Can I Have Sex Before Getting Married?

Q. I have been married before. We hadn’t made it legal as both of us felt it was a religious thing to do and we weren’t Christians. We lived like we were married. Later we split up. He has legally married another woman.

My question is this. Is it OK if I have sex with a partner that I am committed to? I ask because I want to get to know someone for a long time (this time) and not rush into a marriage again like I did 16 years ago. I have obviously matured a lot since then, but I can still want to know him for a long time before I decide to make it a permanent thing and get married, declaring it to the world by a ceremony. I understand that sex is a marriage ceremony in it’s self, and the public ceremony ( which is a beautiful one ) is to declare who I belong to. I think it’s just like when I received Jesus as my redeemer, my lover of my soul, we had our special marriage ceremony just the two of us in my heart, and two weeks later I got baptized in public to declare who I belong to.

So the short of it is, I want to be able to have sex without condemnation ( I have tried, and tried in the past to abstain and it has really been way, way too difficult ). So I have to either cut off the relationship (painful !) so I wouldn’t sin, or have had sex and feel tormented and then split up ( painful ) to stop the torment from the condemnation. It is so horrible, I don’t want to live like this, I have been waiting for a strong Christian mate for so long now, I don’t know how much longer I can wait. The desire to have sex only grows within me, to be connected and sharing my life with a man only grows stronger and stronger each day.

A. I can’t give you permission to behave in one way or another. The Bible says that sex outside of marriage is a sin. But it also says our sins are forgiven. In 1 Cor. 7:8-9 Paul wrote that abstinence is best but that it’s better to get married than to burn with passion. If you can’t keep your sexual urges dormant while you see if you’ve found the perfect mate, then according to this it’s better to marry .

Personally I wonder if you’re trying to avoid making a commitment to marriage while still enjoying the benefits of being married. You say you want to get to know your mate well before deciding to marry him, but you want to share your most intimate self with him immediately. You can’t make your marriage perfect no matter how long you wait, but God routinely took couples who had never been alone together before their wedding night and turned them into life long lovers. I suggest that if you want His help in giving you a great marriage, you should do your part by playing by his rules.

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