We are going too far sexually and can’t figure out how to stop


I am 18 and I want to stop all this fooling around that my girlfriend and I keep getting sucked back into. Basically, we say, "okay, this can't happen again so what are we going to do to keep ourselves from it?" Then we come up with things but next thing you know, the next day we are doing it again. So far it's only been foreplay and I really desperately don't want it to go farther and I know that it's wrong and we both want to stop so bad. I just can't figure out how to stop. At the moment all my plans fall away and I want to honor her so bad and I know that this isn't honoring her, God, or myself. I feel like I've corrupted her because I'm her first boyfriend, and she knew nothing of sex, really, before we started dating. I need help. Anything is greatly appreciated.


"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Peter 1:5-8).

A lack of self-control in sex comes from allowing yourself to get too aroused to be able to think clearly. Because you are caught up in the passion of the moment, you can't make objective judgments about what is proper. A number of sins are like that. The alcoholic keeps telling himself that he'll just have one or two drinks and then stop. But as soon as he starts to drink, he gets caught up and gets himself drunk. The problem is that in both cases the person is focused on avoiding the endpoint while forgetting that he is on a slippery slope toward that end. I'm guessing that you are focused on not committing fornication, but you aren't counting on the power of the sex drive to move to completing intercourse. You are focused on avoiding fornication, but you are allowing yourselves to get involved in lust. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).

Since you said you have been involved in foreplay, I must assume that you've been taking off your clothes and putting your hands in the genital areas. Yet, I also note that you said "it's only been foreplay." So far it has been the building of lust. So, yes, on the track you are going you will eventually be committing fornication and have high odds of getting her pregnant. That is because you are subtly excusing your behavior as bad, but not that bad. At the rate you are going, you'll soon be writing to tell me about how you accidentally went too far.

For this to work, both of you have to be equally committed to waiting until marriage. You aren't going to make it if one of you sets out to tempt the other to go into sin.

Look at I Thessalonians 4:3-5 again. Who is responsible for your body (your vessel)? One major mistake many couples make is assuming that the other person will call a halt when things go to far. But each is wrapped up in passion and lust, not thinking about where "too far" is -- until you've gone so far that you are forced to admit that you passed the imaginary limit ages ago. You are responsible for not getting involved in lust. She has a responsibility too, but since it is to you I am talking, we'll focus on you. You have full control over what you do with your body, but instinct takes over when you get sexually aroused. A Christian should not be arousing a desire for sex in himself or his girlfriend; you should not be causing yourself or someone else to lust.

The problem you are facing is that lust is now defining your relationship. You are so focused on sex that you have stopped getting to know the other person. You are no longer building a strong relationship, so we need to turn this off so that you can go back to learning how to get along with each other and deciding whether you want to have this person at your side for the rest of your life.

Here are some rules. I'm not trying to take all the fun out of your relationship, I'm trying to get you two to put the fun back into your relationship. But first, we've got to get this distracting billboard of lust out from between you.

  • You both will remain fully clothed in each other's presence.
  • Full body contact is not allowed.
  • You will keep your hands away from private areas.
  • She is not allowed to sit on your lap.
  • You cannot spend time in either person's home without other people present who can see what you are doing.
  • You cannot go off alone where no one else can see you.

In other words, I want you to treat her not as a sex toy but as the woman you love. I want you to be protective of her reputation so that there aren't even rumors of her fooling around. "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God" (Ephesians 5:3-5).

Likely you are going to initially find these rules harsh and restrictive. You might even find it awkward. "Well, if we can make out, then what are we going to do for the next hour?" And that is the whole point! When all you can think about is lust, then you've lost your relationship with each other. Sex should not be entertainment for the unmarried.


Thank you for writing me back. Now we have always been fully clothed except for one time and that was the removal of a shirt. Other than that, it has been feeling under clothing. We are both committed to waiting until marriage. We hung out for a while today, and we did a lot better with everything. We both admitted that all the stuff was just draining the life out of everything. We wanted to get back to the way we felt a couple of months ago before all of this fooling around stuff began. Today we just talked and it just felt refreshing. We are both strong Christians but slipped from the path, and we have been trying to get back on. Now I feel that we have a foothold on the way back onto that path, and we can build on it. I feel so much better now, and I know she does too. The rules don't seem tough at all. In fact, a lot of those rules we came up with yesterday before I wrote to you, and they have done well. I just really appreciate your response. I'll keep it as a constant reminder of what I really need to do to honor her, myself, and honor God. Thanks again.


Sometimes you just have to have someone remind you of what you know is right. Write again at any time.

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