The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hello, good day!

I am going through a situation, I do not know what to do, and I need some help. I am 19 years old and I am, or was, in a relationship for over two years with my girlfriend. When we started dating I was Catholic and she was Christian. I eventually dropped my religion and pursued the correct path to Jesus Christ.

The problem is that during this time, we had sexual intercourse multiple times. I knew it was a sin, and I really don't know why I was doing it and neither did she. We were just carried away by our flesh and didn't pay close attention to the path of God. The problem started when her parents found out we went to a hotel. They questioned her, and she admitted the truth and told them about it.

I feel horrible because I didn't want to do it, yet I did. I accepted Christ as my Savior during that time, and I feel ashamed about this. We decided to break up and have some time apart. It is making things difficult because her parents don't want me with her at all, and she is taking their advice. I'm in love with her and I don't know how to make things straight. I have asked God for forgiveness and I feel confident about the situation between God and I, yet I feel ashamed just by looking at her parents. I do not know what to tell her parents since they have been Christians for generations, while I've been lost. What can I do to get things straight? I want to follow God but I don't want to lose her in the process. I really look forward to getting married to her some day soon but things are not working out. She prefers not hanging out with me, keeping conversation short, staying away from me, etc. I know her decision is that because she does not want to fall into sin again, but I'm more than sure I can do this (go without sin until marriage). How can I talk to her or her parents about it and explain to them the situation that went on?

I really hope to hear from you guys soon, may God bless you!


Answer

A part of your difficulty is that you see what you've done wrong, but you don't want to face the reasons why you sinned. You want to tell her parents that you are sure it won't happen again, yet you tell me that you don't know why you were having sex. Think for a moment. How successful can you be at stopping something that you don't understand? You say you didn't want to do it, but you also told me that you planned these things in advance when you mention that you rented hotel rooms in which to have sex.

From their point of view, this sin didn't stop until you got caught. Yes, you are sorry, but how do they determine whether it is "sorry you had to stop," "sorry you got caught," or "sorry you ever unzipped your pants"? "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). What is missing is evidence that you both changed your mind about sin and changed your behavior.

There is a lot you and I should talk about, but I'm not certain where to start. You realize that having intercourse is wrong, but I strongly suspect that you don't fully understand that the things leading up to sex are also sins. This is why you feel that you got side-swiped by sin. You mistakenly thought that you could stop before things progressed to the point of you putting your penis in where it didn't belong and then were suprised that this run-away cart called "sex" is hard to stop.

God warns against lewdness. Lewdness refers to shameless behavior, particularly in regards to sex. It is behavior that is involved in pure self-enjoyment or behavior characteristic of an animal. So things like foreplay or behavior that arouses your sexual desire would be lewd. "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:13). Lust is thinking about doing something that is wrong and justifying that it would be all right at least in this case. The reason lewdness and lust is forbidden is because they lead up to sex. You don't start something that you shouldn't finish.

Solomon points out the problem when he asked, "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. Your kindness to it doesn't change its nature. How often do you hear someone say, "But I 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.

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 again, 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.

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 thing go further than you wanted. This is also why 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.

In other words, you've been involved in sin long before you dropped your pants. That was merely the next stage in a series of sins. When you understand why all the things leading up to intercourse are wrong and change those behaviors as well, perhaps parents will start trusting you with their daughters.

What I would like to do is study with you about sexual sins, why they are wrong, help you see where you made your mistakes, and why you went further than you may have intended. The first order of business is getting you on the right track with the right information to keep these sins from happening again. Then we can address how to win the good graces of your girlfriend and her parents.