Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Does the Bible say I have to get married?

Posted in Bible, Christianity by Kathy on March 23, 2008

(This post was inspired by a search term that someone used to find my blog.)

Answer: It depends. There were many individuals listed in the Bible who were not married, but most were. Paul apparently was not married, but Peter was. In the Old Testament as well as the New, it is crystal-clear that sexual relations are only allowed between married individuals. So the short answer is, no, you don’t have to get married, as long as you’re willing not to have sex.

Paul wrote most eloquently to the Corinthians that it is best not to be married, because unmarried people have more time and energy to devote to the work of the Lord. But those who “burn” (with sexual desire) are distracted by it, and are therefore hindered in their work. He further wrote that those who desire to get married are not sinning, although he wished that they were as he was–that is, so filled with the desire of the work of the Lord that their sexual urges were greatly minimized or even completely done away.

I rather suspect that the person who Googled that search question was trying to justify his or her behavior. I’ve heard of some so-called Christian couples who live together before they were married, and although they didn’t have a verse in the Bible to back them up, justified it by saying, “We’ve prayed about it and have peace, and feel like God is making an exception in our case.” What nerve!

But there is the possibility that this person had been told that marriage was necessary. I’ve heard that some of the sects of Mormons preach that girls must be married in order to enter heaven–which is why they have girls as young as 14 get married, many times to older men. This is obviously Biblically inaccurate. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians (above), he specifically mentioned females as well as males when talking about whether or not Christians should get married, saying that it was better to remain unmarried if you could stand it. If you can’t, then yes, you must get married.

Update to this post: I was blessed to read this post from a man’s perspective on why modern men seem to want to avoid marriage and talk young ladies into shacking up instead, and what women can do about it.


61 Responses

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  1. Darrell said, on January 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I have read the Holy Bible from cover to cover more than once and there is no place in it that says you cannot have sex before you get married. The ten commandments say not to commit adultery – which is having sex with another man’s wife. Later there are passages that say not to commit fornication or sexual immorality – which are sexual acts not condoned by God like homosexuality and beastiality. Fornication and sexual immorality does not mean having sex before marriage. As a matter of fact, the Bible clearly states where many of his blessed ones had sex before they were married and had more than one wife. I wish people would just quit making up crap as they go along. If you want to know the truth, then read the Bible for yourself. A good example is King Solomon, the one God blessed with wisdom. Tell me, how many wives did King Solomon have.

    • Kathy said, on January 15, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      If you have read the Bible from cover to cover, then surely you remember the section in Deuteronomy 22 when rape and unmarried sex is discussed — and condemned. And also of course 1 Cor. 5, in which a particular type of fornication is defined as a man having sex with his step-mother — which is neither homosexuality nor bestiality. We agree that fornication and sexual immorality are “sexual acts not condoned by God,” but would disagree that these acts are merely limited in the type of sexual partner (same-sex or beast) that one is having sex with, but also include having sex with someone of the opposite sex that you’re not married to, or a type of incestuous relationship even if the two people are legally married. Why else would 1 Cor. 7 say that the remedy “to avoid fornication” is for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband? And also, “It is better to be married than to burn”? Surely the “burning” and “fornication” here are not referring merely to homosexual proclivities nor to tendencies towards bestiality, but in the normal human “urge to merge” — the desire to have sex with a member of the opposite sex.

      If you wish, you may give examples of the “many blessed ones” who had sex before they were married — and please also give the good outcomes that came as a result.

      Sure, many people also had more than one wife, but Jesus makes it perfectly clear that “from the beginning it was not so,” but rather that God made one man and one woman, and this was the model for marriage for all of us. In the OT, God allows but never promotes polygamy, and seems frequently to discourage it — for example, the Law requires that a man be rich enough to easily support two wives, before he is allowed to take more than one — he is not allowed to neglect the older wife, either in her sexual due or in her food and clothing, if he takes a younger wife. Plus, God specifically warns kings against having many wives. And while it is true that Solomon who was blessed above all other men with wisdom did take multiple wives, the Bible is exceeding clear that this was not a good thing, and in fact his many wives (many of whom were foreign) turned his heart away from worshiping God to worship false idols.

      The Bible records many sins and errors, but this is as a historical fact (and usually if not always showing the bad things that happen from such sins, as a warning), not as an encouragement to do the same.

    • Kathy said, on May 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm


      I just happened to think of a passage in at least one of the gospels, in which the scribes or Pharisees taunted Jesus for having been conceived prior to marriage. They said, “We were not born of fornication; we have Abraham as our father.” If “fornication” is merely limited to “sexual acts not condoned by God like homosexuality and bestiality,” then how, pray tell, is it possible for any person to be conceived in fornication? Neither homosexual sex nor human-animal sex can produce offspring. Yet offspring have been produced by fornication, which shows that it must at least include male-female sex.

      • Kris said, on September 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm

        Maybe the Pharisees were wrong in their understanding of fornication, they were wrong about other things.

        • Kathy said, on September 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm

          They were indeed wrong about many things, but it would be impossible for them to be wrong in this word usage. They were using the word in their own language, as it was used at the time — how could they use it incorrectly? Instead, we should look at how the word was used *then* for *our* definition now, instead of saying, “I can see that God disapproves of ‘fornication’ in the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), but I don’t want to believe that fornication involves heterosexual relations, so I’m gonna say that it only involves homosexual relations or bestiality, so that I can continue in my sin, while pretending it’s not sin.”

    • DiaBriseida said, on July 9, 2012 at 7:14 am

      Fornication does mean NO SEX before marriage. I really don’t know your way of understanding the passage.

    • Patlee said, on March 26, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      I suggest reading your Bible again. You don’t have to answer to me or any man or woman but you will one day answer to God. May God bless you.

  2. Linda said, on February 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Kathy, my son who is a truly wonderful young man is getting ready to move in with his girlfriend who is also a lovely young lady. They I believe are both born-again. My son says he has tried to see where there were actual marriages, a ceremony but does not find it in scripture but says that when the couple was brought together and laid together they were considered married.
    I know Jesus performed the first miracle at a wedding feast but I can not find an actual ceremony. Please help me in this.
    Thanks and blessings, Linda

    • Kathy said, on February 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      There aren’t actual ceremonies, because each culture would have its own way of having a wedding. When Isaac and Rebekah married, there was no ceremony recorded; Abraham’s servant brought Rebekah back to be Isaac’s wife, and the Bible merely records that Isaac took Rebekah into his mother’s tent and “she became his wife.” When Jacob married Leah (when he thought he was marrying Rachel), her father gave a huge celebration as a part of the wedding or as perhaps as the wedding itself, with the consummation that night. There was probably something similar to that in Jewish culture at the time Jesus changed the water into wine. However the different cultures observed or solemnized the union is (I believe) not important; what *is* important is what the wedding symbolizes — the joining of one man to one woman for life, in the eyes of society and in the eyes of the law. The first “wedding ceremony” was when God married Adam and Eve, and that is to be our model — not necessarily the words, but what those words *mean* — that a man and a woman will come together and become “one flesh.” In a sense, this happens with sex, and also two different people producing literally “one flesh” in the form of offspring; but in another sense, it is the couple acting as one unit. Transient relationships are not “one flesh”; only permanent relationships can be. The wedding, in whatever form, is a societal solemnization of this union, so that everyone recognizes that the man and woman are married. Consummation is a part of it, but it cannot be the only part of it, or else prostitutes have hundreds or thousands of husbands.

      While there is no ceremony or process dictated or laid out in the Bible, I think this is because customs may change, but the actual marriage itself does not. Our current custom is to go before a judge or a preacher and get a marriage license, showing that two people have become married. Without that custom, your son and his girlfriend will not be considered legally married. Some slaves in America had the custom of “jumping the broom” as their marriage ceremony — I don’t know if that was because they were not allowed to have a real ceremony, or if that was an African custom they remembered and brought over — but it was no less a marriage ceremony simply because they didn’t have a preacher, because it still meant the same thing — that the man and woman are promising to be sexually faithful to each other, and to become one (in life, finances, children, etc.), and to have the union accepted by all of society.

      With this last paragraph, you may be worried that I am agreeing with your son, but I most wholeheartedly am *not*. You need to ask your son what marriage is, and why he will not perform the marriage ceremony with his girlfriend. He seems to be thinking that he and this girl are going to be together for life; he seems to be saying that, by sleeping with her he is promising to “leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”; that by living with her, it’s as good as if they were really married. Ah, but there’s the problem, isn’t it? If he is doing this because he says, “It’s the same as really being married,” then why not just *really* get married?? They can go to the courthouse any day of the week, spend a small amount of money (probably less than $100), and have a legal marriage in the eyes of both God and man. If he says that he will be really married in the eyes of God, you can counter with the fact that it won’t be legal, and since God sets up human authorities (Rom. 13:1-4), why does he think that he can buck the legal system and still be “legal” in God’s eyes? [It would be one thing if he were legally not able to get married — for instance, if the law prohibited Christians from being married, or required human sacrifice or idolatrous worship before a marriage was considered legal, and he could not in good conscience do something that God had forbidden. But that is not even close to the case here; he just seems to be rebelliously refusing to get married, and is instead trying to salve his conscience and throw disjointed Bible verses at you to get you off his back, because he’s wrong and he knows it.] If he is promising and performing all the actions and duties of marriage by living in sin with this girl (and, yes, it IS living in sin — there’s a reason why that is or at least was the common term for what he and his girlfriend are going to be doing), then why not just do the small step of making it legal? You can ask him, after they move in together, is he going to introduce her to others as his wife or as his girlfriend, and why?

