Marriage vs. Premarital Sex

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Marriage vs. Pre-Marital Sex

I. Introduction

Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that establishes rights and obligations between the spouses, between the spouses and their children, and between the spouses and their in-laws.[1] The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institutionin which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. In many cultures, marriage is formalized via a wedding ceremony. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples or two persons of opposite genderin the gender binary, and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny, child marriages, and forced marriages. In modern times, a growing number of countries and other jurisdictions have lifted bans on and have established legal recognition for same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and interfaith marriage. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. People marry for many reasons, including: legal, social, libidinal, emotional, financial, spiritual, and religious. Marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting. The act of marriage usually creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved. Some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through divorce or annulment. Polygamous marriages may also occur in spite of national laws. Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a localcommunity or peers. It is often viewed as a contract. Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage as a governmental institution irrespective of religious affiliation, in accordance with marriage laws of the jurisdiction. Forced marriages are illegal in some jurisdictions. We believe marriage is a gift from God for the blessing of men, women and children and for the good of society.  However, given the present practice of cohabitation outside of marriage, the prevalence of same-sex unions and the disintegration of marriages in Western culture, we of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church offer the following Biblical principles relative to the sanctity of the institution of marriage.  In this position paper we seek to think about marriage under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and God's written Word, the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16).  We believe that God has revealed to all people in all cultures at all times a sense of morality in the ordering of human relationships. Therefore, there is a moral imperative which governs all human relationships, including marriage.

In the second hand, premarital sex is sexual activity practiced by persons who are unmarried. Historically it has been considered taboo in some cultures and religions. In some cultures, the significance of premarital sex has traditionally been related to the concept of virginity. However, unlike virginity, premarital sex can refer to more than one occasion of sexual activity or more than one sex partner. There are cultural differences as to whether and in which circumstances premarital sex is socially acceptable or tolerated. Social attitudes to premarital sex have changed over time as has the prevalence of premarital sex in various societies. Social attitudes to premarital sex can include issues such as virginity, sexual morality, extramarital unplanned pregnancy, legitimacy besides other issues. Premarital sex may take place in a number of situations. For example, it may take place as casual sex, for example, with at least one participant seeking to experience sex; it may take place between a couple living together in a long-term relationship without marriage; for a betrothed couple engaging in sexual activity before their...
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