Premarital Sex (3174 words) Essay

Premarital SexPremarital Sex and Religion
The Catholic Church teaches that premarital sex is wrong, yet it is still widely practiced around the world. The reason marriage was created was to join two people of the opposite sex together in a holy sacrament that would make the couple one. God’s reason for marriage is quoted in the bible when he said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” . The Sacrament of marriage is one of the most sacred Sacraments in the Catholic Religion. By performing premarital sex, the couple is breaking a covenant with God and is performing a sin.

Marriage is the joining of a couple in the eyes of God and in the eyes of the State. When two people are joined into marriage they become on in flesh and one spirit. Sexual intercourse within marriage is for this reason good and of great blessing both to the couple, to the family and to the church. However, outside of marriage it creates a conflict of body and soul. This conflict may not at first be evident but later it can result it real soul damage occurring between the two people involved. God tells us that we should control out bodies and our lusting, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in a passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God”1. By performing premarital sex we are abusing our bodies and our souls.
The pain that premarital sex puts on us is very evident. Physically premarital sex can lead to many things, such as pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other things that accompany premarital sex. Mentally premarital sex also hurts. Our bond with God is ruined, we lose contact with God and we are no longer part of the Church. Premarital sex goes against God’s law so our relationship with God is destroyed. Penance can heal our relationship with God, but the emotional ties that go along with premarital sex can hurt a person for life. Many couples that have premarital sex often do not stay together in marriage. Many people have strong emotional hardships that they go through after having premarital sex. Premarital sex doesn’t just lead to sin; it leads to a separation of God and your family and friends.

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Sex is the sacred sigh of the covenant with God, when a couple has sex they are sealing the covenant with God. Breaking this sign of the covenant is one of the most harmful sins that we as a people can expose ourselves to. In order for us to enter into heaven God says But among you there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity…because these are improper for God’s holy people.1 Breaking the sign of the covenant with God is breaking God’s law and going against everything God wants for us. God doesn’t ask much from us considering all that he has given us, he asks us only to follow his laws, in Jesus said, If you love me, you will obey what I command.1 Premarital sex goes against God’s command and ruins our relationship with him.

Since the time of Christ, Christians have thought premarital sex to be a sin. Ancient Christians use to believe that “marriage was a second rate choice but if one lacked self control, he had to take such a choice”2 The ancient Christians were saying that if someone couldn’t control themselves sexually without abstaining from sex until marriage then they were forced into marriage. Marriage was not looked upon as a good thing; so many Christians abstained from premarital sex in order not to marry. Early Christians also thought, “sex was something unclean, something vile, to be avoided.”2 This notion helped early Christians to abstain from premarital sex. The Churchmen of this time were very against premarital sex. The thought “an early marriage were often looked upon as a sign of an evil, uncontrollable temperance”2 So premarital sex was looked at as evil, a pregnancy resulting from premarital sex forced couples to enter into marriage. As Christianity developed to present times, many beliefs have stayed the same.

Today Christians still believe that premarital sex is a sin, but many who are not devout Christians are having premarital sex. People who do not have a religion and are atheist often feel that there is nothing wrong with premarital sex, since it is not a commandment for them they feel that there is no sin that accompanies premarital sex. Premarital sex is becoming more accepted in our society. Many schools hand out condoms to students to keep them protected from the diseases that accompany premarital sex. Many counseling centers have been set up to help unmarried mothers. Although many people still think that premarital sex is a sin, it is more widely accepted as being ok. Teens everywhere are educated on sex, in schools across the country. “Religiosity among young American women declined between 1971 and 1976.”3 Showing that due to a decrease in religion, premarital sex statistics have been on the rise. However, children who are raised from good families are often the ones who abstain from premarital sex. “The decline of religiosity, while evident at either the low or high end of the family stability scale was least among young women from “ideal” families.”3 Families who are considered ideal often have children who are more involved in their religion. Many families that are not structured correctly have problems with their children having premarital sex.

Premarital sex often leads to many family problems that the Catholic Church must get involved in. The Church often helps the families that are created from premarital sex. “Early childbearing is disadvantageous to the teenager, parents, and involves high social and economic costs for individuals in society.”4 Many families have to put up unwanted children for adoption because of money issues. Those who do not put their children up for adoption often have a separation between the mother and father of the child. The government supports children that are born from premarital sex with programs such as WICK and Welfare. These government agencies provide basic needs for the children until a certain age when nutrients and vitamins are not as important. With programs such as these in effects, young teens feel that it is more acceptable to have premarital sex because they know that the government will support the child.

