Question:

Hi there,

I've came across your site and read a few articles on what you've been writing on with regards to sex outside marriage and all. I have a little problem and I would like to discuss with you.

I've been dating my girlfriend for almost about half a year now. I take relationships very seriously and before her, I've only had one ex-girlfriend. Being with her is fun, laughter and everything else. However, one thing that kind of bothered me, in a way, is that she's not a Christian. You'd probably think that I'm labelling myself as a Christian, but I do not behave appropriately as one; however, I really do hope you could help me out in this case.

My girlfriend has had intercourse before with her ex as well as the past boyfriends she has had. I know it's normal in a way for those to do it since they do not know what God really wants for them -- the best He could ever give. I believed in sex after marriage, however, I was wrong, and in the end, I gave in and succumb to sin. I lost it. To me that was a pretty hard blow as my virginity isn't something I could get back. However, instead of being guilty and fearful of what the Lord might punish me for doing, I felt that it was sort of 'normal'. Like in my head there's a voice saying it's all right since it's only you and your partner having intercourse and all. I knew this point was wrong. Even though so, I'm still a sinner and, yes, I do have intercourse with her regularly. And reading your article, I wouldn't deny that it's more about lust than I would say, I love her and that's why I did it with her.

I know being with a non-Christian girlfriend or partner would have different conflicts, concepts on stuff, and conclusions on how things are when it happens or not, such in my case, sex. Well, I'm 20 and she's 18 this year, I pray to God that I would have known a way to deal with it and I hope to bring her close and she would experience God and to agree with me that God's will be done on earth instead of ours.

I hope you could guide me and help me on this topic. I wouldn't want to just let go of this relationship because this and that happened, but I hope to be able to change and improve it with the help of God in our relationship where it is honorable to Him. Please help!


Answer:

You understand that claiming to be a Christian while continuing in sin doesn't make sense. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2). Therefore, to straighten out the mess that you've gotten yourself into would require bringing the sin to an end. There are a number of ways that this could be done:

  • You could break up with your girlfriend.
  • You could both agree to no longer have sex until you get married.
  • You could get married.

You gave into sin long before you had intercourse with your girlfriend. You just refused to see it as sin and to see where it was heading. It started with your lust (Mark 7:21-23), it progressed to sexual touching (I Corinthians 7:1), you went further into lewdness (Romans 13:13-14), and eventually you committed fornication (I Corinthians 6:9-10). It wasn't just the end that was the problem, but the start of the progression of sins.

You don't have to stay in sin. That is a lie that Satan tells. ""But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"" (Ezekiel 18:21-23).

The problem you are going to run into is that your girlfriend is likely not to go along with you in this change. She doesn't believe in God nor is all your sinning leading her closer to God. Likely she will set out to tempt you to continue to see if you really mean it. She is likely to conclude that you don't love her anymore because she believes the lie that people in love have sex. I'm just warning you that even as you try to please God and keep her, it may not happen because she won't go along with you.

You'll have to decide how much you love God. "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind'" (Matthew 23:37). The problem of sins is always fixable, but it does require loving God first.

Hi Jeffrey,

First of all, thank you so much for your reply. It was what I hoped to get!

Well, today I kind of talked about it with her. She was pretty silent about it. I know non-Christians and Christians might have different beliefs and everything else.

Thanks for your reply. I've really thought about it. It made some sense to me. On top of that, the feeling of guilt overwhelms me when I think back on the time when I gave in to lust and broke my promise to God. For years I kept my virginity. I do regret it and I hope not to go near it again. I always believed that God would make a way for us as I tried to do my part. I do know one thing for sure, for a relationship to work out, God has to be the center of the relationship. Even though my girlfriend says that she's slowly learning to trust God, but I felt that it was more of an obligation because she wanted to be with me. It started last fall and slowly escalated until it brought me to where I am right now. To be honest, I had no intention of getting into a relationship that God wasn't involved in. However, now I am attached to this girl whom I thought God would change her. I know it's pretty foolish to continue being together with her. I know that it's either

  1. I continue, following her and giving in to her ways as she wanted to, and falling deep into sin; or
  2. I change and be firm in my stand with the Lord's Word. To obey Him is what I should do most.

I landed myself into a plight where I know that I should trust God with all my heart. I do trust Him. I told myself that even if one day God wants to end this relationship for my sake, I would sacrifice and obey His will. But one thing that worries me a lot is that I really do not know what is the next step I should be going right now, since I talking to my girlfriend about this. Talking about sexual things isn't something that I really am pleased or interested in talking about. However, I know that our hormones and our thoughts may lead us there if we're not careful enough. Hence, I try to avoid sexual topics as much as possible as I know I shouldn't be opening the door to sin. I should just resist it instead of talking about things that may 'start a fire' and end up sinning against Him. I just pray that you'd be able to talk to me about it and teach me hwo to really solve this situation that I'm in. I don't want to hurt her. I do love her and am concerned about her. "It's ridiculous," she might say or think why am I, the guy, not wanting to have sex when you know the guys in this world are jumping into sex when they can. But I know I'm not. Yet, saying it, I know the devil tempts me to go near it and play with it. It's really hard to know how to handle situations like this with a partner who isn't a Christian. When problems arise, I look to God, but she looks to herself and her own strength and wisdom to solve them.

Jeffrey, I'm really in need of help. I'm really thankful for your reply. Please guide me with some passages or verses to read, if possible. Guide me regarding my thoughts and actions on what to do in this relationship. I want to get closer to God. Thank you so much.

I notice that you often fail to follow your intentions. You wanted a relationship with God at the center, but you pursued a girl who does not believe in God. You wanted to remain a virgin until marriage, but you dated a girl who thinks there is nothing wrong with sex before marriage. I suspect that you were looking for God to prevent you from making bad choices and then were surprised where your choices led you.

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 her!" Solomon's point is that your feelings toward your girlfriend 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. Worse, you set up a situation for yourself that was contrary to your stated intentions.

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. You have to act in a matter consistent with the conclusion you want to achieve.

"But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall" (Matthew 7:26-27).

I gather that in talking with your girlfriend that she was insulted that you said that having sex with her was wrong. She doesn't want you imposing your beliefs on her. Thus, you have to decide which is more important to you. That is a decision I cannot make for you. God won't force you to be righteous. He is looking for people who choose to be righteous.

You should return to following God. Invite her to join you, but if she balks or tries to seduce you again, you are going to have to be determined to walk out and leave her behind. It won't be your choice but her own. Your choice was made earlier when you decided God is the most important thing in your life.