Premarital sex is sexual intercourse engaged in by persons who are unmarried. It is generally used in reference to individuals who are presumed not yet of marriageable age or between adults who will presumably marry eventually, but who are engaging in sexual activity prior to marriage. Sex is pleasurable, but in God’s view, the primary purpose of sex is not recreation, but rather re-creation. In other words, sex is for reproduction. God does not limit sex to married couples to rob pleasure from those who are unmarried. Rather, God commands against premarital sex in order to protect unmarried people from unwanted pregnancies, from children born to parents who do not want them, and to protect children from parents who are not prepared for them. Imagine, for a moment, a world without premarital sex. There would be no sexually-transmitted diseases, there would be no un-wed mothers, there would be no unwanted pregnancies, there would be no abortions, etc.
According to the Bible, abstinence is God’s only policy when it comes to premarital sex. Abstinence saves lives, protects babies, gives sexual relations the proper value, and most importantly abstinence honors God. 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. 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. This study is the following the concept of Kristie A. Klusaw that Premarital Sex is a huge problem in the society today. Klusaw also states that teenagers are not waiting to get married to have sex. Many people have tremendous regret after sex, which leads them into depression. They begin to feel used and simply “unclean”. “The most severe consequence of premarital sex is psychological; the guilt that occurs is so acute that many teens look to drugs, alcohol, and suicide for relief” (Hjelle).
According to Dr. John G. Sholl, teens who engage in premarital sex are more likely to suffer negatively from long-term physical, emotional, social and moral effects than teens who choose to wait. As Klusaw states it, through Premarital Sex, teens have high chance of getting STDs or Sexually Transmitted Diseases such as AIDS, Genital herpes, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia etc. According to Geoffrey Weed, Some contraceptives, such as condoms, can also help to keep sexually transmitted diseases from spreading. Contraceptives are also useful tools in modern society as a form of advancement and liberation for women. However, there is also the fact that contraceptives are not foolproof and pregnancy can occur, even when they are used perfectly. Another disadvantage is societal ignorance toward their proper use and efficacy, which can lead to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. It is also possible for contraceptives to have negative health effects on those using them, such as allergic reactions or blood clots if using the birth control pill.
According to Meenakshi Madhur, Sex is a very strong biological need. However sex after marriage has a purpose of not only evolution but also a medium of expressing love between couples. The Bible says “God is Love”, as David and Flora Tant expound it, they say that God is the author of love and he knows all about it. God created sex and said it was good, but he gave rules with it. And we have one basic rule from God with reference to sexual activity. That is, wait until marriage. According to Denise Witmer, there are two different types of sex education classes. Comprehensive Sexuality Education is a program that starts in kindergarten and continues through high school. It brings up age appropriate sexuality topics and covers the broad spectrum of sex education, including safe sex, STDs, contraceptives, masturbation, body image, and more. The other one is, Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs emphasize abstinence from all sexual behaviors and do not cover information on contraceptives, STDs, masturbation, etc.
As The Florida Department of Health says, being independent and self-sufficient before getting married and starting a family increases the chances of being financially and emotionally ready to take on those responsibilities. And choosing abstinence and waiting can save you from a lot of emotional, physical, moral crisis. It also teaches you the value of patience that everything will happen in their own time. Eight years ago, a survey was taken from the 2005 Young Adults Fertility and Sexuality Survey. Young adults are identified as those age 15 to 24 years old. Among young Cebuano adults, 20 to 22 percent engage in premarital sex.
Sometimes, books addressed to teenagers trying to show why premarital sex is undesirable will focus on all the negative consequences that can result from it, such as venereal disease, unwanted pregnancy, broken family relationships and so forth. Certainly the young person must be aware that such dangers are very real and they may as well serve as a deterrent to premarital sex, but they fail to build foundations on which a young person can build a positive concept of sexuality. We must not base our sexual morality not on what is wrong in immoral sexual acts but rather upon what is good in moral sexual acts.
An adolescent must face moral questions in light of what sex is in the fullness of married love. In acknowledging the trials, the depth, the beauty and the fulfilment of married love, the young person can come to see that sex is not a toy, that to abuse the power of sex is to abuse the deep expression of love that gives birth to new love and to new human life. In short, the young person can come to approach the problem of sexual morality with the beginnings of a mature Christian conscience.
AARP’s 2004 Sexuality Study revealed that the vast majority of respondents deeply value their relationships. Sex, the interviewees felt, may not be wasted on the young but it’s hardly their exclusive playground; sex remain enjoyable well into the later years and the majority of survey respondents would be unhappy if they could never have it again – an outlook comedically captured by author Patsy Stagner in the subtitle of her book, Baby Boomer Bachelorette: How to Have Sex at Least Once More Before You Die. According to the Population Commission (PopCom), 23 percent or two of 10 Filipino youths aged 15 to 24 were into premarital sex and four out five female respondents in the study had their first experience with their boyfriend while two out of five males had theirs with a commercial sex worker, a friend or with a plain acquaintance. Last year’s study also says that close to 4 million youngsters are engaging in premarital sex with 30% of the respondents doing it in their own homes while 18% were doing it inside motels and hotels.
