Last updated on August 20, 2020
I am happy with the answer you gave another, but I have a question. I feel bad for having romantically touched a lady who is not my wife. The woman is not married and we are both studying at the same school. Having realized my sins, I have been trying to avoid the woman because I don’t want to sin again. The problem is that she keeps asking me to help her with her school work, and once I am with her she forces me to fondle her. What should I do? How can I avoid her without causing harm? She has confessed to others that she loves me, yet her love is evil and sinful and I hate it. I have told her that fondling is a sin, but she does not think so. We go to the same church. Should I ask the elders to help, or should I change churches?
What you are saying is that you aren’t able to place boundaries between you and sin. There are ways to handle this situation, but it requires you to have the courage to stand firm in the truth.
The Bible uses two words with which you need to become familiar. The first is “self-control.” It it the idea of being able to control your own behavior. Sometimes the word is translated as “temperate.”
“And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (I Corinthians 9:25-27).
One of the problems you are having is that you aren’t certain what you want. Mentally you want to serve God, but physically your body wants to do what feels good. The war within you makes you vulnerable to sin. Though it arouses animal passion within you, you know you are not a brute beast.
“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do” (Romans 7:15).
Please read through the lesson “Advice to Young Men” and make sure to look up all the passages cited. It discusses the idea of self-control in detail.
The other word is “virtue.” It is sometimes translated as “moral excellence.” It is the idea of consistently doing what is right. Take a look at “If There Be Any Virtue” for details on this concept.
From your description, this woman wants to possess you and is doing several things to manipulate your feelings. You call it it “love,” but you also realize that her direction will cause harm. That is not love. Love “does not behave rudely“, “thinks no evil,” and “does not rejoice in iniquity” (I Corinthians 13:5-6). Here is how she is manipulating you:
- Men generally like to help others. Rescuing someone is a big ego boast. We like to feel that we are the knight in shining armor rescuing a damsal in distress. Notice that she gets you to be with her because she needs help with her school work. But once she has you there school work is only a distraction.
- She physically stimulates your body. You call it being “forced” to fondle her. That is not an accurate view of the situation. No one can truly force you to put your hands where they don’t belong. The problem is that when a man gets sexually aroused, he doesn’t think clearly. Instinct tries to dominate reason.
It feels like you are being forced because you are being manipulated. “For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; and an adulteress will prey upon his precious life” (Proverbs 6:26). When you aren’t sexually aroused you are disgusted by your behavior. But when your passions are fired up you can’t seem to think about what you should do.
If you think she really needs help, then tell her that your help comes with a price. She has to respect your beliefs and your desire not to sin. Meet with her in a public place where other people are around. Plan in advance that if she makes any move to get you sexually aroused that you will walk out the door. And if you do, don’t go back — period. If she pleads she needs help, tell her to find someone else because you love God more than her.
There is no need to change churches. Move to another church if your church is not teaching the truth, not because you are having problems with one its members.
Do talk to the elders of the church. Their duty is to help their members in staying faithful. They should be able to give you advice on how to stay out of bad situations. They will talk to the woman and help her understand her responsibilities as well.