sex before marriage

Genesis 2:22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam. 23 "At last!" Adam exclaimed. "She is part of my own flesh and bone! She will be called 'woman,' because she was taken out of a man." 24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. 25 Now, although Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame. (NLT)

There is no proof text verse in the Bible that says "thou shalt not have pre-marital sex" although it does condemn extra-marital sex, AKA adultery, see the 10 commandments series and Exodus 20:14. Some contend that in the ancient near east, whoever you had intercourse with became, by default, your spouse. There are several examples of wedding ceremonies in Genesis that don't make it that simple, for God's people at least. I think it's because God's people knew this Garden of Eden story. The uniting is a gift from God. Now people trash God's gifts all the time and our society tries to restrain it, notice the "no littering" signs. Sex is a big deal. But in the context of a life long relationship, it's a small cog in the entire organism, the new, united flesh. Verse 24 hints at a ceremony, signifying the cleave from one's biological heritage and a cleave into a new heritage. King James says, 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
{Cleave is such a great word because it is a contonym.}

If two people are cleaving to each other without publicly declaring a cleaving from or the cleaving to (which a public ceremony and an exchange of rings and oaths and a certificate signing and necessity for a legal divorce to undo) then they are trashing God's gift. If they are believers, then they are disrespecting their sibling in Jesus Christ. Some have also called this pre-marital adultery. I'm not sure if I can go there all the way with that last one.

My advice for unmarried couples is to keep the Christian romance public and day-lit until after the wedding reception.

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