Summary: Responsible love with others includes that I learn to share the bed with only my wife, and no one else. Self-control applies also in the bedroom.

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

(Hebrews 13:4 NKJV)

The word bed here is used in the New Testament a total of four times. Two times in Romans, once in Luke and once in Hebrews.

In Romans 9:10, it says this:

And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac

The word describes the result of intimacy - conceiving a child.

In Romans 13:13, the picture is displayed of two people who are not married, who share the same bed - chambering (or sharing the same room).

Here in this verse, as well as Romans 13:13, the Bible shows how important intimacy is in the marriage relationship. The idea of "lying" in bed with someone else is a picture of intimacy.

When a couple shares the bed, they also share intimate thoughts, ideas, and talks. The couple shares everything, including the most intimate acts in the bed. In God’s eyes, the bed represents the closeness and intimacy that He has with us. He designed to show that intimacy to the world through the institution of marriage. When God wants two people to come as close together as possible, He lets them marry. Jesus said it this way:

Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.

(Mark 10:9 NKJV)

God puts a man and a woman together, and He wishes that no one would separate them. But many times, people who are not married together, share the same bed - separating what God want to put together. They may not even have sex, but they sleep together. These verses (which describe the act of sharing the same bed) forbid this sharing with anyone who is not your God-given spouse. People who are married make the mistakeof sharing what is designed for their spouse - the bed - with someone else.

It doesn’t matter if whom you share your bed is just a friend, a classmate, a "one-night-stand", or another person’s spouse.

It doesn’t matter to God if you say you love one another. If you decide to sleep together and you are not married, that is "defiling the marriage bed" or destroying the intimacy God created for married couples. If you are married and you sleep with someone else, you are destroying your marriage.

It doesn’t matter if you share a bed with a partner on "Brokeback Mountain" (a film about two gay cowboys) or your neighbor’s bedroom, or even your fellow student’s dorm. When you share a bed with someone who is not your spouse, after you have married under God’s eyes (in an official public ceremony), you are "defiling the bed."

"Defiling the bed" or producing fake intimacy can have its consequences. Sleeping with someone who is not your spouse before God puts you together in marriage can be very dangerous. It does not matter how clean you think it can be, it is dangerous and defiling.

You defile your honor. You defile your integrity. You start saying to yourself that it is understandable. Everyone else seems to be doing it and there is no apparent harm.

You defile the image of the other person. Men, by sleeping with another woman before you marry them, you calling the woman a prostitute and not a princess. Men, you become a pimp who provides services for the woman as she rewards you for your protection.

Women, by sleeping with another man before you marry the one God has for you, you are lowering the expectations that you placed on that man. You say you want a Godly man - a man who will honor and respect you for being a woman. But by sleeping with him, you have said to yourself and to him that he doesn’t have to be godly at all. You have given him permission to lower the standards that you yourself should have kept.

What does it mean to "defile the bed"?

To defile means to soil something, or make something dirty. What once was pure and clean has now been made unclean and impure. In essence, you create "relationship pollution" when you defile the bed. By sleeping with someone who is not your spouse outside of marriage, you are creating "relationship pollution". Just as normal air pollution dirties the environment where people breathe, "relationship pollution" dirties the environment where people love. This pollution is toxic to both you and the other person. People can see this "relationship pollution" in the way you act with the other person.

When something is defiled, there is a mark that points to the problem. That mark can be visible or invisible. That mark can be emotional scars from the experience, or it can be physical scars of rape and disease. Some may bandage this defilement with "protected sex" or with lies to other people about their relationship. Some may ignore the pain that this defilement has caused them.

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