Question:

I'm a 20 year old girl and my boyfriend is 23. We truly love each other ever since we came together and yearn to marry each other. Not only that, we have accepted each other as husband and wife. We are sexually active since we came together. We have lost our virginity to each other and wish to stay together for the rest of our lives.

According to us, we have committed no crime or sin. Does only standing in a church, temple, or mosque and repeating what the father or priest says accomplishes a marriage? Does not the fact that we have accepted each other as husband and wife from the core of our hearts certify it? We are no less than "two bodies one soul." I agree having sex with multiple partners before or after marriage just to satisfy your sexual need is a crime or a sin, but is devoting yourself completely to someone you deeply love a sin? There's a lot of difference between having sex and making love. What my boyfriend and I do is out of love and not lust. Isn't love a gift of God? How then is giving your body and soul to someone you consider your husband or wife a crime or sin?

I read one of your answers given to a question asked and in that you compared having sex before marriage with stealing a thing from a store. Of course stealing is a crime or rather sin, but what if we take a thing from the same store in the presence of the store owner with a promise to pay the amount next day or later? Is that still a sin? In the same way when we love someone and devote ourself to that person with a promise to God that surely we'll marry each other.

I have chosen to give all my love to this guy throughout my life, and I know he loves me equally. The emotion that we share is pure love and not lust.

I would like to mention that I'm not a Christian, but I believe in Jesus.


Answer:

"Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son" (II John 9).

I agree that your religious beliefs are about as imaginary as your marriage. You believe in a concept that you've called Jesus, but it only vaguely resembles what the Bible reveals is the Christ.

It is best to start with facts. The Greek word, porneia, refers to any act of sex between two people who are not married to each other. For a detailed definition, see: Sex. Since you and your boyfriend are not married, what you two are doing is porneia. In English, the best word to translate porneia is "fornication." "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).

"Sin" has a simple definition: "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness" (I John 3:4). Sin means you broke a law of God. Notice that the criminal doesn't get to decide what laws exist. Law is defined by a higher authority. God said that sex was for a man and woman who are married to each other. You are having sex without being married; therefore, the direct answer is that you are sinning.

Facts can be inconvenient when they state something you don't want to hear. You know that having sex with a boy without being married is wrong, so you made up reasons why in your case that you are an exception to the rule. You state:

  • We love each other
  • It isn't lust
  • We think of ourselves as husband and wife
  • We promise to get married
  • God made us to be able to have sex

We love each other

"Love" is a popular excuse for all manner of sins. In defining love, Paul stated, love "does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth" (I Corinthians 13:6). "Iniquity" is word that means acting without authority. It is a synonym for sin. In other words, if you love someone, you would not want to cause them to sin because that would jeopardize their life. Real love knows that it can only exist in the structure that God set out, because God is love. "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments" (I John 5:2).

In truth, you want to have sex and you don't care that God says it is a sin. "For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts" (Psalms 10:3-4). What you desire to do is more important than God wants. "Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame -- who set their mind on earthly things" (Philippians 3:17-19).

It isn't lust

Here you are simply being dishonest with yourself. Love doesn't involve sex. You can love your parents, your siblings, your country, and cake and sex never enters the imagination. Yes, a married couple uses sex to express their love for each other, but the sex isn't the love. So why is sex involved in your relationship? You actually mentioned it: "to satisfy each others sexual needs". In other words, you are having sex because you desire it. The word "lust" means a very strong desire, so strong that you are willing to sin to fulfill that desire. Therefore, despite your objection, by definition you are having sex because of lust.

We think of each other as husband and wife

It was sadly humorous watching you contradict yourself on this matter. You admit that you are not married. You admit you want to get married. Yet, you want to claim a pretense to marriage. The simple way to state this is that you are lying to yourself.

We promise to get married

This one is fascinating. You argue that a marriage covenant (a vow or promise) has no meaning, but then you argue that the promise to make a promise should be treated as meaningful. Marriage is made by a covenant. "Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant" (Malachi 2:14). Covenants are not made by intentions but by the exchanging of vows before God in front of witnesses for which there is a permanent record. See: Marriage Covenants.

