marriage qa


Q&A From the Marriage Series

Some questions and answers on the subject of marriage and sexual intimacy



{ Introduction }

Following are some questions and answers based on the following series of sermons:

  • "The Covenant of Marriage" Genesis 2:18-25 (2/20/00)

  • "What is Sex?" Genesis 2:18-25 (3/5/00)

  • "What About Premarital Sex?" 2 Samuel 13:1-19 (3/12/00)

  • "Hate Masquerading as Love" 1 Corinthians 6 (3/19/00)

  • "What Jesus Taught About Divorce" Matthew 19:1-12 (3/26/00)

  • "Marriage Roles" Ephesians 5:22-33 (4/9/00)

Click on the links to the right or below to read Gordon Hugenberger's responses to the following questions:

Question One:

Why does the Bible stress the problem of adultery vs. premarital sex?

Question Two:
What are some biblical texts related to premarital sex?

Question Three:
What is the Bible's view of rape and how is Amnon's rape of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13 relevant for premarital sex?

Question Four:
Since Amnon and Tamar are half-siblings, how can Tamar be right in 2 Samuel 13:13,16 that a marriage between them would be acceptable?

Question Five:
Doesn't this view of marriage place too much emphasis on sex?

Question Six:
Doesn't your view encourage promiscuity?

Question Seven:
What if you have slept with your girlfriend or boyfriend, but he or she has no interest in marriage?

Question Eight:
What if he or she is a non-Christian?

Question Nine:
What if you have had a long string of boyfriends or girlfriends?

Question Ten:
How far is too far?

Question Eleven:
Is it too late?

Question Twelve:
What if a young couple who have slept together are willing to stop, but have no interest in viewing their sexual intimacy as a marriage-love committing act?

Question Thirteen:
What if, regardless of what the Bible seems to imply or any well-intentioned advice from Pastor Hugenberger, a young sexually active couple have no desire to move toward marital love, but they are willing to stop being sexually intimate? Should they embrace the call of singlehood in a manner that resembles the person who illegitimately divorces their spouse in 1 Corinthians 7:11?

Question Fourteen:
Does the prediction of husbands "rule over" their wives in Genesis 3:16 represent a deviation from the ideal?

There is also a page of additional information on the subject of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 12, and the October 8, 2000, sermon "Touch Not Mine Anointed."

For much a more detailed and scholarly explanation of the theory and ethics of marriage in the Old Testament, see Gordon P. Hugenberger, Marriage as a Covenant: A study of Biblical Law and Ethics Governing Marriage, Developed from the Perspective of Malachi, Supplements to Vetus Testamentum, 52 (Leiden, New York, Köln: E.J. Brill, 1994 [reprinted in paperback as Marriage as a Covenant. Biblical Law and Ethics as Developed from Malachi; Biblical Studies Library Series, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1998]).

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Table of Contents



1. Adultery

2. Premarital sex

3. Rape

4. Amnon and Tamar

5. Emphasis on sex

6. Promiscuity

7. No interest in marriage

8. Non-Christian partner

9. Multiple relationships

10. Too far

11. Too late

12. Sex: a committing act

13. Call of singlehood

14. Submission


A Marriage Prayer

Genesis 12

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