Many Catholics fear premarital sex due to the consequences that it brings. Since premarital sex is looked down upon by the Church as a sin, many Catholics fear going to hell for this sin. It is said, “If Christ was soon to return to the earth, and all men should spend their time contemplating God and cleansing their souls rather than enjoying sexual pleasures”2 Christians feel that if Christ was coming that people should repent for their sins and prepare for Christ’s coming. Since we know that Christ is coming we should abstains from sex and live the life a good Christian. Penance does take away our sins, but if we do not know when Jesus is coming we must stay free from sin in order to get into heaven. People should not abstain from premarital sex due to fear though, they abstain because they love God and they love themselves, they should honor their bodies and the law of God and abstain from premarital sex for good reasons.

The reason that premarital sex is a sin is because it disobeys God’s commandment. God wanted to make a covenant between a man and women that would be more powerful then any other covenant. This covenant would be known as marriage, the sacred bonding of two people into one. Each covenant that God made is very sacred and they all have signs in order to show the sacrament. The sign of the sacrament of marriage is sexual intercourse. This means that if a couple that is unmarried has sex, they are taking place in a sacred sacrament called marriage. Even though they are not seen as a married couple in the eyes of the Law they are seen as married by the Church. Having sex completes the covenant; the couple is married and is part of the covenant with God after performing sexual intercourse with the partner. When a couple performs sexual intercourse, they have entered into a covenant with God that they can never break. So if you have premarital sex and then marry another person and have sex with them, you are cheating on your first lover, who you are still in a covenant with.
Premarital sex is a serious moral issue confronting college students. Sexual temptations do exist in high school, but once in college, students are more cut off from familial restrictions and parish supports. They are confronted with peer pressure such as everyone is doing it, and are exposed to some teachers who are not religious. Let’s face it, college life neither understands nor supports the value of chastity. Some student’s fall into promiscuous behavior without even realizing, at first, with out knowing how far they have gone. For most college student’s sex is a source of pleasure and a release, not relating sex to marriage or love in any way. Many students do however eventually grow out of this stage of wanting premarital sex but by then it is too late and they have already committed the sin. Many students have to drop out of college due to a pregnancy that developed from premarital sex.

Other students, however, may find someone special, perhaps the person they hope to marry, and feel that their love legitimizes premarital sex within a monogamous relationship. Like never before, students in this situation may begin to question and examine the sexual values they have been taught. Many teens are going against everything they have been taught in Catholic schools and CCD classes. They are giving up on God and choosing premarital sex over God and their families. In early Christian times, many couples would marry at an early age most of the time under twenty years of age. Now marriage is pushed back to around twenty five years of age, making a longer period of time before marriage also make a larger period of time in which a couple can perform premarital sex. Many couples are finding it harder and harder to resist the temptations of premarital sex because they have to wait so much longer to marry.
We Christians see our sexuality as a wondrous gift from God. We are male or female at every level of our being. Our sexuality colors who we are, and how we think and feel and act. Sexual intimacy is sacred. It involves a profound giving of oneself to another. It is a sharing in God’s own creativity, bringing new life into the world. The Bible condemns not only adultery, but also premarital sex, or fornication6. The wisdom of our Christian tradition teaches us that only the complete commitment to one another that comes with marriage is the proper setting for sexual intimacy. Marriage is much more than just a piece of paper. It is only in marriage that we publicly give ourselves to each other, belong to each other, become responsible for one another, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, all the days of our lives.

Prior to marriage the couple have not yet made a public, permanent commitment to one another. If, for example, a boyfriend or girlfriend should have a tragic accident and become disfigured or handicapped, the partner might chose to spend the rest of his or her life caring for the one injured. But there is no social obligation to do so. The injured party is still the responsibility of his or her family. Once a couple marries, however, they become immediate family to each other. It is in marriage that two become one–begin to share their lives, their hopes and fears, their dreams and disappointments, their finances. They make a home for themselves, and hopefully, for their children, as the fruit of their love. Christian marriage means much more than sex, but the delight and joy of lovemaking is integral to marriage. The marital embrace is the culmination of the total self-giving of husbands and wives. “Those who seek to justify premarital sex find it difficult to explain what marriage means, and what difference it makes to marry.”5
Since the creation of mankind, right up to only about one hundred years ago, people of what is know as the college age, would in all likelihood already be married and raising their children. The progression of mankind now demands long years of education and maturing before one is ready to enter into the sacred sacrament of marriage. Teens go through a stage in life called puberty, in which they sexually mature, they ripen for love; they grow more lustful each passing day. This stage takes effect well before marriage, which makes it even harder for one to stay a virgin. The elongation of adolescence puts a tremendous strain on teens, making chastity extremely difficult, and making premarital sex look like a good option.

