The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Hello. I have been born and raised Christian and I believe in and love the Lord God with all my heart. Obeying God's commands has been relatively easy for me throughout my life because of the strong emphasis my parents have put on it. One of the things, however, that has been seemingly impossible for me to overcome, as is the same for most all other men, is my desire to have sex.

I got involved with girls when I was 14 and even though I didn't have my first sexual experience until I was probably 15 and a half, I still feel that I got involved with girls too early in my life, contributing to the problem I have today. My then girlfriend and I were together for about three years and we did the more basic things that cross the line, i.e. groping and foreplay. We broke up my junior year of high school and my seemingly inability to not have a girlfriend caused me to have another relationship just a few months later. She wasn't a strong Christian, and I knew better when I got involved with her. For some reason though, or maybe a culmination of facts, I still wanted to be with her. Not long into that relationship, we found ourselves sneaking out and that is the night I technically lost my virginity, if you don't count the groping before. We proceeded to have sex one more time before we broke up.

My plan at this point was to not have a girlfriend until at least when I went to college, but again, I couldn't resist getting with someone. She was different though. She (my current girlfriend) was an incredibly strong Christian. She had never had a boyfriend before, and she helped to keep me pure in my life for over a year. The most amazing thing she did, and I still believe this today, is that she forgave me for having sex with my previous girlfriend. I was as close to God as I'd been during the first year with her. Then things started spiraling downward for us.

She wanted to save everything for her wedding night, so she wouldn't even let me kiss her on the lips. I guess I finagled my way into her letting me neck with her and kiss her ear and stuff like that. One night though it went too far. We dry humped and we felt bad afterward. We talked about how we couldn't let it happen again and how to prevent it. Then it happened again, and again, etc. It just kept getting worse, dry humping became groping, groping became hand jobs, and just tonight, unfortunately, became oral sex.

Being in a public university makes it very hard. There is not a day that goes by that we don't hear something sexually related. The American culture now is also a strong contributor. Neverless, I'm not trying to make excuses because I know only her and I, with the help of God can stop us from committing sinful acts with one another. We've come up with many strategies, all of which would be wonderful if we actually enforced them, but to no avail. We both feel horrible about what happened tonight and those other times as well.

I guess what I'm looking for from you is first of all, encouragement that we can succeed, second of all, some Scripture that can help and some strategies to stop, and third of all, prayer that her and I can get on the right track. I love her very much, and I can see myself being married to her, but I'm only a freshman in college and I don't foresee myself being married until after graduation. We have talked about it and we have decided that we need to break up if we don't stop. This is why I desperately need help from you, through God. I thank you so much for taking the time to deal with this for me. No words can describe how grateful I am.

Andy (age 18)


I wish you were in my office where we could talk face-to-face because there are so many issues raised in your note that I won't be able to cover them all in a reply that doesn't ramble on and on.

But let's cover the basics for now. Can you do what is right? The answer has always been, of course. "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13). At no point did you have to sin. The painful fact is that you like the pleasure of sex more than you love God, at least at the moment of temptation. Your gut reaction probably is "No way!" but recall Jesus' words, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). Instead, you broke them even though you knew it was wrong. You have the beginnings of love for God, but it isn't deeply rooted in you yet.

In the same way, you have the beginnings of love for this girl, but it isn't deeply rooted yet either. "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails" (I Corinthians 13:4-8). I highlighted the phrases that your note indicates you are having problems. You said your girlfriend was a strong Christian, but through your encouragement she compromised her principles. Is that love? You put your hands and mouth were they did not belong. You can't claim it was for her or for God, so we are left with the fact that you did it for yourself. Is that love?

So, before we go much further, I need you to ask yourself a very hard question: Do you want to marry this woman, live with only her for the rest of your life, love, honor, and cherish her? If the answer is "yes," then tell me how much you are willing to give to have her as your wife? While you are at it, ask her the same questions and let me know what she says.

One of the problems I see from your note is that you started off on the wrong foot. I know you don't want to excuse what you've done, but you still do so throughout your note. They are in the forms of:

  • I can't help it, I'm just a male.
  • I was too young.
  • I was with a bad girl.
  • It wasn't intentional.
  • Well, we've already gone this far, we might as well continue.
  • I was with a good girl, but she didn't stop me.
  • The peer pressure is too much.

I know this sounds harsh, but you and I can't fix the problem until we face why they are there. If I had to make a guess, I don't think you really appreciate the strength of your sex drive. Oh, you recognize that it is there. You enjoy your reaction to it. But all the way through you seem to think that will a little more will power and perhaps with some outside interference you can control yourself. But guys don't think rationally when they are sexually aroused. When talking about the naive young man who goes into the wrong part of town at the wrong time of day and encounters a prostitute, Solomon says, "With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him. Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, he did not know it would cost his life" (Proverbs 7:21-23). You are making plans when you are rational and then are surprised that it all goes out the window when you are passionate.

The fact is that it is not going to stop here until you face reality. At the rate you are going, you are going to be getting a girl pregnant before you finish college. But far worse, you are losing respect for yourself and your soul is in danger. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). No one can make you keep your pants on. You have to choose to do so.

This situation can be straightened out, but it is going to require both of you understanding what the problems are and where they are coming from. Then we can discuss how not to go down the wrong path. Just one of you trying isn't going to be enough because the other is going to pull you back just when you think you are making progress.

So, I guess my final question for you is: Are you willing to get serious about sin and let an older man guide you away from the landmines?