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Pre-Marital Sex

Finding an Ethic that works

“No sex until marriage”

This is a rarely examined statement that makes the rounds of the Christian Church as the only consistent word on sex. Since it is never examined for its logic, let’s look at it. Legalized sex never insures one is sexually or emotionally mature, aware or educated about one’s body or that of one’s partner, or that the partners are even well-suited to one another, logically or otherwise! Legalizing sex does not mean it will be wise, safe or good. Neither does it have anything to do with being spiritual.

“Love your neighbor as you love yourself”

An ethic based on love requires that we treat one another with respect, civility, equality, and that our relationships are characterized by mutuality and justice. Therefore, we will not be using sex in any way that trivializes or objectifies another person. We won’t use sex for bragging rights or to further our own sex education. Instead we will have honest communication and discussion of meaning and consequences of sexual behaviors.

In addition, to love ourselves we must know ourselves and our bodies, our motives, our emotional needs and desires, and our relationship patterns. This protects our hearts and spirits from emotional manipulation, abusive people, and situations that we are not ready to handle responsibly. We can have premarital sex when there is an emotional readiness and spiritual maturity that has come about through relational experience, personal reflection and self-knowledge, and education.

Thus, I propose that premarital sex based on the Golden Rule is:


“No premarital sex until adulthood.”