      But you want and need to fight his seeming Scriptural arguments with true Scriptural arguments.

      Under the Levitical law, which was also the case in Jesus’ day, when a man and woman were engaged/betrothed, they were considered as husband and wife in some senses (Joseph would have had to divorce Mary, even though they were not married — that is to say, their marriage was not consummated, and she was a virgin; and in Deut. 22, if a man raped or coerced an engaged woman/girl, he was considered as having defiled a man’s wife, even though she was a virgin and they were not married); yet they were not married, so they were not fully husband and wife. In whatever form the marriage ceremony took in that day, whether it was a big feast, or the couple made vows, or the woman’s father presented her to the man and he took her into his tent, it was not until that happened, that they were legally considered to be married. We don’t have those strict laws of betrothal, but it is an important point, I believe, to note that even though Mary was considered as Joseph’s wife legally, because she was his wife in promise, they had not yet consummated their relationship, because they were not yet married. There was *something* that was going to happen to mark the change in their relationship from engaged to married, which would then allow sexual activity and sexual union.

      It cannot merely be said that “when you sleep with someone, you’re married to him/her,” because there are many, many cases in the Bible when that did not happen. Jacob’s daughter Dinah, for example, lay with Shechem, a prince in the city, but she wasn’t considered married — she was “humiliated” and “defiled” (Gen. 34 — some versions read “rape,” but others sound as if it were consensual). Shechem did want to marry her, but they were not considered as already married! The Bible says that he asked his father to get her as his wife. If sleeping with someone makes you married to that person, why did he need his father to secure her as his wife? Her brothers were outraged, and ended up killing everybody in the city because of what Shechem had done, and the chapter ends with the brothers justifying their actions by retorting to their father, “Should our sister be treated as a prostitute?” A prostitute has sex without marriage; so did Dinah. Judah likewise slept with his widowed daughter-in-law (thinking she was a prostitute), but wasn’t considered married to her. King David’s son Amnon wanted to marry his half-sister Tamar, pretended to be sick and asked her to visit him, and then he raped her. She was willing to marry him before this, using that as a plea for him not to force her to have sex, but he wouldn’t listen. Yet they were not considered married afterwards. In the Levitical law, Deut. 22 again, if a girl couldn’t prove that she was a virgin when she got married, she was to be executed for “having played the harlot in her father’s house” — i.e., having acted like a prostitute, i.e., having sex without being married. She was not considered as having been married by having had sex, but was considered as having sinned for having unmarried sex. Plus, there are many instances, especially in the time of the Exodus, that the Israelites sinned by going to the heathen peoples near them, and having heathen religious festivals, which included sexual activity. Those involved were not considered as married to them; it was simply premarital sex and a sin. They would still have to do something more than sleep together to be considered married by those around them, and also by God who judged them severely for their sins.

      1 Cor. 7 says that the remedy “to avoid fornication” is for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. And also, “It is better to be married than to burn.” Surely the “burning” and “fornication” here are the normal human sexual desires. If a man and woman are considered married if they have sex once, what then is “fornication”?

      Finally, if your son and this young woman claim to be Christians, why are they seeking to live at the lowest level, instead of trying to “avoid even the very appearance of evil”? Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that your son is right, and that it would not truly be a sin before God for him and this girl to live together without a legal marriage, because they will be “married in God’s eyes.” But they are committing a great sin in the eyes of society. Perhaps not so much looked down on as it used to be, but it is still not a legal marriage, so they will not get many of the benefits of legal marriage. Why refuse to legally marry? As far as I can see, only out of a rebellious spirit, and/or because they don’t really think they’ll stay together, so it will be easier to dissolve the relationship without having to legally divorce. Not very good reasons at all. If the latter, then your son can’t keep up the veneer of it being “married in God’s eyes,” if he’s already contemplating divorcing her; and if the former, then they have a huge problem completely apart from this whole question.

      Marriage in the Bible and today and throughout all time and in all cultures (with some variation), was a cultural, societal, and legal (in each of these societies) way to solemnize the union of man and woman. Without going through whatever steps the society dictated, the couple were not considered married, and so it is today. If we lived in a culture when a union was considered a legal marriage if the father walked his daughter to a man’s house and literally “gave him her hand” as a symbol of their union, then I’d be fine with considering that a legal marriage. But we don’t. We require other things — things which may not be Biblically mandated, things where we may have Christian (and cultural and societal) liberty; but where society has spoken and has a set ritual for what is and is not a legal marriage, then I don’t think we have a Biblical excuse to avoid that, since it is certainly not a sin to go before a preacher or judge and say, “I do.”

  3. Justin said, on February 26, 2011 at 4:07 am

    I appreciate all you have said and agree with it all. What does a couple do if they want to abide by the laws of God and government but are not able to maintain their marriage financially?

    • Kathy said, on February 26, 2011 at 4:59 am

      I’m not sure how this could be the case; if you could give me an example, I’d appreciate it. I believe it has been shown (if not officially, it certainly makes sense) that two people living together in one house/apartment can live more cheaply/frugally than two people living in separate dwellings, since there would be only one set of mortgage/rent and utilities (and possibly other expenses), instead of two. There may be tax (or other) penalties for married people with a joint income of [fill in the blank] as compared to two single people with the same total income, but while these are annoying and unfair, they should not completely prevent two people from being married, nor cause a marriage to break up (especially since it tends to kick in at higher income brackets, which sort of negates the argument that these people are financially unable to remain married — unless they are such spendthrifts that they’d rather have their baubles than their marriage).

  4. William said, on March 6, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Maybe the reason a couple that has had a child together can not get married, is that if the man is working but maybe only makes $20,000 a year, the woman would lose her benefits,i.e. free healthcare, SSI, WIC, foodstamps, etc. Maybe the woman would like to get married and get off government assistance but they live in the mountains in West Virginia and the woman has no GED and few job opportunities.

    • DiaBriseida said, on July 9, 2012 at 7:17 am

      The male’s job is to take care and provide for his family. If they have a child together then they HE needs to step up and not depend so much on the government to support his family. God is not asking for a high price marriage. Just one that puts him as first in your marriage.

  5. William said, on March 6, 2011 at 7:31 am

    OK, I’m talking about myself. I guess what I’m asking is, do you think we should be risking God’s judgement for “living in sin” or should we put our faith in him that things will get better if we get legally married?

    • Kathy said, on March 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      Honesty is a great policy. 🙂

      Your situation is one that makes me irritated with our government. Instead of promoting marriage (which is a stabilizing influence and force in our culture and families, and makes things better for the individuals involved, as well as society as a whole), the government has made it easier to avoid marriage with the benefits you list, and even thrown up roadblocks by penalizing marriage financially in these and other ways.

      First, I applaud you for wanting to do the right, even if it results in some financial hardships initially. I can understand how scary it is to leave the financial safety that the government appears to provide. And I don’t *know* that you should go tomorrow and get married, and lose all governmental assistance. It is possible that your current financial state is already somewhat of “God’s judgment for living in sin” and that by committing yourself to do His will, that He will bless you. But I don’t know that for certainty. [Obviously, many people who are very wealthy are not living according to God’s principles and rules, and many people who are living in accordance with what He says are quite poor.]

      I do not know that you will lose all government assistance if you were to get married; you probably will still qualify for WIC, and the baby will qualify for Medicaid or CHIPs. But are you selling yourself to sin, to living in sin, for the price of government benefits? Is that a good trade? If you were currently married, would you divorce simply so your wife/girlfriend could qualify for SSI? What income would you need to make, in order to feel comfortable getting off of government benefits? Is it possible for your girlfriend to get her GED? Is it possible for you to move to a place where there is more job opportunity (for you and for her)? Is it possible for you to advance in a career (where you are, or in another location) so that you make more than you currently do?

      All the foregoing questions, as well as perhaps others that I will write afterward, are not for you to answer to me for my benefit, but for you to answer for yourself, for your own benefit. In Robert Kiyosaki’s book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” he wrote something profound that I’ve used many times in my life (not just financial). He said that when you are faced with something, and there seems to be no way you can afford to do this, don’t say, “I can’t afford it,” but rather say, “**HOW** can I afford it?” The first statement shuts down your thinking, and locks you into a box of being unable to do anything; but the second statement opens up your mind to explore the possibilities. That is what I’m doing here, trying to get you to do — to change your thinking from, “I can’t afford to get married,” to “How can I afford to support my wife and child if we lose government benefits if I get married?”

