I am a 20-year old female college student. I have always desired to remain abstinent until marriage and fully intend to keep that promise to myself and to God.
My boyfriend is a 27-year old professional who lives in a remote town and is very lonely… who feels the same as I do, and it helps that we both want to save ourselves for marriage.
God blessed humans by making them very sexual animals, my boyfriend has gone 27 years without a girlfriend or intimacy, and we have found ourselves being very intimate to the point of being topless with each other (No touching below the belt, however! Neither of us wants that, as we know where it could lead…). It never goes further, though it easily could, but we want more than that to remain pure.
I had doubts when we first ended up “half-naked,” as I know that in some people’s minds it is a loss of a sexual purity. However my boyfriend does not feel the same. He feels that two people whom care for each other should be able to express that affection. We are both very God-fearing people, and know for a fact that we will remain abstinent. It is our promise to ourselves and to each other and to God. Non-virgins continue to ask if we’ve had sex yet, and we can honestly tell them that we have not and that we want to wait for marriage.
We believe strongly that we will do just that. What is your opinion as to our expressions of affection? Is it possible to be so intimate, yet remain pure?
The statement that God made humans very sexual animals—is a statement that is sinful in itself. First, we are not animals. The scriptures teach that we were created to have dominion over the animals (Gen. 1:26), therefore we are not in same category. And, to say we are sexual animals implies we have no control over what we do!
Frankly, that thinking really disturbs me because it manipulates scripture. And—Yes, there has been a loss of sexual purity. The boyfriend should be able to demonstrate in the scriptures some passages to back up his opinion, but to my knowledge, he cannot. The concept of two-people-who-care-about-each-other could fit in the category of things that “seem right to man but lead to death,” as the Bible says (Proverbs 14:12).
Further, one could justify all kinds of things with that humanistic kind of thinking! Being naked waist up is highly sexual and calling it “affection” is ridiculous! Affection is a pat on the back or the hand, not taking clothes off.
You are now in an important place. If you continue as you are, losing your virginity is likely, and that is counter to what God asks. Plainly speaking, you would be fornicating. In fact, your boyfriend has already committed adultery of the heart (Matt. 5:28).
Taking a radical turn is what needs to happen immediately, and you will need prayer and friends around you who are committed to purity!
- You need to cease being alone with each other.
- Choose activities that don’t lead to being alone.
Your boyfriend is old enough to make a decision as to whether he wants to propose. He knows how to do something about his loneliness that doesn’t cost his purity and yours.
At the same time, your age difference is significant because of all the growing, learning, developing that should go on in one’s 20s. So my recommendations is to really back off.
A man worth marrying won’t manipulate scripture for their own gratification, and quite honestly that is what is happening.
You want more than anything a Christian man of honor who can make tough decisions, as in respecting your purity. Make a conscious decision to have the non-virgins—who keep asking you about your dating—in the background of your life, and get virgins in your life to support you. The non-virgins will feel better about their sin, once you say you have done it too. Trust me. How sad.
Also, this book by Josh McDowell can help you see that there are other people who wait.
The current Newsweek has a cover that says, “The New Virginity.” In terms of what you have already done: Repent of it because it is major lust, and you need to ask God’s forgiveness and GO THE OTHER way. That would be repentance. Don’t hang out on the edge of repeating the sin you have already committed—as I discussed above.
Well, I will stop here. I am praying that you will prayerfully consider these things.
In His Mighty Name,
Although I can tell you this answer of course is not exhaustive, but I can assure you it’s in line with the Bible.
I admire your boyrfriend for surviving 27 years without a girlfriend and intimacy and I guess that’s one of the indicator that you came to a conclusion that he was a “strong christian,” but I can say that history won’t guarantee that a person stays the same. Another thing is that a strong Christian is still a sexual being, and it’s best not to tempt ourselves in a situation that will compromise our commitment to our Lord. I can say I’m grounded in Christ and my commitment, but I won’t spend time too long just the two of us with my girlfriend in a secluded place because I know the attraction between us is so strong that we can do things that we didn’t anticipate and violated God’s boundaries.
We have to realize that all of us are weak (1 Cor. 10:12 – So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!), only by God’s strength we can be strong, and to dispense His strength requires full obedience and to avoid tempting situation so that we don’t fall.
