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Is sexting a sin?

The word "sexting" was entered into Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in 2012 as "sending (someone) sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone." Obviously, sexting is not exclusive to phones now since we can private message through Facebook messenger, Snapchat, Instagram DMs, etc. Basically, sexting is the act of sending obscene, sexual images and/or messages to another person.

Some people may think sexting is harmless because it isn't actual physical sex, yet it comes with all the "benefits" of sexual arousal and fantasy experiences. Some think it's a good way to bond with your significant other and still be "safe." However, the truth is that sexting, at its core, is mental adultery.

Matthew 5:28 says, "I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (This is a biblical principle that applies to both men and women, BTW.) Since lust is an act of the mind, adultery is possible regardless of whether physical bodies or just words or pictures are involved. The heart is what matters when it comes to the issue of lust. God doesn't care if it was physical sex or illicit texts exchanged or sexy images sent between people who are not married to each other—it's all sexual sin.

Colossians 3:5 tells us to "put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry." Sexting serves to feed all of these things, which are sexually immoral activities we're supposed to run away from (1 Corinthians 6:18)—not toward (Galatians 5:19-21).

Can married couples sext each other?

Technically, any sexual activity between a husband and his wife is between them and accepted by God. Having a satisfying sex life is one of the gifts that God has granted (and, in fact, commands; see 1 Corinthians 7:5) for married couples. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says “so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” A healthy sex life in a marriage is glorifying to God. That said , due to the somewhat insecure nature of our digital information, sexting between a husband and wife would be ill-advised, because it may cause more problems than it would help a couple's sexual intimacy.

Who knows who might get a hold of one's phone and see the messages or view a nude picture of someone else's spouse over their shoulder? We are to do our best not to allow temptations into the minds of those around us. James 1:14-15 says, "Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." The private sex life of a married couple should have no place in the minds or lives of other people.

Since we can't be sure of the safety or privacy of any information we send electronically, it's best not to create a future problem of accidental photo or text leaks or create an awkward situation with the couple's children or friends/coworkers who might get a hold of their phone.

For the unmarried person, sexting definitely breaks several biblical principles about sexual immorality. Sexting is a superficial, lazy way to connect with a person—even if the intent is a meaningful relationship that leads to marriage. For the single (or even engaged) Christian, sexting should not be an option all. For the married Christian couple, sexting is ill-advised simply due to privacy issues and the probability of creating stumbling blocks in others' faith.

TL;DR

Sexting is the act of sending obscene, sexual images and/or messages to another person. Sexting breaks several biblical principles about sexual immorality. For the single (or even engaged) Christian, sexting should not be an option all (Colossians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 6:18). For the married Christian couple, sexting is ill-advised simply due to privacy issues and the probability of creating stumbling blocks in others' faith (James 1:14-15).

By: Catiana Nak Kheiyn

Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.

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