Why Premarital Sex Is A Bad Idea

From JP | June 12, 2017 . By Jonathan Pokluda

I’ve talked before about whether the Bible says that premarital sex is a sin. (It does.) But have you ever wondered why God would warn against it?

God does not set up rules just to make things difficult or keep us from having fun. Actually, it is the opposite: God only prohibits things because they are harmful to us, and hurt our relationship with Him. We are not to murder, steal, lie, or cheat on our spouses because those things always lead to pain for one or both of the parties involved. That is true even if you don’t believe in God, because the consequences we are talking about take place here in this life.

The same is true with premarital sex: regardless of your beliefs, premarital sex is still a really bad idea.

Sex Ed

Some of the potential consequences of premarital sex, such as pregnancy or STDs, are so obvious that it seems almost silly to mention them. Besides, you can eliminate those possibilities if you are careful, right?

Maybe not:

  • In the U.S., there are more than 3 million unintended pregnancies each year, and around 1 million abortions. Singles account for almost all of those abortions, and the majority were using some form of contraception.
  • According to the CDC, there are about 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. each year. STDs would be virtually nonexistent if not for sex outside of marriage; if each person had only one partner, they would have no STD to transmit.

Still, at least you can take steps to make those things less likely. There are other consequences, though, that you can’t protect against.

Your Brain on Sex

The reason sex is so pleasurable is because it triggers the release of chemicals (such as dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin) in the brain. Some important things to know about these natural drugs:

  • They produce emotional bonds. Oxytocin, for example, plays a big role in causing mothers to bond with their newborn children. They are part of God’s design for sex because they cause you to bond with your spouse. Outside of marriage, they still cause you to bond—with your girlfriend, your computer screen, or whomever/whatever may be present at the time.
  • They are addictive. They create passageways in the brain that then become a “path of least resistance” towards that next chemical high. In other words, each time it becomes a bit easier to say “yes” and harder to say “no.”

So, when you have sex outside of marriage, you are creating that strong bond with the person, whether in real life or on a screen or in a fantasy. But most of the time, you don’t end up marrying that person. There is a break-up, which is more painful because of the bond. You start seeing someone else, and since you are becoming conditioned to it, you are now more likely to have sex with them—and also bond with them.

Wrecking Your Marriage Before It Starts

Now let’s say that you do get married at some point. Numerous studies show that people who have premarital sex are more prone to divorce. The biology of it explains why: they are not bonded just to their spouse. If anything, they are addicted to variety—taught not to bond. Here are a few examples:

  • The divorce rate is around 50% for all couples, but only 9% if both partners are virgins before getting married. If you wait to have sex until you’re married, your chances of getting divorced decrease by 70%!
  • Couples who live together before getting married are 250% more likely to divorce in the first five years of marriage than those who don’t cohabitate.
  • 90% of people who live together first, don’t get married. 80% of those who do get married afterwards, get divorced. That is about an overall 2% success rate for a healthy marriage if you live together first!

Some people claim that is just how humans are, and that we are not wired for monogamy. But the bonding chemicals prove that we actually are created for monogamy; the problem is that we have rewired our brains by using sex outside the commitment of marriage.

My Story

I say all this because this is part of my story. I started having sex in high school. By college, sex had become a sport for me, and I eventually became a sex addict.

Then I came to know Christ, and got married. At my wedding, I literally prayed and thanked God that I had escaped the consequences: specifically, that I did not have an STD, or a child born out of wedlock, or a psycho ex-girlfriend waiting outside to kill me. I thought I had gotten away with it.

I hadn’t.

Year 1 of our marriage: honeymoon. Year 2: disaster. It was a misery I can’t even put into words. I know you may find this hard to believe, but I would have gladly chosen the consequences of having an STD or a child out of wedlock, over being imprisoned to a struggle with a woman that I had no idea how to love.

God has worked in and through us since then, to bring healing and to build this really amazing marriage that I don’t deserve. But it was hard, and I want to spare you that.

I also want to let you know there is hope; you are not disqualified for anything just because you are not a virgin.  But the best way to pursue what God has for you is to start healing now.

– JP

  • The Porch

    Hey Kennedy,

    Thank you for reading our blog and trusting us with your question! I think the first step of admitting that premarital sex is not God’s best is great. I also want to assure you that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. All of our sins are covered on the cross, so rest easy knowing that, “…if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 12:9. God also tells us in his word that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

    Do you and your fiance live in Dallas? Merge would be a great step for y’all to take together and invest in your relationship/future marriage.

