Reserving Sex for Marriage

Pastor Fredric Piepenbrink


God’s precious gift of sex is only for those who publicly promise faithfulness to one another for life.

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the idea of reserving sexual relations for married couples has become utterly old-fashioned. Today sex is used to satisfy one’s own innate drives – a cheap thrill. It’s a way to get people to watch TV, to buy movie tickets, to sell something – anything. Some think sex is a way to become popular, to get someone to marry them, or to have children without getting married.

But this is contrary to God’s Word and dishonors marriage – a holy state instituted by God for the good of mankind, in which two people commit their all to one another. Married couples hold nothing back. They sacrifice themselves for one another. And only to those who made that commitment and publicly promised that faithfulness to one another for life does God give his precious gift of sex.

Another Godly Guideline

Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure.” Only in the marriage bed are sexual practices not a sin. Every other bed is impure – the prostitute’s bed, the homosexual’s bed, the bed of those who have no intention of getting married to each other, or the bed of those who do intend to marry each other but not now.

How serious is God about his gift of sex? “For God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4). When God says “judge,” he means condemn, punish. Sometimes judgment starts in this life with trouble, disappointment, shame, revenge, hatred, or disease. Sometimes it doesn’t come until the second death in hell. The Bible says the sexually immoral will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. They don’t have a chance to be saved unless they recognize their sin, plead for God’s forgiveness, and trust in Jesus. And with that, they will shun further sexual immorality.

Jesus’ Faithfulness to His Church

Reserving sexual relationships for marriage is a way Christians express Christ’s faithfulness to his church. Paul says, “Husbands. Love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Jesus is committed and faithful to his church (that’s you, the believers). Jesus gave his all to the church. He sacrificed himself for the church. He is never going to take back his promises of forgiveness and salvation to the church. He is not going to be unfaithful to the church. So when married couples are faithful to each other, they reflect Jesus’ faithfulness to them.

When single Christians are faithful to their future spouse (whom they maybe don’t even know yet) by not practicing illicit sex, they demonstrate Jesus’ faithfulness to them. When single Christians who will never marry, and are divorced and widowed Christians who will never marry again, remain pure, they are faithful to the Lord. They put their body in subjection, give themselves fully to the Lord as Paul did, and thereby express the Lord’s faithfulness to them.

Those who practice sex according to God’s unchangeable will demonstrate a living faith in the Lord’s loving relationship with his church and avoid his judgement. Sound old-fashioned? Only to unbelievers who don’t know the intense love and faithfulness between Christ and his church.


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