What is the most valuable bed you can have? A sleep number bed allows you and your spouse to select the setting you each like best. A therapedic bed adjusts to your personal body shape. As valuable as these beds may be, there is one bed so valuable that God in essence wrapped one of the Ten Commandments around it. That bed is the undefiled marriage bed.
“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). The context in other places in scripture where adultery is listed as sin indicates the spirit of this commandment deals with all practices of sexual immorality. These are all wicked ways. God’s people must turn from them.
God states His goal in Hebrews 13:4. “Let marriage be held in honor among all and let the marriage bed be undefiled…”.
Fornication is sex between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. People who live together (cohabitation) before marriage commit the sin of fornication when they have sexual relations. So do couples who have sex before marriage even if they don’t cohabit.
Adultery is sex between a married person and someone who is not their spouse.
Fornication and adultery both defile the marriage bed by engaging in relations that God reserved for a man and a woman when they are married.
Hebrews 13:4 tells us God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Sexual immorality is extremely serious. We see this in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 where the Apostle Paul lists ten groups who won’t inherit the Kingdom of God. Four of the groups are those who commit sins of sexual immorality. Revelation 21:8 indicates immoral persons will end up in the lake of fire and brimstone. The last half of Proverbs, chapter 6 indicates the outcome of one who allows himself to be seduced.
Some Pharisees were confident they didn’t commit adultery (Luke 18:11) but Jesus said “Everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Those who fantasize about having sex with someone other than their spouse and those who look at any form of pornography also violate the spirit of this commandment and thus defile the marriage bed.
We would do well to be like Job who made a covenant with his eyes. He asks in Job 31:1, “How then could I gaze (lustfully) at a virgin?” Had King David made and kept such a covenant he would have avoided his immorality with Bathsheba. Women can help men honor the covenant with their eyes by dressing modestly.
The sins that defile the marriage bed are not unforgiveable sins but they must be confessed and forsaken in order for a person to receive forgiveness and escape the judgment of God. 1Corinthians 6:11 indicates some of God’s people had been in those ten groups but that was history. It was in their past. They had received the forgiveness that was needed. They had turned from those wicked ways.
Divorce also is a sin God’s people need to address. Divorce is not the unforgivable sin either but it does need to be dealt with in repentance, forgiveness and re-commitment to the sacredness of marriage vows.
One definition of defile is “to violate the chastity of” which certainly applies to adultery. Another definition is “to corrupt the purity of” which is apropos to fornication and other sexual immorality. All sexual immorality defiles the marriage bed.
How does one “undefile” the marriage bed? I may have invented that word. I couldn’t find it in my dictionary. Spell-check doesn’t recognize it. It’s akin to refurbish and renovate.
Two steps will do it. First, strip away everything that defiled it. Confess each and every impure sexual act in the past whether it was petting, necking, masturbation, fornication, adultery, fantasizing, pornography, immodest apparel or anything else the Holy Spirit convicts you of. Quit doing those things. Let them become history. Receive God’s forgiveness.
Then apply the things that bring brightness and beauty to the marriage bed. Date in purity. Keep the covenant with your eyes. Dress modestly (no cleavage, no thighs).
When your marriage bed is undefiled, you have the most peaceful and blessed rest of all.
Is it time for a new bed?
52 Wicked Ways of God’s People
- Sex before marriage
- Living together before marriage
- Lusting in our hearts
- Wearing immodest clothing
- Showcasing sex in advertising