Is it OK to be sexual with someone you will marry soon?

Last updated on October 30, 2020



I am wondering about a few things. For about two years now I have been going out with my boyfriend. Unlike other young people, we are very committed to each other. We constantly have discussions about getting married, which brings my first question.

Is it okay to perform sexual activities (like oral and using your hands) with someone you are soon to get married to? I am a virgin, but unfortunately, he is not, although he does respect my beliefs about sex. He has performed oral on me twice, but I haven’t on him. If that is a sin, is there a way I can repent of it to God?

Is it still considered a sin if you lie, but it’s out of love? My boyfriend is three years older than me and my mother does not really like him because of his skin color and first impression. He is also a Christian but doesn’t pray as much as I do. I tell my mom that I don’t see him anymore, even though I do. In my opinion, I don’t think it is a sin because I don’t do anything bad when I spend time with my boyfriend, Whenever I think about it I sometimes feel guilty about it, but I keep doing it out of tremendous love for someone who means a lot to me.

I hope you can answer my questions and I appreciate the help. Thank you and God bless you.


I think you have a mistaken notion about your peers. Almost every young couple I talk to is convinced that they are completely committed to each other and are certain they will be getting married one day.

I also find that many people today understand that fornication (having sex without being married) is wrong, but they give no consideration to the things that lead up to fornication. Most young people discount too heavily the strength of their sexual instinct. This is why I constantly get notes from people saying, “I didn’t mean for it to go this far,” or “I don’t know what happened,” or “It was an accident.” Such statements aren’t lame excuses. They are the responses of someone who didn’t have a healthy respect for the strength of her sexual instinct.

Solomon points out the problem when he asked, “Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27). You can show a hot coal all the affection you want. You can cuddle it and dote on it and it will still burn you. Your kindness to it doesn’t change its nature. How often do you hear someone say, “But I love him!” Solomon’s point is that your feelings toward your boyfriend won’t change the fact that both of you have built-in desires and capabilities for sex. Trigger them and they follow the instincts built into you.

Solomon also asked, “Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared?” (Proverbs 6:28). Using the same example of hot coal, if you walk on it, it will burn you. You can apologize and say you didn’t mean to step on it, but you’ll still be hurt because your intentions don’t change what it is. Thus, the excuse, “But I didn’t mean for it to go this far!” becomes an empty one because your intentions don’t change your body’s drive. You’ve excused your sins because of your intentions of getting married, but intentions do not create marriage nor can intentions change something sinful into something righteous.

That is why Solomon concludes, “So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent” (Proverbs 6:29). Though he is talking directly about adultery, the same point is true about fornication. When you start stirring up sexual feelings, you are never innocent when things go further than you wanted.

That is why we are told not to make room for lust and lewdness. “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:13-14). Lust is those thoughts and desires you keep battling about taking things even further. Lewdness is engaging in sexual foreplay that gets the body ready for intercourse. The Christian must recognize the danger and not start a sequence of events that can’t be legitimately completed.

Oral sex and mutual masturbation are still forms of sex. Let me be frank, “sex,” as we are using the word, are those actions that generally lead to orgasm, and for males the release of semen. It does not have to be restricted to intercourse.

Under Old Testament law, uncovering a person’s nakedness was frequently used as a euphemism for engaging in sexual activity. For example, see Leviticus 18:6-19. I believe this more general “picture” is used because most sexual acts involve access to intimate areas of the body. The laws in Leviticus against incest are described as uncovering a person’s nakedness to emphasize that God doesn’t just mean a man inserting his penis into a woman’s vagina. Oral sex involves exposing the genitals to another person. It would be included under uncovering a person’s nakedness. “Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because your filthiness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your harlotry with your lovers …” (Ezekiel 16:36).

Finally, there is the matter of lust. Lust is generally defined as a strong desire, especially a strong desire for something that is sinful. Oral sex arouses all the passionate desire for sex, but sex with a person to whom you are not married is a sin. To strongly desire (to lust) for the body of a person you are not married to is fornication or adultery. “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Jesus is saying that there is no real difference between lusting to commit a sin and actually doing the act. The results of both are equally sinful. Speaking of the wickedness of false teachers, Peter states, “They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls” (II Peter 2:13-14). Oral sex easily matches this description. “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves” (Romans 1:24).

Rules, then, are needed so that you don’t start down a sinful path. No touching each other’s private areas. No stroking skin to get you or him sexually aroused. No long passionate kisses that leave you out of your mind. You have to treat each other with respect and not as sexual objects. “Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (I Corinthians 7:1).

With that comes not talking dirty or showing nude or semi-nude pictures to each other. “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them” (Ephesians 5:3-7). You don’t stay pure by sexually arousing the other person.

What the two of you did is sinful. You exposed your nakedness to a man you are not married to. You were involved in sexual foreplay (lewdness) and lust was in both of your minds. All sins can be forgiven by God. It requires that you confess your sins to God (I John 1:9) and that you change your attitude regarding this sin and your behavior (II Corinthians 7:10-11).

You’ve made the same sorts of excuses in regards to lying. There is no such thing as an acceptable lie. “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Your reasons for lying doesn’t change the fact that you have been sinning. Worse, you claim it should be acceptable to lie because you haven’t been doing anything wrong with your boyfriend; yet, that too is a lie since we’ve been discussing the various sins you’ve been involved in. Like the hot coal, all your love does not change the nature of sin.