Category Archives: Relationships Questions

Questions about Relationships: Is it wrong for a couple to live together before marriage? Does God have one specific person for you to marry?

 

The answer to this question depends somewhat on what is meant by “living together.” If it means having sexual relations, it is definitely wrong. Premarital sex is repeatedly condemned in Scripture, along with all other forms of sexual immorality (Acts 15:20; Romans 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7). The Bible promotes complete abstinence outside of (and before) marriage. Sex before marriage is just as wrong as adultery and other forms of sexual immorality, because they all involve having sex with someone you are not married to.

If “living together” means living in the same house, that is perhaps a different issue. Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with a man and a woman living in the same house—if there is nothing immoral taking place. However, the problem arises in that there is still the appearance of immorality (1 Thessalonians 5:22; Ephesians 5:3), and it could be a tremendous temptation for immorality. The Bible tells us to flee immorality, not expose ourselves to constant temptations to immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). Then there is the problem of appearances. A couple who is living together is assumed to be sleeping together—that is just the nature of things. Even though living in the same house is not sinful in and of itself, the appearance of sin is there. The Bible tells us to avoid the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22; Ephesians 5:3), to flee from immorality, and not to cause anyone to stumble or be offended. As a result, it is not honoring to God for a man and a woman to live together outside of marriage.[1]

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Relationships: Is born again virginity possible?

 

Born-again virginity is the claim that after having sex, a person can be restored to virginity by a spiritual renewal, vowing sexual purity until marriage and asking God for forgiveness. Some women have taken the idea of born-again virginity so far that they actually have had surgery to physically restore themselves to a “virgin” physical-sexual state.

The pressure upon some Christians to become “born-again virgins” is likely due in large part to the fear of condemnation from Christian brothers and sisters, or perhaps fear that God will not accept them unless they take steps to become “born-again virgins.” Neither of these reasons should be a concern because God offers forgiveness and grace to all who ask with a sincere heart (1 John 1:9). We need not try to restore for ourselves what God has already restored in us spiritually.

The Bible says that when we are born again, we are new creations, our old selves are dead and gone, and we have new life given to us by the Holy Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 5:17). This means that God chooses to no longer remember our past transgressions (Jeremiah 31:34), including losing virginity before marriage. Our sins are as far away from us as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). There is absolutely no doubt that God will forgive sex before marriage. God’s love for a person is not diminished because of the mistakes that person has made.

However, though our sins are no longer counted against us, they are still very real and still carry with them earthly consequences. Once an act is done, it’s done. It is, therefore, not possible to claim physical born-again virginity, just as it is not possible to reverse the consequences of any other sins we commit. What we can be done with, though, are the guilt feelings associated with having had premarital sex. This kind of guilt can cause us to doubt the power of God’s forgiveness because we can’t forgive ourselves. We can be tyrannized by our emotions and feel we are too bad to be forgiven. There are several reasons for this. First, the conscience speaks against forgiveness. The only thing our conscience knows about is guilt and conviction. It knows nothing of grace and mercy. Second, Satan is the “accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10), and he will do all he can to obscure the love and graciousness of God. But Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Once we recognize that it’s to his advantage to keep us incapacitated and immobilized by our guilt feelings, we can reject his lies, cling to the promises of Scripture, truly believe that we have died to sin, and begin to live for God in Christ (Romans 6:11).

Consider the apostle Paul—consumed with rage against Christ and “breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples” (Acts 9:1), full of blasphemy and ungodliness, yet God forgave him and made Paul His chosen vessel to preach the Gospel to the whole world. Notice that God never required Paul to become a born-again anything other than a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. Paul goes on to tell us that although some of us were sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexual offenders, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers (1 Corinthians 6:9–12), yet through the infinite goodness and free grace of God, we are washed from the filth and guilt of our sins, justified by the righteousness of Christ, sanctified by the Spirit of Christ, and decked and adorned with the precious grace of Christ, holy and perfect in the sight of God. Knowing this, how can we possibly hold onto our guilty feelings?

Rather than seeking born-again virginity, a Christian who has made the mistake of sex before marriage should commit himself/herself to God and to abstaining from sexual intercourse until marriage. Claiming born-again virginity is not biblical. Believing wholeheartedly in God’s total forgiveness and making the choice to live righteously and in ways that are pleasing to Him—that is biblical.[1]

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Relationships: If an unmarried couple has sex, are they married in God’s eyes?

