Question

Hello,

I am a 16-year old Christian girl. I have been dating with my current boyfriend for more than a year. Few months ago we had sex for the first time. I never had a boyfriend before, and I have never been in love. This is also my boyfriend's first relationship. My question is: Is it really bad that I've lost my virginity to the person I want to spend my whole life with? I know I'm only 16, but I take marriage very serious and so does my boyfriend. He was also raised in a Christian family. We are already planning to get married as soon as we graduate, so we can attend college as a married couple. I always wanted to wait before marriage but it just didn't work. We both felt like we were ready for it, and I haven't felt guilty for a single second. I am not a skanky girl or something, I'm actually a really good student and quite smart for my age, and I do believe in God and try to do what He wants me to do.

The fact that I don't regret it makes me even more doubtful: did I do something really wrong or is it all okay? I truly love him, and so does he. My mom is a very faithful woman and when I told her, she said it was okay because she sees our love, and she knows how it feels to be kept away from the person you really love. Her mom was strictly against dating before she went to college, and that ruined her entire life -- she didn't marry the boy she wanted to marry.

It feels like God has sent my this boy as a gift because I have been through so much in my life. I have been abused as a child for 5 years. I really believe that this boy is the only one for me. We even started saving for our future life together!

Please, can you share your thoughts on this with me? I really need your opinion! Thank you so much!


Answer

When two people, who are not married, have sex, the word for it is "fornication." Some of the newer translations think fornication is too old of a word, so they use terms like "sexual immorality" or sometimes just "immorality," but these terms are so vague that you sometimes read right over them and don't realize what is being said.

"But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner--not even to eat with such a person" (I Corinthians 5:11).

"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).

"Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21).

"Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).

"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8).

These are just a few of the verses dealing with two people having sex without being married. As you can see, God takes this sin very seriously. Yet, you believe there should be an exception and you offered a variety of excuses:

  1. We are both Christians. That means you knew what you were doing was against the law of God, but you did it any way. Real Christians don't justify sinning. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2). So what you are saying is that you follow Christ only when you happen to agree with Christ's laws. As Jesus once asked, "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).
  2. We intend to marry. The statement is an admission that you know that you are not married. Intentions are not the same as reality because there is little that we control about the future. "Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil" (James 5:13-16).
  3. We take marriage seriously. Excuse me? After what you just did and the excuses you are offering for it? Your actions speak differently from your words. "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:16-20).
  4. We were going to wait, but it just didn't work. You are stating that you had no patience to live life as God commanded. "Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret-it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth" (Psalms 37:7-9).
  5. We both felt like we were ready for it. You put your personal feelings and wants ahead of what you knew God commanded. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26). Every act of sex carries the possibility that pregnancy will occur. There is no contraceptive that takes the possibility of pregnancy down to zero. Given that fact, were you ready to have a baby at 16? Was he ready to support a child? I submit that you were ready to experience the pleasure of sex, but you are in no position to accept the responsibilities that can come as a result of sex.
  6. I don't feel guilty about it. I think this is the saddest statement of all. It means you've burnt out your conscience. "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron" (I Timothy 4:1-2).
  7. I'm truly in love. "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth" (I Corinthians 13:4-6). We already established that you were impatient. But also notice that you acted unbecomingly and you are rejoicing in your sin. You believe you are in love, but Paul shows that you don't really understand what love is.
  8. I'm not skanky. By that you mean you don't have sex with just anyone. But fornication is not determined by the number of people you have sex with, just whether you had sex without being married. You statement is equivalent to saying "I'm not a thief because I only rob one store."
  9. I'm a good student and smart for my age. Which seems to prove that even smart people do dumb things at times. "Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" (I Corinthians 1:20).
  10. My mom approves. I'm sorry, but your mother doesn't have the right to overrule God. A parent's job is to teach God's Will, not give permission to ignore God. "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).
  11. God gave me this boy. By this you are basically claiming that God wanted you to break His commandment. "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren" (James 1:13-16). Or another way to look at it is that God gave you a precious gift, you dirtied it, and since God knew you weren't going to wait for marriage, it is His fault for you giving it. "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).

What you and he did was wrong. You slapped God in the face and now are too proud to admit that you sinned. "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2). It doesn't mean your situation is hopeless, but you have to let go of your pride. "Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:4-10).

You both need to honestly admit to God that you sinned without offering any excuses or justifying yourselves. "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). Then you two need to radically change so that people who meet you a year from now would never guess that you had sex together. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11).

