Bible Verses on Abstinence

Sex is one of those issues that might not make for polite dinner conversation, but it is part of the natural order of things. How we approach sex matters as Christians, and we have to let God be our guide. When we look at the Bible for advice, there are plenty of Bible verses about abstinence from sexual immorality:

Abstain from Sexual Immorality

When looking at abstinence, we cannot discuss it without a look at sexual immorality.

God is pretty clear that we need to be moral in our decisions, and the choice to have sex is included:

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
God wants you to be holy, so don’t be immoral in matters of sex. Respect and honor your wife. (CEV)

1 Corinthians 6:18
Don’t be immoral in matters of sex. That is a sin against your own body in a way that no other sin is. (CEV)

Colossians 3:5
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. (NLT)

Galatians 5:19-21
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.

Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (NLT)

1 Peter 2:11
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles,to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. (NIV)

2 Corinthians 12:21
I am afraid God will make me ashamed when I visit you again.

I will feel like crying because many of you have never given up your old sins. You are still doing things that are immoral, indecent, and shameful. (CEV)

Ephesians 5:3
Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. (NLT)

Romans 13:13
Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. (NASB)

Abstinence Until Marriage

Marriage is a big deal. The choice to spend the rest of your life with one person is not to be taken lightly, and the choice to have sex before marriage can impact the relationship you have with a spouse:

Hebrews 13:4
Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. (NLT)

1 Corinthians 7:2
Well, having your own husband or wife should keep you from doing something immoral. (CEV)

Let Love Come from a Pure Heart

While marriage may not be something you're seriously considering in your teen years, love is. There is a difference between love and lust, and abstinence comes from a good comprehension of the difference:

2 Timothy 2:22
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


Matthew 5:8
God blesses those people whose hearts are pure. They will see him! (CEV)

Genesis 1:28
God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (NASB)

Your Body is Not Your Own

What we do to our bodies matters in God's eyes, and sex is a bodily act. Just as we treat others with respect, we must treat ourselves that way, so abstinence means respecting our bodies and God:

1 Corinthians 6:19
You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own. (CEV)

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Your Citation
Mahoney, Kelli. "Bible Verses on Abstinence." ThoughtCo, Jul. 17, 2017, Mahoney, Kelli. (2017, July 17). Bible Verses on Abstinence. Retrieved from Mahoney, Kelli. "Bible Verses on Abstinence." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 19, 2018).