May 05, 2011
Biblical Support for Waiting Until Your Wedding Night to enjoy someone else's body
I posted my list of 23 Practical Reasons to Wait until the Wedding Night, six years ago. But then this week I was challenged to come up with actual Bible verses to back up my statement at the end, that it's God's idea/standard to live life this way. Here's what I found. Please let me know if you have other references to add. It was quite a hunt.
For those for whom it's still a possibility to wait until the wedding night, or who did wait until their wedding night, I hope and pray this encourages you to continue that pursuit and commitment, or be extra glad you did.
For those for whom that possibility is past, but you're not married yet, I hope and pray this encourages you to start fresh today and recommit to living God's way from now on, and know that He has forgiveness & restoration for you. For those who are married but have regrets about how you went about it, maybe you could encourage an unmarried person in your sphere of influence to take the chance they still have to follow God's way and be blessed in their patience.
* Genesis 2:24 A CLEAR ORDER OF EVENTS AS GOD DESIGNED IT - choose spouse, marry, become one flesh
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." (this special bond of "one-fleshness" in marriage, here established already in the first book of the Bible, is repeated in the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi 2:14-16, and again by Jesus in Matthew 19:4-6, and again by Paul in Ephesians 5:31 - it's throughout!)
* Exodus 22:16-17 A CLEAR CONSEQUENCE OF SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE --> IMMEDIATE MARRIAGE
"If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins."
(It's that serious, and it's implied that it was done backwards and it's a concession and probably not something they were prepared for or planning to do - not the most strategic move and not the best beginning. And if you ask well, what if she isn't a virgin - um, every woman starts out as a virgin, so this would apply to every woman...If she's unmarried and not a virgin, it's either because a guy didn't obey this rule about then taking on the care of her for the rest of his life, or the father was so disdainful of the guy he refused to let him have her; there are other verses about if she IS pledged to be married to someone else, see Dt 22:23-24 - death to both, same as for adultery, v. 22 - this is very, very serious! And if we're talking about the virgin HE is engaged to himself, see 1 Cor 7:36 below - they should just get married...before giving in to their desires)
* Deuteronomy 22:13-29, especially verses 20-21 WOMEN MUST BE VIRGINS AT WEDDING, THEREFORE MEN WHO CARE ABOUT/HONOR WOMEN/GOD MUST AS WELL (it takes two to tango)
"If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel" - a woman is required to be a virgin when she marries (under pain of death), therefore a man who takes away her virginity is not looking out for her best interest and honoring her; even though it doesn't say anything about the man being required to be a virgin, he would cause a female to sin (and be disgraced and punished) if he lost his own virginity with her (you need a woman for that; and she is a person, not an object) - and making someone else sin is a sin -
cf. "Jeroboam enticed Israel away from following the LORD and caused them to commit a great sin." 2 Kings 17:21 (God was not happy with him);
"But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!" Matthew 18:6-7;
"Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall." 1 Corinthians 8:13)
If the "brother" vs. "sister" thing catches you up, try pairing this with Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
* 1 Corinthians 6-7 BODIES BELONG TO GOD FIRST, SPOUSES SECOND (not non-your-spouse people)
"Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
MARRY RATHER THAN BURN WITH PASSION
"Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."
"If anyone thinks he is acting improperly toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if she is getting along in years and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married."
* 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 SELF-CONTROL, SANCTIFICATION, HONORABLE BEHAVIOR
"It is God's will that 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."
"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
* Hebrews 13:4 WHAT'S THE PUREST YOU CAN KEEP YOUR MARRIAGE BED? START ON WEDDING NIGHT; NO ONE ELSE EVER IN THE BED BUT YOUR ACTUAL AVOWED SPOUSE.
"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."
* 2 Corinthians 11:2-3 A PURE VIRGIN IS THE IDEAL GIFT TO A SPOUSE (but just as all people have sinned in many ways and been redeemed as a suitable bride for Christ, past sexual sin can be covered over by Christ's blood & a fresh start made right this moment through repentance and fresh commitment to a lifestyle of purity)
"I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ."
* Ephesians 5:3 NOT EVEN A HINT
"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."
Keep in mind, and take courage: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 WASHING & JUSTIFICATION IS WHAT JESUS CAME FOR (so whatever you've done, there's hope & forgiveness if you stop now & turn to Him)
"Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters... will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
For more practical reasons & a lot of interesting & compelling data on what happens when people wait or don't wait, read Josh McDowell's book, Why True Love Waits
May 5, 2011 | Permalink