I have a question and unfortunately I don't have good, godly influences in my life. I would appreciate any help.
My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for a little over a year. We are a long distance apart, and it was one of the reasons I agreed to start seeing him. I thought it would be safer.††We fell into sexual sin very fast in our relationship. We knew it was wrong, and we tried so hard to stop. It worked for a number of months, so we dropped our guard and fell into sin again!
Recently my parents found out (I'm 19 but live at home. Boyfriend is in the same situation.) I didn't lie and told them it was true, and that we tried to stop. (Obviously not hard enough.) They said that alone there's no way to get out of that kind of sin.
I know God brings things into the light for healing and help. So my question is two-fold. How do we earn the trust back (at least enough to be in good standing with them)? And where do we go from here?
I know it doesn't seem like it, but both of us do want to be good and godly. We have repented and now we just want to know how to proceed.
Yes we are planning on getting married, but my boyfriend wants to make sure his job is secure enough first.
Thanks for any help,
Many people think that intentions alone are sufficient to do the right thing. Yet intentions rarely work, especially with sex. Solomon illustrated it with a hot coal. "Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared?" (Proverbs 6:28). You may never intend to walk on a hot coal; and, even if you do, you can apologize profusely; but the result will be the same. You'll get burned because that is the nature of hot coals.
Similarly, people fool themselves into thinking that love conquers all. "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27). Cuddling up to a coal and whispering sweet nothings won't keep you from being burned because that is the nature of a hot coal.
You expected sex not to be a temptation for you. It wasn't your intention and you mistakenly thought there would not be opportunities since you did not live close to each other. And now that the clothes have come off, you are wondering how to back off this relationship.
First, you have to acknowledge the fact that you two are likely to end up having sex if the opportunity arises. Your parents no longer trust you for good reason. It is past time that you both stop trusting yourselves as well. Those who successfully avoid sex before marriage do so because they don't trust what they would do. They put barriers up, such as making it a rule to never be alone with the other person -- especially not being alone in each others homes. They spend time with each other, but they always make it in public venues where other people are around. They don't call or text at night where they are alone and sure no one will overhear them or see them. When you are together, you don't touch each other in sexual ways. Basically you have to protect the other person from yourself.
Now this isn't going to work if he isn't of the same mind. You can intend to do better, but if he doesn't care and works to undermine your resolve, you'll end up giving in again.
Don't focus on gaining your parents' trust. In many ways that can just lead to them letting down their guard and leaving you two in temptation. Instead, ask for their help: "Mom, Jack wants to come over Monday evening. Will you or dad be around so he can come?" I've known couples who enlisted their siblings to come with them on dates or went on dates with their parents. It seems extreme, but it is a simple acknowledgement that sex is a powerful desire and you should not trust what you will do if you get aroused.
"For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:11).
While it will be hard, you need only remind yourselves that you'll be married soon in the near future and won't have to worry about it after you say "I do!"
Dear Jeffrey Hamilton,
Thank you very much for the answer I very much appreciate it. There is good reason not to be trusted, and you're absolutely right when it comes to sexual temptation it is better not to be trusting. No wonder the Bible says flee!
We have both talked and prayed with each other (and separately) and have come to the conclusion that until we are married we will not be around each other without one other person present. We will not kiss. We will not hug for prolonged periods of time. We will not talk about anything physical. It may seem extreme to anyone else, but unfortunately we cannot trust each other with more. We value what is right before God more than what is pleasing in the moment.
Although it is too late to undo what has been done, I have decided to get a purity ring for the moment and make a commitment before God to wait until my wedding day.
Thank you very much for the feedback. I especially like the idea of taking a sibling on dates; I honestly hadn't thought of that. Protecting the other person from yourself is a great way of phrasing that! Wow that's profound! Thank you for the biblical advice. It confirms a lot of what we've been praying for and provided the godly wisdom I was desperately searching for.
Many thanks and blessings to you,