan to move in our lives if we’re not actively following God.
- Go to church each week
- Read your Bible daily
- Memorize scripture
- Pray continually.
Check out this article on the 4 habits every Christian should adopt. When these habits are a part of your daily life it becomes much easier to say no to every kind of sin.
Remember No One Is Perfect
Avoiding fornication is a real struggle. If this sounds hard, remember it’s hard for each of us. If you’re thinking “I had sex before marriage will god forgive me?” the answer is Yes!
Jesus Christ has already paid the penalty for your sin. God the Father is looking forward to forgiving you and redeeming you. The Holy Spirit is ready and able to wash you clean and restore you to your rightful place in the Kingdom of God.
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