Question:

I am 22 years old and my boyfriend is 21 years old. We really love each other. We do go out sometimes, stay overnight, and have oral sex. We are seriously planning to get married. He already has accepted me as a wife and I have accepted him as my husband, but the problem is we cannot marry soon because he does not have a good job yet and I have an elder sibling to marry before me. I love Jesus a lot and I never wanted to have any physical relationship before we are married. I thought that oral sex would be all right, but after reading your article I'm really feeling very guilty. Will God forgive me? I did it because we are really sure we will marry. We cannot live without each other. I have Jesus in me and I feel that I was born out of my boyfriend's ribs as God created Adam out of Eve's ribs. I know that anything might happen and what if we can't marry? Then I will live my life alone. My inner voice tells me that a physical relationship should be with only one person whom you accepted as your husband. I did accept him as my husband; I'm only waiting when he settles down and my sister gets married. Please tell me your advice.

Answer:

Let me make it clear at the start that I am happy that you found someone to love and someone you plan to marry. I want you to marry and have a wonderful life together. However, my duty is to "speak as the oracles of God" (I Peter 4:11) and I'm must tell you that while your intentions are good, Satan has tricked you into going about it the wrong way. I know this will make you sorrowful, but I will explain why as plainly as I can.

John once wrote: "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (I John 2:3-6). By this, John is pointing out that there must be a consistency between what a person claims and what a person does in order for that person to be truly a lover of God. You lay claim to having Jesus within you, yet at the same time you and your boyfriend are having oral sex outside of marriage.

Oral sex is a form of sex, but it is still sex. In the New Testament, the Greek word pornia, refers to any sexual activity outside the bounds of marriage. It is translated as "fornication," "sexual immorality," or sometimes just plain "immorality," but however it is translated, it still means the same thing. Paul states very plainly, "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). Look at this again. Paul states that fornication is unrighteous and those committing fornication will not go to heaven (inherit the kingdom of God). In other words, you claim to follow Jesus, but you are doing acts of unrighteousness at the same time. It cannot be! I think you understand this in your heart. That is why it is bothering you and why you are trying so hard to justify what you know in your heart is wrong.

"Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). Marriage has always been respected in all cultures. Within marriage, people expect sex to take place. The phrase "the bed" is literally in the Greek the idea of having sexual intercourse in bed. In marriage, sex is pure and wonderful. However, outside of the marriage bond it is condemned by God -- even if the rest of the world excuses it.

Will God forgive you? Yes, but it will require that you give up your sins. After charging the Corinthians with so many serious sins, Paul told them,"And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:11). By saying that some of them were in these sins implies that they left them behind. They are no longer practicing these sins. By saying that they were washed alludes to the fact that they became Christians by being baptized as God commanded. As Paul described it, "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:3-7). If you and your boyfriend have not committed yourselves fully to Christ as He taught, then I urge you to make amends. "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).

Let's look at your excuses for playing with your boyfriend's body and his playing with yours. First, you state that you are not married, but you feel like you are married. Is marriage only a feeling? If it is, then why this double talk of being married and not being married? I think you realize that how ever you try to dress it up in fine clothes, you and your boyfriend are not married. In condemning Israel's rampant divorce rate, God said, "Yet you say, "For what reason?" Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant" (Malachi 2:14). Here then is what makes a man and woman married: a covenant made between a man and a woman that is witnessed by God. A covenant is a promise, a pledge, or a vow. You and your boyfriend are not married because there is no real commitment between the two of you. There are intentions, there may be hope, but there is no binding commitment.

We can prove this by supposing a horrible scenario: suppose that your boyfriend while gone on a trip decided to have intercourse with a woman in another town. I know, you are saying to yourself, "It would never happen, we love each other too much." But, the possibility exists. After all, he is willing to sin against God now by having sex with a woman to whom he is not married, so what would change? If such a thing happened, would you have any ground to stand upon? How could you tell him that it is wrong? Could you bring charges against him? The answer is always "no" because there is no covenant binding the two of you.

In defining love, Paul said, "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). Read through that list again and tell me, where are the feelings? Is there any mention of the fact that two people are willing to get naked with each other that they are in love? I know that you feel that you are in love, but in reality, you have barely started down the road. Look at each of the phrases and compare them to your relationship. Paul said love suffers long and it is able to bear all things. But in excusing your sin, you told me that your oral sex was excused because you intend to marry one day, but you can't afford it right now and besides you have to wait until your sister is married. Where is the patience in that? Where is the endurance? Paul said that love thinks no evil and does not rejoice in iniquity, but you and your boyfriend are willing to commit sin with each other. Can you honestly say that in seeking out sexual pleasure that neither you or your boyfriend are not seeking your own desires?

I wish the three of us could sit down and study the Song of Solomon together because it would be an eye-opener for both of you. In the story, a young woman is engaged to marry King Solomon. She struggles, as every young woman does, with desires for sex. Jewish engagements typically last a year, but she can barely wait for the reality of marriage. At one point, early in the engagement she said, "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Sustain me with cakes of raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am lovesick. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me" (Song of Solomon 2:4-6). At the dinner party, his love for was so strongly seen that she said it looked like he was waving a banner over her. The thoughts of love made her giddy and she felt faint. Her mind began to wonder into dreams of snuggling up close with her fiance. But right at this point, she pulls herself up short, and declares, "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases" (Song of Solomon 2:7). What she is saying is: don't rush love. Don't try to force it or hurry it along. Wait for love to develop at its own pace. Only then will love be strong and enduring. Only then will it be undamaged. You and your boyfriend are rushing things. You know that married couples who are in love have sex, so you decided to have sex too. But you haven't gotten married. You are playing at love. Love is not sex, but by acting as if it is, you are distorting what you will accept as love. If you want to learn more about Song of Solomon see: The Greatest Love Song Written.

Have you ever thought what the difference between what you and he are doing and what a prostitute does? A prostitute sells her body for use by a guy for a some of money, but there is no commitment. She makes some money and he has his sexual tensions released. About the only difference is that she makes money. He gets your services for free. What kind of bond will you develop with him if he views you on some levels as an unpaid whore? Do you want your future husband to see you as a way for him to satisfy his sexual urges to have an orgasm? Most women want husbands who see them as companions and who find sex as a treat. But your playing around is distracting him from developing a desire for your companionship.

I suspect that the reason you have only done oral sex so far is fear of pregnancy. Yet, oral sex is not a full guarantee that you won't get pregnant. When he ejaculates, his semen contains sperm. Accidents do happen. All that is need is for that semen to get near the opening of your vagina. A bit on a finger or a spillage in wrong direction can put sperm where you don't want it. While the odds are very low, it is not impossible for a sperm to make it into your tubes -- they do swim after all.

You state that he doesn't make enough to support you as his wife. Worse, you said you are waiting for him to settle down -- that phrase certainly doesn't sound like husband material to me. Yet, you taking the risk of producing a child with a man who couldn't support you and the child and who isn't steady enough to be a husband, let alone a father.

The best thing that you two can do is talk about this and come to an agreement that God's way is best. Stop the sex until after marriage. Get your lives right with God. And then start building a real relationship between the two of you.

"Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles--when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries" (I Peter 4:1-3).