One would ask why say ‘no’ to premarital or extramarital sex when live-in relationships are becoming common, popular cinema is endorsing premarital sex and ‘freedom’ is being equated with right to have sex with any consenting adult irrespective of gender or marital status? I can think of several reasons why one should abstain from premarital or extramarital sex. And, here are the ‘Cs’ that can help you see the futility of it.
Billy Graham, in his autobiography, writes the following lines about an experience he had in his school days: “Once in my senior year, when we were in a night rehearsal of a school play at Sharon High, one of the girls in the cast coaxed me aside into a dark classroom. She had a reputation for “making out” with the boys. Before I realized what was happening, she was begging me to make love to her. My hormones were active as any healthy young male’s, and I fantasized often enough about such a moment. But when it came, I silently cried to God for strength and darted from that classroom the way Joseph fled the bedroom of Potiphar’s philandering wife in ancient Egypt” (Just As I Am, HarperCollins Publishers, 1997, pages 16–17). This was before Billy Graham accepted Christ in a Mordecai Ham meeting! Even before Billy Graham knew Christ as His Saviour, he listened to the voice of his conscience to avoid sex before marriage.
I also recall a real-life story which my childhood pastor, Rev SA Sundarraj of the Assembly of God Church, Vellore, South India, narrated. An atheist, he taught Maths in one of the African nations before he came to Christ. During those days, he lived alone. He would often get knocks on his door from girls who were willing to cross sexual boundaries with him. But since it violated his conscience, he drove them away! Here was an atheist with a conscience who refused to have sex before marriage.
The second reason, why I said “no” to premarital sex was the “cot” reason. Hebrew 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honour among all and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” The Broadman Bible Commentary notes the following about this verse: “The Bible indicates that sexual intercourse, an expression of the one-flesh union, is only for a man and woman married to each other.” When Evan and I got married on July 9, 2001, I dare say that God walked up to the stage and gave us a gift. It was a big box with the word ‘Sex’ written on it. We had a morning wedding. That night and the following day, in a small village in Tamil Nadu, where we stayed, we unwrapped that God-given gift! We were so glad that we did not unwrap that gift before we got married—thanks to God’s grace which enabled us to make some wise choices in this matter. We were not doing anything unique or different. We were only copying Bible’s Jacob who waited till marriage to have sex with the girl he knew for years, the Jacob who mouthed to his father-in-law the frankest request in all of the Bible which was this: “Now give me my wife so I can sleep with her” (Gen 29:21, NLT).
The Bible is full of commands that make sex between even willing individuals a sin. The world tries to tell us that rape is wrong, but there is nothing wrong with sex between two people in love even if they do it before they get married. There is nothing wrong with consensual sex between two adults even if they aren’t married—the world tells us that. The 2016 Bollywood movie, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu, Pink [which was remade in Tamil titled, Ner Konda Paarvai (2019) starring Ajith Kumar] drive home this very message, in a subtle way: Rape is horrible, but sex between consenting adults is no big deal. But the commands of God, the inventor of sex, is crystal clear. He says, “(My will) for you is to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin” (I Thess 4:3, NLT). One of the 10 Commandments God gave us was this: “Do not commit adultery”. Jesus who gave commands against sexual immorality during his earthly ministry (“Go and sin—commit adultery—no more” John 8:11) also told the woman in the church at Thyatira who was encouraging people into sexual sin to “repent” (Rev 2:20–22). The Holy Spirit through the apostles told church believers of all backgrounds to abstain from sexual immorality (Acts 15:20).
Though Hrithik Roshan has repeatedly denied it, it is widely believed that Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut (both top Bollywood actors) had a sexual fling. Hrithik allegedly tried to get close to Kangana by telling her that his relationship with his then-wife Suzanne was sour. “We sleep in different bedrooms!” Hrithik had reportedly told Kangana. And Kangana fell for the trap (India Today’s post on August 31, 2017 reporting on a Kangana interview with Filmfare). Here are Kangana’s words about the consequences of sex outside of marriage: “There are so many things that happen in extramarital things really. Look at what happened in the Malayalam (actress) case. What that man did to her for a complaint to his wife. He got her raped, got her videos circulated. All this only happened now but girls get pregnant, they get shot, they get killed for things like these. Of course, I feared for my life” (Hindustan Times, 1 Sept 2017 post). “Hrithik had my password, when our affair was on. He would send emails from my email id to his email id (to create proof that the affair between us never happened),” Kangana communicated in the same post. Only eternity will reveal the truth about what really happened between them. But the consequences—being embarrassed and being embittered—were there to behold.
Geetika Sharma, an air hostess who lived in Gurugram, near New Delhi, accused her boss—who showered on her many favours, including a BMW car to drive around and fees for an expensive MBA course, etc.—was not just seeking sex, but also unnatural sex, and receiving it regularly. She reached out to speak to her brother over the phone, very early one morning to vent out her utter frustration. Her brother told her that he had a long tiring day and would talk to her after getting some rest, before hanging up the phone. When the dawn broke, it was discovered that the girl who was hung up on (so to speak), when she so badly wanted to talk, was found hanging from the ceiling fan (Sarbani Sen, “I Failed To Read Her Silence”, People Magazine India Edition, September 21, 2012, pages 60–63)! Yes, sex outside of marriage can have devasting effects!
In the 2012 Bollywood movie,Cocktail, there is a moving scene where Deepika Padukone is speaking to Saif Ali Khan, the man she was not only living-in with but also shared sexual intimacy with. As Saif looks for Deepika’s friend, played by Diana Penty, ignoring Deepika—his original sexual partner—she is very hurt. And every line she speaks in that scene to Saif is a testimony to the harrowing, heart-breaking effects of premarital sex. Yes, they are a testament to the tormenting after-effects of sex outside of marriage. Here are a few of those heated, hurt-reflecting lines (roughly translated from Hindi): “You want to do test-drive with me and take home as your wife my girlfriend!”; “Yes, walk away. You are bored of me now. There is nothing in me that you haven’t seen or experienced!”; “You don’t act like a social worker who had sex with me for my own good!”
The fifth reason, why you can confidently say ‘no’ to sex outside of marriage is the ‘cool’ factor. If you are a virgin, you can tell your friend, “I can be like any of you. But none of you can be like me!” I love the phrase “but you…” in the Bible (I Thess 5:4; I Tim 6:11; I Pet 2:9). This phrase reminds me that it is quite cool to be different from the crowd. So, dare to be different when it comes to having sex before marriage. Simply refuse to have sex before or outside of marriage!
In case you have already had sex outside of marriage, repent of that sin. The blood of Jesus will cleanse you from every sin, including this sin as you confess it with a repentant heart (I John 1:7–9). What’s more, you will be a virgin in His eyes as he is in the justifying business. The word justification which Paul talks about in the book of Romans roughly translated into this: just-as-if-you-have-never-sinned (Rom 5:1–2; 5:9; 8:30). Yes, when we repent of any sin and come to Jesus in confession, Jesus forgives, and to Him it is as if we never ever committed that sin!