Question:

Sir,

I am so conflicted that I do not know what to do. I'm a Christian and have been doing things to be able to come back to God because I had fallen away a bit. I have two things that have been bothering me for a long time. I am with a girl who had a small relationship with Christ when she was younger, but with depression and other events of great sorrow in her life, she does not know what it is. She feels like God had left her. I know that is not true because of the multiple times that He promised us. If she never seems to come to a better relationship with Christ and I have one, is it a sin to stay with her?

Also I am struggling with the same girl in order to be abstinent and wait until we are married. I keep messing up sometimes because if I give in, it seems to stop her from being angry and crabby with the world. But I am trying to be abstinent until we are married. Will God forgive me if I continue to mess up or should I do something else in order to honor him? I do not wish to do anything that would destroy my relationship with God and Jesus Christ.


Answer:

As you noted, people often blame God for abandoning them when the truth is that they walked away from God. "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2). It is she who needs to return to her God. The way is open because He has done all that He can to make salvation available to her and all others who have left Him for sin. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

Whether you choose to marry a woman who blames God for her sins is something you have to decide. But I can say that if following God is important in your life, marrying a woman like this will make it far harder to be faithful to God. Already you are struggling because she has been tempting you with fornication and you have been giving in to sin.

What bothers me is that, while you state that you don't want to sin, yet you plan to continue to sin. You are expecting to continue to commit fornication despite your dislike of it. I know you haven't been looking at it this way, but it is what is happening. You know it is wrong, but in the back of your mind you excuse taking off your pants because you figure you can ask for forgiveness later. "Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil" (I Thessalonians 5:21-22). Paul put it bluntly, "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Corinthians 6:18-20). Worse, you are trying to make her feel good by using sin. You cannot get good from evil. "And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"? --as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just" (Romans 3:8).

If you had said that she agreed that having sex outside of marriage was wrong and was willing to stop not only the sex, but also all the lewd behaviors that proceed the sex, then trying for a better relationship might be worth the effort. But you make it clear that you don't plan to marry her any time soon and that you are totally certain you want to have her as your wife; but you expect to continue to have sex with her once in a while. That isn't the answer of someone who puts God first in his life.

Sir, thank you.

This has helped me and I will do so. The door is open for her to go back. I will be abstinent until I am married because I do not want to grieve my relationship with Christ. I shall flee as Joseph did from Potiphar's wife.

I do have at least one more thing to ask of you. When it comes to asking for forgiveness, it sometimes gets hard to forgive myself. What should be done in order to pull down my pride to not forgive myself sometimes and become more humble

To speak of forgiveness is to talk about the releasing of a debt. For example, if you borrowed money from someone and they say that you don't have to pay it back, that is forgiveness of the debt. We don't typically talk about owing ourselves money; therefore, forgiving ourselves of a debt we owed ourselves would be a bit nonsensical.

Sin is a debt. It earns the sinner the wrath of God. "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Thus only God can release us from our debt -- to forgive us of our sin. As God said, "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins" (Isaiah 43:25). Many times our sins harm another person. They can forgive the sinner of the harm that was done to them, but the debt of sin still remains between the sinner and God.

When a Christian turns back from sin, God promises forgiveness, and God always keeps His promises. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). That is what is meant by saying, "He is faithful." Whether another person forgives us of the harm we did them doesn't matter in the end, the important point is whether God forgives us of what we have done.

A person who says "I can't forgive myself" isn't stating the situation accurately. He doesn't owe a debt to himself. What he is really saying is that he feels guilty for having sinned. Guilt has a place in our lives. It reminds us that we did wrong and it proves some motivation not to repeat those sins. Yes, when you look back at your sins, you are disappointed that you did not live up to God's standards. That memory remains, reminding your that you are not perfect and that you are not earning God's forgiveness. But at the same time you can look at the fact that God does forgive sins and that you have done as God asked of you. Then true appreciation can be expressed to God.

"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen" (I Timothy 1:12-17).