Is Marrige the Solution to Premarital Sex?
It has been falsely believed and taught that God’s law condones rape and that God requires that an unmarried woman who is forced into a sexual encounter with an unmarried man is then required to marry that man.
This is not the case, here you will find the two passages that are used to discuss this subject.
16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.
17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.
28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.
The situation involved is a single man “enticing” or “seducing” a single woman into engaging into a sexual relationship willingly, this is not discussing forcible rape of an unmarried woman by a man.
Deuteronomy 22 uses the term “lays hold on her” because the single man that attempts to have sexual relations with a young woman that he is not married to does not have the young woman’s best interests at heart. It is not love that is motivating the young man to convince an unmarried woman to engage in sexual acts. The man’s intentions are predatory in nature, he desires the physical benefits of marriage without taking on the responsibilities that come along with marriage.
Despite what a man says his intentions are, or even what he believes his intentions are, and despite what a single woman wants or agrees to, a man that convinces an unmarried woman to engage in premarital sexual relations is seeking to destroy the woman in every way possible.
The first time this commandment is given in Exodus 22:16-17 the phrase “if a man entice a maid” is used. The second time this commandment is given in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 the phrase “if a man…lay hold on her,” is used. Both of these verses are referring to the same commandment from God concerning what to do when an unmarried man, and an unmarried woman, are caught engaging in premarital sexual relations. They are one and the same commandment.
The God-ordained solution for covering the sins of premarital sex between unmarried men and women is marriage.
The man and the woman, in this case, have both clearly made a decision to purposefully and deliberately engage in sexual activities together, so forcing them to marry is righting the wrong that they have done.
In addition to this, the man is to pay the woman’s dowery as was required by God to ensure the protection and financial stability of the woman.
The only way this would not happen is if the woman’s father decided that the man was not worthy of marrying his daughter.
The single woman could have been infatuated with and seduced by the “bad boy” of the community, one that would not make a good husband, nor a good father, and in this case the father would assist in protecting his daughter from further dishonor, humiliation, and heartbreak, and protect his future grandchildren from the same. In other cases, these two single people may have just given into temptation, but the man could otherwise be a suitable man for marriage.
God has given the father of the unmarried woman the final decision and responsibility concerning if marriage between his daughter and the man who she was caught having premarital relations with would correct the sins they have both committed.
In the event of a typical marriage, the man and woman alone make the decision concerning their union, the father is consulted, but he is not given the final overriding decision concerning the marriage. In this case, where the man and the woman have both shown that they are ill-equipped to make a Godly decision concerning marriage, and the father’s final decision is a safety net to protect the woman and her future children from this seductive men and herself.
The man who enticed the woman is said to have “humbled” the woman, this can mean many things, such as spoiled, corrupted, humiliated, dishonored, and more. In other words, he was in no way acting as a husband should in his duties to care for and protect his wife’s person, reputation, and spiritual condition.
The man is commanded by God to be forced to take on the duties of a husband, something he should have done in the first place. The only reason why he can be released from this duty now is by the father’s rejection of him. In this case, if the man be rejected, he must still pay the dowry of virgin’s as though he was getting a bride, but now he pays without anything to show for it.
The rejected man is heavily fined, and is being shamed by God through the father.
So, it should be evident by now that the idea that God requires women to marry men that rape them is not remotely taught in these commandments.
It should also be evident how important it is for single men and women to refrain from sexual relationships, and that God demands that all sexual interactions be confined to the institution of marriage.
Marriage is indeed the God-ordained solution to cover premarital sexual sins committed by single men and women.
Before the world can view the institution of marriage as important, the Christian community has to view it as important first.
To do this we have to first know how important sexual purity is to God, and then we have to ensure that our families instruct our children to view sexual purity as a requirement as well.
So, how do we apply these commandments to our families today?
1. We teach our children to keep themselves sexually pure until married.
2. We purposefully assist our children concerning how to avoid circumstances that make premarital sexual sins possible.
3. We teach our children concerning the temptations of sexual sin and how to avoid acting on them.
4. We follow these commandments by God in correcting the sexual sins that our children may fall into.
5. We ensure that these commandments are taught by our families and Christian communities so that families have the support of the Christian community.