Must I marry the girl I had sex with?


Praise the LORD! I have read some of your replies to other questions and I perceive that you have knowledge. So, I come to you in regards to a question of mine.

But, first let me explain: At one time in my walk with God, I was struggling and instead of leaning on God, I began to look for comfort in other places. I ended up getting involved with a girl in my church. We started dating, which I might add is not very wise, but neither was I being wise seeking a woman for comfort. We began to date and everything was so innocent at first. We got together with chaperones and read the Bible together and so forth. But eventually we began to shake off the chaperones and go to “public” places alone. Then we started ditching the public places and would hang out in the car alone and just talk. Then we started hanging out behind closed doors to “read the Bible,” which was just an excuse to be alone, and not a very good one. Before you know it, we began to cuddle, then kiss and one thing led to another and we slipped up -- yup, fornication. You give the devil an inch, he’ll take a mile.

We continued this way for a while and as you would figure I began to stop praying like I used to. I stopped evangelizing, reading the Word, and depression along with guilt came in. I felt so dirty and ashamed. I felt God tugging at my heart, but I was so “addicted” I just couldn’t stop. But one day God broke those chains and I fully repented.

It’s been about a year since I’ve repented from this. I know that God has forgiven me, even though sometimes it’s hard to forgive myself. But all this leads to my question:

Many people have told me that when two people fornicate they are obligated to get married, and others have told me that we are “commanded” to get married according to biblical standards, which I might add, that I have failed to read such that applied to me. But this girl that I have got myself involved in is not what you call spiritual, but has her desires upon the things of the world and she is very “carnal.” The Bible states that we should not be unequally yoked. Not to say I’m higher in the LORD then her, but that I have higher desires than her and my heart is in a whole different place. The Bible also states that two cannot walk together lest they agree. Also that God has called us to peace. So considering that she and I are “unequally yoked,” that we do not agree concerning the things of God, and that there is not much peace in this, I’m figuring that I am not obligated to marry her. Yet for some reason I feel guilty for not taking that step, but I don’t want to marry someone who will drag me to hell. Forgive me for being so blunt. But am I wrong concerning all this?


It is very common for people to mix bits and pieces of the Old Testament law and try to bind this on Christians living under the Law of Christ. Often, as in this case, they don't even get the Old Testament law correct.

The law God gave the Israelites was both a religious and civil law. So consider, how do you discourage a man from having sex with a woman outside of marriage? "If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days" (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). The man is held primarily responsible. He had to pay the father a sum that would take most men about seven years to earn. He then had to marry her knowing that he could never get a divorce from her. What typically is an impulsive decision suddenly takes on some serious long term consequences. But the law wasn't quite as cut and dry as it might first appear. "If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins" (Exodus 22:16-17). The woman's father had the final decision. This would keep a man from raping a woman just to force a marriage. However the father decided, the fine remained, but it is assumed that the father would have the best interest of his daughter in mind when deciding whether the bum who had sex with his daughter should be allowed to marry her.

But that was the Old Law. We are not under its terms anymore. See "Why We Don't Follow the Old Testament" for details. We can learn a lot from that law -- after all it is still a covenant created by God, but God changed things in the terms when Jesus established his law.

You've realized your sin, but notice how you were trapped: You became serious about a girl from your church. You read the Bible together and did other religious looking things. But now that it is over, you admit that the girl you were having sex with wasn't a spiritually-minded person. Are you looking for an excuse not to marry this girl (i.e. Are you, too, worldly-minded, but it is easier to point your finger at her)? Or did you not look past the surface and just assumed that someone who went to church would be a good person? Or did you both become corrupted by sex and you managed to pull yourself out but she is still wallowing in sin?

Satan tempted you, but it was you who took off your clothes. You are still excusing your past by portraying yourself as a victim. You were a willing participant. Each step of the way, you made a choice that made you more comfortable with the next choice to do wrong. You could have called it off at any time, but you didn't. And for a long time you preferred pleasure over being godly. You excused your own sins because you dressed them up in a religious connotation.

I'm glad you stopped and you're working on cleaning up the mess you made of your life. Now, I have some serious questions for you: Did you leave her with expectations that you two would marry? Did you get her pregnant? The point is that just because you are no longer jumping into bed together, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are no longer responsible for what you did to her. From your description, no, she doesn't sound like a woman who would make a good wife for a Christian man. I doubt I would suggest that you marry her. But you ought to feel guilty for using a girl for your own pleasure. That is your conscience and it should be bothering you to keep you from doing something similar again. If it didn't bother you, then you and I need to have a long talk. "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, ..." (I Timothy 4:1-2). What you are telling me is that at least your conscience wasn't totally seared.

