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Question: The following questions have been grouped together:

  • What does the Bible say about living together and sleeping together before marriage?
  • I've just contracted herpes and I was told that it's an STD. My husband and I have never had sex before we were married so how did this happen? Does it mean that one of us has lied prior to marriage?
  • Commitment
  • Divorce

Answer: These discussion questions all came separately, but do you see any correlation between them? First, what does the Bible say about living and sleeping together before marriage?

As usual it has a lot to say about this subject. It is called "fornication" and it comes from the Greek word: "Porneia," and it means 'illicit' (against God's laws, wrong) 'sexual intercourse' (sexual immorality). We are told to "abstain from . sexual immorality." (Acts 15:20) "Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body." (1 Corinthians 6:13b) "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge." (Hebrews 13:4)

We are warned to: "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man (or woman) does is outside the body, but he (she) who commits sexual immorality (premarital sex, and other sexual sins) sins against his (her) own body (causes diseases to his/her body - STDs)." (1 Corinthians 6:18) "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man (or woman) sows, that he (she) will reap. For he (she) who sows to his (her) flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he (she) who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." (Galatians 6:7-8)

Those who practice sexual immorality are not going to heaven unless they repent of this sin and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of out God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

God's perfect will for our lives is to have one sexual partner, after marriage, for life. (It is good to see that the Governor of Wisconsin, Jim Doyle, helped the state pass a law that states: "Sex education teachers must present abstinence as the preferred behavior for unmarried people." The legislation means teachers must emphasize that refraining from sex before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases."

Jesus said of commitment and marriage: "The Pharisees came and asked Him, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?' testing him. And He answered and said to them, 'What did Moses command you?' They said, 'Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.' And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." (Mark 10:2-9)

One of the marriages I performed, I remember them saying, "until death do us part or until Christ shall come." This is God's perfect will for us from the word of God. When things cause problems in our marriage, and they will, we need to remember: "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.(1 Corinthians 13:4-7) We cannot stay married in our own strength, only Christ can do this in our lives. Put the word "Christ" in the place of the word "love" and see how it works. He can help us to love each other!

What does God say about divorce? He says: "For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one's garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously." (Malachi 2:16)

Below are some answers to previous questions that may be helpful:

In Christian love,

Gary T. Panell

For more information email me.

To view other questions visit our Interactive Bible Study Page or read some of our Christian Literature at Bible-Christian.org

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Keywords: herpes, sex before marriage, fornication, STDs, commitment, divorce