Question:Hello! I have a question that I need some help with. My brother and his girlfriend have recently committed to a life of celibacy; however, this is after they have had sexual relations for over a year. Though I am grateful for their decision to cancel that out of their life and follow our Lord and Savior, they still sleep in the same bed. I was trying to minister to my brother and telling him how the Lord tells us to turn and run from temptation and not look back; but my efforts were not received well. What Scripture can I give him and his girlfriend to help them along their journey? I have been searching the Bible and I cannot find Scripture pertaining to sleeping with one another before marriage. Can you please help me? Thank you and God bless.
I hope I understand your question correctly. I'm assuming that your brother and his girlfriend have decided to forgo sex until they are married (and not that they are giving up thoughts of it for the rest of their lives).
The Bible states that sexual touching, which sleeping together would fall in this category, is not right prior to marriage. "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). The reason is simple, such touching arouses passion which can lead to sexual sin. "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 6:29). Though this passage is talking about adultery, the overall point remains the same. Let us assume for the moment that despite their intentions, several months from now they slip up, give into temptation, and have sex. Would anyone say that it would be an innocent "accident?" Ask anyone on the street and people will say that it is an "accident" waiting to happen and that deep down they know it.
When it comes to sin, we are not suppose to see how close to the line we can come without crossing over. A Christian's response to sin is to flee from sin. "Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (II Timothy 2:22). Two unmarried young people sleeping in the same bed is not fleeing lust; it is promoting lust. "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (I Corinthians 6:18).
If your brother thinks he is different, that he is strong enough to resist Satan's devices, then ask him: "After you are married and you have a daughter, will you be expecting her to sleep with her boyfriend so long as she promise "nothing" will happen?" Will he expect his sisters to see his example and then start sleeping with their boyfriends? The problem is that each of us leave examples for others to follow. Others at church, will look at them and say, well if they can do it, we can as well -- but they probably won't have the commitment that is driving your brother and his girlfriend. "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (I Timothy 4:2). The example your brother is leave will lead others into sin.
The answer is that instead of putting temptation in front of themselves and others, get married. "Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (I Corinthians 7:1-2).