June is the month for weddings, as lovers say their vows. However, today marriages are struggling with America now leading in divorce rates as well as many who don't bother to even get marriage.
Regarding the sanctity of marriage, Scripture says, "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral." (Hebrews 13:4). This text is saying marriage is a wonderful thing to be held in high moral esteem, the physical relationship is reserved for marriage alone and those who disregard this standard God will judge. This may seem to be out of touch with current trends. Yet, there are good reasons why God makes such a strong statement about guarding the purity of marriage.
The first reason is that premarital sex takes the focus off of the spiritual and places it on the physical thus preventing a solid foundation for a new family. The spiritual foundation with Christ central should be first since it is eternal while the physical is only temporal. In light of this it is no surprise that marriage problems later in life often are the result to ignoring this at the start. The answer is for the couple to begin again by building a proper spiritual foundation for marriage in Christ to rest on.
A second reason Scripture emphasizes the sanctity of marriage is because premarital sex destroys the ability to be totally objective when key decision of life are being made. In essence the couple is forfeiting their choice to make an unclouded decision based on fact because of the new element of feelings. In light of this it is very easy to miss the will of God.
Thirdly, premarital sex also takes the mystique out of the wedding night. Certainly, the consummation of the marriage was designed by God to be wonderful. The Bible describes the thoughts of a couple about to be wed as they anticipate their honeymoon in Song of Solomon 7:10-13.
A fourth motive to keep a relationship pure until marriage is that this shows the most love and respect for the other person. Couples often rationalize saying, "If you love me you will give yourself to me now." Actually, the person is saying, "I need my physical needs met now." It puts the emphasis on self rather than the other person. The Bible says, "It is God's will 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 passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins,.." (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6b).
A final purpose for waiting until marriage is that it helps prevent the spread of disease. No man-made device can prevent sexually transmitted disease as effective as abstinence. If both parties are committed to this there is little chance of ailments.
There is a need to renew and strengthen the sanctity of marriage as God meant it to be. For those who have failed and are reaping consequence, God is also willing to forgive the repentant and give them a new start (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). He simply asks us to turn to Christ to seek wisdom to deal with the problems from a divine perspective. Remember God is gracious to give forgiveness and healing.