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Sex outside of marriage: what is at stake?

In catechesis, much is said about the disastrous consequences of sex outside of marriage: unwanted pregnancies (and, consequently, children raised without a father, without a structured family or even aborted) and sexually transmitted diseases.

These problems anyone with a little intelligence can see. So, we are going to talk about the evil consequences that eyes cannot see, and which are equally harmful (or perhaps even worse): the spiritual consequences, which are already reflected in this life.

We are not going to discuss about the torments of Hell as punishment after death. It is a fact that sex between single people and adultery are broad paths to condemnation to eternal fire – but that you are already bald to know. Let us clarify about the Hell that people begin to experience here, in this carnal life, when they do not care for the purity of the body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Many Catholics report that they make big efforts to sex before marriage. However, they end up falling into temptation with a certain frequency. Maybe because they don’t do penitence to train the body to obey the spirit … Or maybe because they’re not really convinced that sex outside of marriage is an evil in itself.

Probably, they fuel the suspicion that having sex outside of marriage has been classified as a sin by the Church for some outdated reason. Or they imagine, even at a glance, that God placed sex outside of marriage on the “list of sins” in a totally arbitrary way, almost as if on a whim.

But God is not a boring father who does not let his children enjoy the pleasures of life, nor is the Church a grumpy mother who invents meaningless rules just to upset and control us.

What is a sin? It is an offense against God that comes from the distorted will. This leads to thoughts, words, acts and omissions that move us away from the good.

Someone may think that sins are things that God decided would be sin. But it’s not like that. God did not decide that 1 + 1 = 2; this is so because that is the truth. Likewise, God did not decide that sex outside marriage is bad; He just REVEALED it.

When God delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses, He did not make a free selection of things to be labeled as sin: God just clarified the truth in the form of warnings. When God says, “Don’t do this!”, He is doing us a huge favor, not sabotaging us.

In revealing that something is a sin, God acts just like a person who draws a skull with the words “Danger!” in front of energized place. It is a warning to the person to avoid something that will undoubtedly harm him or her, and, probably, others.

In other words: sin always generates an objective evil, a true, physical and / or spiritual evil. Even if sin brings some immediate good (satisfaction, pleasure, prestige, etc.), sooner or later, it will bring harm.

So having sex outside marriage is not a sin because the Church took that idea out of the hat, but because it results in bad effects for the body, mind and spirit of the sinner.

“Do you not realise that your bodies are members of Christ’s body; do you think one can take parts of Christ’s body and join them to the body of a prostitute? Out of the question! Or do you not realise that anyone who attaches himself to a prostitute is one body with her, since the two, as it is said, become one flesh. But anyone who attaches himself to the Lord is one spirit with him. Keep away from sexual immorality. All other sins that people may commit are done outside the body; but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you and whom you received from God? You are not your own property, then; you have been bought at a price. So use your body for the glory of God. (I Cor 6,15-20)

Many of us, Catholics, have heard a thousand times the explanation that a man and a woman sacramentally united by marriage, as soon as marriage is consummated by sex, they become one flesh. However, there is a somewhat enigmatic passage, in which Saint Paul says that whoever has sex with a person outside of marriage also becomes one body with them – what means it generates some kind of bond, which we do not know well about.

When our body joins the Body of Christ in the Eucharistic Communion, we become members of the mystical Body of Christ. So we taint the Lord’s mystical Body by bringing into this body the impurities of an illicit sexual relationship.

Whoever has sex outside marriage harms his own body, because “Any other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the impure sins against his own body”. Here, we speak of spiritual evils. The impure do not receive the great graces and spiritual joys, which only those who live in chastity receive.

And as time goes by, it tends to get worse and worse. Given the fragility of a non-marital relationship (date or any other one), it easily ends and, for sure, in a short time at least one of the parties will start to having sex with another person, and also contaminating themselves with it.

What a mess there must be in the soul of a person who establishes a certain carnal bond with several people, with whom he no longer has any affective bond!

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