Question:

I have enjoyed reading the information on your site. I'm having a similar situation, but I still haven't received an answer that I'm looking for, even after reading your site. Both my fiancé and I have been living together for almost a year now, and we are getting married. We both have strong believers in God and want Him to be a part of our lives. We believe in building a strong foundation with God in our home and life. I know that having sex before marriage is not condoned in the eyes of God, but will God forgive us and bless our marriage if we have had sex but now choose to wait until we get married? I believe in God and very much want Him a priority in my life, but I have a difference of opinion as my fiancé about stopping sex now until we are married. I'm not sure in my mind at this point it will make a difference. Can you help with that?


Answer:

I have some difficulty with the conflict between someone claiming to be a strong believer who then turns around and disobeys God. Faith and obedience go hand-in-hand. "Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith" (Romans 16:25-26). You can see this in the scolding the Hebrew writer gives the Jews. "And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief" (Hebrews 3:18-19).

John says you can tell the difference between a follower of God and a follower of Satan by their response to sin. "No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother" (I John 3:6-11). John isn't saying that a Christian never sins. That would contradict what he said in I John 1:8-2:1. What he is saying is that a Christian doesn't remain in sin because he rejects sin. A follower of Satan doesn't care about sin and so is not inclined to do something about it when sin is found in his life.

It isn't enough to be sorry that you've sinned, there has to be drive to change. "See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears" (Hebrews 12:15-17). Esau wanted a different outcome, but he didn't change -- he didn't repent.

Repentance is two-fold, it means there is a change in your mind about what is sinful as well as a change in action. You tell me that you are considering changing your actions, but it is apparent that you have not changed your mind about the fact that your fornication is wrong. In fact, you've seem to be leaning on continuing your sin because you have an endpoint in mind. You also state that your fiancée doesn't want to stop the fornication, so even if you do try to stop, she will either work to undermine your resolve or may break up with you over this. Given this, where is the repentance? "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).

The easiest solution to this problem that you've gotten yourself into is to go down to the courthouse and get married. You can still have your formal wedding at a later date. Another solution is that one of you move out until your wedding. But any proposal that includes the continuing of sin isn't on the table for dedicated Christians. "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" (Romans 6:1-2).

"What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud and like the dew which goes away early. Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; and the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth. For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; there they have dealt treacherously against Me" (Hosea 6:4-7).

God wants people who live to follow Him, not people who play at it when it is convenient to them.

I guess what I need to say is: both my fiancé and I have started to follow God and His word as we should live our life. We have sinned before and recognize it. We want to stop having pre-marital sex and follow God. Do you believe God will bless our marriage by doing this?

If you sincerely repent, then of course God will forgive. That is what He is after is helping people get out of sin. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). Just don't try to play games with God's mercy (Romans 6:1-2).