Question

I got into a relationship with a guy at my church and it was going very well at first but I soon realized that I was thinking about sex. More specifically, sex with him. I thought that I had overcome the lust and the thoughts a long time ago, but turns out that it was getting more intense once we started spending time alone.

There came a time when we fell into sexual sin. At first it was only oral and we were so shocked at how we jumped from only talking about good things, like our personal lives and God, to this extreme of sex. We felt awful, we prayed about it and even kept a distance, but we willingly wiggled our way back into the sin except this time we went all the way. This happened a few more times until it came to the point where it was getting in the way of our relationship with God.

This time we set extreme boundaries, such as never being alone together, spending less time together and more time with friends from church, and continuing building our individual relationships with Christ. The unfortunate side is that we are a lot less dependent on each other for things like prayer because we feel guilty -- or at least, I feel guilty.

It's been two months and we've been doing great at keeping a distance from each other. My love for God is growing and He continues to speak to me through the Word, but I can't help but feel like even though we're doing better in this area, we shouldn't be together. We both care for each other and honestly just want nothing more than to obey God and be used by Him. We haven't quite found someone to hold us accountable overall, but we have asked his mom to hold us accountable at his house whenever I'm there. She makes sure to keep us away from his room, and my dad has always been strict about never being alone with him. We're very happy with the distance we've kept and the results we've gotten from following these guidelines, but is it wrong that we're still together and serving Christ after what happened? Are we supposed to break up, even though we aren't having sex anymore? He's been working on his thought life longer than I have, so it sometimes feels like it's not as much of a struggle for him because I never really took the time to work on this aspect of my life the way he did.


Answer

I'm bothered by the way you've expressed want happened in your note. You note that what you did was wrong, but there is softening of the impact of your sins. For example, you called it "only oral" as if this was a lesser sin than intercourse. It was this seeing sins as degrees of lesser sins that left the door open for eventually giving into intercourse. For a fuller discussion on this, see: What is or is not allowed between people when they are dating?

Another problem is that you talk about your sins interfering with your relationship with God because it was dominating your time. What is missing is the fact that when you entered into sin, it separated you from God from the very start. "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 59:2). This is one of the reasons why Paul warned Christians not to think that they can be involved in sin and reach 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'm glad you've taken steps to stop the sin and you have filled your life with better things. However, you do seem to hint that you continue to struggle with lust. If so, then you also need to work harder on your attitude toward sexual sin. Lust leaves room for acceptance of sin and there cannot be any.

There is no requirement that two people who have sexually sinned must break up. The reason to date someone is because you currently see yourself potentially marrying the other person. If you are not interested in marrying this boy, then it would be best to break up so he doesn't continue to waste time in false hope. But if you believe you will likely marry him, then you need to continue to work on the relationship by getting to know each other well so you can make a sound decision. The sexual temptation will always be there, and you cannot trust yourself to resist; therefore, the caution you have will have to continue up to the day you do get married.