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[updated: 2/13/19]

Consider the following scenarios:

Situation #1: You’re in class taking a test. You’re stumped on question two (quite the auspicious beginning). However, you know the brainiac next to you always has the right answer.

They’ve also left that right answer uncovered when you glance over.

And question three and question four and…

Hopefully we don’t need a college level course on ethics to determine whether this is cheating.

Situation #2: The night before the test you get a hold of the answer key and memorize it.

Is that cheating? Of course!

Cheating is cheating whether it’s before, during or after the test. Why would it be different with sex?

If you are destined to be married, then it’s just like that test. It’s coming up and you want to ace it. Whether you engage in sexual activity outside of marriage, before or after the wedding day, it’s all cheating! If you’re sexually active while you’re single, you are cheating on your future spouse and you’re causing your partner to cheat on theirs. 

The golden rule applies to sex too!

Does anyone really want to marry someone that’s been around the block a few times?

Is that what you want? Am I so far out of the mainstream that I don’t understand the benefit of having my future spouse sharing herself with other men before we get married?

Be honest with yourself! If the person you think might be “the one” confesses to you that they’ve been sexually active in the past, do you hope they slept with one, ten or 100 other partners?

Don’t you pray to God they only say one? Or are you looking forward to thanking your spouse’s past sex partners for all they taught them?

Or flip the script. When you meet the person that thinks you might be “the one,” are you looking forward to bragging about your previous sexual experience? 

But we’re going to get married, so it’s OK, right?

Even if you wind up marrying the person you’re messing around with today, you’re still cheating.

You were unfaithful in holding to God’s standard of sexual purity. You have dishonored each other. And what’s scary is that you’ve established a pattern of sexual promiscuity that won’t simply disappear after you say, “I do.”

In fact, far from disappearing, you will likely find it difficult to break.

Did you know that? If you can’t control yourself sexually right now, marriage won’t teach you how. You would think having a safe, morally sanctioned and available source of sexual release would eliminate the need to control your sex drive, but take it from every married (or divorced) person you know who cheated on their spouse (or was cheated on); IT DOESN’T!

Marriage alone does not tame the savage beast of lust, but you will want to discern what will. You need to figure out what’s driving your sex drive. 

QUESTION: Do you still believe extramarital sex when you’re unmarried is somehow different than when you’re married? Why or why not?

[If this post convicted you like a “sentence of redemption,” you need to know something. God has more to tell you! This is but a taste of the first book in our discipleship series: Beyond Sex & Salvation. It presents three critical life lessons for relational success; lessons best learned BEFORE you fall in love. Find out more or purchase the e-book book at this link.] [originally published: Dec 7, 2012]