February 18, 2019

Sacred Sexuality: Why is Sex Outside of Marriage Harmful?


Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18 

Our cultural beliefs about sexuality are increasingly harmful. Most entertainment sends the message that casual sex is not a big deal. However, contemporary thought is not new. The Apostle Paul addressed similar views in the city of Corinth. 1 Corinthians 6 brings up the question, “Why is sex outside of marriage harmful?”

Paul told the Corinthians to run away from sexual immorality. Why? Because sex isa big deal. Abusing our God-given sexuality is a sin against ourselves. Sex unites two people physically, emotionally, and spiritually. So, when it is pursued merely as recreation, it harms our entire being.

First, sexual sin harms us physicallyTwenty million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases are reported every year. But disease is not the only physical consequence. As believers, the weight of unconfessed sin often shows up in our bodies. After committing adultery, King David cried out, “Make me to hear joy and gladness, let the bones which You have broken rejoice” (Psalm 51:8). Rebellion against God brought despair to the point that David’s body ached. 

Sex outside of marriage also harms us emotionally. God designed sex to be a lifetime bond within the covenant of marriage (Genesis 2:24). Two people may have a one-night stand, but both carry a lifelong memory. The impact of their shared experience affects their identity, security, and future relationships. 

Finally, the spiritual harm of sexual immorality is grossly overlooked. 1 Corinthians 6 reminds believers that we are one with the Lord in spirit. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and members of the body of Christ. The Lord does not suddenly abandon us when we act immorally. Paul boldly asks, “Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!” (1 Corinthians 6:15). 

Everything about the way God created us is good. For instance, He gave us an appetite for food, which is both necessary and enjoyable. He also created sexual desires for marriage, but that doesn’t mean sexual pleasure should be our chief pursuit. I love the way Warren Wiersbe puts it, “Sensuality is to sex what gluttony is to eating; both are sinful and both bring disastrous consequences.” 

Our culture would have you believe that sexual satisfaction is life’s ultimate pleasure. In reality, pursuing sex outside of God’s design harms your entire being. If you’ve allowed worldly ideas to affect how you think and live, then flee from it. When your chief pursuit is God, Himself, you’ll find purpose, joy, contentment, and unimaginable peace.