I'm seeking guidance. I've had sex with my partner six times now after being baptized.
When I first met her I was really focusing on God and was still doing whatever I wanted. I had recently come back from Marine Corps training. I know all the bad things I did when I wasn't following God but after meeting this girl, things changed. At the beginning of our relationship, we did fornicate frequently. Months go by in our relationship and I get a feeling that God put in my mind and heart to spread the gospel. Which I did, I started to spread it on a social media platform and I started building a big following, and I knew God was using me.
She and I talked that we need to stop having sex because it's a sin and we shouldn't do it until we're married. She agreed, and we would do great for times until we would fail and commit it. That happened a few times of us trying to not commit the act until I got another feeling of wanting to be baptized in the church I go to. I had a reconciliation with God want wanted to get baptized. I told myself that I wasn't going to have sex with her until we got married after getting baptized, well that didn't happen. Ever since that day, we have failed God in that sin six times. The last time being today. This was the longest time we didn't do anything and I felt like it was going to stay like that, but one thing led to another and it happened.
I have already prayed to God to forgive me again, but I don't want to just take advantage of his grace. I want to serve him because I believe in what he did for us on the cross. I just don't want to fail him again with that act, until I'm married. My partner and I want to live and have a relationship with God in our own relationship. We love each other deeply and know we want to marry each other but her concern is that we aren't financially stable enough for marriage. We have been together for over a year and I plan to propose at our second year anniversary.
I pray to God to use me for His kingdom and to strengthen me, but he also tells us to seek help because a prayer of a righteous person is powerful. Is he mad with me? I don't want to lose my relationship with him. I need guidance from another brother/sister in Christ. I know he will help me because I have faith that he sent this girl into my life for a reason because I also have prayed to him to remove her from my life if she isn't for me.
Can you help me?
"If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear" (Psalms 66:18).
"We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him" (John 9:31).
I suspect that deep inside, you don't really consider your fornication to be a sin. You see your girlfriend as being sent from God and that you have plans to marry her one day. You didn't really say this, but it sounds like you have been living with her for over a year. Before you became a Christian you were involved in fornication and other sins and you thought that by becoming a Christian the temptation to sin would stop, even though you have done nothing to change the situation.
Let's remove the blinders that you have put on. You are not heading to heaven by continuing in this sin. "Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Intentions don't change what you are doing. If you are going to repent of this sin, you have to change what you are doing and how you think about this sin.
Paul actually tells us, in the very next chapter, what needs to be done: "But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (I Corinthians 6:9). It is not that you couldn't have gotten married months ago. It is your own pride that is getting in your way.
You said that you thought you are not financially stable to get married. Odd. You are financially stable enough to live together. You are financially stable enough to risk having children. What do you think is going to change financially by getting married? What you did was create an artificial standard for yourself and then use that as an excuse to sin because you can't meet your own standard.
The same thing is true regarding when you plan to ask her to marry you. You want to do it on your two-year anniversary of dating. But once again, you set the barrier; therefore, it is not an excuse to continue sinning.
I'm glad you want to spread the gospel, but it is necessary for those teaching the gospel to set the proper example. "Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe" (I Timothy 4:12). God's message is not taught just in words but also in your way of life. Sadly, you are not living that life right now.
While you have your Bible open, show me where God communicates with people through feelings. You won't find it because feelings are vague and they are unstable. The heart is called the seat of our emotions, but God said, "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9). God doesn't use a means prone to deception to tell people what they need to do. Put God's Word first in your life. Follow it. Teach it. Live it. And then you will show true love for Jesus. "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him" (John 14:21).
To clear things up, we don't live together at all. I will be honest, I have sinned a lot before coming to Christ and wanting to serve him. I have stopped many sins and have changed my life because God changed it. I have confessed my sins to him. I know the word of God says when He tells us to confess, he will be right and just to forgive us of our sins and forget them.
