I have often heard people say things like “Save your body for your spouse.”
I think believers in Yeshua would agree that this concept seems Biblical, and in a way it is, but I don’t think it is completely when that is promoted as the main reason for abstaining from extramarital sex.
I agree with the Torah lesson. “..While the man was sleeping, Yahweh Elohim took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. Then Yahweh Elohim formed a woman from the rib that he had taken from the man. He brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She will be named woman because she was taken from man.’ That is why a man will leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, but they weren’t ashamed of it.” Genesis 2:21-25
The Lord in this passage took one rib and gave man one wife- not two ribs for two wives etc…It wasn’t God’s intention for people to have sexual partners outside of marriage or polygamy condoned under the name of marriage. So it is best to just marry one person as outlined in the Torah. But still I don’t think it is best to promote virginity with the idea that your body is for another human. For one thing, the idea of saving your body for a spouse baselessly assumes that marriage is a destination in the life of every believer, but that isn’t true for everyone. As Yeshua said, “Some people do not marry, of course. Some people are eunuchs because they are born that way, others have been made eunuchs by men, and others have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Anyone who can embrace that call should do so.” Matthew 19:12
Another reason, is what the Jewish teacher Paul said, “So those who marry do a good thing, and they will share in a holy blessing; those who do not marry do an even better thing because they are part of an even greater blessing in the service of God.” 1 Corinthians 7:38. I don’t like the idea of using the concept of saving your body for a spouse as a reason to avoid sexual sin because the focus is on pleasing another person in the future rather than focusing on God in the present. I must also add your body is so much more than a mere sexual object to be kept in wrapping paper for the right time as some seem to suggest. You are more valuable than that. “Run from sexual immorality! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the fornicator sins against his own body. Or don’t you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don’t belong to yourselves; for you were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify God.” 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
Your body first and foremost belongs to God so God should be the main focus of avoiding sin to keep a clean temple - not pleasing a spouse. If you make sexual purity primarily about saving your body for a potential spouse that level of reasoning would imply that your body will be wasted or unused if you live without a spouse. But if you make your life about how you can best honor the Lord, rather than pleasing a person, your life will be a blessing because you are using your body for the glory of God now. Marriage, as great as it is, becomes overrated by the faith community when they assume it is or should be a life goal. The Bible makes it clear that while a spouse is a good thing you can be better off single spiritually. So instead of focusing on a theoretical spouse that may or may not be a reality focus on making the most of your time with God. Instead of promoting this notion that our bodies are being saved or put on hold for a person, remember that our bodies are currently being occupied by the Spirit of God today and every day we live and we should keep it pure for God as well as for ourselves. We should not engage in premarital sex because we want to maintain our connection with God - not because pleasing another human is the focus.