Question:

Hi,

My sister gave me this email because I am having a few problems. Actually I have been having problems all of high school.

One question I have for you is: What does being scared of God look like? How can you be scared of God?

I am scared for what will happen to me if I don't continue on my journey toward God. I am scared for my future with God. I am scared of what God will do to me if I keep disobeying. But what does being scared of Him look like?

I started out freshman year in high school with only two people by my side that I can trust over any other person. I had only one physical experience with boys before freshman year and that was when i was slow dancing with one -- no grinding or touching private parts. His hands was on my back and mine above his shoulders. I went to church, read my Bible, and talked about God a lot! I loved God and I loved knowing everything about Him ... well, almost everything. I loved to praise and sing! I talked about Him so much that people came to know me as the Gospel Girl. They would say "go to her if you have questions about the Bible."

After a while, I started hating being called that because that's all anyone every talked to me about. I didn't have any other acquaintances because I didn't know how to really talk about anything else or joke around at school. Over time I made new friends, and I started liking high school. I believe that my relationship with God slowly started to fade when I met my first love during sophomore year. He turned my world upside down. I wanted my parents to like him, so I introduced him to them, and they didn't like him. My mom told me to leave him alone, but I thought I knew him better than they did, so I chose not to. Was I wrong for not listening to them?

Well, eventually we ended up having sex. I believed that I loved him and he loved me. About two months later he started acting funny around me and getting annoyed. Then he stopped calling me. Didn't even talk to me at school. I guess we broke up because he started going out with another girl. It broke my heart. I was depressed for a year. During this time things at home got really bad as well. Physical, mental, and verbal abuse almost every day. And almost every day I cried. The whole time we were broken up I stopped going to church, and I stopped reading my Bible. My boss started scheduling me to work on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and I didn't care much, but I did thank God for giving me a job. I thanked Him for giving me a place to get away from all the pain, but after I did that I shut God out for a long time, and I don't know why I did it. Why did I block God out?

This is my senior year in high school and I met another guy. At first he didn't know much about his religion or beliefs, so I told him about mine. The more I told him the more interested he was. He joined a Christian Church at his college and purchased his very own Bible. I was so happy when he told me that. I asked him why he did all of that, and he tells me that the more he learned about it the more it seemed right to him. He told me he tried praying, and he felt something unbelievable in him. He said it felt good. It felt good to pray and read the Bible. He said he believes in Jesus. He prays every day and tells me what a gift I am. Am I really a gift to a man, even though I am unclean, and even though I shut God out for so long?

We have talked about sex before, and he tells me that I should be afraid of God, and that we need to avoid doing that. But for some reason I want to do it, a lot! I am trying to be strong. Then he tells me last week that if doing it is really important to me then we can have sex. I feel as though I am making him stumble in his journey for Christ. How do I keep myself from wanting to have sex so much?

When my sister sent me your link and I read some of the questions, it sparked something. I feel incredibly bad for all the things I've done. And for making my boyfriend feel guilty because he does not want to have sex with me. I have taken some advice from the other questions and they have helped so much.

I have one last question. How can I be reborn again? I want to be with God again. I want the happiness I used to have back.


Answer:

Every once in a while I receive a note from someone that makes me wish I could talk with them face-to-face. In your case, I really want to discuss things with both you and your boyfriend. However, I'll do what I can at the moment.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever" (Psalms 111:10).

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7).

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10).

I sometimes illustrate this with how you might view your dad. The illustration doesn't always work because not all of us have had good dads. But think back to times when you might have told your friends, "I can't do that. If my folks found out they would kill me!" You didn't mean it literally, but it did express an important concept. While you love your parents, you also feared their disapproval. Our relationship with God is the same way. A bit of fear keeps us in line. It encourages to listen to our heavenly Father because we know that God means what He says and He has the ability to carry out His promises. "Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off" (Romans 11:22).

You can find your way back to God, but not in the direction that you are currently going. Right now you are not only taking yourself further from him, but you are dragging newly forming Christian along with you. That is something that God really doesn't like. It is taking advantage of someone who is too spiritually weak to defend himself properly. "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!" (Matthew 18:6-7). It doesn't matter how badly you want sex, what matters is pleasing God and setting the proper example.

"Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old" (Proverbs 23:22). While parents can be wrong, they do have a lot of experience that shouldn't be ignored. The fact that your parents disliked your first boyfriend should have been an instant warning bell. They were seeing something in him that you were missing, and time proved them to be right. He was a boy who loved conquests. He conquered your defenses against sex. He had his fun and when sex with you no longer a challenge, he moved on to new girls.

That you didn't listen to them and that you gave in to sex is sad, but sadder is that you didn't learn from your mistake. You were sorry, but for all the wrong reasons. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death" (II Corinthians 7:10). This is why you spiraled into depression -- you gave up on yourself.

A part of the problem is that while you were sinking deeper into sin with this boy, you were pretending to be a good Christian, going to church and the like. When he dumped you, you blamed God and your religious life for not keeping him true to you. But the real fault was with the boy who used you for his personal pleasure. God warned you that fornication is sinful; that is, it causes harm. "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (I Corinthians 6:18). You discovered the hard way one of the harms it causes, but you continue to ignore the fact that it causes damage. Now you are moving to damage your current relationship with it.

One thing that many people do see at first is that once sex enters into a relationship, it ends up dominating it. The actual relationship -- getting to know each other as people -- stalls. Sex becomes what you do when you get together and it's what you talk about doing in between times. That is why most relationships fall apart after sex is introduced.

I would like you to read three articles that will help you better understand the situation:

You have a good thing going with this young man and I don't want you messing it up by repeating your mistakes of the past.

Now, let's talk about you. You've fallen into sin and it is long past time that you leave it behind. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 1:8-2:1). You are not marked for life. You are in sin only as long as you choose to remain there.

I don't know much about your past. I know you saw yourself as a Christian, but I don't know if you fully became one as God requires. I would like you to read: What Must I Do to be Saved? Consider carefully whether you've done all that God required of you and if not, make correction immediately.

We can't erase the memories of your pasts, but you can become a different person. You can look at your past and tell yourself that was bad and that you are so glad you are no longer that person. That is what God meant by killing off the old man of sin and becoming a new creation. "Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him" (Colossians 3:9-10). Change your attitude toward pre-marital sex, seeing how it damaged you before, and aim to live a pure life, saving yourself for the man whom you love and married.