Promiscuity in the Bible: A Definition
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Promiscuity in the Bible: A Definition

Promiscuity is a term that is not explicitly used in the Bible, but the concept of sexual immorality and impurity which applies to promiscuous behavior is certainly addressed. As Christians seeking to understand God’s design for relationships and sexuality, it is important that we look at what the Bible teaches on this topic.


Promiscuity can be defined as having casual sex frequently with multiple partners. In today’s cultural climate, promiscuity has become increasingly accepted and even glorified. However, the Bible makes it clear that this behavior isoutside of God’s design for sexuality.

The Bible promotes faithfulness, commitment, and purity in relationships. While culture may condone promiscuity, as Christians we are called to a higher standard according to biblical principles.

In this blog post, we will dive into Bible passages about sexual immorality and impurity, marriage roles and commitments, flee youthful lusts, and more to get a full picture of what the Bible says about promiscuity and God’s design for pure and faithful sexuality.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sexual immorality including promiscuity is clearly condemned in the Bible
  • God designed sex for marriage between a man and woman
  • Faithfulness and self-control are virtues believers are called to walk in
  • There are consequences to sexual sin but grace and forgiveness are available to repentant hearts

Clear Condemnation of Sexual Immorality

The Bible consistently categorizes promiscuity as sexual immorality throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Here are some clear verses that address sexual sin:

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4)

“But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:2)

It is clear in both the Old and New Testaments that God forbids sexual immorality including promiscuity which is casual sex with multiple partners. He commands his people to abstain from this behavior because it is outside of His design.

While this may seem restrictive in today’s culture of sexual freedom, God’s commands are for our protection and flourishing. Just like a parent setting boundaries for a child, God knows what behaviors will lead to harm and those that will lead to human thriving.

Sex Is Designed for Marriage

The Bible makes it clear that God designed sex to occur exclusively within the marriage covenant between a man and woman.

In the Old Testament, prohibitions against sexual immorality are directed at unmarried individuals. Sex before or outside of marriage was strictly forbidden:

“If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)

“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.” (Proverbs 5:18-19)

In the New Testament, God’s design for sex within marriage is reaffirmed. Marriage is honored and the marriage bed kept undefiled:

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4)

“Because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:2)

The biblical pattern clearly connects marriage and sexuality, prohibiting sex before or outside of that covenant commitment. Our culture often seeks to separate the two but God’s design protects intimacy and creates stability.

Promiscuity distorts God’s good design for sex and relationships leading only to pain, heartache, and deeper emptiness. As believers, we are called to follow God’s guidelines and experience the blessings of faithful marital love.

Virtue of Faithfulness

In contrast to the cultural normalization of promiscuity, the Bible promotes faithfulness, commitment, and loyalty in relationships- especially marriage.

Hosea was a prophet called by God to redeem his unfaithful wife Gomer as a reflection of God’s faithfulness to wayward Israel. Though she was adulterous, Hosea pursued her, paid a price for her, and remained committed:

“And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.” (Hosea 2:19)

Likewise, Christians are the bride of Christ and He remains utterly faithful to us though we are often unfaithful to Him:

“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.” (Isaiah 54:5)

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” (Ephesians 5:25)

Marriage is the union of one man and one woman in a lifelong covenant that mirrors God’s faithfulness. Any sexual activity outside of those bounds distorts the purity of marital love. Believers are called to reflect God’s character by honoring marriage vows with complete faithfulness.

The virtue of faithfulness is also emphasized through numerous warnings against unfaithfulness and adultery throughout Proverbs:

“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.” (Proverbs 5:18-19)

“He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.” (Proverbs 6:32)

“Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house,” (Proverbs 5:8)

Marital faithfulness leads to blessing while sexual sin destroys relationships and lives. The wise course is to save sexual intimacy for marriage and reject the temptation of promiscuity.

Consequences of Sexual Immorality

The Bible makes it clear that while God’s grace covers all sin through Christ, there are still consequences for sexual immorality in this earthly life:

  1. Damage to body and soul: Sexual sin uniquely impacts our identity and damages us physically, spiritually and emotionally. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and promiscuity defiles that sanctuary.
  2. Relational brokenness: Infidelity causes acute pain and betrayal, destroying relationship trust. Promiscuity treats others as objects rather than image-bearers to be honored.
  3. Disqualification from leadership: Those embroiled in sexual sin are disqualified from spiritual leadership and stewardship. Sexual purity is a prerequisite for maturity and modeling Christ.
  4. Sowing sinful patterns: Our choices form habits and patterns that can stick long-term. Promiscuity often leads down a path of further sexual brokenness and bondage.

While forgiveness is always possible through repentance, our actions impact us negatively in the here and now. As children of God, we are called to choose the narrow way of sexual purity, avoiding promiscuity and its painful consequences.

Hope in the Gospel

Despite God’s clear warnings against sexual immorality, promiscuity remains a continual temptation and struggle for many. When we fall into sexual sin we can become weighed down by shame and despair. Yet there is hope in the unconditional love and grace offered through Christ!

The woman caught in adultery was dragged before Jesus and accused but He extended mercy not condemnation (John 8:1-11). When the woman at the well had five husbands, Jesus did not shame her but offered living water (John 4:4-30).

Paul reminds believers in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 that while various kinds of sexually immoral people will not inherit the kingdom, we can be “washed, sanctified, and justified” by God’s grace.

There is forgiveness and freedom from the power of sexual sin through Christ. We turn from sin and turn toward the open arms of God who loves us unconditionally. He gives us power through the Spirit to walk in newness of life.

For those struggling with promiscuity or sexual sin, cling to these promises:

  • “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:5,12)
  • “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)


In a sexually chaotic culture, promiscuity may seem like a normal and harmless behavior. However, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that casual, unrestrained sexual activity is outside of God’s design for intimacy and leads to pain and brokenness.

Instead, believers are called to pursue sexual purity, honoring marriage commitments and treating others with dignity, never as objects to exploit. By clinging to the forgiveness and power Christ provides, we can walk in freedom from sexual sin patterns and reflect God’s faithfulness in our relationships.

Though the temptation to sexual immorality is constant, promiscuity is clearly condemned in Scripture. As followers of Jesus, may we strive together to uphold God’s beautiful design for sexuality – the intimate union of husband and wife – and reject the cultural normalization of promiscuity in our lives.

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.