Question

I'm not sure what I'm doing, but I had a question I wanted to ask. I'm a graduating senior and I'm in desperate need for help. What if I think about sexual thoughts, but I don't act on them? Does that make me a sinner? Or what if I have a boyfriend who keeps telling me he loves me and having sex will further prove his love to me? It's hard to resist, and I'm a strong willed person, but going into college I already know that people have casual sex all the time. It's normal for them but not for me. When I explain that I'm waiting until marriage to my friends and fellow students, everyone goes quiet, and it's awkward. After a couple of minutes everything goes back the same, and they ask me questions about it, some even tease me about it (but in a playful way). To simply put it, sometimes I'm embarrassed to say that I want to wait until marriage since it's such a common thing. Even though I say I'm embarrassed that doesn't stop me from saying it to other people who ask: "How many guys have you banged?" or "Have you ever slept with anyone?" I'm just scared whether my strength will diminish and everything I was taught about God will disappear. I want to be a good student who makes her parents proud, but I also want to have a social life and hang out my friends and boyfriend. I want to keep this in balance, but it's hard. I start college soon. I put up a tough exterior, but I'm scared.

Please help and pray for me.


Answer

"For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10).

Generally people get caught up in sin because they focus on the apparent short-term benefits, neglecting to see if there are long-term consequences. If you keep in mind that life is not about you and your wants, but about pleasing God, then decisions become easier. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

Yes, the world doesn't understand how sensible following Christ is. "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (I Peter 4:1-5). Being different from a world careening toward hell is a good thing.

I've been working on a series of lessons from Proverbs. It would be a good book to study as you get ready to go out on your own, but in particular I would like you to study: The Seductive Path and Consequences of Sexual Sin. These should begin to arm you against the tricks used to pull people into sexual sins.

You can be tempted with sex without sinning. No temptation can occur without Satan getting a person to think about sin. Jesus was tempted; yet, he did not sin because he saw the flaw in the offer and rejected it. You too may feel the pull of sex, but if you understand its dangers and reject it, then you avoid sin.

I don't know if you remember me, but I have a bad situation, and it's hard for me not to do anything sexual with him. He has touch me in inappropriate places, but it has never gotten far enough that we've had sex. I don't want to sin against God or disappoint my parents. Please help me walk in the path of light and do God's bidding. I'm scared my strength will diminish and I'll fall into temptation. Please help me. I need guidance.

Repeated exposure to sexual situations will break down your resistance. Your boyfriend knows this.

One of the problems is that you are focused on the end result. You have told yourself that as long as sexual intercourse doesn't take place you are all right. But this isn't what the Bible teaches. There are sins that occur long before intercourse takes place. See: I love him, but he keeps pushing for things I know aren't right and My boyfriend and I are trying to stop having sex, but we keep doing it.

It sounds like your boyfriend is one who wants sex and is pushing the limits in hopes that you will eventually give in. If that is the case, the only appropriate response is to dump him and look for a man who will respect you.