Why is virginity so important in the Bible?

Virginity is a very important concept in the Bible. The Bible defines sex outside of marriage as a sin because it is a form of sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 7:2). Therefore, Christians are not to engage in sexual relations outside of the boundaries of marriage. A person who chooses to remain abstinent is called a virgin. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is often referred to as the Virgin Mary because she became pregnant with Jesus as a miracle from God without having had sex. To many in modern culture, virginity is a negative thing. For others, "virginity" has become a technical delineation describing not "going all the way," yet still engaging in all sorts of other sexual acts. The Bible makes it clear, however, that any sexual act outside of how God created it to be within marriage is sinful. God desires sexual purity in body, mind, and heart.

The Bible emphasizes the importance of virginity because it is an act of obedience to God. First Corinthians 6:18–20 says, "Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." Practicing abstinence requires discipline, which can be very difficult when we face physical temptations. Sex was created by God; therefore, our sexual desire is part of how He made us. However, outside of marriage sex is defiled and can have negative consequences. When we choose to trust God, even if we do not fully understand His plan, we are obedient to Him. Our obedience is an act of submission to Him acknowledging that we need Him as our Savior.

Virginity is also a physical sign of us being made into a new creation in Christ. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, He forgives us for our sins and begins to make us more like Him (Ephesians 4:24; 1 Thessalonians 4:3–7). As a new creation we begin to exhibit Christ-like characteristics such as self-control. By choosing to not have sex, we exercise control over our physical cravings and emotional impulses.

In addition, virginity is a symbol of commitment to God. The apostle Paul describes marriage as a relationship that symbolizes Christ's relationship to the Church (Ephesians 5:31–32). In this relationship both Christ and the Church are committed to one another in a monogamous relationship. In other words, as believers we are to only have one God and to not put anything before God (Exodus 20:3; John 15:1–17; 1 John 5:1–4, 21).

It is important to note that although you may no longer be a virgin, you still have the opportunity to choose to be abstinent moving forward in obedience to God. When we are forgiven by Christ, He cleanses us from our sin and makes us new in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17–21; 1 John 1:9). Virginity is a physical condition, but more importantly it is the posture of our heart choosing to commit ourselves only to God.

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