On the other hand, nowadays marriage is sometimes put off too long. Couples wait for everything to be perfect before marrying. They sometimes unwisely expose themselves to the dangers of long courtships, waiting, for example, to complete graduate school. When marriage is delayed into some far off indefinite future, it can become extremely difficult to delay sexual intimacy for the honeymoon. As St. Paul advises: If you cannot restrain your desires, go ahead and marry–it is better to marry than to burn with passion,”1 No one ever said chastity would be easy. But it sure beats the heartache that comes with fornication, the spiritual death that comes with trying to live with the Lord, and yet giving in to the desires of the flesh.

Tragically, our society is sending young people the message that they cannot live chastely. But we Christians have much higher esteem, and expectation, for youth. We know that God’s strength is stronger than our human weakness. We include God in our romance, and ask God to bless our marriage. We ask God to help us through the hard times, when we are tempted by lust, we pray to him and ask him to give us the strength necessary to follow his law. God can’t always help us though, sometimes we have to pull through and stop ourselves, but the best way to avoid the lusting of premarital sex is to avoid any chance of premarital sex itself. Knowing when to stop and how far to go is the first step in avoiding premarital sex, sometimes it might be hard to stop but if you love God then you will always find the strength to stop.

Chastity is a gift of God’s grace and a firm desire to follow the Lord’s way of happiness. To remain chaste we must avoid those books, photos, movies, conversations and fantasies that feed lust. Our society promotes sex, it is all around us, and we must learn to block those things out that promote premarital sex or adultery. We must pray that God’s strength will carry us in our weakness. If and when we should fall, we continue to trust in God’s love and mercy. We refuse to get discouraged or give up. We ask God for forgiveness, and for help in forgiving ourselves. We let go of the past, so that God can pick us up and set us back on the right path.

Even if we fall to the temptation of lust, God will always be there for us. If we ask God for his forgiveness, he will always allow us back with him. God will never turn us down if we ask for forgiveness. Even though premarital sex goes against everything the Catholic Church teaches, and it goes against everything God has ever wanted us to do, God will still take us back and make us his children if we just ask for his forgiveness. Penance was created in order for people to talk to God and ask his forgiveness through a priest. The priest absolves us from our sins and we can once again regain our relationship with God.
As a teenager I see other teens all the time going against God’s law and performing premarital sex. I feel that premarital sex is wrong, I believe in God and I follow the Roman Catholic Religion. I feel that people should wait until marriage until they perform the act of sex. Premarital sex is wrong, you are joining into a covenant with God that you are not ready for. Marriage is one of the most sacred sacraments that one can take part in. I believe that couples should wait until after the sacrament of marriage has been performed until they fulfill the sacrament with the sign of sexual intercourse. Through my research I have learned that from the earliest days of Christianity, Christians have believed that premarital sex is wrong. There is no form of premarital sex that is right, no matter how much in love or your plans for your future together with your partner, premarital sex is still wrong.
In this paper I have shown that premarital sex goes against the Catholic Religion, however, many people still insist on having premarital sex. There are many reasons that people tend to have premarital sex, peer pressure, not wanting to wait until marriage, not wanting to marry, and many others. As our culture develops many more people are drifting away from the Catholic way of life and are increasingly tending to sin more often with serious lack of guilt from hurting their relationship with God. I feel that the day will come when premarital sex is widely accepted by all people, and God will be put to the side when deciding whether or not to wait till marriage to have sex.

4. DeLamater, J. and MacCorquadale, P. “Premarital Sexuality” Madison University, of Wisconsin Press 1979.

2. Ira L. Reiss, “Premarital sexual standards in America” 1960 The Free Press: New York.

6. Mark 7:21; Ephesians 5:5; Hebrew 13:4
5. Menken, Jane “Teenage sexuality, Pregnancy, and child bearing” New York Press, New York 1981
1. Saint Joseph Edition, “The New American Bible” Catholic Book Publishing Co. New York: 1996
3. Zelnik, Melvin “Sex and pregnancy in adolescence” Sage Publishing INC Beverly Hills, California 1981
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