Question:

I committed fornication with a friend some weeks ago. We are just friends, but we are very close. At a point in time I observed that we were getting too close. She was the one that brought up the issue first, but I told her we can't be more than friends, and we both agreed. I told her also that we can't be as close as before, so that we won't be tempted to fornicate, but she said she could control herself.

But it didn't work that way as we had sex about a week later. It happened when we were chatting in her room one evening, but we usually do that, so it was not intended. She called me few weeks later that she was pregnant and I panicked. We decided to abort the pregnancy. I would have said the reason we made that decision, but it will never be good enough to justify the act, so I will leave it out.

My problem now is: How can I asked God forgiveness when I took a whole week to decide to kill an innocent child? I don't know how I can be sorry for a sin I carefully planned and funded. I can't pray because I feel I'm doing nothing. I don't even feel fulfilled when I go for worship. I didn't even go for worship today because I know I have been disfellowshipped by God, even though the church is unaware of my act.

Another thing is I'm always careful not to be the cause of another person's misery. She knows I'm not going to start any relationship with her, but what if she meets a good man in the future, but he refuses her because of she had had an abortion? She is pretty and responsible, but I don't love her enough but I feel I should start a relationship with her and even marry her. I really like her but just as a friend. I was chatting with a brother some days ago and he asked when I'm going start dating, but I told him I don't know and I'm even considering not getting married at all. Maybe it's because God has not forgiven me, but it's actually how I'm feeling now. I don't know how I can be a father to a child when I have deliberately taken the life of one.

Please help me.


Answer:

This is a case where I wish you had contacted me while you were debating about what to do, if not earlier before things lead to sex. But regardless, we must work with the situation as it is.

All sins are forgiveable, if a person repents of his sin. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 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 7:10-11). Repentance is not feeling sorry about what you did, though your grief can be the motivation to repent. Repentance is changing your behavior so that you don't commit this sin again and it is changing your attitude about sin that led you to allow yourself to sin.

For example, while you knew your relationship with this girl was getting sexually hot, you did almost nothing to back off. I gather from your note that you were depending on her to say when to stop; yet, because she was wrapped up in the sexual excitement, she didn't stop you but instead encouraged you. I understand that it wasn't your intention to have intercourse, but you can't claim innocence in this regard.

Solomon described it this way: "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27). You can show a hot coal all the affection you want. You can cuddle it and dote on it and it will still burn you. Why? Because your kindness to it doesn't change its nature. You repeatedly stated that you like this girl but do not love her. Solomon's point is that your feelings toward a girl won't change the fact that both of you have built-in desires and capabilities for sex. Trigger them and they follow the instincts built into you. Your lack of love had nothing to do with your ability to shed your clothes and have sex.

Solomon also asked, "Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared?" (Proverbs 6:28). Using the same example of a hot coal, if you walk on it, it will burn you. You can apologize and say you didn't mean to step on it, but you'll still be hurt because your intentions doesn't change what it is. Thus, the excuse, "But I didn't mean for it to go this far!" becomes an empty one because your intentions doesn't change your body's drive. The two of you thought you could control your instincts but you found out the hard way that your instincts are stronger than either of you expected.

That is why Solomon concludes, "So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 6:29). Though he is talking directly about adultery, the same point is true about fornication. When you start intentionally stirring up sexual feelings, you are never innocent when things go further than you wanted. You entered your friend because at the moment your desire for sex overrode all other thoughts.

Paul said, "Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman" (I Corinthians 7:1). By that he means touching a woman in a sexual way. If you didn't want to have sex, the only answer is to not start by touching each other sexually. In fact, even though you had spent time alone with her in her room before, it wasn't proper. The temptation was too high and the privacy gave you no restraint.

Killing the child was a poor attempt to hide your sin and avoid its consequences, though you can't hide what you did from yourself or from God.

Now, I said all of this, not to increase your guilt but to get you to understand where you went off track. The question is: Are you willing to change the way you behave around girls? Are you willing to not trust your ability to restrain yourself? Are you committed to no longer treat girls as a way to sexually arouse yourself? If someone met you five years from now, would they be shocked if they found out you had committed fornication in your past? If so, then you are of the proper mind to repent.

You can't bring back the life of your child, but you can live righteously in the future with your God. It doesn't require you to do something dramatic, such as never dating another girl. However, you will need to change how you treat girls in the future. Nor will marrying a girl you don't love counter the death of your child. Truth is that you both share equal responsibility for these events. She didn't have to get the abortion. What happens to her in the future is between her and whoever she dates. You are only responsible for your own sins. "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).

Right now you are overwhelmed by the depth of sin you sunk to, but the only real answer is not to give up but to fight Satan with all your strength. Change -- radically -- into a new man.

Thank you so much. If someone had told me I would be capable of this act before, I would've said it will never happen. I should've known better, but I really learned the hard way. Like you said, I believe I would have been able to avoid all these events if I had spoken to matured brethren about it, so I will definitely let you or anyone else know if I have any challenge in this form.