Question

I've been with my boyfriend for almost three years! We've sined! We have had sex! I've many times have wanted to take the correct path. I stop having sex but then I fall into sin again! What I really want is to correct my path. How can we both start that? Is it possible, or is it just better to breakup? We really want to do things how God's will is but it's so tempting and hard! Yes, he goes in my room, so do I and I realize that's bad, so I'm going to start there by not going into each others room. We are planning on getting married, but we already started of wrong. So I want to straighten my path. I had been taking myself from God's side.

I go to church. I know that's nothing, but I do listen to what they say. I recently started going with my mother to Bible classes every Wednesday. I hope this helps and lets me learn about God and meet Him. What can we do to distaract ourselves and have a nice relationship? All my family knows my boyfriend. He goes to church with us, and he's currently doing his communion and confirmation. I just really hope he learns something well. He sometimes tells me what he's learned, but what I mean is that he takes action and does right, instead of what he now knows is wrong. I love him. He's a really nice guy!

He and I got jobs at at the same place. That really distracted us, but we quit because of the way they are! The store manager is a nice person but is an hypocrite! She says that teenagers aren't worth much! All the managers were frustarated which made me get frustarated as well! They were so unfair! I lasted about a year. Many people were quitting because of the poor communication and how everyone was treated. I enjoyed my time there and I liked working there but it was about time I left.

Secondly, my father and I are frequently fighting because we have the same atttitude! I try to control myself but he gets to me! We fight for various reasons. Some are because he has no patience!  He has diabetes and he eats sugary things or simply things he is not supposed to, so I tell him not to and he gets mad at me, so I get mad as well and answer back!  

And my sister she just frustrates me! She's annoying. I want to have patience with her, but it's so hard! I guess everything about her just bothers me. I love her, she's my sister, but what can I do?

I'd really apreciate if you'd reply to all of this. Thank you for everything!


Answer

You and your boyfriend can change your behavior, but it is going to require both of you being committed to it. If one of you only says you are going to change, but then continues to do things to tempt the other, you are going to fail every time.

I take it that your usual spot for sex is in each others bedroom, so the commitment not to go into each others room is a great start. But it is going to take more than just this to stop.

First, you both have to realize that fornication is a sin. While it is fun to do, that temporary pleasure can keep you two out of heaven. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). I suspect that right now, while you know it is technically wrong, at the same time you don't believe it is all that bad. That is why you keep finding excuses to do it one more time.

The second thing is that like most people, you are focused on stopping the final act -- intercourse. You forget that there is a series of sins that comes before you two get naked in bed.

Sex starts hours or days before when you two talk about sexual things. Dirty talk stirs up passion in both of you and the problem is that when you are sexually turned on, you don't think very clearly. "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them" (Ephesians 5:3-7). So the battle first starts with your words. No more talking about sex. No more sending sexy pictures of each other.

Stirring up lust for each other interferes with proper behavior when you are with each other. "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:21-23). Thinking about and justifying sins in your head will eventually come out in your behavior.

From words, you move to sexual touching, which is also forbidden to unmarried couples. "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). You and he have to keep your hands off the sexual areas of each others bodies because the igniting of passion causes the two of you not to think clearly.

The problem is that one thing leads to another. The touching becomes more intense and the clothes start to come off. You move to the next stage of sexual behavior which is foreplay. For unmarried couples this is referred to as lewdness, which is also a sin.

Things then progress to intercourse. You can't claim it was unintentional because you have been doing the things that lead up to sex. It is like walking along the very edge of a cliff and claiming you have no intentions of falling off. "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; Whoever touches her shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 6:27-29).

Solomon points out the problem when he asked, "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27). You can show a hot coal all the affection you want. You can cuddle it and dote on it and it will still burn you. Your kindness to it doesn't change its nature. How often do you hear someone say, "But I love him!" Solomon's point is that your feelings toward your boyfriend won't change the fact that both of you have built-in desires and capabilities for sex. Trigger them and they follow the instincts built into you.

Solomon also asked, "Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared?" (Proverbs 6:28). Using the same example of a hot coal, if you walk on it, it will burn you. You can apologize and say you didn't mean to step on it, but you'll still be hurt because your intentions doesn't change what it is. Thus, the excuse, "But I didn't mean for it to go this far!" becomes an empty one because your intentions don't change your body's drive.

That is why Solomon concludes, "So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 6:29). Though he is talking directly about adultery, the same point is true about fornication. When you start intentionally stirring up sexual feelings, you are never innocent when thing go further than you wanted.

That is why we are told not to make room for lust and lewdness. "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). Lust is those thoughts and desires you keep battling about taking things even further. Lewdness is engaging in sexual foreplay that gets the body ready for intercourse. The Christian must recognize the danger and not start a sequence of events that can't be legitimately completed because you are not yet married.

The problem is that once sex enters a relationship, it dominates everything. It is just about all you do when you get together. It is just about all you ever talk about. Therefore, the actual real relationship stalls and dies because you are no longer getting to know each other. Therefore, remove all discussions about sex and start talking about life both now and in the future. At first it will be hard. Everything will seem to gravitate back toward sex. But work hard against that. You need to know each other as persons. You have to become each others best friend.

Every job has its good and bad points. When someone tells me that all the managers are bad or that everything is frustrating, I then note that there is one common point -- the person complaining. Each person is different, so when someone has problems with everyone, then most likely the problem is the person. I'm not saying this is necessary true in your case, but it is something you should think about.

Notice that you get frustrated, not just with your old managers, but also with your father and your sister. My guess is that you are trying to make everyone do what you think is right. But since everyone has their own mind, you can't control them and then you get frustrated. Your dad is an adult and has been living with his disease for a long time. He knows the food he shouldn't eat, but a diabetic finds sweets particularly attractive. Hmm, sounds familiar doesn't it? You know you shouldn't be having sex, but you keep giving in. "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:1-5). The solution here is for you to focus on what you can control, which is you, instead of trying to control the rest of the world.

For your dad, do him a favor and start making him healthy, non-sugar snacks. Whether he chooses to eat them is up to him, but if you make sure that he has good choices available, then perhaps he won't make bad choices so often.

Thank you for all the advice! It really helps. I appreciate it.

Well, yes, my boyfriend and I had a talk, like many others times, but we're serious now and want to do what is good in God's eyes. Not just that, but I want to do it from my heart!

We have a new job, thanks to God. My sister told us about a place that was hiring, and we got it! I've been praying to God and asked Him to help me out. I know He is but I never again want to part myself from Him!

You have a point. I try to give advice or try to help out friends, but I don't know if that is right or wrong, or am I just doing it wrong? What is the best way to give advice?

I am going to stop seeing what other people do wrong, or if I see it, just not say anything and just fix what I do wrong!

I'm really thankful to God for this web site you have. It's so helpful!

Advice is appreciate when someone first asks you for the advice. It is when you force your ideas on others that it is generally rejected. Advice, too, is more likely to be listened to when it comes from a known authority. That is why I cite Scriptures. "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 4:11). My thoughts are no better than anyone else, but God's thoughts make all the difference.

If you see someone is in need of good advice, you can always ask if they have ever considered what God said on the matter. Then leave it to them to think about it and make their own decision. There is a big difference between offering guidance and telling someone what to do.