      And I don’t have all the answers. But I do have some suggestions: The book, “The Complete Tightwad Gazette” is a fantastic resource for ideas on how to live more frugally. For me, it also helps to change my mindset from “woe is me, I have to scrimp and save,” to “wow — look at how much I saved by changing these few things!” It is an older book (written in the 1990s), and while some of the particular information is dated, most of it is timeless. You should be able to find one for free in your local library (or perhaps through inter-library loan), or buy a used copy for cheap in a thrift store, used book store, or through Amazon. There are also plenty of free frugal resources online. Also, figure out how much you spend every month, on what, and can you spend less? Are there some expenses you can cut out entirely? There is an e-book I heard of written by a woman who lived on $500 per month while raising two teenagers: “Penny Pinchin’ Mama” (here’s one link, but you may be able to find it more cheaply elsewhere); it sounds like it has some fabulous ideas in it as well, although I haven’t read it myself.

  6. William said, on March 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Kathy thank you for your thoughts concerning our situation. I will ask myself those questions. I will also check out the books you mentioned.

  7. Sydni said, on April 30, 2011 at 6:06 am

    So Kathy, what you are saying is that as long as we promise to stay with our significant other, become one with them in everything we do, and exchange some sort of vows between them, we are married?

    • Kathy said, on April 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      Probably not legally married, depending on the laws of your land; and I think Christians should strive to live within the laws of their land if possible (i.e., as long as by obeying their laws, they are not disobeying God). The only reason I can think of not to get legally married if you can, is out of stubbornness or rebellion, neither of which attributes are praised in the Bible. Will God honor your commitment as marriage? Possibly, but I wouldn’t bet on it – not if you *can* get married, but just *won’t*.

      There seems to be an increasing trend in people who are living together before/without getting married, putting off the wedding “until they can afford it,” as if the pomp and frills surrounding the wedding are that important, and what makes a marriage. That is incomprehensible to me. Much better to get married, even if it is just a simple affair that costs at most a couple hundred dollars, appearing before the judge or justice of the peace or preacher and making vows and getting the marriage license/certificate, than to live together without marriage so you can have a big wedding and reception that you don’t need and can’t afford.

  8. michelle said, on May 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    William the Bible says we don’t live on bread alone …He is the bread of life..we are to have faith in Him…and not justify in any way …it is good that you acknowledge but now you know the truth you should pray and ask for guidance

  9. michelle said, on May 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    And 1 Corinthians 6:13b, 18 tells us, “Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without (outside) the body; but he that commiteth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

    (1) What does the Bible say about pre-marital sex (fornication)?

    (2) When does God give sexual relations His blessing?

    (3) Why is it important that I follow God’s commands regarding not participating in sex outside of marriage?

    (5) What if I have already engaged in sex outside of marriage?

    We are living in times where the world is trying to change the standards and moral commandments that were set down by God thousands of years ago. But God is holy and just and does not change, and neither will His standards for us change or be shaped by the so-called progressiveness of this sinful world. So the question becomes who will you be obedient to? Whose standards will you follow — God’s or this world’s?

    The Bible warns us not to believe it when the world tells us that “sex outside of marriage is okay as long as you are practicing safe sex,” or that “same-sex unions are normal and they should have the same status as male/female marriages.” God’s Word warns us not to fall for these man-made standards of living.

    In Ephesians 5:6, it says, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”

    And that verse goes on to say: “For ye were sometime darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:8-11).

    If you truly have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you should not still be ruled by your flesh! Your motto should not be “if it feels good, do it.” Instead, you should be doing all you can to avoid those people and things that will cause you to stumble and give in to sexual temptations.

    So let’s now take each question one at a time and try to expose the lies of this world’s system with God’s truth!


    The one thing that God desires most from us is our obedience. God wants us to glorify Him by the way we use our bodies. If you have truly been washed in Christ’s blood, then you should no longer be living for yourself, but instead you should be living to glorify God.

    1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reads, “What! Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

    And Romans 13:12b-14, “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying: but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

    These commands are important and we should live according to them because God commanded us to, and because we show our love to Christ by being obedient. In John 14:15 Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” And 1 John 2:3-5 reads, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. ”

    If you say that you are a follower of Christ, yet you are out in the world fornicating and carrying on like all of the lost people of the world, than just maybe you are fooling yourself and you are not really a child of God’s!

  10. michelle said, on May 16, 2011 at 2:59 pm


    What does the Bible say about pre-marital sex?, we are asked if it is a sin to engage in sexual relations outside of marriage. This is an area that many of us struggle with quite a bit in our Christian walk. Well, God is quite clear on how He wants us to live.

    First of all, there are different terms in the Bible that describe pre-marital sex. One way is the term “fornication.” If you looked in a dictionary for the definition of the word fornication, you would read, “Sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who are not married to each other.” And another way that pre-marital sex is described in the Bible is with the words “adultery” or “lewdness.” And the people who participate in pre-marital sex are referred to as “whoremongers” and “whores.”

    The world may have nice, fun terms for pre-marital sex, terms such as “doin’ it,” “foolin’ around,” “having an affair,” “a fling,” “one-night stand.” But it is quite obvious that God sees such activity in quite a different light!

    Let’s look at several verses that show us how God feels about us participating in pre-marital sex.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 warns us, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    And 1 Corinthians 6:13b, 18 tells us, “Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without (outside) the body; but he that commiteth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

    The Bible is telling us that pre-marital sex is a sin and that it is something that unrighteous people engage in. As Christians we are to use our body in ways that glorify God.

    We are warned to learn from the examples of the Israelites, who God judged because of their sinful ways. 1 Corinthians 10:6-8 reads, “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.”

    And Galatians 5:19-21 reads, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness … of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Again, we see that pre-marital sex is not something that God wants us involved with. God wants us to stay away from such behavior:

    1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel (body) in sanctification and honor, not in lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which do not know God.”

    Ephesians 5:1-3, 5, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor. But fornication, and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not once be named among you, as becometh saints…For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”

    Revelation 21:7-8, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

    All of these verses clearly show us that God is 100 percent against pre-marital sex and that He commands us to not take part in pre-marital sex. It doesn’t matter what all of your friends are doing or what you see in movies or videos or even what unmarried people who live in your own house are doing. God’s Word has not changed. God is today and has always been against His children participating in pre-marital sex! God wants us to have sexual relations with our husband or wife only. 1 Corinthians 7:2 reads “To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

    God’s commands are not always easy to follow. Being an obedient child of God in this area requires you to see this sin the way God sees it. You cannot think of sex as just something exciting and fun to do. You must learn to treasure and respect your body as something that is beautiful and special, a work of art that is only to be shared with one person under God’s conditions.

    You must go to God in prayer and ask for the strength you need to not give in to the temptations of the flesh. You will need to make it a point to not put yourself in situations where you are likely to stumble. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to resist the temptation to take part in pre-marital sex.

    2 Peter 2:9 tells us, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.”

    So if you truly are a born-again follower of Christ, do as we read in Colossians 3:1-3,5: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Mortify (restrain) your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

    God wants us to live for Him in the way that He told us we should. He wants us to turn our backs on the ways of this world.

  11. michelle said, on May 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm


    God is the one who created sex. It was His gift to us. And God gave us the ability to enjoy sex not only so that we could reproduce, but it is also a way for husbands and wives to bond and experience intimacy. God wants us to experience fulfilling, joyful sexual relations with the people we are married to.

    Proverbs 5:15, 18-19 reads “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well…Let thy fountain be blessed and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

    If God didn’t want us to enjoy sexual relations, He would not have made sex pleasurable. God obviously wants us to enjoy sex. And his Word makes it equally obvious that He only gives sexual relations His blessing when it occurs between a husband and a wife. And, again, the reason for this is because God wants what is best for us.

    What a lot of people don’t realize is that sex is not just something that is to be done casually for temporary pleasure. When you are intimate with someone in a sexual way, you are actually becoming one with that person on a deep spiritual level that goes far beyond just temporary thrills.

    Genesis 2:24-25 shows us this when referring to the first husband and wife, Adam and Eve. It reads, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

    When you are intimate with your husband or wife, there is no shame. When you fornicate or masturbate, there is shame, regret, and loss of self-respect.

    When we engage in sex, we “become one” with that other person. Who in their right mind would willingly want to become one with a prostitute or someone who has had multiple sex partners? Maybe nowadays “sleeping around” is no big deal. But in the Bible people who took part in such behavior were referred to as harlots or whores or whoremasters (These terms refer to men and women). And the definition of a harlot or a whoremaster is “one who practices habitual, customary, unlawful indulgence of lust, fornication, or adultery.”

    1 Corinthians 6:15-16 reads, “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid. What! Know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh.”

    So, again, every time you casually have sexual relations with someone who you are not married to, a little bit of your soul dies in a way. You have given to a stranger something that is valuable and precious. You have allowed this person to steal your wealth, to take away your honor.

    And when we are disobedient to God in this area, we even run the risk of harming our relationship with our Heavenly Father. God still loves us and will forgive us, but we might feel too ashamed to go to God in prayer.