Don't be like the adulteress: "This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, "I have done no wickedness"" (Proverbs 30:20).

First of all I wanted to thank you for taking the time to answer my question. But I think that you misunderstood me. It was never my intention to make myself sound "proud about my action." I just shared with you my feelings about what I did. And it's very painful to be judged so harshly, like I have done something terrible. I do understand that I did something that is against the Bible. But I gave some arguments to make you understand why I did what I did.

First of all it has to do with my hard life. I never wanted to claim that this boy is a reward for my suffering, and God will make an exception for me. In fact, my virginity has been taken from me at the age of 5. So that could be another reason why I didn't feel guilty anymore after my "first time." My morality has been deformed after all the dirt I have experienced. So this didn't feel like a big deal anymore.

And the whole thing just happened. We never wanted it to happen. But what happened, happened. My mom wanted me to wait until I got married. When I told her about us, she was disappointed but accepted it after a while. What I meant by "she's okay with it," is that she doesn't make a big deal of it anymore. She has fully accepted the fact that I lost my virginity to this person. What could she do about it?

When I contacted you for the first time, I expected guidance and help, maybe a bit of compassion, but right now I feel really bad and judged so severely. I am sorry if I gave you the wrong impression about my thoughts, or if I expressed my story in a wrong way.

But my main worry is: What should I do now? Am I really that bad? Has God turned His back to me now?

After I read your answers, I cried an whole hour. I felt a horrible person and like there isn't a bit of goodness in my soul. I'm not a bad person. And I'm certainly not proud. I love God, and respect Him. I believe in Him. But I simply have trouble with being truly religious. After my mental breakdown, I stopped going to church. I just couldn't take it. I really don't know why. The doctors said I have a mental disorder, and I collapse as the pressure gets too high. My recovery is very slow, and I'm planning to return to my church now. But it will take some time for me to be able to do that. The answers just really affected me, and it's all I can think about. They made me feel filthy and wicked, especially with a nervous system like mine.

Again, I'm not trying to explain away my deed with excuses -- not at all. I just want you to understand how a weak person I really am. I can tell you that you have really touched my soul and heart. I have a lot to think about and I hope that you will stay in touch.

Thank you.

Written communication is always difficult. We are so used to verbal tones and non-verbal clues to modify what we say that when we write where those things are not present, we don't realize what we are really saying. One of the things that I do is feed back what people write in different words so that they can see in a new light what they are communicating. Sometimes people find it upsetting, especially when they meant nothing of the sort.

In your first note, you basically asked if what you and he did was really all that bad. My aim was to show you that, yes, what you did was wrong and to make you aware of the many ways you were excusing the event to yourself. Many people do what you had done when they don't really want to take responsibility for the events in their lives. But the first step in healing is to see the damage done clearly.

What you and he did was bad, there is just no getting around that fact. But I don't think that you are bad -- misguided, perhaps, or a bit naive concerning the dangers of sin. One thing that wasn't clear to me from your notes is whether this just happened once or if it is continuing.

Paul once has to scold the brethren in Corinth quite strongly, it resulted in the book we call I Corinthians. After hearing the reaction that this rebuke generated, Paul wrote this: "Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:9-11). You definitely have the sorrow, so the next question is whether that sorrow drives you to make changes for the better in your life. That is what I wrote about briefly at the end of my first note. You are correct that what was done can't be undone. But you can tell God that you understand now that it was wrong, and change how you behave in the future.

God doesn't see sin as permanent. People can change and leave sin behind. As God told Israel: ""Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways," says the Lord GOD. "Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!"" (Ezekiel 18:30-32). God looks at who you are, not who you used to be.

In that changing, I would like you to realize something important. What happened did not "just happened." Sex isn't an accident waiting to happen. In fact, you told a different story in the first note, when you said, "We both felt like we were ready for it." That implies that you thought about and discussed having sex long before the clothes came off. While you are realizing that fornication is a sin, you haven't given much thought to all the other sins that led up to you committing fornication. There were acts of lewdness, touching where your hands did not belong, and the lust you both allowed in your thinking. "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).

I'm really sorry that you experienced sexual abuse as a child. But you don't have to let those awful events of the past define who you are. Those were done to you. You can choose what you do.

One more thing, while you change your behavior and thoughts about sex when you are not married, it will be hard to change if your boyfriend isn't going to change as well. He, too, has sins that he needs to deal with and it won't do if one of you changes but the other is constantly offering temptation. I'm quite willing to talk to both of you because my aim is to have both of you back on the right track to a good life and a home in heaven.