Question

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost a year. We are both Christians, and we don't want to have sex before marriage. Lately we have touched each other, though never bare, but he has touched me over clothes and so have I in private parts. I don't know if we should stop. We don't do it too often, and we trust each other that we won't go farther than that. Is that a sin, and should we stop?


Answer

Suppose you decide to go on a diet, so you tell yourself that you aren't going to eat candy until you've lost ten pounds. Meanwhile, you put a big bowl of chocolates on your dresser. You sniff them and swirl them around with your fingers, but you tell yourself you aren't going to eat any until you reach your goal. There's no harm in that, is there? You're only touching and smelling. Besides its not like you are doing it constantly. You're sure you won't eat one.

Now tell me what do you think is going to happen in the long run? I can guarantee that you'll give in and eat a candy because "it's just one." Having it in front of you, taunting yourself with reminders, is a sure way to break down your resistance.

"Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman" (I Corinthians 7:1).

Paul is talking about sexual touching. It is good not to do it because such touching naturally leads to sex. What you are doing is creating lust -- a strong desire for what is wrong -- within yourself and within your boyfriend. Lust itself is sinful. "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:13-14).

The natural path of sin is to progress. A part of the excitement of sin is pushing things to limits. But each limit crumbles after a while because it becomes routine. Each time you tell yourself that it isn't going to go any further, but it does. Young people are always surprised when it things suddenly collapses, instincts take over, and then you're right to me worried that you might have gotten pregnant and that you don't know what happened, it was an accident. But it never was an accident, it was set up long before hand because you thought you could sin a little bit and get away with it.

Thank you so much! This makes a lot of sense. I will try to stop. I know it's going to be hard, but I'll do my best. I really don't want things to go farther. I have another question. I kind of feel really guilty for doing this, and I just really want to be pure. Would you consider it important for me to confess? I usually have a hard time doing it, but I feel as if I have to.

The Bible does not require confession to a priest. In order to gain forgiveness for sin, God teaches that we must admit our wrongs to Him. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). The confession of sin is to God and not some earthly man. That is because it is God whom we offended, thus only God can release (forgive) us of our debt due to our sin. Christians do not have a mediator between themselves and God. Every Christian is a priest and has the right to approach God directly. "You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (I Peter 2:5).

So in your prayer to God tell Him you understand you did wrong and that you are determined to do what is right in His sight.