    When we engage in sexual relations with people we are not married to, we bring hell and pain into our lives in many different forms: Sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortions, sexual dysfunctions, shame. You may even rob yourself of the ability to have a fulfilling sexual relationship in the future when you do get married. Proverb 6:27 asks the question: “Can a man take fire to his bosom and his clothes not be burned?”

    God knows what is best for us. He has given us standards to follow because He wants to save us from ourselves and from the pain we can bring to our lives.

  12. michelle said, on May 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm



    It is not too late to stop what you are doing and to recommit your life and body to God. The Bible tells us that no matter how bad we think we are or how much we have already sinned, God is able to forgive us and make us whole again if we only confess our sins to him and repent or turn from them. Here are just a few verses that show you God’s willingness to forgive: 1 John 1:9 reads, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

    Isaiah 55:7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

    Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

    All of these verses show that it is still not too late for you to make a fresh start with God. Won’t you stop chasing your own lusts and start letting God lead you? The cheap thrills that you are gaining by living like the rest of this sinful world cannot compare to the beautiful, rich relationship that you can have if you obey God’s Word and follow His standards for living.

    Well, doesn’t athiests and gays demand separation of Church and state? So what the hell business is it of the state? except your taxes. God is the only one that matters not people.

    Since the law allows people, or gives them the freedom to shack up, then it wouldn’t matter if you don’t have a license. What matters is that God will honor and bless your marriage if you place Him first! Now that counts for eternity! The odds will be better….. just keep Him central.

    We are assuming that you are a true Christian and follow the Bible and seek God’s wisdom in everything.

  13. nt12many said, on June 1, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Wow! Great discussion! Glad to have this page as a reference!Thanks for letting the readers know over on WWNH.

    Jill Farris

  14. gail said, on June 1, 2011 at 3:27 am

    hey, I’m new here, and perhaps many people will not agree with what I have to say, but this is just what I feel in my heart.

    to me, god’s guidance is just that- guidance. It’s there to protect us from ourselves from doing things that will hurt us. If god has a law in the bible, we can probably think about it and figure out why it makes sense, or made sense at the time, and whether it still does. Being Quaker, I believe that god can speak to each person’s heart individually, and help us to understand the spirit rather than the letter of the law. I actually view a lot of Christian principles more from a stance of sensibility than morality.

    1)I don’t think that people who love and are committed to each other and live together are doing something immoral. But without the legal bonds of marriage, they may not be doing something sensible.

    A commitment that doesn’t include the heavy-duty paperwork and social/emotional pressure of a formal ceremony, preparations, and acknowledgment by the state and the society in which a person lives, is theoretically easier to walk away from than one that is formalized.

    It’s also easier to fall into “accidentally” without thinking about it and deciding whether you really want to spend your life on this person.

    Since sex that is restricted to marriage is much safer in many ways, it makes sense to have people be married when they have sex, it makes sense to make breaking marriage bonds difficult, and it makes sense to make getting married a challenge (especially since breaking the bonds is difficult). Sex before marriage=probably a bad idea. What defines a marriage? Well, now that its relatively easy to get married and possibly even easier to get seperated or divorced, I don’t know. The purpose served in the marriage ceremony is no longer working. People aren’t considering carefully before they make that commitment, and they’re either walking away after a few years or else having a lousy marriage. Maybe redefining marriage/commitment isn’t such a bad idea.

    2)A lot of the Bible is easily interpreted in many ways. that’s why I think having bible-only arguments about important subjects is futile. It’s too easy to manipulate the information to match whatever you already believe. It’s a really dangerous game to get into, and I think it’s something people need to be really careful of

    3)being a “true Christian” means worshiping or following Jesus Christ and/or his teaching. Nothing more, nothing less. Being a “true Christian” has only as much to do with the Bible as Christ’s teachings are recorded there. Various sects of Christianity take more or less of the Bible as relevant to their belief systems, but this is not necessarily the worship of Jesus Christ.

    • Kathy said, on June 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      I generally agree with you on point one, though I would be stronger on morality. I would say that by looking at the world today, with its loose sexual morals, we can see that it is not just sensible but immoral to have the sort of “anything goes” sexual atmosphere that we currently have. You are dead-on right that people are getting married w/o much thought and are getting divorced too easily, and that the marriage ceremony has little meaning for most people nowadays. I would ask why “people who love and are committed to each other and live together” would *not* get married. What level of commitment would it signify if they “commit” to living together but refuse to “commit” to being legally married?

      On point two and three, as well as your statement of “what I feel in my heart” — this is why I would vehemently disagree. First, the Bible says that “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked – who can know it?” If the heart is so untrustworthy, can it be a good gauge — a better gauge than God’s written word — of what is good and right? You’re right that the Bible can be misinterpreted in many ways, but that does not mean having Bible-only arguments is futile. It just means that most people who make such arguments are misled, perhaps willfully so, and it puts the onus on us (as their hearers/readers) and them (as the speakers/writers) to be more diligent to “search the Scriptures to see if these things be so.” There is a Bible study group whose motto is “Never read a Bible verse,” and by that, they don’t mean, “Don’t read your Bible at all,” but rather, “Don’t read just one verse of the Bible w/o considering the context.” What happens is that sinful man accidentally or deliberately twists the reading of the Bible to conform to his preconceived notions, rather than conforming his ideas to what the Bible says; this is easier if one reads verses, or parts of verses, in isolation. I like to tell people that the Bible declares, “There is no God”! Did you know that? It’s right there in the Bible… preceded by, “The fool has said in his heart.” I hope this shows how important context is.

      Finally, I would agree with your statement that a true Christian worships and follows Jesus Christ and His teaching, but disagree with your implication that we should restrict ourselves to merely what was recorded in the Bible as said/taught by Him during His earthly ministry. If Jesus is Who He said He is — namely, God — and God wrote or inspired the Bible, then the whole Bible *is* the teaching of Jesus Christ, and should be read and followed.

  15. gail said, on June 2, 2011 at 3:31 am

    Interesting points, I’ll think about them. thanks for the response!

  16. gail said, on June 2, 2011 at 3:36 am

    ps, I think that what you’re saying about not reading bible verses in isolation, but rather in context, is really important. It’s intimidating, though- trying to understand something that complex in depth.

  17. Faithful Christian unconvinced by lies said, on July 22, 2011 at 7:34 am

    What verse do you have that backs up your bold statement of “you must be married to have sex”?

    • Kathy said, on July 27, 2011 at 3:05 am

      Every verse in the Bible that speaks positively of sex speaks only of a married relationship (i.e., one man and one woman); and every verse that speaks of any sexual relationship outside of marriage (including sex when neither partner is married, sex in which one partner is cheating on his/her spouse, bestiality, and homosexuality) speaks negatively of it at best and roundly condemns it at worst. Since you obviously have not read much/any of what I and others have said before in the post and ensuing comments, I figure I’m wasting my breath/typing, but I will link to this post which I think sums up the Biblical argument fairly well and succinctly.

      Your name is “Faithful Christian unconvinced by lies,” but I would ask you to reflect if you really are 1) faithful, 2) Christian, and 3) unconvinced by lies. An exercise in Scripture reading and studying may be helpful: you seem to think that I speak “lies” when I say that the Bible says that it is immoral to have sex outside of marriage; what verses would you propose to support your position — that sexual relations without marriage are condoned by God and the Bible? I look forward to hearing your response.

    • Kathy said, on July 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      You should really read Michelle’s post headed, “PRE-MARITAL SEX (FORNICATION)” for not just one but several verses which back up my “bold statement”. Apparently, there is some disagreement among Christians about just what all is entailed in the term “fornication”, but at a bare minimum, it must include premarital sex, since Jesus Christ was accused by detractors of having been born of fornication, since His conception preceded Joseph and Mary’s wedding.

      When you are doing your Bible study, look up the term “fornication” and other similar terms (fornicators, fornicating, etc.), and read at least “premarital sex” (even if you exclude the broader definitions of pornography and other forms of sexual immorality, or if you reject that those things are “immoral”, other forms of sexual expression outside of marriage). 1 Corinthians, Galatians, and 1 Thessalonians all specifically state that fornication is sin, and that fornicators are sinners and do not have eternal life and will not go to heaven. Not only are there no such prohibitions against married sex, but also in a letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells married people that if they abstain from having sex with each other, except to devote themselves for a period of time to prayer and fasting, that they are sinning! Those are pretty strong indications that “you must be married to have sex.”

