Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When, as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:18
Read Matthew 1:18-25
Sexuality is a concept that involves much more than the act of sexual intercourse. Our whole being is involved in sexual relationships. It includes deep appreciation for one another as a whole person. We must therefore never limit sexual relations to the physical act alone. We can speak of intimate experiences even during the engagement period.
However, the Bible sets clear boundaries: sexual relations may only take place within a legally solemnized marriage. We saw that as we considered Jacob’s life. We see something of this in Joseph and Mary’s life as well. They were engaged to be married, but they did not have sexual relations with each other. That is the parameter set in God’s Word: Before a man and a woman have sexual relations, they must leave the parental home and be married (Genesis 2:24).
A clear boundary is set. Any other boundaries are much less clear. It is therefore very important that a young couple discuss these issues at great length with each other. For, when no discussions have been held regarding limits and boundaries during the engagement period, then boundaries could be easily stepped over.
Thought: Having sexual relations involves much more than sexual intercourse.
Psalter 428:2 (based on Psalm 119) O let Thy Spirit be my constant aid, That all my ways may ever be directed To keep Thy statutes, so to be obeyed, That from all error I may be protected. I shall not be ashamed then or afraid, When Thy commandments I have e’er respected.