I'm in my early twenties, and I'm a Christian. I'm been with my Christian boyfriend for over two years now. Since we've been dating, we have pretty much been sexually active for a while now. I am not regretting this decision, but as a Christian I'm worried if this is wrong. I am doing this because I am in love and plan on marrying this man, and, yes, I know things can change. But basically the only things keeping me from marrying this guy are college and not a lot of money. We are also adults and know more about what we want than in our previous relationships.
Is this all still a sin, even though these are some of the reasons I've made my decision? I also worry if this will affect my future and my marriage. Since now we cannot experience making love for the first time when we are married. I know that you shouldn't keep doing things if you know that they are a sin. I don't know what to think or what to do. I am doing this because I am in love. Please help me.
Morality, what is right and wrong, is not based on feelings, intentions, or age. God defines right and wrong, not man. "O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). God told the Israelites, "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). That hasn't changed in the New Testament. God gives us laws to guide us into doing what is right. The laws are not arbitrary, nor are they harsh. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (I John 5:3).
Sin is simply going against God's laws -- doing that are harmful to you, whether you recognize it or not. "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him" (I John 3:4-6).
Your note makes it clear to me that you know you are violating God's law. Oh, you claim to be a Christians, but it is just an empty word to you because in reality you follow Christ when it is convenient to you, but if you rather do something else, you have no problem ignoring God. You and your boyfriend are committing fornication each time you have sex. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). You want to claim exceptions to God's laws, but I think you are ignoring the fact that you will be explaining this to God himself one day. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). How will you claim a right to break God's laws? If you say you did it because of love, Jesus will remind you, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).
You already admitted knowing that intentions don't always lead to reality. Let me put it this way: Why not simply admit God is right, repent of your sins, and stop having sex until you two are married? If for no other reason, you'll stop taking the risk of conceiving a child. If you can't afford college and living together as husband and wife, then you certainly can't afford a child.
By the way, the "we can't afford to get married" is usually an empty argument. You two are able to afford to live separately. Being married actually cuts down on bills as you share housing and utility costs. So what if you can't have a huge, elaborate wedding? With a bit of creativity, you can do a lot more for a much less than you'd think. People can and do get married for next to nothing all the time. What is more important is doing things right, not doing things your way.
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). I would rather see you in heaven. I know you don't regret your decisions, but I don't want you to regret those same decisions when you stand before God in judgment.