The Moral Values Of Abstinence Before Marriage

An educational video was produced by Crawley Films (1958) on this topic which is available under Creative Commons license: Public Domain.
Brief:Today, the issue of abstinence from sexual behaviors before marriage is most often discussed within the context of sex education in the public schools. And the ensuing debate over the most effective and appropriate method of sex education for students is a logical by-product of an ever-increasing sexualized society. Fundamentally, abstinence is viewed as refraining from sexual activity, but it would be better understood in the larger context of God’s plan for relationships and intimacy. As Christians, the concept of reserving sex for marriage is a part of God’s original plan. In fact, it was an integral product of creation. Indeed, during creation, the gift of sex was among those things God declared to be “very good.” In the beginning, God created man and woman, ordained marriage and gave sex, both as a gift and a responsibility, to mankind. Notice that sex more correctly identified as one’s sexuality was given to all mankind and not just married couples. The act itself is confined to marriage. Only then, when done according to God’s plan, can sex be physically enjoyed to its fullest extent, emotionally satisfying, psychologically fulfilling and spiritually meaningful. If the act of sex is meant for marriage, it begs the question: What is the practical application for those who are not married? We are to remain celibate and to offer ourselves completely up to God for His service, something that’s very difficult when married. For those who follow God’s plan, He offers up His blessings. We see these blessings even from a purely secular context. Abstinence prevents unwed pregnancies 100 percent of the time and will prevent sexually transmitted infections if all behaviors are reserved for marriage. Multiple studies have shown that individuals who remain abstinent before marriage have a better chance of remaining faithful in their marriage. When spouses are faithful within marriage, it allows the couple, and specifically the male, to build, save, protect, plan and prosper. So abstinence before marriage and faithfulness within marriage have historically protected the individual and society. While sexual intimacy is the exclusive privilege of a husband and wife within the context of marriage, sexual morality is the concern of individuals, families and society. When approached in accordance with God’s plan, the benefits of abstinence are innumerable. Along with all other kinds of sexual immorality, sex before marriage / premarital sex is repeatedly condemned in Scripture (Acts 15:20; Romans 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13,18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7). The Bible promotes abstinence before marriage. Sex before marriage is just as wrong as adultery and other forms of sexual immorality, because they all involve having sex with someone you are not married to. Sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations that God approves of (Hebrews 13:4). Sex before marriage has become so common for many reasons. Far too often we focus on the recreation aspect of sex without recognizing the re-creation aspect. Yes, sex is pleasurable. God designed it that way. He wants men and women to enjoy sexual activity (within the confines of marriage). However, the primary purpose of sex is not pleasure, but rather reproduction. God does not outlaw sex before marriage to rob us of pleasure, but to protect us from unwanted pregnancies and children born to parents who do not want them or are not prepared for them. Imagine how much better our world would be if Gods pattern for sex was followed: fewer sexually transmitted diseases, fewer un-wed mothers, fewer unwanted pregnancies, fewer abortions, etc. Abstinence is Gods only policy when it comes to sex before marriage. Abstinence saves lives, protects babies, gives sexual relations the proper value, and most importantly honors God.

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