We’ve done pretty much everything but actual sex. How do we stop?


My boyfriend and I are both Christians. We have been dating for about a year and a half now. For a while now we have been committing sexual sin. We have had oral sex and pretty much everything except for actual sex. It tears us both up. We both agree that we need to stop, we knew that ever since the first time we did it. But no matter how hard we try, we just end up doing it again. I love him so much. We are very serious about our relationship, and we do plan to marry eventually, but we feel we are too young right now. It scares me a lot that we could take it all the way accidentally. I don't want to have sex outside of marriage. Neither does he. I just don't know how to stop. I've prayed and prayed about it and it is making me sick. I feel like we are on our own with this whole thing. I hate the way it makes me feel inside. I feel like I've ruined the specialty of sex. I just don't know what to do. Please help me.


"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 13:13-14).

Like many young people you are convinced that as long as intercourse doesn't take place, it isn't that bad to sin in other sexual ways. But as I showed in Is oral sex before marriage OK? sex can take place without intercourse. While thinking you are avoiding fornication, you are still committing it. "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). Thus, while claiming to be Christians, you are not living like Christians.

Of course, this isn't the only sin that is taking place. You both are involved in lewdness (acting like animals), and lust (desiring what is not lawful). Since he is ejaculating semen, you are still taking the risk of pregnancy, though the odds are low. And, as you noted, eventually you are going to end up having intercourse. You call it accidental, but there will be nothing accidental about it. You two have been spending a lot of time gearing up for it.

Let's put it bluntly: if things progress further to intercourse, you will not be able to claim it was unintentional. It is like walking along the very edge of a cliff and claiming you have no intentions of falling off. "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 6:27-29).

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 him!" Solomon's point is that your feelings toward your boyfriend 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 hot coal, 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 don'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 don'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 things go further than you wanted.

While you claim you want this to stop, you don't do anything about it. You still spend time alone with each other. You still put your hands where they don't belong. "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). If you are going to be serious about living as Christians and get out of sin, then you won't wait for someone to make you stop sinning.

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