Have Faith Ministries

Abstinence

1 "Now concerning the things of which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.  2 But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband".
1 Corinthians 7:1-2 (NASB)

Christian purity before marriage:

Christian, the very fact that you're reading this article, leads me to believe that you want to know what God's word says on this important subject of Abstinence. Just the mention of the word "abstinence" will bring sneering and mocking from those in this world around us. But let's be reminded that this mocking would not have taken place 100 years ago. No, our society has not always been so immoral and loose! Our culture once honored God's Word and obeyed God's principles. Our society years ago esteemed Sexual Abstinence before marriage. Then gradually more and more people in our society started doubting God's Word and then stopped believing and practicing God's Word. Over time our society has developed into an immoral society. But God is not mocked, we, as a society, have reaped what we've sown. Sexually transmitted diseases are showing up in teens and having lasting, permanent and sometimes fatal results. The divorce rate is over 50 %, leaving behind a trail of broken families and ruined lives. Many of the failures and problems of our modern society can be traced right back to abandoning God's plan for men and women, beginning with Abstinence. You see, in God's plan, unmarried men and unmarried women may have friendships without physical relationships, but once they cross the line from a friendship relationship to physical relationship, they have committed sin.

God has not been silent about this issue of Abstinence before marriage! God has also not been vague when He has spoken about this subject in His Word. Please read the following Bible passages:

1Corinthians 7:1 "Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman."

Ephesians 5:3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;

1Corinthians 6:18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

2Timothy, 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts;

Could it be any clearer? Don't touch! Don't fornicate (sex outside of marriage)! Don't commit immorality!

You should agree, God is Clear and there is absolutely no grey areas in God's teaching on remaining sexually inactive before marriage. Granted, the Christian in this world faces some serious opposition in society, but face it we must. The world and more than likely people you know are saying, "Hey, everybody is doing it!." Well, everybody except Christians that are truly sold out to serve and obey Jesus Christ. Yes, even Christians have swallowed the lie of the Devil, "it's OK, because everybody is doing it." No, it's not OK! The Bible says "flee sexual immorality", "flee youthful lust"! I see no room in God's Word for lingering around or testing out sexual immorality do you? Christians that try to convince themselves that God will permit sexual activity outside of marriage have ignored God's Word and have deceived themselves! No means No! And God says NO to sex before and outside of marriage!

Some Christians have believed the lie of the Devil and sinful men that says, "so long as you don't go "all the way", it's not sexual sin! This kind of argument may work with worldly Christians and unbelievers, but to those wanting to do the will of God and to those who know what God's Word says, this argument and rational goes against God's written and spoken Word. For those who want to obey God, for those who want to please God, understand, God even forbids sexual touching, sometimes called petting. God also forbids any touching that arouses sexually. 1 Cor. 7:1, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman." The word touch here in the Greek means, "to fasten one self" or "to kindle a fire". This word implies touching that is clinging, touching that is sexual, thus "kindling the fire." Unmarried people should NOT allow anyone to touch them in such a way that a fire is started emotionally, hormonally, or sexually.

Let's get specific! Some people may hold hands, but can they just stop there? Once you start holding on, is that enough? God has not created our bodies to start and stop on a dime sexually . Yet young (and not so young ) people foolishly convince themselves, "Oh I can stop when things begin to go to far." To many have learned that this is NOT true. The more involved a fire is, the more difficult it is to extinguish. Hand holding can lead to arms around the waste, then to kissing, then to petting, then to... you get the picture! Too many Christians disobey God by allowing emotional and hormonal fires to build up even though they stop short of sexual intercourse! Those that do this are still sinning before God and they have also sinned against the person they were with. Make no mistake about this. Don't rationalize it a way! Don't lean upon unbiblical interpretations of God's Word! Don't lean upon the World's standards! To please God is to Obey His Word! Outside of marriage: Don't touch sexual! Don't arouse sexual!

Let's get extremely practical here. Learn what God is saying in 1Cor. 7, "don't touch", "don't light the fire", "don't be clinging in a sexual way." God has drawn the line in His Word. You need to draw the same line in your heart and mind. This is what the line looks like: Friendship with Purity... don't cross that line. Don't let fires start! If you do, you've crossed the line.

The 1Cor. 7:1 passage alone, if applied, will keep you pure and practicing abstinence. If you're not touching or your not allowing someone to touch you, there will be NO contact.

What is this "ABSTINENCE" thing? What does it mean? It simply means "to keep yourself from something." From what? In this case, sex outside of marriage. The physical relationship of a man and women has it's glorious place, but it's only in marriage. 1 Cor. 7:2 adds to the "Don't touch" command, "Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband." It's quite clear in God's word. Number one, don't commit fornication and don't touch. Number two, do get married in order to avoid immorality.

But what if you're not ready to marry? WAIT! Hold Off from sex! Abstain! It's expected and commanded by God. Young adults, you need to have a patient obedience before the Lord. You need to wait until you're married before you have a sexual / physical relationship. This means that any dating / courting ONLY involves the developing of friendships that are free from physical relationships. 1Cor. 7:1 & 2 makes God's will crystal clear: Don't have a sexual relationship outside of marriage. Guys, don't even touch! However, once you're married, the physical relationship is then commanded and expected, but until marriage, Abstain.

The blessings of Abstinence are many! First and foremost, you will have pleased the Lord God. You will have obeyed the God who purchased you with the blood of His Son. Secondly, you will not have all the guilt associated with disobeying God in this area. You will also avoid many emotional heartaches that come with the life of immorality. You will avoid STD (sexually transmitted diseases). You will avoid pregnancy outside of marriage. You will keep yourself from public shame in the church. You will honor your mother and father.

There is one more very important blessing of Abstinence. You and your future marriage partner will be able to give of yourselves in complete purity. And your spouse can be the first and only person you give yourself to and with that God will be very pleased. As always, write to us if you need more help or advice!

Other articles related to this subject:

The Battle for Purity!

Running away from Sexual Sin!

What about Dating?

Understanding Biblical Modesty!


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