I was searching the internet for advice on how to deal with something that happened earlier today, and I stumbled onto this web site. So I'm coming to you now in need of prayers and advice.
I've been dating my girlfriend for almost a year. She's from another country. I met her while she was here on a scholarship and we continued our relationship after she went back to her own country. She plans to return here in a few years, and I love her more than enough to wait for her.†She's the most amazing girl I've ever known. She's a godly woman, intelligent, strong, kind, and loving. She knows the sexual sins I committed with another girl in the past, and she readily forgave them when I confessed them to her. Her influence and my relationship with her have brought me closer to God and permanently changed my heart. I feel very strongly that God brought me to the area I live in now just so that I would meet her, and I believe He has plans for our future. We want to get married soon after she returns.
But this morning, talking on Skype, we were both overcome by our lust for each other for the first time. We exposed parts of our bodies to each other and masturbated together. When it was over, the knowledge and conviction of what we had just done immediately set in on us both.†
She started crying, saying that she felt like a prostitute, and I did my best to comfort her. She told me that I'm "just like every other man." She decided to go and pray about us, and said she might break up with me. I was planning to go to work but decided to stay home to fast and pray instead.
I just don't know what to do. I feel completely lost. I love my girlfriend with all my heart; I am convinced that she is the one meant to be my wife. Right now I'm consumed with two feelings: the guilt of what we did is burning and tearing through me like a knife, and the fear of losing the one I want to marry is suffocating.†I can't believe I allowed this to happen. I should have been stronger, I should have resisted temptation, but what's done is done, and I'm terrified of the future. I know that if we repent together, we can remain pure. I want our relationship with each other to grow alongside our relationship with our God, and I know we can do it if we stay strong together. But I'm scared that I may have killed God's plan for us.
So please, pray for me and her.
Please pray for our repentance, for her pain, for our relationship with God, for our relationship together, and that we'll have the wisdom and strength to do what's right in God's eyes. I pray that this doesn't have to be the end.†
Also, any advice you can give me would be very much appreciated.
Like so many your focus on not sinning is some ways made you blind to sins that were already taking place. "And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. "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 7:20-23). So while you are upset about what happened, and rightly so, what you need to realize is that sin was present long before you started exposing yourself. Until that problem is addressed, you are going to be without protection against future sins like what you did.
"Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren" (James 1:13-16).
So let's back up a bit to where this started. You both are young and you both are dealing with strong sexual desires. That is normal. It is how God designed us so that there would be a drive to encourage men and women to marry and have children. The problem is that Satan uses what is supposed to be a beautiful thing against to encourage us to sin. You've sinned sexually in the past, and while you've turned from your past, I don't know if anyone sat down with you to teach you about proper behavior.
You're right that the past can't be undone. But now that you see the problem, it is past time to make changes in your life.
The sin didn't start when you unzipped your pants. It started a long while ago in your thoughts. You are attracted to this young woman for good reasons, but you allowed yourself to fantasize doing inappropriate things with her. Perhaps you justified it as being not so bad because no actual fornication could take place with the distance between you. That is what I meant by saying you were focused on not committing one sin (fornication), but not noticing that another (lewdness) was taking root. Over the course of time, you took more freedoms. I'm positive that discussions about sex and sexual feelings were frequently entering your conversations. "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). I would suspect too that over the course of time you took other liberties in the past, appearing on camera wearing less than appropriate clothing.
Eventually the sexual tension built to the point you needed relief and that is when you gave in to masturbating in front of each other. What people fail to realize is that when a person is sexually arouse he doesn't think clearly. His ability to make good moral choices works at far less than full potential That is why it wasn't until you were finished that the true realization of what you had done came down like a ton of bricks.
"For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).
Can you repent of your sins? Yes. Can you keep this sin from repeating? Yes. But you have to face the fact that you can't erase the memory that you failed to behave as you ought to have done. While I can see your commitment to change, I don't know what your girlfriend is thinking or going to decide. Whether the damage is too great for her, I don't know. You are going to have to give her space to face her own sins and make up her mind about the cause and the potential for future failure.
Meanwhile, here are the rules that you two must follow until the day you marry.
- The topic of sex and sexual feelings is off-limits. It brings up thoughts of sinful acts and lowers your barriers to sinful behavior.
- You will always be properly clothed when on Skype. Nothing tight, nothing revealing.
- If either of you start stirring up sexual passion in the other, the other person can and should end the conversation immediately. You will not initiate it again until the next day.
- You will talk during the daytime and areas of the house where someone might walk in at any moment. I know this limits the times when you can talk, but you are less likely to compromise your principles if you are awake and if you think someone might hear what you are saying or see what you are doing.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-25).