What I conclude is that you do see promises as meaningful; therefore, you have no reason for not making a marriage covenant other than that you are trying to avoid the responsibilities that come from truly being married.

God made us able to have sex

Here you are trying to pin the blame for your sin on God. You are trying to justify sin by arguing that if you can do something, then it is always right. Paul tells us differently, "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful" (I Corinthians 6:12). The word translated as "helpful" in the New King James Version is the Greek word sumphero. It refers to actions that are ultimately for good, though they may not appear to be good at the present time.

As an example in Matthew 5:29-30 Jesus stated, "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell." "More profitable" in these two verses is the Greek word sumphero. Though Jesus is not literally advocating the removal of an eye or limb, the point is that a limitation in this life that allows us to enter heaven is far more preferable than full freedom in this life and hell awaiting us in the next. Hence, Jesus stated it is more profitable for a man to become celibate for the kingdom's sake than to insist on full sexual freedom (Matthew 19:10). This fully punctures the common argument made by divorced people who justify their remarriages by stating "God wouldn't want me to be unhappy." It is better to take on a limitation of no sexual relations than to commit adultery and lose your right to heaven.

Similarly, Jesus did not look forward to His death on the cross, but He argued that it was for greater good. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you." (John 16:7). Caiaphas unknowingly made a similar prophecy when he said, "You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish" (John 11:50).

The writer of Hebrews used this word in reference to discipline. "Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:9-11). No one enjoys discipline at the moment it is received, but we understand that it leads to a greater good.

Paul understood this view of life demanded by expedience. "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any" (I Corinthians 6:12). By this statement, Paul is not stating that he can do anything that he pleased. Just prior to this statement Paul listed several sins that would keep a person out of the kingdom of heaven. Stating that they were washed, sanctified, and justified Paul was expecting his list of sins to be met with the argument: "There is no law against ..." To prove it wrong, he temporarily grants the argument credence to show why it will not work. In I Corinthians 6:13 the argument is present that God made our desires, so it cannot be a sin to satisfy those desires.

Let us assume for the moment that everything is lawful. You and I must admit that every action is not to our best interest. Food is lawful, as Paul argued in I Timothy 4:4-5, but this does not mean that I can eat anything without harm. Would anyone care for a toadstool and poison-ivy leaf salad? Nor could I indulge in as much food as I wanted to consume; such would be gluttony as well as unhealthy for my body. If my appetite becomes my goal, I will soon discover that instead of exercising a liberty, I have placed myself under an exacting taskmaster (II Peter 2:19). We cannot use personal liberty to justify fleshly living (Galatians 5:13). And we must not forget that God has declared that consuming some foods as sinful (Acts 15:28-29).

This world is temporary and the desires we have within this world are temporary as well. Things which are temporary should not be put in control of the lives of people who wish to live eternally. We were placed in this world to serve God (Ecclesiastes 12:13), not to serve ourselves or our appetites.

While some actions can be right in certain contexts, it does not imply they are right in all contexts. There are times when sex is proper, but there are times it is wrong (Hebrews 13:4). God did not give us bodies to be used for sinful actions (I Thessalonians 4:3-7).

First, thank you so much for your response. Considering the thousands of emails that you receive, you still managed to look into my matter, that is appreciated.

You said we have sex out of lust and because we desire it, and that love doesn't involve sex. The problem is my boyfriend loves me way too much to stay apart. We are in a long distance relationship, and we don't get to see each other much, so whenever he comes to meet me, he finds it impossible to stay apart. Of course, it's equally difficult for me too. I'm not trying to defend either of us. What I want to ask is: Can we be forgiven for this?

I don't really want him to go through hell because of me. Plus, he finds it totally fine to have sex before marriage. He says I am his wife and he loves me a lot, so it's almost worthless arguing with him to not have sex with me until we really get married.