Education officials of the Philippines decided to pull-out modules on sex education after the powerful Catholic Church opposed the teaching of sex in schools. The Philippines has a high population growth rate. Studies from the academe also point out that teens are becoming sexually active at earlier years. The Philippines is also the only Catholic-dominated country in Asia. Despite the resistance from Church hierarchy, education officials want to continue distributing sex education modules in public schools this year. They agree to temporarily remove the modules to consult more people, including religious leaders, on how to teach the delicate subject to students. Meanwhile, Senator Pia Cayetano defended the teaching of reproductive health in schools saying this promotes the “general well-being and health of the people.” Buwahyahman described the Church opposition to sex education as “a kind of medieval thinking that promotes ignorance rather than enlightenment.’’
One wife says “Pornography makes women feel used and men controlled.” Debra Evans agrees – author of the Christian Woman’s guide to Sexuality. “Erotica and porn depersonalize sex by removing it from the purpose for which it was created, treating people as sexual objects and emphasizing parts of the body over the person’s intrinsic worth and value.” This is a story about a girl with a painful premarital sex experience, “Jennifer was seventeen when she gave her virginity to Brian, the love of her life. One month later she developed painful blisters around her sexual area. She was devastated when her doctor told her she had herpes. By passing this infection on, Brian has made it possible for Jennifer to join the ranks of twenty million other Americans who have herpes, a sexually transmitted disease. This is not the only disease that Jennifer lives with though. She experiences great emotional pain, especially guilt for the last three years”.
The world is plagued with over thirty-nine sexually transmitted diseases. “Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) infect three million young adults annually, out of Americas total of twelve million sexually active youths”. These dangers should be painfully obvious to many of today’s youth. “Among fourteen to twenty -year -olds Chlamydia is the most common STD.” Chlamydia has no obvious symptoms and can even cause infertility if left untreated. “Up to twenty -nine percent of sexually active adolescent girls have been found to be infected with Chlamydia.” Premarital sex is riddled with many emotional problems and mental consequences. After premarital sex, there is a feeling of disappointment and regret over lost of virginity. So many people say, “I wish I had waited.”
Confusion is another emotional effect of premarital sex. This often comes from being ignorant of the differences between lust and true love. The best models who can teach teenagers are the parents. This type of education should start at home. When parents fail to do so, the risk is their child would ask for and receive answers from people- people whose view of sex and sexuality may not be accurate or morally compatible with their values. Next is at school, high school students should get adequate knowledge from their teachers regarding sex education. (Example, making sex education a curriculum in school. One reason teenagers should wait to have sex is due to their moral and religious views. In the rules of the Catholic Church, “premarital sex and any physical activity that causes the man or woman to be sexually stimulated, is inappropriate before marriage”. Sex should be for the purpose of reproduction and nothing else. According to the Catholic Church, reproduction is the main purpose of sexual intercourse.
First Corinthians chapter six; verse thirteen states, “Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, the Lord for the body.” Corinthians chapter six, verse thirteen implies, “God wants you to be Holy and pure, and to keep clear of all sexual sin so that each of you will marry in holiness and honor – not in lustful passion as the heathen do, in their ignorance of God and his ways.” In fact God sees premarital sex as an extreme sin. In Biblical times any married woman who had been proven to have had premarital sex, was stoned to death at the door of her father. This is man’s understanding of God’s view on fornication. Hebrews chapter thirteen, verse four states, “Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers” God knew many people would engage in premarital sex, for this reason He imposed rules to keep us from consequences. Christian religions have very strict teachings of abstinence.
Hence, it is ironic that, “Catholics are engaging in premarital sex more than any other group of single Americans”. The Church teaches us that when one has sex with another, they become one with them in spirit. People who have many sexual partners before marriage still have “soul ties” to other people besides their spouse. Soul ties meaning, encountering true love and the feel to never let one be alone. In Genesis 2:24, it says that “A man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh”. Despite these teachings, “only seventeen percent of all Catholics think that premarital sex is wrong,” This indicates that personal beliefs are stronger than religious beliefs.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.)Why do people enter premarital sex?
2.)Why is it immoral?
3.)Why is sexual purity so important?
4.)What is my response?
1.)Humans have natural and essential desires to engage in sexual activities for: physical pleasure, emotional gratification, and procreation.
People want to satisfy these desires daily, immediately as they arise (often in the heat of a moment, and sometimes further rushed by intoxication). So, the benefits of “waiting until marriage” are seen as discouragingly too far in the future, in comparison to the immediate benefits of sex.
That was a simple explanation of thought processes involved in premarital sex. But the psychology of this act is guided by many factors and social constructions.
