Is it okay to sleep together if we really love each other?
To answer, there are several considerations.
Do you have a relationship with Christ? If not, then I would encourage you to first respond to Christ. His life, death, and resurrection demand a response, either of belief/faith/trust or unbelief. No one sees the bloody cross of Christ and responds with “meh.”
If you do have a relationship with Christ, conversations of sex start with God.
It must be believed that all things are from God and to be lived through/with/under* his direction (Rom. 11:36). One of these things is sex. He gives it as a gift. And it is to be received through/with/under his direction. Do you believe sex is a gift from God that is best received through/with/under his direction?
* “through/with/under” is a cumbersome phrase, so why use it repeatedly? I think it communicates several important principles. “Through” communicates living life through the power of his Holy Spirit. We are to be a Spirit-filled people. One of the fruits of this is self-control, an important character quality within this discussion. “With” communicates that God the Son took on human flesh and frailty. He experienced bodily temptation, weakness, and pain. In these ways he is with us and able to sympathize with our weaknesses. “Under” communicates that God is Lord. There is no one greater. He is Lord and those who follow him do so in all of life, including sex. Using this cumbersome phrase reminds me of how important it is to live for God – under the Father, with the Son, and through the Holy Spirit.
Part of receiving sex through/with/under his direction is actively believing that God knows what he’s doing in designing sex. Do we trust that he’s established good, pleasing, and perfect boundaries? To disagree with his boundaries and act against those boundaries is tantamount to giving God the finger. It wrongly steals this gift right out of his hands. The Bible (Rom. 1:21) says such action represents futility of thinking (though we think we know better than God) and a darkening of hearts (though we might adamantly claim it’s due to greater/deeper/purer/committed love).
Part of his design is that this gift would be received within the covenant of marriage. The boundaries for sex is marriage. You knew this was coming, right? Think about it. Our conscience recognizes there is a time and place for sex. Prostitution is not it. Rape is not it. Adultery is not it. Getting sloshed, grabbing a stranger, and hooking up is not it. I use these examples because we all recognize there is a line. Somewhere. Somewhere there is a distinction where we can point and say “Okay” or “Not okay.”
With faith in Christ, we say God draws the line. And he has drawn this line at marriage. See Gen. 2:24-25 where the established order is marriage first and then nakedness second. Or observe 1 Cor. 7:2-3 where husband is directed toward wife and wife toward husband to help in avoiding sexual immorality. It should be noted that such people are not directed to sex generally or arbitrarily to guard against sexual immorality but toward sex with their spouse specifically. What is more, verse 3 speaks of this as a marital responsibility.
Ultimately, why is this all so important? The covenant of marriage and relationship between husband and wife is symbolic of the relationship between Christ and the Church. For Christ to establish this relationship he came to earth, lived sinlessly, died substitutionally, and raised victoriously. It says he purchased the Church, including you and me who’ve trusted in him, with his blood. He loved us so much that he died for us. Marriage is a picture of this.
Taken one step further, intimacy between husband and wife speaks of intimacy of Christ with the church. The evident, visible, and physical relationship between man and woman points to the mystical, invisible, spiritual relationship between Christ and the church. The way by which a husband comes together with his wife resulting in new life points to the way by which Christ comes together with his bride, the church, resulting in new life. The sexual relationship between husband and wife speaks powerfully to what Christ has done for his church.
So, “is it okay to sleep together if we really love each other?” Absolutely! Because I understand “really loving each other” to actually mean laying down your life as Christ did for the Church, living through/with/under his direction, trusting his good design, and entering into a life-long covenant with the other person through publicly exchanging vows. If you really love each other that way, by all means, sleep together.