As a guy, I know looking at my girlfriend’s body parts (i.e. her bare chest) and petting her are not my right yet. Not until I marry her, then I know it’s my full right to do it as long as that’s what she wanted to do as well. Because I know once I’m engaging in that activity, as a guy, who’s wired as a visual person to get aroused by looking at a naked or half-naked woman, I can assure you that I’m not (or any guy on this earth, as long as he’s a normal guy, no exception) walking on the side of purity at all. In fact, I’m on the verge of compromising my commitment to God and her; fornication is almost guaranteed.
The last thing that I want to do to my girlfriend is to defile her and compromise her purity, and it’s really a tough thing to do as a guy, therefore I don’t want to spend time alone with her (totally alone). If you need to talk just the two of you, you can still be alone in a non-isolated place while doing serious talk, not touching or caressing as those activities can only lead to something more, which is not useful at this stage of relationship.
As far as your question about purity, with the activity that you’re engaged in, the purity has been compromised but not the virginity. However human bodies will adjust fast to the level of sexual stimulation you give to each other, soon enough both of you would want more intensity of whatever you’ve been doing now because this level of activity won’t give gratification anymore, so it’s just a matter of time if you continue doing this, your boyfriend & you will want to do more, and will lose virginity and having sex.
The wonderful thing about purity though is that unlike virginity, it can be restored by God’s grace when we ask for forgiveness because purity is really a function of where a person’s heart is now. And regarding your boyfriend, I can be sure that he’s not on the purity side now, but he can still change. If he doesn’t want to change, then you have something serious to consider whether you’re going to continue the relationship or facing the risk of compromising something that you said you were committed to with all your heart.
One thing that you should consider is this. Let’s say the relationship didn’t work out, do you think your future boyfriend / husband would want you to do this activity with other man? i.e. being half-naked together? I can say from a guy’s point of view, I wouldn’t want my girlfriend / wife to do that with other man, although it’s still not as bad as if she’s having sex with him. But you’ve already given him something that actually belongs to your future husband. Likewise, he gave something away what’s intended for his future wife, whoever she may be.
Another point that I can give you so that you understand that your activity is highly sexual in nature and should be avoided by unmarried couples who are committed to purity is this. Basically all these activities touching, light kissing, french kissing, petting, etc. is really the road to sex. God designed our bodies to function that way, and it’s a beautiful thing, but we shouldn’t use it before its time (marriage). Anything that you do will cause you to move one step further, because that’s how our bodies react. Many people thing it’s okay to do this until the last step and then just stop short of having sex. This will create an awkward situation and that’s why many people couldn’t hold it but letting it go all the way.
The analogy that I can use is you prepare to cook a steak, you start by marinating the meat, seasoning, and then cooking the meat until it’s ready, then you just stop short of eating it, and you’re hungry… how would you feel? In the same manner, you’re preparing your bodies (both of you) for sex, by french kissing, petting, and half-naked, but then you stop, it will create a confusion in your body and for sure your mind. This is just to give you a better understanding, but the short answer is, that activity is already wrong because it will cause you to lust, wanting more of sex and less of purity.
One last thing, you mentioned when it happened the first time you had doubt, did you realize that your conscience actually was sending you a warning signal so that you didn’t continue? 1 Timothy 1:19, you’ll see the importance of having a good conscience as your first barricade to sin. It will tell you when there’s something wrong.
But conscience can also fall asleep if you ignore it repeatedly and soon after that you won’t be bothered anymore because you’ll be so used to that sin (1 Timothy 4:2), so once your conscience is seared by repeating the same sin, you won’t feel weird or guilty anymore doing that sin. I hope I explained this point clearly, because this is a really important point. I can guarantee you that this happens to everyone who has known the Word of God or been taught that fornication and adultery is a sin, that the first time they do it, they will feel guilty, doubt and fear. But if they keep doing it and ignore their conscience, they’ll get used to it and that’s why all those feelings that are supposed to be instruments to call them to repentance will disappear altogether after a while because the conscience is already numbed. It progresses from sensitive, to less and less sensitive and finally no sensitivity at all. So guard your heart and keep your conscience pure by taking heed to what God has to say (Titus 1:15).
I’ll stop here for now as I think there is so much information for you to digest but if you still have any questions, feel free to write back.
Pray for your boyfriend re: this. I will pray (and have been praying) for you too.
All the names and other personal information have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals in this article.
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