Question

Hello,

I have this issue. It’s very big for me, and I’m very scared for a couple of reasons. I am currently 18 years old. I met this boy four years ago. He was okay looking, tall, kind of chubby, a real sweat heart. A Christian, like me. We became acquaintances, and two years later, we became friends. We started liking each other last year. And several months later, he became my first boyfriend.

I had never been in a relationship before, though he had. I loved how we were friends before we started dating, because there was already a little something emotionally there. We didn’t know each other completely, but we knew enough to want to try something out. The thing is that as the relationship started developing, we started getting closer to each other physically as well. I didn’t want to at the beginning of the relationship, but I guess I did. Also, I didn’t want to lose my first boyfriend, I come from a family where everyone married their high school sweet hearts. I finally had mine. I was happy. I am happy, I guess, with the relationship. I think of marrying him, I really do.

The problem is that we have fallen into fornication. We have never actually had sex, but we have gotten close to sex, and there has been oral sex, which is just as bad. I just tried to buffer that for myself there, I know we have sinned. I know we have sinned repeatedly. I know it is wrong, and I keep asking God for forgiveness because every time my boyfriend leaves my house I feel like such a failure. I don’t even know if God forgives me anymore, if He wants me as His daughter. It’s scary because in the heat of the moment you don’t know what you’re doing, but there’s always one second where I realize I’m making a mistake and I stop him. I start to cry or I just don’t want to talk to my boyfriend at all. It’s almost like I don’t know what I’m doing while I’m doing it, but there’s just a moment when boom, God just screams at me to stop and I can’t keep fornicating. Although, lately, that voice telling me to stop is getting quieter, and that worries me so much because I don’t want God to leave me. I feel like I’m losing Him to my sin. I don’t want to be governed by this sin. I want to be free in God again. I want to wake up knowing that He doesn’t see me as something disgusting. I want to be forgiven and I want to have the will to stop sinning like this.

My boyfriend sees things a little different than I do, he thinks that because we’re going to get married (that’s the plan at least; to get married after graduating college) that there’s nothing really all that wrong in oral sex and a little fondling here and there because it “isn’t really sex”. But we’ve talked and there have been times when we’ve agreed to stop, and we do for some time but then it happens again. It’s so frustrating because I know I’m making a mistake. It’s not that I can’t stop myself because I know I can, but if I can be sincere, in the moment it feels so good. And my feelings are what’s killing me.

We’ve almost broken up a couple of times. I feel like our physical relationship is tearing me away from God. I know it’s not all my boyfriend’s fault because it takes two. But I want God to forgive me because I really am sorry for failing Him over and over. I don’t like fornicating. Maybe in the moment it feels nice, but afterwards? I feel horrible afterwards. It isn’t nice. I’m afraid that God won’t want me anymore. I’m afraid that my boyfriend and I are just not meant to be together. We want to do things right, I want to be happy and I think He might just be the guy God wants for me, but what if he’s not? What if I’m just fooling myself, what if this is all wrong?

Is there still a chance for me to be saved? Would God forgive me again? I’m active in church, but lately I’ve been feeling stuck. Can God continue to use me? Can my relationship continue? Should it? How should we proceed, if we continue the relationship? What should we do? How do we stop fornicating? I don’t want to keep living a double life, I want to be clean because I feel so dirty in God’s eyes. I know nothing I do will ever make me clean (aside from the blood of Jesus), but this thing that is making me dirty is something I can control. Why does it feel like it’s not in my control? Why do I feel so helpless? It’s so frustrating because I want to please God, and I really feel like I’ve failed Him. I feel like I’ve failed everyone because this wasn’t part of the plan. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, I want a clean relationship. How do I get there? My boyfriend wants me to be happy, and he knows this is really taking a toll on me, and it’s taking a toll on him too, on the relationship as a whole because it’s so uncomfortable when we can’t look at each other in the eyes or talk like normal people after something happens. But my relationship with God is more important, and that’s the one I’m most worried about saving.

Please help. What do I do?

Thank you for your answers. Sorry for all those questions.


Answer

You have gotten to this point because you focused only one aspect of staying out of sin. Originally you figured that as long as sexual intercourse did not take place, then what you two are doing isn't so bad. Your boyfriend still feels this way, but you have started to realize that you gone farther than you wanted to go. But the real problem is that you put your boundaries in the wrong place. You've allowed lust and lewd behavior to take place. "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).

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 Solomon 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.

You've been allowing things to go too far because you think you have to maintain the same traditions as you family even though you and you boyfriend are not the same people as your family. Right and wrong are not determined by traditions but by God.

So let's lay out the plain fact. You two have been sinning and you can't remain in this sin and reach heaven (I Corinthians 6:9-10). You hint that he has been the aggressor in these sins, though once he has you sexually aroused, you willingly go along with his desires. The fact is that unless he agrees to stop because he understands he is in sin, it won't matter what you intentions are. He'll find a way to get past your guard and lead you back into sin. "Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals"" (I Corinthians 15:33). Agreeing to stop because you insist on it won't be enough because it won't be his desire to live pleasing to God.

He has to agree that there will be no more sexual touching or sexual talk until after marriage. If he doesn't, then he isn't a true Christian and will lead you down the wrong path. To minimize temptation, you and he will agree to only see each other when there are other people around. No more spending time alone at his place or your place.

You started out with friendship, but right now sex had dominated your relationship. Everything revolves around the next time you can get together to act like animals. Conversations center around sexual talk. This isn't the way to build a relationship that will last a lifetime.

If he doesn't agree, then you have your answer -- he is not a good enough man for you.