Question:

I don't know if I feel guilty or not. Should I be wearing my purity ring?

I am dating a man quite a bit older than me. We have known each other for nearly three years but have only begun dating in the past two months.

I really liked this guy for a good couple of years, but he never wanted to take our friendship further, until recently. We are both born again Christians, Christ being number one in each of our lives. At the beginning of our courting we took things very slowly. We would go out and end the date with a "goodbye" or a small peck on the cheek.

But after our first month, my boyfriend asked if he could kiss me. I said yes. Now things have really begun to heat up. Kissing has led to passionately kissing, which has led to grinding, which has led to the touching and kissing of my naked breasts. The other night there we were kissing in his house, and he began to rub himself against me. He got faster and became more frantic to the point he had an orgasm, which didn't bother me. But now he has started to touch be below the waist line, and me with him. We have both agreed that it becomes 'too far' if we touch each other's naked genitals, but now I'm starting to wonder if it's just a matter of time before that happens the rate we are going.

I'm in my twenties and a virgin. He's in his thirties and had sex before he came to Christ. I take my purity very seriously, and have no intentions of having sex before marriage, but I'm starting to worry that I have no right to be wearing my purity ring. My boyfriend also believes that purity is very important and has no intention in having sex before marriage. I guess my question is have we committed a sexual sin in the eyes of God? Should I be wearing my purity ring? As much as I love my boyfriend I know that God is the only person in my life that will always be there for me, and I don't want to do anything that will anger Him or disappoint Him.


Answer:

Like a number of other people, you are focused on avoiding one sin, but ignoring the many other sins that lead up to it. You know you shouldn't commit fornication so you are trying to avoid intercourse, and you've placed limits but the limits are in the wrong place to avoid sin. Paul said to, "Abstain from every form of evil" (I Thessalonians 5:22), not just some of the ones you consider to be worse.

Sexual touching is also forbidden to unmarried couples. "Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman" (I Corinthians 7:1). Let's put it bluntly if things progress further to intercourse, you would not be able to claim it was unintentional. It is like walking along the very edge of a cliff and claiming you have no intentions of falling off. "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 6:27-29).

Solomon points out the problem when he asked, "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27). You can show a hot coal all the affection you want. You can cuddle it and dote on it and it will still burn you. Your kindness to it doesn't change its nature. How often do you hear someone say, "But I love him!" Solomon's point is that your feelings toward your boyfriend won't change the fact that both of you have built-in desires and capabilities for sex. Trigger them and they follow the instincts built into you.

Solomon also asked, "Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared?" (Proverbs 6:28). Using the same example of a hot coal, if you walk on it, it will burn you. You can apologize and say you didn't mean to step on it, but you'll still be hurt because your intentions doesn't change what it is. Thus, the excuse, "But I didn't mean for it to go this far!" becomes an empty one because your intentions doesn't change your body's drive.

That is why Solomon concludes, "So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 6:29). Though he is talking directly about adultery, the same point is true about fornication. When you start intentionally stirring up sexual feelings, you are never innocent when thing go further than you wanted. While you say you take your purity seriously, your actions state otherwise.

That is why we are told not to make room for lust and lewdness. "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:13-14). Lust is those thoughts and desires you keep battling about taking things even further than just taking off your blouse. Lewdness is engaging in sexual foreplay that gets the body ready for intercourse. The Christian must recognize the danger and not start a sequence of events that can't be legitimately completed.

Two unmarried people have no business exposing themselves to each other. The sole purpose of this is to inflame lust in each other. This is why God condemned the Israelites: "Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to your bottle, even to make him drunk, that you may look on his nakedness!" (Habakkuk 2:15). It shows a lack of respect for the other person because nakedness in front of someone you are not married to is supposed to be embarrassing. Being naked is called shameful by God. "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame" (Revelation 16:15). In the Old Testament God said He would expose Babylon's sins to their shame and He draws the same parallel. "Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame will be seen" (Isaiah 47:3). It was such an embarrassment that God used it to illustrate the exposure of sin in a person's life. What is said is that you weren't bother by this.

The problem isn't simply that you allowed a man to rub against you to the point of orgasm. It started long before you even started removing some clothing. It's been going on for a while in your mental acceptance that it is all right for a couple to engage in lewd behavior if they "love" each other. "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 7:21-23).

The issue with the purity ring is minor to other issues. You've let sin into your life and it needs to be dealt with.