I'm sorry if I am taking time more than required, but I seriously want both of us to get cleaned. Could you please briefly tell me if we two would be granted forgiveness?

Second, could you also please tell me what other sins we commit unknowingly, and how we can prevent them?

Lastly, I want to confess something, though not very many people in my life know this, but I would like to share this with you. Perhaps my boyfriend won't like this, but, still, I would share it. I was 11 or maybe 12 when I found something fishy about my father. During the nights I would be awake and find my dad trying to touch me in the wrong places. I was too threatened to tell him that I knew. Over time, he started discussing topics which a dad never should. I kind of wanted to yell at him and tell him I'm his daughter and not his wife or girlfriend. Eventually, he began doing wrong stuff with me. All I did was cry myself to sleep. I wanted to hit him right in his face and tell him how it feels to get hurt. It's not that he didn't know what I was going through, but still he did that. I could have told my mom, but the fact that this truth would traumatize her and everybody's life would be shattered didn't allow me to tell her. Three or four years later I managed to tell the story to my mother. She indeed was traumatized, but even after that my dad continued. Finally, when I was 18, I gathered the courage to protest to my dad and stop him. He has stopped doing all that now.

I want to know: Did I commit any sin while this was going on? My boyfriend has accepted me with everything I have got and this bitter truth of my life too. He hates my dad for this.

I'm a Hindu. I accidentally found your site and thought you might help me. I would eagerly wait for your response.. Thank you!

All sins can be forgiven, but such requires the sinners to change. "But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?" (Ezekiel 18:21-23). If a thief wants to be forgiven for stealing from people, it must mean he understands that stealing is wrong and that he is committed to no longer stealing. When a person changes, God says He is willing to forgive that person's sins.

Therefore, a major roadblock to forgiveness for you is that you don't wish to stop the sinning. Again, you give several excuses: Your boyfriend wants it, he doesn't see fornication as wrong, and he won't accept being told "no." In other words, you are placing all your decisions on him even though that doesn't change your responsibility. "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20). Even if you do decide the sex has to stop, the odds are you will be unsuccessful because he will be constantly seducing you.

One thing you haven't addressed is the simplest solution. Why not just get married? Stop the pretense and make it for real. You both are of age. If you want to wait until later for a big wedding, that is fine, but you could go to a court and make your relationship official. I sincerely hope your boyfriend would not object to such an idea because objecting would indicate his claims and his actions are not in line with each other.

What your dad did is called statutory rape. The fact that your mother allowed it to continue after she became aware of it makes her complicit in the sins as well. You, however, were a minor when this started. You were the victim of another person's crime. The one who has his money stolen is not guilty of thief. The person who is raped is not guilty of fornication. The Old Law of Moses demonstrates this: "But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter" (Deuteronomy 22:25-26). We refer to cases of sex between an adult and a minor child as "statutory" because the law recognizes that a child isn't always capable of being able to make moral decisions or to prevent a sin from happening. It doesn't matter if it was agreed to, allowed, or fought. It is all treated as equally wrong on the part of the adult.

One of the sad truths of sexual crimes committed against children is that the child doesn't know how to handle the moral dilemma that is presented. Sex gives pleasurable feedback to the body; yet, eventually the child realizes that what was done is wrong. The diverse positions of knowing wrong was done, but it was also enjoyed to some extent, causes sexual victims to handle the dilemma in inappropriate ways.

One way is to "prove" to yourself that you are a normal human being. This is an aspect behind why you were willing to have sex with your boyfriend. Sex with an unrelated boy who desires you as a person is seen as normal. Each time you do it, you can tell yourself that you are not perverted. The fact that you were never perverted, only your father, doesn't enter the thought process. It is a bit odd, but sexual sin is used to convince yourself that you weren't guilty of earlier sexual sin.

Before I end this note, I need to point out that repentance is just one aspect of being saved from our sins. For you it is a large hurdle, but there are other aspects as well. See: There's More to It Than That. You won't find salvation in Hinduism.