  18. Tara Anderson said, on July 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Kathy, I have very much appreciated your comments. I do have one additional question I’d like your insight on. What if the couple was married, then divorced, but continue to live together as though they are married? They still have a sexual relationship, are devoted to one another, but do not want to get legally married again because of the tax reasons mentioned above, specifically, something about her college fees? She said if she gets re-married, then her schooling will cost more. They have asked me to speak a “blessing” over them so that they will be married in the eyes of God, and begin wearing their wedding bands again. I said no way…I feel that would be speaking a lie over them and signing His name to it. I told her I would try to find scripture to back it up, but had trouble on my own. I plan to show her your comments above, but would like your input on their specific situation since it’s a little different in that they were previously married. If you’re wondering why they divorced, he had been heavily drinking, and they found they got along much better if not legally married. He has since hit rock bottom and they have both found God, he has quit drinking, and they are in the process of buying a new house and starting over. They want to live their new lives together according to Him & they understand the importance of having God’s blessing on their lives, BUT they are still unclear on this one issue! Supposedly because of the schooling cost thing. Thanks for any insight you can provide! 😉

    • Kathy said, on July 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      Tricky question, but I think it comes down to, “are they married, or not?” If they are, then they can feel free to have a sexual/marital relationship; if not, they shouldn’t. If they’re not legally married when they could be (e.g., there is no law saying, “Christians are not allowed to get married”), then I think they should get married if they want to live like they’re married. Being “sort of” married without being *really* married just creates confusion — as I think you can attest by your wrestling with this thorny question — which is not God-honoring [God is “not the author of confusion”].

      In this case, it seems as if the couple wants to have the benefits of both marriage and single-hood, as it fits them, rather than having to choose one or the other (“to eat my cake, and have it, too”). A couple of hypothetical situations may help to clear up the matter: 1) If they had never been married to each other but came to you with this same question (live together w/o being legally married for the financial benefits), would you agree to it? 2) If instead of having their current situation, they had always had a good marriage, but she wanted to go back to college and they found out that if she were single/divorced that she would qualify for a reduced tuition, and/or that their tax situation would be less burdensome if they were divorced, would they come to you asking you if they should get a legal divorce but “remain married in God’s eyes” just for the financial benefits? I daresay not! So the question is, what’s the difference? If they did come to you with such questions, would you advise them not to get married at all, or to get a legal divorce but maintain the marital relationship otherwise? I daresay not! So, again, what is the difference?

      As an aside, I would also give you this unasked-for advice: if they were in such a difficult financial situation that they feel at least somewhat justified in maintaining a legal divorce just for the reduction in tuition and taxes, what on earth are they doing trying to **buy a house**?!? Far better for them to get married legally (since they’re acting like it anyway, and since they want God’s blessing on their lives, and there is no hint in the Scriptures of people being other-than-legally-married in the eyes of the law and of society) and continue to rent something cheap, and use the money they intended to use to buy a house to pay the extra in taxes and tuition, and have a clear conscience. (They have to save for a down-payment, so they must have/find/earn *some* money *somewhere* to do it… they just don’t want to spend the money on their marriage, I guess. Plus, it’s cheaper to maintain a rental than to maintain your own house, so if they can’t afford school/taxes, they can’t afford to buy a house, and that will be a heavy burden on them, rather than a blessing.) I would challenge them on this financial issue (“the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”), to show them that very likely this is a stumbling block to them, and they are putting money ahead of God and His Word, and are very likely idolatrous in this situation. In the gospels, Jesus always takes the Jewish Law one step further – instead of merely prohibiting murder, He says it is wrong to have murderous thoughts or unjustified anger against someone; instead of merely prohibiting physical and actual adultery, He says it is just as bad to commit mental adultery (to lust after a woman). The issue is always *the heart* – not just “are your actions conforming to the mind and will of God”, but “are your thoughts and desires conforming to God’s standards?” So, it seems to me that in setting up this financial situation as being some sort of good-enough reason for them not to obey the clear commands of Scripture (only married people should act like they’re married), they are putting money ahead of God, or to put it in Biblical/KJV language, attempting to “serve God and mammon,” which cannot work out well. They must choose; and if they choose to pretend marriage for the financial benefits of remaining legally single, it seems to me that they are serving mammon but still expecting God to bless them.

    • Kathy said, on July 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      Additionally, I think that putting the onus on you to find a Scripture to back up your position is wrong — they should find a Scripture to back up their position, i.e., living together as though they were married without being legally so. I think you are right to require them to get legally married (the only kind of marriage considered in the Bible, as far as I can tell), rather than to bless their stubbornness and financial idolatry.

  19. Tara Anderson said, on July 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Wow. Thank you Kathy! You have a wonderful way with words. I will print this out for them. They are both very new Christians and do not know the Word well….pretty much only what I have pointed them to in a recent bible study. So that’s why they come to me with these questions. You have answered my question extremely well! Thank you!!!! 🙂 I love your blog!

  20. Sebastien Dugas said, on August 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Only god as the right to judge.

    It is good to guide people in doing the right thing. But it is not right to tell them they are wrong or doing it wrong. Jesus came to teach us to live free and to love and respect our neighbors and god. In doing so, it means following what god wishes for us to do, Not what man wishes us to do.

    Over the years, the biblical laws, have been grossly exagerated. If you study long and hard enough, you will learn that marriage to god standards and marriage to human standards are two diferent things. Money, politics, even a priest, does not belong in a marriage. All that belong in there is you, your spouse and jesus.

    The rules of having a priest is man-made, the rules of having a marriage license is man-made…. the laws of the land? let me ask you this, If the governement decided to make it a law that you had to do something very sexualy wrong to get married, would you still then do it? Laws of the land are man-made laws which arent always healthy and can be broken for a greater good. Many holy people have done so. The laws of god cannot be broken by anyone.

    Now before getting the temptation to judge what other may be doing wrong in the eyes of god, Try to understand why some people do certain things. try to feel what they feel and study their roots and their baggage. Did you know that sexualy molested children tend to become very sexual people as they become adults, due to baggage they dont know how to release. Did you know 35% of the population was, at one point, sexualy molested and in many cases they dont even know. Jesus explains in big bold details why you should not judge, and that is why; peoples backround are so diferent then yours. people can deal with their own issues and they never understand other people’s issues and most of the time dont considered the issues. Which is why a lot of people think “they have it worst”. But really, theres a natural balence which people, as humans, just dont understand.

    • Kathy said, on August 6, 2011 at 12:39 am

      You say I’m wrong for telling other people that they are wrong…. so does that mean you think that you are wrong for telling me that I’m wrong for telling others that they are wrong? or do you get to tell others that they are wrong for telling others that they are wrong, while you yourself are not wrong for telling others that they are wrong?

      Secondly, the Bible is very clear that IF the laws of God and the laws of man are in disagreement, then “we ought to obey God rather than men.” However, it is also just as clear that if the laws of God and the laws of man are NOT in disagreement, then we are required to abide by the laws of our government, which according to Romans 13:1-4, is ordained of God. Since there is nothing in the Bible implying that it is wrong to be married according to the laws of our nation/people/customs, but rather the implication is that any marriage would be recognized by those around us and would be legal, I do not see any scriptural reason for those who claim to believe and follow the Bible to cast off the legal and societal recognition of marriage. Your hypothetical of “having to sin in order to get legally married”, I have already dealt with in an earlier comment as well as in this paragraph, because at that point, the laws of man would violate the laws of God, and we are to obey the higher authority. But at this point, our laws concerning marriage are not violating the laws of God, so we have no Scriptural authority to throw them off just because we don’t like them.

      Finally, in regards to your wanting to make exceptions to God’s explicit and oft-repeated injunctions against sex outside of marriage, if the person was sexually molested — how ridiculous! While I can sympathize with such people in their struggles, the plain fact is, there is no such thing mentioned nor even hinted of in the Bible. And don’t try to hide behind, “It wasn’t as bad then as it is now,” because I daresay that it was far worse at the time the New Testament was written! First, homosexual behavior was not just common but expected, with many men molesting boys as a matter of course, and accepted by society; and boys and girls alike were used as temple prostitutes and sex slaves. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians (and, btw, the city of Corinth was so well-known for their sexual immorality that, “a Corinthian girl,” was an idiomatic expression for “prostitute”, and “to play the Corinthian” meant “to have sex”), he didn’t give them a pass because they were steeped in sexual immorality, nor because they had been cult prostitutes and sex slaves — he said, “Such WERE some of you, but you are washed” and clean, and should no longer and *are* no longer participating in such vile deeds. If the Corinthians didn’t get a free pass because of their backgrounds, why are you wanting to give yourself and others a free pass because of your background?

      When Jesus met with the prostitute (Mary Magdalene, I believe), He said, “Go and SIN NO MORE,” not, “Go and keep on sinning and I’ll forgive you because you had a rough childhood.” But if you (in your “gospel according to me”) give people the right to disobey the Bible in sexual matters if they were molested, do you also give people the right to lie, if they were brought up by liars, or had ever been lied to; or to steal if they were brought up by thieves, or had something stolen from them? etc. The list could get very long. And if you give people a pass to act according to their sinful sexual desires in having premarital sex, simply because they have a high sex drive because of their having been molested, do you also give people a pass to commit homosexual sex, or bestiality, or to molest young children, because they have that sexual desire? Where do you draw the line, once you begin to deviate from the Scriptures?

    • Yve said, on August 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks, Sebastien. I think people have misunderstood the true teachings of “love thy neighbor as you love yourself” to you have to do what I “THINK” is right and not what is in your heart. God, speaks and guides all in His own time, not this worlds.

