Question

Before I started dating my current boyfriend I was a virgin. I had always wanted to keep myself until marriage. We are planning on getting married, though we have already fallen into sexual sin, but there has not been any real penetration. My boyfriend started having sex when he was 4 years old. He was introduced to sex by a maid (nanny). He told me he has struggled with this since then. He has gone for counseling, but he can only keep off for sometime and then it comes back. We both go to the same church. When we started dating, I used to tell him that we can't be intimate until marriage, but I compromised. I feel guilty about all this, but I don't want to lose him. How can we go back to purity until we get married?


Answer

"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it" (I Corinthians 10:13).

While I sympathize with your boyfriend -- no child should be sexually molested -- and I understand the trauma that it causes in making moral decisions; still, it does not excuse the fact that he sinned and led you into sin with him (Hebrews 13:4).

A part of the problem is that you have seen your commitment to sexual purity as something you have chosen to do, but it is more than that. Staying away from fornication is something God commands of you -- you really don't have an option in the matter if you are going to be a follower of God (I Corinthians 6:9-10). The issue is far bigger than your personal preference.

Another aspect to this problem is that you were more focused on keeping his penis out of you while ignoring all the sins you have been involved in that led up to your sexual sin. I find it interesting how you are trying to soften what happened to yourself. How does a couple have fake penetration? Since fornication is a sin, then what leads to fornication is also sinful. Stirring up sexual passion through touch is referred to as lewdness or sensuality. "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). Paul said, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman" (I Corinthians 7:1) and by that he is talking about sexual touching. You can't stir up the body's instinctive desires for sex and think you can resist.

Even thinking about doing things you should not do is a sin. I'm not talking about passing temptation, but the acceptance of doing something sinful if you got the chance. "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). Jesus' point is that sin begins in the mind and the place to first battle sin is there. You can't let yourself daydream of having sex or committing acts of lewdness.

Logically, if you aren't supposed to do or dream about doing the things that lead up to fornication, then it is just as wrong to talk about sex. "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). Personal phones and the ability to send private pictures has caused this to become a major stumbling block today. Because the other person is not present, we fool ourselves into thinking it is acceptable to discuss things we would never say or do in public. But the sin of uncleanness (dirty talk) is just as bad as any other sin.

You can return to proper behavior. While I can talk to you about your need to commit to staying away from all aspects of sexual sin, you'll find it nearly impossible to do so if your boyfriend continues to seduce you. For this to work, your boyfriend needs to be motivated to protect your purity as well. You don't owe him sex and it is a lie that allowing yourself to be used by him is keeping him out of sin. If he is willing, I would like to talk to him about his struggles. I suspect he has been battling them the wrong way, which is why he has been failing. Yet, he needs to master self-control if he is going to do well in life and reach heaven (II Timothy 3:1-7).

Dear sir,

I talked to my boyfriend about us going for counselling so that we can deal with this issue. He says that he doesn't think it will work because he has tried that several times and has not been able to stop. He actually said he has given up wth trying to stop premarital sex. He got so upset when I told him how guilty I have been feeling lately. He says he understands what I am feeling and walked out of my house.

I'm sorry that he doesn't want to try to live righteously. What he said was false. No one has to have sex -- people want to have sex. My guess is that he left because he realized that you were no longer going to let him have sex with you. He would rather find someone who doesn't care about fornication than to stay and live righteously.

Consider what life would be like if you married such a man. You would never know how many women he would be having sex with because he believes he has no reason to restrain himself. Adultery would be a constant problem.

Dear Jeffrey,

Thank you so much for taking time to listen to me. I think you are right because he later wrote me this text later yesterday: "I am no longer interested in this relationship. It is you who has a problem with God. As for me I don't have a problem because God understands my weakness. You sort out your issues with God and leave me out of it."

I have another issue. I always lose relationships because of purity. This always leaves me hurting. I think this time round I had compromised to keep the relationship, but the guilt was too much. I couldn't manage. How can I be able to know early enough if a man is after sex before I get into the relationship? I am tired of losing relationships all the time.

It may be where you are finding men to date that is the problem. If you want a man with strong convictions like your own, you need to look where such men are -- in church. It isn't a guarantee. There are sinners everywhere. But at least in looking in the right places you can increase your odds of finding a good man.

No one is a mind reader, but make it clear at the start that you are a Christian and that sex isn't an option until after marriage. If you find a guy who constantly brings up sex, texts sexual things to you, or touches in a sexual way, he isn't the right man (Ephesians 5:3-7; I Corinthians 7:1). Continuing the relationship will only continue the temptations. You have to see dating as the way of weeding out the bums from the gems and when you find a bum, don't be afraid to do some weeding.