Question

Hello,

I've seen a similar story about a man that was in a relationship with his girl while unmarried on this website and I felt inspired by your honest response to him. I want to challenge myself to be as close to God as possible and I haven't found the right person, yet who would respond to me with the honesty that you probably would. I just need your response to the problem that I'm facing.

I'm a 19 year old student. I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend, who is 20, for over four years now. I love him with all my heart and he loves me back just as much. We have been intimate countless times throughout these years. We grew up together and i can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. I'm not blinded by passion, I'm not scared I'll never find someone else to love me, not at all, and I am being honest, I just genuinely love him to death. Not a day goes by that I think that I could be anything less than happy to see him and hug him. All of these years have gone by, we were kids, we became young adults and we are still not sick of being around and loving each other. We seem to have a bond that not many have. We are each others best friends, we connect in an emotional level and we do plan to get married in time.

He doesn't believe in God the way I do, but he has the gentlest and the brightest soul that he often tries to hide from the world in fear that he might get hurt.

For a few months now, I've been believing in quite an intense way for our society's standards. I don't want to scare him away by asking him to make such a sacrifice for something that he doesn't even know if he believes in. I can't deny him myself until we are ready to support ourselves financially and mentally in a decent home and a career.

My background isn't quite religious, so I was never forced to follow God's Word, nor I was ever told about His Word, even though I was baptized in the Christian Orthodox church and my parents were married in a church, and lived my life by His rules. It was quite the opposite: I've always been encouraged to go through many people before deciding to settle down and have a family. I know for a fact that both of our parents would do anything to stop us if we decided to get married so soon. We are both students in universities, we both still live with our parents, and we are fully dependent on them.

Recently, I became really close to God when something truly eye-opening happened to me. After that day I've dedicated all my heart and all my soul to Him, and I pray to Him multiple times a day, praising Him, thanking Him for every single thing that I'm blessed with. After what happened to me, I could never return to my old ways of not believing because I would feel like the biggest hypocrite that ever walked on earth.

I've been struggling to find an answer and I'm willing to stay sleepless for days praying that He will give me time. I could just use my excuses and go on with living my life, but I can't at this point. I'm fully aware about what I do and if I was to choose to  ignore God, I would have no excuse in the end. Do you think there's any chance our marriage can wait only a few years? I'll never stop praying every day for forgiveness, I'll confess to a priest, I'll become as good in His eyes as I possibly can in any other aspect, and I'm willing and determined to do all of these things.


Answer

You believe in God, not because of what He said, but because of what you interpreted an experience as being. This type of faith is weak because its foundation is you. Your experience doesn't really tell you about who God is. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). For a better understanding, see The Lord Your God is an Awesome God!

One of the things you should realize is that God means what He says. His laws are not negotiable by men. Yet, you want to obey God but only on your terms. You know the fornication you are involved in is wrong; yet, you are looking for acceptance of your sin for a period of time. The result is that you are of two minds regarding whether you really think your sin is wrong. "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).

It isn't a matter of how many times you ask for forgiveness or confess your sins. The question is whether you have changed your attitude and behavior in regards to sin. In essence you are trying to gain forgiveness without repentance.

The reason fornication is wrong is because it causes harm. See: Marriage's Glue and Dealing with the Effects of Pre-Marital Sex. God's Law against pre-marital sex is an attempt to keep you from harm. "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?" (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).

Therefore, you do need to sit down and consider if you are going to seriously be a Christian. You can't be a partial one -- as you noted, that is hypocritical. Being a Christian is more than giving up sin, it is a total lifestyle that involves obeying God. It involves your choosing to follow Christ. Up until recently, the decisions have been made by your parents, but those decisions do not make you a Christian. See: How to Become a Christian.

From a Christian's viewpoint, sin is not an option. You want to excuse your current fornication because it isn't convenient, but that is a worldly way of thinking. Either you and your boyfriend decide that God is more important so you are going to give up sex until you get married, or decide to live life the way God requires, which means getting married. "But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (I Corinthians 7:8-9). Each choice has consequences. The choice to forgo sex may lead to your boyfriend abandoning you because the relationship is really built on sex and not companionship. Getting married means you both have to step up and be responsible for your own lives. You will no longer be dependent on your parent's finances. Yet both choices are righteous before God because neither involves continued sin.