 

It is true that sexual relations is the ultimate fulfillment of a couple becoming “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). However, the act of sex does not equal marriage. If that were so, there would be no such thing as premarital sex—once a couple had sex, they would be married. The Bible calls premarital sex “fornication.” It is repeatedly condemned in Scripture along with all other forms of sexual immorality (Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; 10:8; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7). The Bible promotes abstinence before marriage as the standard of godliness. Sex before marriage is just as wrong as adultery and other forms of sexual immorality because they all involve having sex with someone other than your spouse.

If an unmarried couple has sex, does that mean they are married? The Bible gives us no reason to believe this to be the case. The act of sexual relations may have made them for a moment physically joined, but that does not mean God has joined them together as husband and wife. Sex is an important aspect of marriage, the physical act of marriage. Sex between unmarried people, though, does not equal marriage.[1]

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Relationships: If a Couple Gets Pregnant before Marriage Do They Have to Get Married?

 

Sex before marriage has become so commonplace in our society, even to the point of being expected, that many professing Christians don’t even consider it to be a sin. Our culture assumes that people do not possess the amount of self-control necessary for abstaining until marriage, so the idea has become unrealistic. God’s Word does not change, however, and the Bible tells us that sex outside of marriage is immoral (Matthew 15:19; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 6:13, 7:2; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3).

Any person who has become a born-again Christian by putting his or her faith and trust in Christ no longer belongs to himself. First Corinthians 6:18–20 (NLT) says, “Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

Disregarding God’s plan for marriage, sex, and family always results in these kinds of spiritual or physical consequences: grieving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30), guilt, shame, regret, loss of respect for self and others, division in families and between believers, poor role modeling, pain for future spouses, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases. God intends for sex to be an intimate expression of love and commitment, to be shared only between a husband and wife. Sex just for the physical pleasure of it damages our spirituality and pulls us away from fellowship with God.

Anyone who has made the mistake of having sex outside of marriage can be forgiven, even if the mistake results in an unplanned pregnancy. First John 1:9 says, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong.” This does not mean that He will erase the consequences of our actions, but we can be restored spiritually by confessing and repenting from our sins. This means turning away from our sins and making the commitment to love and serve Christ.

There are some cases in which getting married before the baby is born would be wise. If a committed couple who was already planning to get married commits fornication which results in pregnancy, it would probably make it easier for the family and the child to marry before he or she is born. But if an uncommitted couple commits the same sin, getting married will not make them right in God’s eyes. In such a situation, getting married will only set them up for marital failure. The Bible does not instruct people as to whether or not to marry under these circumstances, although both parents are still obligated to support the child emotionally, spiritually and financially.

None of us are made right with God through works. We are saved by faith alone, trusting in Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, which lead to death. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God does not want us to try to right our wrongs, but He wants us to give Him our hearts. By laying down our own will and submitting to the sovereignty of God, we can be assured of not only a fulfilling life on earth, but also a place in heaven for eternity.[1]

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Relationships: How young is too young to be in a romantic relationship?

 

How young is “too young” to start a relationship depends on the individual’s level of maturity, goals, and beliefs. Often, the younger we are, the less mature we are due to a lack of life experience. When we are just beginning to figure out who we are, we may not be firmly grounded enough spiritually to form solid romantic attachments and may be more prone to making unwise decisions that can leave us with emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual damage.

Being in a relationship puts one in almost constant temptation, especially as emotions begin to develop and the attraction to the other person deepens. Young teens—even older teens—are besieged by hormonal and societal pressures that seem at times almost unbearable. Each day brings new feelings—doubts, fears, and confusion coupled with joys and exhilaration—which can be very confusing. Young people spend much of their time just figuring out who they are and how they relate to the world and the people around them. To add the pressure of a relationship at this stage seems almost too much to ask, especially when the other person is experiencing the same upheaval. Such early relationships make it more difficult to avoid damage to the delicate and still-forming self-image, not to mention the problem of resisting temptation. If being marriage-minded is still far off, it is probably too early to begin dating or courtship. Much safer for all concerned are group activities where young people can develop social skills and friendships without the pressure and inherent difficulties of romantic attachments.

No matter when a person decides to begin a romantic relationship, this should be a time of building on the foundation of faith that he or she has been taught, of growing and figuring out what God wants him or her to do. We are never too young to begin this exciting process. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).[1]

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.