Question:

My fiance and I have been together for several years. We have decided mutually that we would not have sex or any sexual contact until we are married. We are both very happy with this decision, and plan on getting married shortly after I graduate college. We both know that it is a sin to perform in any sexual act before we are actually married, and we know that it is a sin even to lust after one another, but my question to you is this: Is it wrong in the Lord's eyes to fantasize about a sexual relationship with her (or any other woman, for that matter) without the actual desire to act upon those thoughts, as there is no way that I would act upon these feelings? I have read several of your other posts, and I have noticed that you've said that lack of opportunity is one of things keeping people from acting upon their desires. Well, trust me, there is much opportunity, and I'm sure we are both anxious to have a sexual relationship with each other. But we are most definitely saving it for marriage. I hope I have made it clear what I'm asking.


Answer:

Fantasizing about what you cannot rightfully have is lust. While opportunities to act upon your lust have arisen, you have so far been able to resist the temptation to go further. The problem with lust, though is that by focusing at times on sinful situations, you gradually wear down your resistance. It is hard to thing about any sin for a length of time and not get to the point of mentally accepting it. "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). What can happen is a process of justifying what you've thought about. "Well, we're going to get married anyway, so what harm is it to jump the gun a bit?" Or something along that line.

Another problem is that your imagination is wilder than reality. You can set up expectations which can't be met.

You have commitments to keep -- to God and to your fiance. Temptation is hard enough to resist without adding extra pitfalls to your effort.

Thanks! That helps a lot.