Question:I am a university student. I have a problem regarding sex before marriage. I want to have a healthy relationship with God and also have God be happy with my healthy relationship with my girlfriend. We try not to have sex even though we have done it. We pray for forgiveness each the time we commit sexual sins. We even fast, read our Bible daily, and try to go to church every day just to make sure that we glorify God. But in some situations at school we tend to go over our boundaries. Can you help us so that we glorify Jesus Christ with our pre-married relationship?
"Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations -- "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using -- according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh" (Colossians 2:20-23).
There are several reasons why you are not being successful. One of which is pointed out by Paul in the passage above. You're treating your service to God as if it were a balance. Sure you put some bad things in on one side, but as long as you put more good things on the other side, then you'll be all right.
It doesn't work that way. When King Saul changed God's orders to destroy the Amalek nation, he thought those changes would be acceptable if he made sacrifices to God. Samuel asked, ""Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?" And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal." Then Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams."" (I Samuel 15:19-22).
The problem is that Saul was making up ways to justify his sin. God didn't say, "Oh, and if you do bring some back, you'll have to sacrifice it to me." Saul was putting his own restrictions on himself as if that made up for going against God's laws.
You are doing the same thing. You are imposing on yourself fasts, Bible studies, and attendance at church, but where has God said that these things make up for sins committed? As you are finding yourself imposed restrictions do not solve the problem. They do not prevent you from indulging in sex when you are not married. All you manage to do is make yourself feel a little bit better because you are at least doing something.
The sad thing is that you don't realize the damage that the two of you are doing to each other. You call your relationship "healthy," but it isn't. "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Corinthians 6:18-20). It might seem like an odd way of seeing things, but when you commit fornication with your girlfriend, you are not sinning against her, you're sinning against yourself.
Why? Sex creates a bond between individuals. It is not just the physical union of coupling. There are also emotional and spiritual ties that are formed as well. But the problem is that a sexual bond is weak. It can't, by itself, hold to people together. One reason God placed sex within marriage is because the covenant of marriage creates a stable foundation for a relationship and then sex enhances that relationship. But in your case you are just friends. You have not real commitment to each other beyond your words. Your friendship can crumble at any time.
What ends up happening is that you erode your ability to make and keep long term relationships. Paul warned the Corinthians that even visiting prostitutes would harm their ability to bond with Christ."Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him" (I Corinthians 6:14-17).
It also appears that you make little or no effort to avoid situations where you will be tempted. Unmarried men ought not to be alone with an unmarried woman. You shouldn't be visiting each other's dorm rooms. If you kept your visits to places where other people would see you, there would not be the temptation to take your clothes off.
No one is going to make you not have sex. Satan is always going to try tempting you. The problem is that you are making Satan's job too easy.