Question:

I am a young man who has a great passion for the Lord Jesus, but my conscience is not serving me right. The reason is that I have proposed marriage to a beautiful young lady whom I love so much with all my life, but this sex and fornication is making me go crazy. Please throw more light to my ignorance about fornication because I'm confused. I take fornication as sleeping with people you are not married to, but to me, we love each other and want to marry, so is it fornication to sleep with only the one lady I love and whom I want to marry? We will marry at all cost. Can't I have sex with only her? Or since we are preparing to marry, can't we still have sex because she is the only one I make love to? Is that still fornication?


Answer:

Notice that you correctly defined fornication as having sex with someone you are not married to. You also know you are not married. Right here you have your answer, but like many you hope there is some loophole.

"Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).

For couples having sex, either you are married or you are either a fornicator or an adulterer. Only the married can have undefiled sex.

The reasons you hope for an exception are:

  • You have intentions of getting married.
  • You are only having sex with one person.
  • You love each other.

Sin is defined by God's law. "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness" (I John 3:4). We don't get to create our own exceptions to God's rules, that would place us above God.

Intentions are not the same as reality. A person who intends to get married still isn't married. "Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (James 4:13-14). You don't know absolutely that you will get married because you don't have absolute control over the future.

Let's pick another sin and make an argument similar to yours. Suppose someone stole your vehicle. Would you accept the argument, "I was only borrowing it. You weren't around to ask, so I thought you won't mind. I had every intention of returning sometime. So, I'm not a thief because I am planning to return it to you at all costs." Most people would not except the excuse. Stealing is wrong, intentions to make it right later doesn't change the fact that it is still stealing, and you can't guarantee the future.

In a similar vein, does only stealing once makes it acceptable? The number of times you sin or the number of people you sin with doesn't make the sin acceptable. It is still sin.

You say you love her and you call your acts of sex making love, but is love really the motivation behind your bedding her? Love "does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth" (I Corinthians 13:5-6). The reason you are having sex is because you don't want to wait for marriage. You aren't thinking about what is best for her, you are thinking about immediate gratification.

If you really are going to get married at all costs, then why are you not married now? In most places if you wanted to get married, you can do so within a few days. But what most people do is place artificial restrictions on themselves. "We have to finish college first." No, you don't. There are many married people who are in college. "I have to get a good job first." No, you don't. You might have to live poorly for a while, but plenty of people not only survive but they benefit from living frugally. "We can't afford to get married yet." Yes, you can. Sure, you can't pay for a blockbuster wedding, but you can get a marriage license and get married by a Justice of the Peace or preacher for less than $100. "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).

You claim that you have a great passion for the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus asked a telling question: "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). Later Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).

Quit living the life of a hypocrite, pretending to follow Jesus while rebelling against His laws. Humble yourself under the hand of your Maker.