      Unconditional, unjudgemental….

      We should not impose what we think is correct even if the bible supports it. If God gives us free will who are people to take that away. We each have our own journey with Christ and it is personal.

      Allow God to do the work and stop pushing or guilting people into something they may not really want. You may create more harm or damage in the end. Sexual trauma, life trauma, family trauma, lots of other issues God needs to heal prior to a commitment is made.

  21. Melissa McFee said, on February 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Amen … is all I have to say ….. I do believe that’s what’s wrong with alot of people …. they just want to make up excuses ….. and not except the truth of the word …. and the word is inspired by God …. I just think that some people want to change,to be better people …. as far as reading the word and letting it cleanse them,and so many times the Holy Spirit convicts us,on alot of things we do in our lives that is not right …. some people listen … and some don’t …. and like I said … some people want to change to be better ….. and some don’t and just want to continue to live in their sin! That’s what I believe 🙂

  22. Christopher said, on April 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Most original US laws are based on Mosiac law (aka Biblical law as given by Yahweh to those who choose to abide in it as His bride).

    There is NO Biblical requirement to utilize a third-party man/woman to create a marriage relationship, anymore than one needs a priest or other witness to become a part of the Body of Christ (a marriage partner with Him in His Father). Being in the Bride of Christ is a personal and intimate committment of a person to God. Being in a marriage covenant is likewise a personal committment of two people before/to God.

    Many states have abused their control and abandoned the right for marriage unions in these simple terms of two people agreeing to be husband and wife and then living it out for life, but that does not mean the true requirement has changed. In 12 to 15 US States there is still no state requirement to utilize a justice of the peace, judge, government official, etc. The couple can establish their marriage without any third-party involvement. To establish a ‘common law’ marriage (which in this case the common law is derived from Biblical law) all a couple needs to do is be consensual to the marriage (both agree to be husband and wife) and then live that out.

    So…although there are accounts of marriage parties/ceremonies in scripture, there is no requirement for such. A man and woman can declare their love and committment to one another before/to God and then live that out. That is what constitutes a marriage before God, and then the couple goes on to display their marriage to the public which eventually is recorded by the government in ‘certificates’ or ‘licenses’ or other documentation / witness accounts (such as with common law marriages). But the ceremonies and govt recording is not what makes a marriage official before God. This is important to acknowledge.

    A man and woman simply living together and having sex does not create a marriage either. The personal vows and intent of the couple to be husband/wife and live in service to and before God make the marriage official. The government and public ceremonies are man-made and govt-induced protocols only. It’s not a bad thing to do those traditions and register your marriage with the government as long as one truly recognizes that God is sovereign and His involvment in the marriage is the most important factor.

    peace to you,

    • Kathy said, on April 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      I generally agree with you. I agree with your sentiment, especially as regards the vows/intent of the couple being the most important thing in making a marriage. However, while you say that in up to 15 states, there are no state requirements to use a third party to validate a marriage, that does mean that in 25 or so states, there is such a requirement for a legal marriage, and the Bible does say that we are to live according to the laws of the land, unless they violate the laws of God. Having a third party to officiate a marriage ceremony certainly does not violate the laws of God, so in those states (and countries with similar laws/customs), I think people are bound to officially get married, simply because it is the law of the land. And in all states, it is probably better to have an official marriage; for one thing, it is my understanding that a “common-law marriage” may not become official marriage until something like 7 years has passed, with the couple living together as if married. While the children being legitimate or illegitimate is not such a big concern these days as it was in former times, there are other legal issues that would make legal marriage to be preferable (if the man dies during that time, does the woman have any right to inherit his estate, since they were not legally married? if there are children involved, do they inherit at all, or are they his only legal heirs, while his not-quite-wife [legally] can only be a caregiver and/or guardian? if the couple separates, does the woman have legal right to any sort of alimony, or any share in his property — the way she would if she were his legal wife — when they are only living together and not married in the eyes of the law? if either party has sex with someone else, does the innocent party have any legal recourse in regards to this adultery, or is it “tough luck” to him/her because they weren’t legally married, so the guilty person has done nothing wrong?).

      So, in short, yes, I agree with you that the main concern is the vows and intent of the couple; but marriages in the Bible (with or without an official ceremony — Isaac’s and Jacob’s “weddings” are two good examples of these different courses) are also recognized by society at large, and in our society as in most societies, marriages are only recognized as officially existing if the couple has gone through legal requirements such as a ceremony with someone officiating. So, I still say that if a marriage is not officially recognized (barring weird hypothetical situations, such as the government making an arbitrary rule that Christians cannot legally marry, for example), then it’s possible that the marriage will not be recognized or blessed by God since the couple is living in rebellion against the laws of the land (which do not violate His laws); and even if that is not true, the couple would still do better to officially get married, for the reasons before stated. And I say again (as I have said in previous comments, though you may not have read them all), WHY would a couple wish NOT to get married legally if they could? I can see some libertarian-minded folks (and a few similar types of people) refuse just to be contrary and/or to invoke the name of liberty, but most of the time, I think people would refuse/decline to get married officially just to be rebellious against proper authority (which is not Christian), or because they want the benefits of marriage (for example, a man wanting a woman around for easy and convenient sex, to fix meals, and/or to take care of his housekeeping) without the strictures of marriage (wife is legally entitled to half his property, or having sex with another person is adultery, etc.). If, however, you can have a clean conscience that you are declining to get legally married NOT out of rebellion and NOT because you want to have it both ways (i.e., be “married” when it comes to the benefits of marriage, but still be “single” when it comes to the benefits of being single), AND if you’re living in a culture and country/state that recognizes such situations as marriage, then that would seem to be less of a problem or perhaps no problem at all, Biblically speaking.

      • Darlene said, on June 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm

        This has been an interesting conversation to read. I agree with everything Kathy has said. On a side note to Kathy, you are truly blessed with a gift with words and are great at explaining things in an easy-to-understand, straight-forward, non-offensive way. I’m glad you use your “talents” to speak with others. Just wanted to share. I was recently having a conversation with two of my friends, who are sisters, about whether or not it’s “okay” to be gay. They are both Christian, but have a hard time understanding that it is a sin before God when people who are gay might not be able to help what they feel or how they feel. The only way I could explain it is this. First, we must remember that God is a perfect and loving God and he has “rules” for us to follow to protect us, not harm us (I think that was mentioned earlier in the discussion in a previous post). Second, we are ALL sinners. However, someone having a tendency to be gay (for ANY reason) does not give that person justification to accept those feelings and decide to live in sin. To me, that is no different than if I had a gambling addiction or if I were a compulsive liar, and just decided to accept it and live that way because it’s too hard to try to get help or, more importantly, ask God for help in doing what He wants me to do. I am not gay, so I can’t say that I know how someone who is gay feels. But I do know that each one of us deals with our own individual struggles, challenges, temptations, etc. and we cannot just decide what parts of scripture that we want to throw out because it “doesn’t seem right” to us. The bible tells us “not to lean on our own understanding, but to trust in Him and He will make our paths straight.” God loves us, and if he says homosexuality is wrong, then He must have a perfect plan for the individual who trusts in Him and asks for His help regarding that situation.

  23. Alex said, on June 24, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Dear people

    Fornication translated from Hebrew and Greek means SEX WITH A HARLOT or prostitute. In biblical times young girls were married off straight away at 13-15yrs. Modern dating has created a problem of multiple potential partners. This has lead to a strange situation where people who are keen to have the very natural inclination of sex are almost always put into compromising situations.

    Sex in marriage is better for people. The problem is people don’t want to marry quickly enough, leaving huge sexual desire and no outlet for it.


    Could you cite your source for “fornication = sex with a prostitute”? I’ve not heard that before. If that’s true, then the Pharisees accused Jesus’ mother of being a prostitute when they accused Him of having been born of fornication.

  24. rachelevelynnichols said, on July 15, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Everyone encourages me to marry, but I’m a virgin at 38. I have prayed and prayed and come to the conclusion that God wants me to stay celibate. I’m too old to have children. I’m willing to stay chaste, so why does my church encourage me to husband hunt? I am so sick of looking! The main reason I have tried to marry was social pressure, both within and without the church. With so many Christians divorcing, isn’t it better to stay a virgin than divorce? Yet divorcees are more accepted in today’s church, probably because there are more of them. I turned down a really nice guy rather than become “unequally yoked” with a nonbeliever. I was appalled by how many Christian ladies thought I should try to change him.

    • Kathy said, on July 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      You are doing the right thing. Stay strong in what you know to be right. It is sad that there are too many people (usually women) especially within the church who do not know or do not *really* believe what the Bible has to say about marriage.

      • rachelevelynnichols said, on July 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm

        Thanks Kathy. I think God uses either marriage or celibacy to draw us to Himself. Either one has benefits and drawbacks. Wishing we were one way instead of the other is a waste of time. I refuse to “wait” any longer. I have to serve God now in the life I am currently living, instead of reading Oke novels and fantasizing about how wonderful life will be when I meet That Special Someone. I just wish the Protestant church provided more role models for singles.

