Question:

Hello,

I'm currently going through a hard time right now. l guess I just need someone to encourage me.

My ex-boyfriend and I went too far. We went out earlier, but it didn't last very long. I broke up with him, but not because I had an issue with him. It was mostly because I wanted to concentrate on school as I was very behind and I was a Senior. Also the church was pressuring me to present us "friends," meaning just getting to know each other. In front of the church!I thought it was absurd. Ladies from the church would often make comments about us. I was not a strong Christian. I was just going because it made my mom happy. My dad had died a few years ago, so I was angry at God.

My ex-boyfriend is a worshiper. He helps my church with the singing, that's how we met. My mom was very happy when we stated going out. She thought he met all the requirements. She loves him very much. Everybody does, I guess. Even when I broke up with him, she would tell me to go back to him. He told her he still wanted to be with me. She thought he was perfect for me. Later on I started seeking God. I started to serve in the church and having arelationshipwith God. I overcame trials, such as gossip and jealousy in church. I startedorganizing dramas and events for the teenagers. Iguess you can say I was very active.

Around Novembermy ex and I got back together, but this time we agreed into keep it a secret -- big mistake! Everything was fine, other than we couldn't see each other that often because I worked and he had school. Then it happened. We were alone at home, and we did stuff. Never penetrated only dry humping and touching. I know it's very wrong. I had never feltsexual thoughts before in my life and I guess I kind of liked it. I had only one boyfriend besides him. That was several years ago, but we barely even kissed. My mom and dad never allowed me to have boyfriends until my recent ex. They always raised me well, not because of religion but because they didn't want me to end up like my mom -- pregnant at 16. This happened at least four to five times. I felt very guiltyevery time because I felt like I was betraying my parents and God. I had read about being pure and keeping our body sacred. I would ask God to forgive and tohelpme not fall into temptation again. The fourth time I told him that I didn't want to do it anymore. I felt dirty, guilty and a hypocrite because I was serving God at the same time. He agreed, yet it happened again.

Around this time I was named a youth leader at my church. I was very happy and exited, but I also felt unworthy. I felt like I need to completely transform my life to be able to do it, so God could work through me.

I thought the only way to stop this was by ending it. I told God to forgive me and to wash my sins away. I talked to my ex to end it, but he convinced me not to end it. He said it will never happen again. We made up. We even talked about going public and telling people on Sunday. After we talked that same day, I started having dirty feelings when we were kissing and the way he was hugging me. I know he did too. I guess for that reason I was very distant with him that week. I was really thinking about our relationship and if I should really stay with him and if I should go public. I asked God to give me an answer.

One day after youth group we went to watch a movie at a friend's house. There was this new girl. She had been visiting the youth group at least three time. She is a very pretty girl. I had notice my ex being very friendly with her before, but I thought he was just welcoming her and trying to make her feel comfortable, as I was trying to the same. But this night he was actually flirting with her -- in my face! I'm a girl, I know. I thought, well, this is my answer. I can't be with someone like that. The next day the youth went skiing. They both went, but I wasn't able to go. They went to watch a movie again. I had been wanting to talk to him but wasn't able to until a few days later. I told him we couldn't be together because it will be the only way to overcome temptation. I also mentioned the flirting thing and that I wanted to concentrate on church and college which I'm starting soon. He begged me to give him another chance and swore he wasn't flirting. It lasted some hours, but I didn't change my mind. He also confess he had flirted with her, but only to see what I would do, he claimed. I told him that I understood why he did it as I was very distant with him, but I was sure of my decision.

The reason I am sad now is because he talked to his Pastor and my Pastor that he couldn't be at the altar worshiping because he felt guilty about what happened. He told them the stuff he did with a girl. He told them it was me. He also talked to my mom. He didn't tell me he was going do that. He let me know last night that they were going talk to me about it. My mom and both pastors talked to me today. I am now in discipline. I cannot serve for an indefinite time until they decide. I feel so embarrassed now. I feel like everybody is going to know. I don't know how I'm going to explain to people when they ask -- mostly the teens. They told me to say I'm just taking a break because of school. I know they will know because he won't be singing either. I feel like I failed my parents. I can see it in my mom's eyeseven thoughshe doesn't say it. Also the teens who look up to me.I have been fired from my job as well. I know God is just testing me. I know God has forgiven me, and I shouldn't care what the world thinks, but it's just so hard. I have never felt more shameful in my entire life.

I know I wrote like a whole testament. Even if you don't read it, just by writing it felt good. Thank you. God bless.


Answer:

Your note brings up a number of issues that need to be addressed.

First, I need to make it clear that the church your are attending is not following the teachings of God accurately.

While both of you have been guilty of lewd conduct (Romans 13:13-14), it appears that the boy involved was the aggressor. Even when you tried to put a stop to the sin, he managed to tempted you to continue it. Because of that, your decision to break up with this boy was not only justified but should have been done sooner. "Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits"" (I Corinthians 15:33). You are correct that his desire to keep the relationship secret was a huge warning flag.

I'm not certain if his flirting with the other girl was really an attempt to goad you or a sign that he thought he could switch to another girl and that you wouldn't say anything. Either way, it is yet another sign that he has some serious character flaws.

I have mixed feelings about this boy's telling everyone about his sin. Normally admitting your faults is a good thing. "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). But he didn't do so until after you broke up, he didn't involve you though it was with you he sinned, and it seems he went out of his way to make sure everyone at the church you attend (and he only visited) knew what he did with you. I suspect that vengeance was part of his motivation. But it is also possible that he assumed he had your permission since you talked about making the sin known earlier.

But that is water underneath the bridge. People now know that you've sinned. Actually, it is the nature of sin that it isn't easily hidden -- "and be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). The actions taken were appropriate. A person involved in sexual sin shouldn't be with those vulnerable to sexual temptations until it is certain the issue is dealt with and past. All the leadership knows is that you did not admit to the sin until you were confronted with it. That they want to tell a lie about why you are being removed is not right. "And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"? -- as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just" (Romans 3:8).

Sin revealed is embarrassing. You'll just have to deal with it, knowing it is a consequence of your continuing to behave lewdly with a boy when you knew it was wrong. This is a time when it is best to swallow your pride. Hopefully, it will serve to keep you out of similar temptations in the future. Perhaps others knowing that the sin wasn't tolerated will also be motivated to stay out of similar sins.