When God arranged the first marriage in Genesis chapter two, there is the most interesting of comments that follows:
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
What is sort of strange and wonderful about this is that, since Genesis 1:1, we have had only historic narrative and now, for the first time, we have commentary. At this point in the narrative, there were no sons and daughters, fathers or mothers. But the comment is inserted by Moses for all future couples and however that marriage is arranged it will have this common denominator—there is no “joining” until there is a “departure.” The description and definition of “joining” is sexual, “one flesh.” Jesus affirmed this in a debate with the Pharisees in Matthew 19:
The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”
He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
The “joining” that is to happen only after “departure” (righteous sexual intimacy) that Moses wrote about is confirmed by Jesus. So there is a time and a place that is legit.
If you have not moved to a place of self-sufficiency where you are able to be independent of parental oversight and you haven’t had some type of recognized union in your relationship, then you must abstain from sexual intimacy.
Otherwise, you are in the limbo of dating and that definitely doesn’t give anyone the allowance that only married couples are blessed with in regards to sex of any kind.
Now the apostle Paul stated clearly and compassionately that, “It is better to marry than to burn.” Sexual frustration is the reason that couples begin sexting. What does the apostle say as he speaks God’s words to the covenant people? Marriage is the only place where righteous sex happens.
Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:
It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
…if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (I Corinthians 7)
Any argument that virtual sex is not of the same intent, nature, and reason is just ridiculous and by no means can be justified by God’s Word. It can only be pathetically rationalized because we are weak and want to be gratified outside the context of marriage.
When it comes to “burning” Jesus also spoke about good-desires-gone-bad in Matthew 5:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
The point here is that a person is lusting and self-gratifying themselves. There is no actual physical contact with another person but they are having sex with the other person in mind—literally. Any argument that this sin is confined to just those already married would be ludicrous. Giving this argument even more strength is the fact that Jesus is teaching the spirit of the Law—God’s intention as opposed to the rabbinical teaching that would allow such behavior. In other words, Jesus is saying that God is not pleased with those who burn in lust and figure out a way to relieve themselves without actually being with another person.
Consider this observation and prayer from Psalm 19:
Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.