Question:

My boyfriend (21 years old) and I (20 years old) have been going out almost 3 years now and were best friends for 2 years before that. Both of our parents have decided that marriage is out of the question until we finish our degrees, so we have about 6 more years until we can even consider getting married.

Now hereís the problem, we both come from religious homes, so naturally we have both been taught that ďTrue Love WaitsĒ, and consequently both of us have the conviction to abstain from sex because we want to honor our relationship and bodies as God has instructed us to do us. But recently we have been having very strong desires that we want to act on. We donít want to fall into the trap, we want to obey Godís word, but we just donít know how we could possibly continue our relationship for such a long time without engaging in premarital sex. We are committed to each other and want to spend the rest of our lives together, we just want to keep honoring God in our relationship and feel that we are going to let Him down and ourselves.

Weíve been told before that if we knew that we were not ready for marriage, then why on earth did we get into a relationship, but we found love early and have no intention of breaking up. We just donít know how to tackle this situation, and thatís where any advice would be appreciated. Is there anything we can do until then to keep ourselves in check? Or even, how far is too far?


Answer:

The problem arises solely because you have placed artificial limitations on when you two can get married that are not required by God. Nothing in the Bible says you have to wait until you have finished your education until you get married.

The usual reason for delaying is because parents refuse to pay for a child's education once he or she decides to take on the adult responsibility of getting married. I would argue that parents should also financially cut off children who are using sin to pretend they are adults. From the child's point of view it means that money is more important than immediate marriage. But I want you to realize that people can marry and continue their education by paying for college on their own. It is difficult, but it can be done.

God says that avoiding sin is far more important than personal convenience. "But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (I Corinthians 7:8-9). The simple answer is that if temptation to sin is strong, then get married. It becomes an informed decision of two people who decide to make the situation work as opposed to the emotional decision of having sex, which is impulsive and without thought of the future.

As far as the question of what is too much, see: