I'm glad I came across your web site. I am a born-again believer who God has used to become a blessing to many students in the area of sexual purity. I am in a situation that I would require your advice.
Last year, I met a female friend while working in an a certain organization. After knowing her for sometime, I realized she was not born-again. After talking to her about the importance of salvation, she decided to follow God, and I even led her to Christ. I kept on encouraging her in the Lord and her spiritual growth has been perfect. We became close friends and this year we began dating as I found her to have the majority of the qualities I looked for in a mate. She also felt the same. She was single and I was single.
After sometime, she got a job and last week I decided to pay her a visit. I had made a conscious decision that I would sleep at a friend's house who had agreed to accommodate me as he lived in the same area. On the day when I arrived, the man was not in and his phone was off. My girlfriend begged me to spend the night at her place, to which I objected since in the past I had struggled with a sexual addictions and I knew the dangers of being alone together with members of the opposite sex. However, she convinced me that all would be well, arguing that there was an extra bed that I could use. I gave in.
To cut the story short, we ended up sleeping together and engaged in sexual immorality for the two days that I was there. I deeply regret it because it was I who initiated the act. I feel sorry for setting a wrong example to her. After realizing that we were off track, we repented and decided that we would never put ourselves into tempting situations again when together.
Please advise me on the following: Did we make the right decision by repenting alone or we should go a step further and break up, considering this is the first time we messed up and it was not intentional? True repentance demands change from evil and things that might lead to same sin in future. If I continue seeing her, will I be jeopardizing true repentance? Would it jeopardize my ministry work considering I am actively involved in preaching against sexual immorality to students based on my past? She has also been accompanying me to such missions. Would it be advisable for her to accompany me to such missions in future if we do not break up?
Other than what happened, we have been relating well on other issues and we enjoy each others company. We haven't met since that incidence occurred because I felt it would be wise for me to get more advice before meeting her.
I thank you as you clarify the above to me since I would never want to be called a hypocrite and would want to live what I preach. I want to have a clear conscience as I serve God with all my strength and to remain sexually pure until marriage.
May God bless you
Allow me to cover what went wrong before getting into how to best handle this situation.
"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified" (I Corinthians 9:24-27).
Though you knew you had a weakness in the area of sexual sins, you allowed yourself to compromise your principles because of the immediate situation. You knew you were not to be alone with a woman in her house, but you decided to stay thinking that you could resist the temptation Satan was offering you. She on her part was a new Christian, but she knew that sex outside of marriage was wrong since you were teaching this and she has attended. It would also mean that she knew you had a weakness in this area, yet she wanted you in her house anyway.
One of the problems is that since you have been teaching on sexual issues, you can't say you didn't know. "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment" (James 3:1). I think what bothers me most is when you said, "it was not intentional." It may be what you told yourself, but each step was intentional. You knew where this could lead and but continued down the path anyway. It is particularly bothersome because you said, "it was I who initiated the act." You didn't just happened to fall into bed together. You chose this course. Nor was a one time mess up. You engaged in fornication over a course of two days. It stopped mostly because you had to leave, not because you wanted to stop.
The reason I'm pointing this out is that you can't truly repent until you face the fact that there is no excuse for the sin you committed.
In regards to your relationship with her, it all depends on the commitment both of you have to following God's laws. My advice is that you both go overboard in making sure neither of you are alone with each other. You invite others to chaperone when you travel together. You only meet each other in places where others are present. You have to take the attitude that you are protecting the woman you love from danger, which includes protecting her from yourself.
In regards to your teaching, it again depends on what you are setting yourself up as an example for. If you are willing to say that you haven't always followed God's teachings and you messed up when you didn't follow God's advice, then there will be honesty in what you present. If you try to tell the youth that once you became a Christian all the sins of your past stopped, then you'll be lying and a hypocrite.
Thanks a lot for your feed back. I found it valuable and precise.
Concerning the predicament I was in, we decided to confess to the pastor what happened and he prayed for us. The next day after confession, she got baptized by immersion.
We made a conscious decision that if we are to ever meet, it must always be in public. We decided to not continue with the relationship but remain as distant friends. This is because each one of us needed more time to focus on our vertical relationship with God. We also noted that the more we kept on meeting, the stronger the relationship became. I personally felt that continuing to dating her was not a wise idea. My reasoning being she needed to mature spiritually and to focus on her studies. She also concured with this.
Initially, I was more of a mentor to her, but I directed her to a female friend who is much more spiritually grown to mentor her. We rarely communicate as compared to before.
Are the above measures viable? I fear God and I would not want to engage myself situations that would make me go against what I preach. A scripture that was impressed upon me was Romans 2:21-24.
God bless you.
These are all sound steps and I'm glad you made them. They are the same type of rules you should have with all people of the opposite sex.