Engaged Couple Wants to Know Why Premarital Sex Isn’t Okay

Now that we are committed to be married, why should we wait to have sexual intercourse? How can there be anything wrong with our love-making when we've already promised to spend our lives together?

The simple answer to your question is that you haven’t really promised anything yet. In our culture, an engagement doesn’t amount to the kind of promise you have in mind. It’s not the sort of commitment that requires you to step over a line that you can’t re-cross without some serious social and legal consequences. It’s more like “a promise to make a promise.” It’s the “handshake” that comes before the actual signing of the papers and the final sealing of the deal. The real promise will be given when you stand before God in the assembly of witnesses and solemnly pledge to love, honor, and live with one another as husband and wife “till death do you part.” Until those vows are said, it’s still fairly easy to bail out on the arrangements you’ve made.

That said, it’s worth adding that, from our perspective, there’s something disingenuous about your question. Apparently you’ve already started having sex and are simply looking for someone to endorse your decision. We can’t help you there. Focus on the Family subscribes to the scriptural view that sex is meant to be reserved strictly for marriage – not because sex is “bad,” “dirty,” or “degrading,” but because it’s such a unique, exclusive, and wonderful thing. It’s a holy mystery, a powerful bonding agent that shapes the relationship between a man and a woman as nothing else can. It’s the “sacrament” that consummates and seals the spiritual, emotional, and physical union between a husband and wife. That’s why sex and marriage are not to be entered into lightly. That’s why, in the scriptural view, they have to be preceded by something more permanently binding and obligatory than the informal “handshake” of an engagement.

If you think that what we’re saying makes sense, we urge you to make a commitment to put it into action. Admit that you’ve been fooling yourselves and lying to God. Change course and make a resolution to put off any further sexual activity until after the wedding. If you don’t have the discipline, self-control, moral courage, and determination to do this, it might be better to break off the relationship until you can find a way to resolve these vital character issues.

If you need help working through some of the thoughts we’ve shared, or if you’d simply like to discuss your concerns at greater length, feel free to call our Counseling department.


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Living Together

Pure: Why the Bible’s Plan for Sexuality Isn’t Irrelevant, Outdated, or Oppressive

Pure Love, Pure Life

Pure (devotional)

Sex and the Single Christian Girl

Sex, Dating and Relationships


Love and Respect


Why Wait for Sex?

Premarital Sex

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