        • Kathy said, on July 17, 2012 at 4:24 am

          If it makes you feel any better, surveys of single people reveal that the number-one cause of depression (or feeling sad) is that they are not married… and the number-one cause of depression in married people (drum roll) is that they are no longer single. 😉

          Paul was clear that for those who do not desire to be married, and who can choose to remain unmarried with honor and decency, that it is a much better course than to be married. However, he acknowledged the truth, that most people do wish to be married or cannot maintain an unmarried state with virtue, so that those people are allowed to marry, though he still does not encourage it. You are correct — it is too bad that Christians of whatever denomination do not have more support for the unmarried.

          • Sweeti said, on August 12, 2012 at 1:36 am


            I have always believed and been taught that we have to be have a marriage certificate to prove a couple is married. i have my issue with this. I don’t see it anywhere in the bible. I have noticed that in the old testament people in the bible were married in the eyes site of God. There were no judges, or preachers. I would like to know who’s idea was it to say a couple needs to have a license to get married and to be called married. Was it God’s idea or man’s idea? I think if a couple is committed to each, and says vows to each other for the time being untill they can make the marriage legal. I am think they wouldn’t be sining in the eyes of the lord, if they had sexual relations.

            In my case, my fiance and can’t afford to make the marriage and committment we have made to each other legal due to financial reasons. We both want to start raising a family. I am getting close to age that I will not be able to have anymore.

            We were talking about legalizing the marriage at a later date. My fiance’s view is that as long as a are committed to each other, and have intentions to make the marriage we want legal. We are not sining. I am conflicted with this because I don’t want to do the wrong thing. If it proves to be that its idea of man. I will do the opposite, and follow the example of the people in the bible.

            I think if that I were to express the views which I have shared with you. I wouldn’t get a straight answer. the preachers have only preached about having prematerial sex, the marriage license, etc.

            I noticed there were no laws for the catholic church concerning the marriage license and the government.

            What is your view on this?

            • Kathy said, on August 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm

              Here’s the way I look at it. The Bible does not say, “Thou shalt get a marriage license”, so I can’t point you to a verse to prove my point. But when you look at the Bible, you see a variety of different marriage ceremonies (or lack thereof) — Isaac married Rebekah by taking her into his mother’s tent; Jacob married Leah and Rachel with a week-long feast; Joseph and Mary were engaged for some time before they were married. The point of saying this is that while the wedding ceremony may be different there *is* a point at which the couple is married whereas before they weren’t. Mary got pregnant before marriage, even though they were engaged and were referred to as husband and wife, and Jesus was accused of having been born of fornication — though they were engaged and *almost* married, it still would have been considered fornication had they had sex. Also, the ceremony may be different, but marriage in the Bible seems to be not just a commitment of the couple to each other for life, but also whatever form or ceremony was common in the culture of the time, so that the society in which the couple lived would recognize them as married. Though Isaac and Rebekah seemed to have no ceremony other than her entering his tent and them having sex, you can’t just say that “sex = marriage”, otherwise there would be no such thing as fornication, nor would there be any law or penalty in the Jewish Law against sex before marriage, because “sex before marriage” couldn’t exist IF “sex = marriage”. So it seems to me that if the culture/society that you’re in recognize the marriage, then the marriage is considered legal. In our culture, marriage license = marriage; without it, you’re not legally married.

              Titus 3:1 says that we are to obey the laws of the land in which we live (obviously with the exception stated elsewhere in the Bible, if the law violates God’s law — in other words, as the apostles said when brought before the Jewish authorities and told to stop preaching, “we ought to obey God rather than man”; however, if the law of man does not violate God’s laws, then we must obey it). For this reason, I can find no way to say that in our current culture and society that Christians ought not go through the proper legal channels and get a marriage license and go through the accepted societal and legal forms. It does NOT violate the Bible or any rule of God to have a marriage license, but it may violate the law of God for you and your fiancé to live together without being legally married.

              Why have a marriage license at all? Good question. I don’t know the history and background of it, but I don’t know that it really matters that much, because we aren’t living in the society of hundreds of years ago when marriage licenses were first issued; we’re living in today, when they’re the accepted and *only* legal way to get married. The law does not violate one of God’s commandments, so you flout it at your peril. Very likely, the licenses were first issued as society became broader and more complex, and people didn’t always know everything about everybody else in their town/city. In this case, it would be fairly easy for a man to “marry” many different women at one time in different locations; or a woman could leave her husband and go to another town and get married, without first divorcing her husband; having a license would minimize that risk, because people could check at the local registrar’s office (or functional equivalent; maybe the town gossip) 😉 and show that the person was not free to marry another, because s/he was still married. The case of Mr. Rochester in the book “Jane Eyre” comes to mind. It also provided for the legitimacy and illegitimacy of children, with only legitimate children being legal heirs. I know that in that time, and for possibly centuries beforehand, people had to announce their intention to marry at least 3 weeks in a row before the ceremony took place (the “reading of the banns” at church — where just about everybody was required to go, in those days), which generally gave enough time for others to show that there was some impediment to the marriage, some reason that the couple should not or could not get married.

              You say that you can’t “make the marriage legal due to financial reasons”. I *hope* that you’re not saying, “We don’t have $25,000 to spend on an extravagant wedding, so we’re going to put off the ceremony until we do.” Marriage licenses and a Justice of the Peace are fairly inexpensive; I bet it’s no more than $100 anywhere in the country to get legally married. If you *are* talking about not being able to afford a ceremony, then skip the ceremony and go to the courthouse. Other people have commented above about losing out on financial benefits they receive because they are unmarried. If this applies to you, then I guess you have to decide if it’s worth it to remain single and keep the financial benefits, live in sin and keep the financial benefits, or get married and forgo the financial benefits. I vote for the latter. Even if it doesn’t seem financially feasible for you (and I don’t know your personal or family budget, so have no idea what the numbers are in your situation, or why you can’t afford to get married, but think you can afford to have children), God is able to change your financial situation in ways that you cannot now imagine, if you obey Him. “With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

  25. James W. Maxey said, on October 7, 2012 at 5:20 am

    If two consenting adult male and female want to have sex without sin they must be married or else it is called fornification. Fornification is a sin just as adultery. Just read your so-call bible and you will see that if a man had sex with a virgin it was abomination..

    • Marcie said, on January 22, 2013 at 2:20 am

      Kathy, you have a gift. Thank you so much! I hope to hear you preach in person someday! You would be great at it!!!!

      • Kathy said, on January 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm

        Thank you, Marcie, but I do not “preach”; these are just my own thoughts put out on paper, er, online. It is my understanding that the Bible prohibits women from preaching, though we are allowed to teach other women (as per Titus 2). There may be times when women can privately help men understand certain things of the Bible [see Priscilla joined with her husband to help Apollos, who believed the truth but only knew the teaching of John the Baptist], but I think it’s a shame that women preach, as if there are no capable men.

  26. APOSTLE KATENDE STEPHEN said, on April 17, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Malachi 2:16
    “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

    Matthew 19:1-12

    Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? …

    Genesis 2:22-24
    And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said , This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

    Proverbs 5:18-19
    Let thy fountain be blessed : and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

    Proverbs 18:22
    Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

    Hebrews 13:4-7
    Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge . Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have : for he hath said , I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say , The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow , considering the end of their conversation.

  27. Aimee said, on June 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I’m having an issue with my fiance right now. We have been dating for 8 months now and have been having sex the whole time. We were originally going to have to wait for marriage for another two years, but I’m taking a year off of college to work, so we both decided to get married next summer. According to him it is ok for us to continue having sex because he believes that since we really do love each other and are going to be married eventually then we aren’t in sin. Is he right? Is it fornication or immorality if we do really love each other and we really do get married. I thought fornication just defined acts of sexual pleasure without the meaning of love or the purpose of marriage behind it.
    Also, I’m having a hard time with the time era and culture differences of this issue. Yes, God wants us to abide by the laws of the land, but in our time it is not against any laws for two people of the opposite sex to live with or have sex with each other without being married so how would anyone be breaking any legal issue that God said to abide by?
    Throughout history, marriage has been viewed as a way for a man to obtain supremecy and dominancy over his own little community in life (his wife, children she bears for him, and his belongings). This attitude is frowned upon in todays time, with women becoming more actualized and independent. Most cultures have no ceremony as the word entails anyway. Even if they did have a ceremony, most marriages including ones in the new and old testament times were prearranged for other reasons than love. Why would God approve of this type of marriage idea in the first place?
    The act of a marriage ceremony now days for me seems to be a way for people to invite everyone they know to celebrate in their happiness. I feel as if the day I chose to start dating him I was giving him a commitment to love him for the rest of our days, especially after he asked me to marry him. Isn’t that what God wants…a commitment to live together, and love each other without ever walking away from that commitment? Why is that commitment not honored?
    So anyways back to my issue: I told him that we should not have sex anymore because my mom keeps telling me it is wrong and I’m going to go to hell and I’m causing him to fall too. He did not agree with me that we should stop, and he has refrained from touching me much at all except a hug and a kiss as a greeting or salutation, I do not know if I made the right decision, and I’m having a hard time explaining to him why we should not have sex. I don’t really understand it fully myself.
    I’ve always seen Gods rules as ways to tell the world how not to do something that will hurt themselves in any way. If I completely trust him and he trusts me in our commitment, and we aren’t going to have children because of our sexual acts before we can support them, and neither of us have diseases, then how will having sex hurt us? Why would God call it sin if it isn’t bad for us in any other way than he just says it is?
    Thank you for a reply. I’m really interested to hear the answers to all of these questions.

