The Bible & Sexual Conduct

Sexual purity is emphasized in the Bible. Even Song of Solomon, a book centered on the beauty of the marriage relationship, emphasizes the importance of purity. However, sexual purity is not valued by much of our society and media. As Christians, we fail if we are merely telling our young people each other, “Don’t commit fornication,” and go no further in discussing these matters openly and honestly – looking to the good points as well as the bad.

Three reasons are often given for ignoring the Bible’s plan for couples.

  • It is accepted more and more by society. Everyone else says it is all right, so, if it is acceptable to everyone else, it must be acceptable to God.
  • It can be financially advantageous. It just makes financial sense to live together even if not marries. Costs are basically cut in half.
  • It is practical. By living together or engaging in sexual activity prior to marriage, compatibility and quirks can be discovered before marriage.

However, the vast majority of couples who live together before marriage end up divorced once they marry, or many end up in a cycle of moving from place to place, living with others as past relationships fall apart. By treating marriage casually, we are in danger of treating it as something that can be easily disposed of.

God’s Plan for Sexual Activity

Opening in Hebrews 13:4, the author says that marriage is honorable, and the relationship involved with that marriage is pure. Sexual relationships are not bad or dirty, but God has a context for such intimacy. Additionally, in the first few verses of I Corinthians 7, the sexual relationship between a husband and wife is pictured as a good thing. However, fornication is consistently condemned within the pages of God’s law.

Why has God placed these limitations on sexual activity?

  • Man & Woman Are Now One. See Genesis 2:24-25 and I Corinthians 6:16. God intends for a couple to be one. How many times and with how many others can you become “one” with?
  • Marriage Is a Covenant. Marriages are instituted in the sight of God before witnesses. This is a covenant. It is binding and honorable. The blessing and privileges of marriage should be reserved for this covenant. Otherwise, we are acting outside our rights in God’s eyes.
  • Simply, It Is God’s Way. Three times in Song of Solomon, the maiden warns her friends with an oath to maintain sexual purity until the proper time. Proverbs 5 paints a vivid picture of sexual sin and the loss of honor as a result. Conversely, Proverbs 5 also illustrates the love a man should maintain for his wife.

In Proverbs 30:20, the adulteress maintains that she has done nothing wrong. (This applies to males as well.) However, she has ignored God’s plan, and her honor, her respect, possibly her health, and her soul are all damaged because of her actions.

Practical Applications

  • Start with respect for God and His ways. We have to purpose in our hearts that we will not violate God’s plan. If we respect God, we will respect His wishes.
  • Respect yourself and the other individual. Not only do you want to avoid sin, but you should want to prevent another from sinning.
  • Avoid situations where checks and balances are absent. In other words, do not set yourself up with situations that can lead to troubling situations.
  • Recognize the consequences. It affects the man, the woman, both of their parents and immediate families, future relationships, and it can bring in a life that neither may be prepared to care for.

Proverbs 6:27-28 warns us to avoid playing with fire because we will get burned if we do so. If we see how close we can get to sin, eventually we will cross the line and commit that sin we are flirting with.


God has a plan for sexual relationships between men and women. He has ordained that relationship and deemed it honorable. We should honor Him and ourselves by following that pattern, saving ourselves for our husbands and our wives, then loving them as we should.

lesson by Tim Smelser