    We would love to answer any more questions you have if you would like to email theporch@watermark.org.

    Here are some additional resources that may be helpful:
    Can A Christian Lose Salvation?
    Dating Detours
    Why Premarital Sex is a Sin

    Thanks again for sharing with us. Praying for you!

  • Kennedy Tucker

    So I am engaged to my fiancé but we have had sex before the engagement and we plan on getting married, but we are both worried that since we have had sex before marriage that our names are not in the book of life or we will be going to hell for our sins. We are looking for an outside opinion who has some sort of answer. We believe Jesus had died for our sins and rose again and we believe Jesus is the son of God. I’ve had a connection with the Holy Spirit but since we were tempted into sex we are worried the connection is demolished. We have a whole future planned for us us, but hearing how people who have sex before marriage usually ends in a divorce and that scares me, but my fiancé assures me that he promises he isn’t going anywhere. What do you think God thinks of this? If there is no bad things happening to us such as diseases or divorces, does God still consider it wrong even though we have stayed together?

  • Eno Asuquo

    The bible says that marriage is honourable in all the bed undefile.therefore sex s for marrie people.

  • Gloria Boakye

    God have mercy me

  • workah chineme

    Primarital sex draws back both spiritually and physically.It also enslave us to our desires .

  • […] Why Premarital Sex is a Bad Idea: Before you dismiss this link offhand, read Jonathan Pokluda’s personal story in reference to his case against premarital sex. Pretty powerful stuff. […]

  • Kevin McConaghy

    Jefferson B.,
    Well, it does say at the bottom that the guy is a comedian. I’m not saying that that makes it right or wrong, but it probably explains the tone (he thought it would be funnier).

  • Jefferson B.

    The article you posted was off-topic; but I did read it and found it very demeaning and going against the principles Christ teaches us regarding grace toward others. (Colossians 4:6) True, the author may love his wife; but his tone was rather smug and arrogant toward those struggling to love theirs. And if being around negative people causes him much grief, perhaps he should find new friends.

  • JP


    Thank you for your comment! What destroys sin more than anything in our lives is a growing love of Christ. Walking daily with Jesus and praying for him to transform your desires will increase your will to be obedient. Are you in a community group? If not, I’d encourage you to attend Open Community Group after The Porch tonight to get women around you who can encourage you to walk in purity. Having a group of godly women in your life to encourage you and help you is vital to helping you fight temptation. Hope that helps! Glad you’re tracking with us on The Porch blog. See you tonight!
    Matt 6:33

  • Missy H.

    I really appreciated this message. Though I am a virgin, I have the same struggles and temptations as the next person. So much of a relationship, including sex, is about communication. This may seem slightly off topic to what you said above, but I thought this was an amazing article:


    We are taught by society to accept these things or laugh at these things…we are taught to believe that sex before marriage is okay because you are learning more about yourself and what you can provide your spouse. The man in this article goes AGAINST all of that…and it is so attractive. It’s appealing to have a man who is so confident in his partner AND in his marriage.

    I hope others find this article as refreshing as I did 🙂

  • Katie B

    JP you are so solid! Thank you so much for being so faithful to what the Spirit speaks to your heart and sharing it with others so passionately. Your Cupid Series could not have come at a more perfect time in my life. God has completely used your preaching ability to transform the way I look at dating, sex, relationships, and marriage and renewed my Spirit to start again. I have officially put off my old ways of my sinful dating life and have chosen to become a New Creation in Christ. Praise my sweet Redeemer and people like you who are faithful to Him.

    Changed by the Jesus of Watermark Church,

  • Jackie Harper

    This was powerful. I struggle with this so much! How would you recommend someone who has had sex to overcome that desire when she or he enters in a new relationship?

  • EB

    Great blog post!! In reading the “daily Proverb” today, Prov. 4:20-22 really stood out to me – how listening to God’s instructions brings “health to one’s whole body.” I wish I had listened to this and really taken God’s LOVING instructions into my heart in my late-college and immediate post-college years. Ironically, this afternoon I had a 6-month follow-up to a procedure I had done because of the effects of premarital sex. Having been celibate for two years now, I know that the Lord is daily healing me inside and out and in the trying times of last Fall when going to the Doctor became all too familiar, He was there in the “still small voice.” He does heal and makes us new again, but listening to His Word in the first place alleviates SO much pain (both physical and emotional). These verses in Proverbs are my prayer for guys and girls today who are in the “verge” of going down the painful path I did. Flee if you can! It will be worth it to wake up the next day with no regrets.