    • Kathy said, on August 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Fornication may include sexual acts without love or the intention of marriage, but it is also defined as sexual intercourse before marriage. For example, the Pharisees of Jesus’ day in a round-about way said that He was “born of fornication”, though they considered Him the physical son of Joseph (Mary’s husband), and He was born after their marriage though conceived before it and while they were engaged. If fornication were merely defined as sexual acts with no intent of marriage, and Jesus was conceived by a physical union of the engaged couple Joseph and Mary, then that could not be called “fornication” since they were planning on being married. Thus, fornication at least includes intercourse before marriage, even if the couple are engaged and planning to be married.

      Your next paragraph indicates that you didn’t understand something that I said about marriage and breaking the laws of the land. Many people (esp. in the other comments) have tried to say that their cohabitation was equivalent to marriage, even though they were not legally married. You are right that it is not illegal for people to have sex outside of marriage, but these people are not considered married; my point is that because the law of the land does not view them as married, then they are actually not married and should get married, since there is no violation of any of God’s laws or precepts or tenets by going through with a marriage ceremony.

      Throughout history, marriage has been viewed as a way for a man to obtain supremecy and dominancy over his own little community in life (his wife, children she bears for him, and his belongings). This attitude is frowned upon in todays time, with women becoming more actualized and independent.
      So what?
      Most cultures have no ceremony as the word entails anyway.”
      I doubt that, but even if that is the case, again, so what? I have numerous times noted (in the comment section if not the actual post) that different cultures solemnize a marriage in different ways, but all make a distinction between a union of man and woman in marriage, and a coming together of man and woman without marriage. Our culture *does* have a ceremony (though what is legally binding is the marriage license), so there is no reason not to get legally married.

      Even if they did have a ceremony, most marriages including ones in the new and old testament times were prearranged for other reasons than love. Why would God approve of this type of marriage idea in the first place?
      You seem to believe that marriage should primarily be about romantic feelings, and that God believes that all that is necessary in a marriage is that the two people be besotted with each other. That is false, and has probably led to more divorces in the 20th century than any other belief — because when people believe that “love” (I guess you mean to define it by romantic feelings and being all in a flutter, rather than the Biblical definition of love, which is action, and laying down yourself in preference of others) is the most important aspect of marriage, then when romantic love fades (as it inevitably does), it becomes easier for one or both marriage partners to feel justified in seeking a divorce so that they can “find someone they love”, rather than making the commitment to love (by action) the one they have promised to live with forever.

      Isn’t that what God wants…a commitment to live together, and love each other without ever walking away from that commitment? Why is that commitment not honored?
      I will again refer to the story of Joseph and Mary. They were committed to marry each other, being engaged; yet they still had to solemnize the occasion by whatever action or ceremony the culture of the day recognized (which obviously had to be something other than having sex, since they did not have relations until after Jesus was born); and had they engaged in sexual activity prior to getting legally married, they would have been considered as being in fornication.

      I agree with your mom in that I think you should not have sex until you are married, though I don’t know why you are putting off the wedding until next year. Why not just invite all your friends and family to a simple wedding next week or next month, and wear a pretty dress (or whatever), and have friends bake cakes and other good things to eat, and then you won’t have to worry about trying to abstain for the next year. Though I do think it will be good for you to “clear your head” by refraining from sex; I see a cause for alarm in your previous statement about you committing to him for life on your first date, since there is almost no way that you could know enough about him to make such a serious commitment, and by so doing, you have likely blinded yourself to things about him which you should be able to see. As the saying goes, “Go into marriage with your eyes wide open, and then afterwards with them half-shut.” Unfortunately, too many people go into marriage all twitter-pated, with their eyes blinded to all the faults of their future spouse; then they become aware of all the faults (sometimes serious) that the other person has. Having sex seems to augment that problem, as women tend to bond to their sex partner, while men typically do not (they bond, but for other reaons, not because of sex), so engaging in sexual activity early in a relationship and/or before marriage tends to short-circuit the “courtship” process in which the two prospective spouses seek to make sure that the other is indeed a person most suitable for them.

      I do agree with you that God’s rules are primarily to keep us from hurting ourselves by engaging in acts that seem good but really are harmful. Yet you’re making an error in thinking that only physical harm is under consideration when God reserves sex for marriage. Yes, that is a very big component of it undoubtedly, but there are also emotional, mental, and/or spiritual harms that can come from illegitimate sex — harms which are not always easy for us to see, but which a loving Father would want to keep His children from.

  28. Hanna Stouvres said, on July 17, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I like your comment. I’m not willing to forgo sex by choice, but I have because I want to marry without having sex with the “world”. My question is why does God allow some people who fornicate or commit adultery to marry and not others, seemingly punishing some people for fornicating or committing adultery? I know you’re not God, but maybe someone has more insight to this issue than I do.

    • Kathy said, on August 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      I would reply that God is just to punish us for our sins, but since He is also merciful and forgiving, sometimes (for His own purposes — we don’t always have to understand, nor do we always get to understand the workings of the mind of God) He allows good things to come even when we have sinned. I think of the story of King David and Bathsheba in the OT — the wise king Solomon came about because of their union, though it began in adultery and fornication — and indeed, their first son died because of the sin of the parents, and David also suffered many other problems in his life as a direct and indirect result of that sin. So, sinning is not worth the punishment, and the NT has clear warnings against willful sinning either under the cloak of “liberty”, or by the convoluted reasoning that because God can and does bring good things as a result of sin, that we should sin so that God can bring good from it (to “continue in sin, so that grace may abound”).

      But it is also important to note that just because some people commit sexual sins and then go on to marry the person with whom they sinned sexually, it does not follow that God is actually blessing them in the marriage. Often people who have sinned in such manner have serious problems within their marriage as a direct result of their unchastity. It should also be recognized that people who live together before marriage have a higher divorce rate than people who do not begin living together until they are married; and though I don’t know if there have been studies in this matter, I daresay that people who abstain from sex before marriage have stronger and more stable marriages, and greater marital satisfaction than those who “try before they buy”.

      • Peggy said, on January 3, 2014 at 4:13 pm

        Kathy, your knowledge of God’s word is outstanding! Your writing skills are impeccable! And your presentation is impossible not to understand. There is no confusion in your explanation. Your source of content is very clear. If there is one of us who claim not to understand, it is because it’s not what we want to hear. God bless you and keep you in His perfect peace.

  29. Tima said, on February 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Kathy, can you give me your impute according to what the scriptures states? If a women has had numorous sexual relationship, in her youth and has had relationships with married men, and during these relationships has had a child, and also has had several abortions. Then years later repented of these great sins and was saved by the grace of God, thru Jesus Christ, can you please tell me what the bible says about this women situation, I do know that there is forgiveness from sins, but there is also consequences for the sins that one has committed. Would this women be considered defiled and if she was to marry, would this be considered an abomination to The Lord? Again I know that Jesus will forgive anyone of these types if sins, but what is the consequences of these sins, if this women wanted to be married. Please tell me what the scripture states. Thank you.

    • Kathy said, on February 9, 2014 at 11:41 pm

      As you say, there is forgiveness, yet that doesn’t erase the consequences of the past sin. An analogy would be akin to having lost your leg or arm in a tragic car accident as the result of impaired driving — no amount of “righteous living” will cause your arm or leg to regrow.

      There is a risk, though, that you may be tempted to live in your past, and let Satan keep you from fulfilling your Christian potential, by continually beating you over the head with your sin, and not letting you “leave those things behind, and reach to those things that are before”. Consider the Apostle Paul — he was a murderer of Christians before his conversion, but didn’t let that keep him from preaching to others; if anything, it impelled him to greater service.

      There may be certain natural consequences of past sin that will follow such a woman as you describe (sexually transmitted diseases; physical ailments from the abortion; perhaps family trouble relating to her current child plus any others that may be added to the family); but God can overrule these.

      The question, though, seems to be, “Do these past sins forbid a woman from marrying and having a legitimate sexual relationship?” I think the answer is no, her past sins do not preclude future love and marriage. I believe that the woman is free to marry, inasmuch as she is said to be dead to sin and dead to her past sin, and is a new creation in Christ. However, considering the plug that Paul gives to remaining single, I don’t think it should be her goal to get married just for the sake of being married, if she is happily single and chaste; though her child ought to have a father figure (perhaps her father, brother, pastor, or some other trusted and close friend or family member).

  30. […] Does the Bible say I have to get married? | Kathy Petersen … […]

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