Look. We're not going to deny that sex is pleasurable. Maybe you've had it, so you know it. Maybe you've heard about it. Maybe you get the idea thanks to the internet and movies. But who do you think designed sex to be pleasurable? God. God created human beings, and He knew very well what He was doing when He created the ability for humans to have sexual relations. The pleasure of sex is a gift to be enjoyed by humans with one caveat: sex is only to be enjoyed within the bonds of a committed marriage (Ephesians 5:31).
Just like so many gifts God has given humankind, the gift of sex has been twisted and abused by the world. Just because something feels good, that doesn't mean we get to do it whenever we want, however we want, and with whomever we want. We, as believers in Jesus, have been given so much grace, and therefore, we're expected to follow Christ's example of holiness.
1 Peter 1:14-15 says, "Do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct..." When we disregard the caveat of having sex only within the context of a loving, committed marriage, we pollute this beautiful, pure thing God created for us and commit the sin of sexual immorality.
"You should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God. . . . For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life." —1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, 7
That passage above gives us a pretty clear outline as to why God put that caveat in place. Sexual purity is about maintaining control over the body and mind so we can remain focused on holiness. Self-control is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23). Uncontrolled “passionate lust” comes from the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:19)—not the Holy Spirit.
Believers have been sanctified, which means we're literally "purified, made holy, consecrated [unto God]." To be consecrated means to be set apart as sacred, and as sacred sons and daughters of God, we are to live a life that reflects the righteousness of Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross. This kind of life is evidence of how we are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
As new creations, we should take off those old natures that automatically choose sin, automatically choose pleasure, automatically choose the selfish route—regardless of the consequences. Instead, we ought to "redress" our souls with a life led by faith that Jesus' way of living was best (Galatians 2:20). To continue indulging our old, sinful nature is to deny that Jesus' sacrifice meant anything to us. Maintaining sexual purity is a part of that sanctification process. Enjoying sex within the context of marriage is a part of sexual purity because it is using the gift as God intended.
God designed sex as an intimate act shared in the most vulnerable way possible, as an expression of trust and unconditional love between two humans who are fully committed to one another for life. Sex can create life, and becoming a parent is a huge responsibility you want to be sure you're ready for. Sexual purity is a part of honoring God's design for sex.
Sex should be a respected and sacred act, reserved for the one person you have trusted completely, who is 100% committed to you (and any future children) through a marriage relationship. Premarital sex often leads to complications, confusion, and heartbreak, because the level of commitment experienced by a husband and wife just isn't there in dating (or casual/swing) relationships.
"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." —2 Timothy 2:22
We know that God wants all good, beneficial things for us, and that His discipline reflects how much He truly loves us and wants to protect us. Following God's will for sexual purity in our lives is only going to be helpful in the end—even if some things don't make sense at the time (Proverbs 3:5-6).
God isn't trying to withhold something beautiful or pleasurable from you by saying "not now" to sex. This caveat is in place to protect you and your heart (Hebrews 13:4). The act of sex should be viewed as exclusively special and exceedingly sacred—to be shared with one person alone, one to whom you have committed your life and who has committed their life to you.
Maintaining sexual purity outside of marriage is a part of becoming sanctified through Christ. Enjoying sex within the context of marriage is a part of sexual purity because it is using the gift as God intended. God designed sex as an intimate act shared in the most vulnerable way possible, as an expression of trust and unconditional love between two humans who are fully committed to one another for life. Sex should be a respected, sacred act, reserved for the one person you trust completely, who is 100% committed to you (and any future children) through a marriage relationship. "So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart" (2 Timothy 2:22).
Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, four socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.