I am a 25 years old woman. I met my fiance about five years ago as a friend. Eventually the friendship turned out to be a much committed relationship. He proposed to me for marriage. We have been engaged for several years. We have been postponing marriage due to other issues with our families. Though we both want to get married, we have been waiting on getting consents from our families.
There was a certain period in our lives where we indulged in kissing, hugging, heavy cuddling. We never had intercourse, but he has touched my privates and I have touched his. There was a time when God convicted me of my sins and we both repented. We both surrendered our lives to God and have been maintaining distance since then. We no longer do the things we used to do before.
Lately my fiance and I have been fighting a lot about marriage getting delayed, because its his parents who are delaying the marriage. I also see my fiance drifting away from God in his daily walk with Christ. He is becoming more secular in watching movies all the time, listening to nothing but secular music, not fellow-shipping with other Christians, not going to church.. I have no strength or desire in me to marry him. I still love him, but I don't see a healthy marriage coming out of this relationship. I don't see him being a good spiritual mentor if we have kids. I am afraid we won't be raising a godly generation as God wants us to, so I want to leave him.
The concern I have now is this. I read from other questions in your web site that cuddling and fondling is equivalent to losing virginity as we have already started going down that road. So since I am considered losing my virginity in this relationship, does God see my fiance and I as husband and wife already? (if cuddling and fondling was considered to be physical union). If God sees us as husband and wife already, according to the Bible, divorce is accepted only if there was marital unfaithfulness between husband and wife. My fiance has never cheated on me and I have not cheated on him either. So technically there is no marital unfaithfulness (if God see us as husband and wife already). So am I allowed to leave my fiance and break this relationship in God's eyes? Or will God hold me accountable for divorcing my fiance(if that even makes sense). I am totally confused and crushed at this point. I had so much confidence in me that I was being physically close with someone who is going to be my husband for sure and wouldn't have let him come close to me otherwise. I know that does not give me a good excuse for being close to him before marriage as a Christian. I never anticipated a day when I will be thinking of breaking up with my fiance. Now the closeness I had with him in the past is holding me from breaking up with him. Please let me know what I should do. I am even thinking of breaking up with him and remaining unmarried for the rest of my life just so I am not held accountable for committing adultery in entering into another marriage.
There is nothing that I wrote that states that cuddling and fondling is equivalent to losing your virginity. Each time I've been asked, I point out that the problem is sinful behavior. Some people desire to use the label "virgin" as a mask to make it appear they have not been involved in sexual sin when such is not the case.
Even if you had committed fornication with this man, it would not mean you are married to him. Foreplay does not create a marriage nor does sex. See Since I had sex with my girlfriend, does this mean I am married to her? You are not married. You did not enter into a covenant with this man (Malachi 2:14). The only thing that has happened is that you been involved in sins of lewdness and lust with this man, which has ended.
The reason why we have engagement periods is so that a man and woman can become better acquainted with each other before entering into lifetime covenant. You've discovered that he is not the faithful Christian that you thought he would be. If you want to end the engagement, that is your choice.
Thank you, Jeff, for your advice and insight. I have one more question for you.
If I do decide to talk to my fiance about his spiritual walk with the Lord and he changes his ways, I might consider marrying him. If I might breakup and consider marrying another godly man. Either way I would like to get married one day. But I have heard my pastor tell the congregation that once a person is guilty of fornication, he cannot get married at the church altar. They can go to the city council and get married. He says that the couple has lost their purity in God's eyes and cannot get married at the church. He also makes the couple to confess their sin in front of the whole congregation. Because of this fear I have not confessed to my pastor the sin I have committed.
How does God see this? Since I have committed this sin in the past and have repented and have been clean since then, am I allowed in God's eyes to have a church wedding? I would love to get married in God's presence in a church. Have I just lost that right by what I did in the past?
Will my past sin have an impact on my future generations? (Exodus 34:7). I have this strange feeling that if God does not allow me to get married in the church, according to my pastor, would God bless my kids coming out of that marriage? I have this strange thought that God would push me and my kids as a cursed generation somehow if He can't even let me get married in a church. If what I feel is a possibility for future, I would rather remain single and not have kids. I do not want my kids to suffer because of what I did in my past.
May be I am just blowing all this out of proportion.
First, you said your sin involved lewdness and lust. You did not indicate that fornication was involved. But these things are in the past and if you have done as God directed, forgiven.
What your church teaches is not found in the Bible. There is no requirement in the New Testament that sins have to be publicly confessed. See: Does sin require a public confession before a congregation?
While marriage is ordained by God (Matthew 19:4-6), God never stated where those marriages are to take place, who is supposed to officiate a wedding, or what needs to take place at a wedding beyond that a marriage is formed by a covenant (Malachi 2:14). This is why a marriage between non-Christians is just as valid as a marriage between two Christians and does not have to be redone when someone becomes a Christian. "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy" (I Corinthians 7:14). Since there is no requirement or command for a "church" wedding, the rules about someone having to be virgins to be married in a building by a church leader are complete additions to God's teachings (Proverbs 30:6). As far as God is concerned a marriage by at a courthouse by a county clerk is just as special as any other wedding.
You are misreading Exodus 34:7. In fact, Ezekiel 18 was written just to straighten out the misunderstanding that you have. In Exodus 34:7 God is saying that He will punish the guilty as long as they are guilty, even if He must do it generation after generation. He is not stating that He punishes one generation for a prior generation's 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).
What I would really suggest is that you find a church that teaches God's laws and doesn't add man-made laws to what God said. "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. and in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:8-9).
Thanks for your clarification. We did not fornicate, but I think still our actions were bad and improper for God's holy people. I would really like to thank you for your replies. They have helped me to overcome some of my fears and concerns. I have a clear mind to think about about my future now. Keep me in prayers.