The one sin I have struggled with is pre-marital sex. Like I mentioned, I have committed it six times now after being baptized. Those times weren't back to back. We have set barriers and limits to not let any temptation in. We do well for a while until we end up failing. We go very long times without doing anything, but then it happens and that's what makes me feel bad.
I praise the Lord, and I know there's no condemnation for those in Christ (Roman 8). I know He loves me and I want to be His servant that He uses in this dark world, whether it's by healing, prophecy, deliverance, or anything. I know He will use me, but He tells us to seek help from our brothers and sisters in Christ to help overcome sin. That's why I am seeking your guidance. I have sought others before and have been given advice. I really just don't want to do this act again until marriage because if it comes to it, I might need to let her go.
I hope you can help me when your experience brother, thank you. At the end of the day, I will trust in the Lord that He will guide me and take charge of my life, and put me on the right path that leads to His kingdom.
What I notice is that you haven't considered the advice that I gave already. Instead, you talk about breaking up with the woman you claim to love. I wonder what advice the others have given you that you have also ignored.
You make it sound as if sex is something you accidentally stumble into doing. You're just chatting away and the next thing you know you are naked in bed with her.
"For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).
God what each person to be set apart for a holy purpose (that is what "sanctification" means). But you can't be holy while engaging in fornication. So, in order to not fall into trap of sex outside of marriage, you have to exercise self-control over your body. It might demand sex, but you have to tell yourself "no." But, in order to have self-control, you cannot fill your mind with lustful thoughts. In other words, the sin of fornication doesn't begin with the act of sexual intercourse. It is the end result of a series of sins.
If you are going to live sexually pure, then
- You can't be spending your days thinking about having sex with a woman you are not married to. "But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust" (James 1:14).
- You can't be engaged in sexual talk or sending sexual pictures. "But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light" (Ephesians 5:3-8).
- You can't be sexually touching each other. "Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman" (I Corinthians 7:1).
- You can't be making out or engaged in other lewd behaviors. "Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts" (Romans 13:13-14).
- You can't be removing clothing in each other's presence.
I have gotten guidance before from pastors. They have told me to set barriers so we don't let temptation in at all. I take those actions but when I feel like everything is okay and that we have self-control then that's when it happens. I don't ignore them, I don't try to or think I do.
I would consider letting her go because I will but my Lord before anyone and trust Him to provide me all I need. But that's only if I see that we won't stop until marriage.
I agree, sex isn't something I stumbled into. There was always something that caused it. You mentioned them in the list you provided me. It was either one or the other. I know not to think about sex and imagine her because that would be adultery. For now, I will do everything in my power, and with the help of God, not to engage in sexual talk, not touching each other in sexual ways, no kissing at all, and not changing our clothes in front of each other.
I will reconcile at church this weekend and have a leader of my church pray over me a prayer of reconciliation. I am motivated to not fail again, and if temptation comes, I will need to battle it with the word of our Lord. I will need to speak with her about marrying sooner if we believe we can't wait. Our Lord is great and we don't deserve His love but He is so merciful and He knows we will fail. That's why we build our relationship with Him every day by reading His word and fasting. He tells us if we do sin then we know we have an advocate with the Father, which is Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. Every time we fall, we must stand right back up and continue our journey by following His commands.
Paul warned, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall" (I Corinthians 10:12). It is when people think they are succeeding against sin that they are more vulnerable because they have dropped their guard.
It sounds like you also were sinning in other ways that stimulated your sexual desires (lust) and thus, lost your self-control.
Marriage would be the best way to solve this problem if you are intending to get married one day. If you are not certain, then I would need to point out that having sex with someone you aren't certain about is another level of using a person for your own desires. If the reason that you are losing control is that she is constantly tempting you, then you need to think about whether you want to marry someone who doesn't care about sin.
Thank you, sir,
Your advice has helped me. I am planning to marry her soon. I believe that it’s our solution, so we don’t commit that sin again.
May God bless you and your ministry. Our Lord is great, and we’ll be home soon.