The most obvious of these is religion. Many religions – like sects of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism – consider premarital sex sinful and punishable. However, some people who are not a part of such a religion, or who lead a nonreligious lifestyle, do not believe in the existence of punishments that religions outline for premarital sex. Some believe that these sins are out of date with evolving Western norms. Some may even use premarital sex as a rebellion against religions that they believe are too authoritative. Hence, these people do not worry about “sinning” by performing this act, because that notion holds no meaning for them.
Next, what marriage means to a person is a very important factor. Using one’s body for sex with someone other than a soul-mate may be viewed as dishonourable. But this view is not shared by all. Obviously, restraining from premarital sex is much more important for those who view marriage as a sacred bond, rather than those who view it only as a social norm. Some of the latter believe that sex within a long-term relationship is so similar to, and holds the same implications as, sex within a marriage. Some believe there is no purpose of marriage, due to rising divorce rates. Some believe that marriage is only needed when deciding to bear children, due to accessibility of contraceptive technologies. Whatever their specific beliefs may be, those who value marriage less are more likely to engage in premarital sex.
Like all decisions, many other aspects of life influence the decision to be sexually active outside marriage: socio-cultural norms, parental example, education system, mass media, etc.
But, when making a decision, the human brain does not consciously consider its past influences. Instead, it finds, perceives, and weighs out the consequences that the decision entails. So, it would be more accurate to say that having premarital sex is determined by consequences, which are determined by the individual’s perception, which is determined by an array of life factors. For example, I mentioned how many people perceive religious punishment or marital dishonour as consequences to premarital sex. Hence, I can explain that one of the former has a perception based on Sunday school Bible readings, and one of the latter has a perception based on select Oprah shows. If they did not have these influences, they might not consider the same consequences, and might not restrain from premarital sex.
Furthermore, an unmarried couple may perceive risks of: unplanned pregnancy, unknown disease transmission, dissatisfaction with partner’s sexual demands, higher rate of cheating, demeaning the significance of sex, etc. Now, the less dangerous and the less realistic the couple perceives these consequences to be, the more likely they are to have premarital sex. If the couple is very scared of, for example, catching an S.T.I. or S.T.D., then they perceive the negative consequences of having sex outside of marriage to be greater than the benefits; they are less likely to have premarital sex.
So, it is to fulfill natural desires; it is facilitated by perceiving positive consequences, as a result of surrounding factors. That is why people have premarital sex.
2.)Morality is a factor for many people when deciding whether or not to have premarital sex. The Bible refers to premarital sex as fornication. That’s a word we don’t hear much these days, so what does it mean? Fornication is sexual intercourse between people who are not married to each other. The only distinction the Bible makes between premarital sex and adultery is that adultery involves married persons while fornication involves those who are unmarried. Premarital sex is just as much of a sin as adultery and all other forms of sexual immorality. They all involve having sexual relations with someone you are not married to.
The Bible explains, “…The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13). Verse 18 of this chapter goes on to say, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” Galatians 5:19 speaks the same, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity…” Ephesians 5:3 says it most plainly, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” From these verses, we see that the Bible promotes complete and total abstinence from premarital sex.
3.)God gave man and woman the joy and pleasure of sexual relations within the bounds of marriage, and the Bible is clear about the importance of maintaining sexual purity within the boundaries of that union between man and wife (Ephesians 5:31). Humans are well aware of the pleasing effect of this gift from God but have expanded it well beyond marriage and into virtually any circumstance. The secular world’s philosophy of “if it feels good, do it” pervades cultures, especially in the West, to the point where sexual purity is seen as archaic and unnecessary.
Yet look at what God says about sexual purity. “You should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.” “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-
5, 7). This passage outlines God’s reasons for calling for sexual purity in the lives of His children.
First, we are “sanctified” and for that reason, we are to avoid sexual immorality. The Greek word translated “sanctified” means literally “purified, made holy, consecrated [unto God].” As Christians, we are to live a purified life because we have been made holy by the exchange of our sin for the righteousness of Christ on the cross and have been made completely new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
Our old natures, with all their impurities, sexual and otherwise, have died and now the life we live, we live by faith in the One who died for us (Galatians 2:20). To continue in sexual impurity (fornication) is to deny that and doing so is, in fact, a legitimate reason to question whether we have ever truly been born again. Sanctification, the process by which we become more and more Christlike, is an essential evidence of the reality of our salvation.
We also see in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 the necessity of controlling our bodies. When we give in to sexual immorality, we give evidence that the Holy Spirit is not indwelling us because we do not possess one of the fruits of the Spirit—self-control. All believers display the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) to a greater or lesser degree depending on the length of time they have walked with God. Uncontrolled “passionate lust” is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19), not of the Spirit. So controlling our lusts and living sexually pure lives is essential to anyone who professes to know Christ. In doing so, we honor God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
We know God’s rules and discipline reflect His love for us. Following what He says can only help us during our time on earth. By maintaining sexual purity before marriage, we avoid past emotional entanglements that may negatively affect present relationships and marriages. Further by keeping the marriage bed pure (Hebrews 13:4), we can experience unreserved love for our mates, which is surpassed only by God’s enormous love for us.
Courtney from Study Moose
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