That's the way I like it, Mr. Hamilton, the tip of the Sword! It hurts so much but it does the cutting real fast. Thank you for your reply. It has answered even more than my original question and given me some clarification. Even though that girl was very close to a Delilah figure, you are right, I'm just as guilty and I think thats why it hurts the most.

But to answer your questions: I did not get her pregnant and neither did or do I plan to marry her. But to be honest I still have feelings for her and it tears me up inside knowing that I can't be with her.

You see before all this, she and I were running the race very strongly, or at least I thought. I was winning souls to Christ, evangelizing the streets, reading the Bible until 4am, praying without ceasing, praising God like a mad man, sacrificing and putting off my old ways (alcohol, drugs, worldly friends, violence, etc.) and doing what a Christian is supposed to do. And, yes, I said what a Christian is "supposed to do" because at the end of the day we are unprofitable servants. I didn't know her whole story, but I seen her bringing souls to church, attending Bible studies, and worshiping God.

We became close friends. Then suddenly my life became a hurricane. My brother suffered a fatal motorcycle accident, my mother stopped working and was just crying her eyes out, I ended up messing up in school to take care of my brother's kids while he was in the hospital on life support, the bills were piling up and there was not much money. I would pray, I felt like God didn't hear, and that's when it happened. I began to seek a woman for comfort and not God, as I stated in the last message. Instead of enduring like Job who had it far worse than me, I failed God miserably. That's where it hurts a lot. Some say it was because I was a baby in the Lord, but I don't hold it as an excuse because I knew right from wrong; I just gave in.

I admit I learned a lot through all this, but I bear the consequences and the scars to show. But what I was trying to get to was that after all this happened, she and I formed an ungodly relationship, and I, being at my lowest point, was more easily wounded. I really tried not to do it, but she would kiss me, feel up on me and I couldn't resist. I would let her know that we shouldn't kiss because we'll slip and she said she could kiss and cuddle without having a desire for sex, but I knew I couldn't! I would always give in to her! But I know what's coming next: "You shouldn't have been alone," so again I'm found just as guilty, if not more.

After all this I pulled out and got back on track with God, but she didn't. That's why I can't marry her. Because according to what I've read in the Bible, the devil can really use a woman to destroy a man, and if she's not bringing me closer to God, I'm sure she'll pull me away. But according to what you've shown me, I guess I'm not entitled to marry her. I guess that might hurt more, I feel so lonely, but I know it's not the right thing to seek out a wife, but to let God provide, and I'm trying, but, man, it hurts. The desires are so much stronger than what they were before this incident. I guess this is one of the many consequences of fornication.

I'm sorry it hurt, but you can't properly repent if you aren't facing your problems. It is definitely true that Satan fights dirty. I'm glad you saw your error and sorry that she hasn't seen it yet.

Notice the mistake that you made. Problems were rapidly piling up in your life. What you needed was a companion, but what you sought out was sex. Sex gave you a moment of escape from the pressures of life, but because all either of you sought was sex, it didn't solve your problems. Worse, you were willing to use a girl for your sexual pleasure whom you had no intention of marrying -- that she encouraged it does not justify what you did. Even now loneliness is making you long for more sex, but it is with a girl you know you won't marry.

I would like you to take a moment and read "Marriage's Glue." It is about the role sex plays in a relationship and why the way you abused sex doesn't work.

Now, I have another lesson for you to learn. Who provides the food on your table? In one sense you could say you do because you worked for the money to purchase that food. But as Christians we realize that God is really the provider because our health, our ability to work, and the fact that we were able to get paid for that work all are blessings from God. Thus Jesus taught us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). Though God is the source of our meals, He still requires that we work for them. "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat" (II Thessalonians 3:10). The point is that all our efforts really isn't enough to justify the blessings of provisions God grants us.

God does provide us with the blessing of having a wife, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD" (Proverbs 18:22). Now go back and read the first part of that verse again. You do the searching for a wife and God blesses you. If you think that because God provides you have to sit back and do nothing, you are sadly mistaken. The things you appreciate are the things you work for. Your efforts will not be enough to justify finding a godly companion at your side. God will handle the things you can't, but don't think you are to do nothing. There is a reason why Proverbs 31:10ff tells men the qualities to look for in a wife -- it is because you are expected to do the looking.

So start looking for a godly woman to be at your side.

Mr. Hamilton, thank you. I appreciate the advice. I ask that you say a prayer for me when you get a chance. I'm going to keep my eyes open and have faith in my God. God bless you.