Issues of Life

Reader Questions: Can Our Relationship Still Honour God?

“Good morning Ma, i’ve been following your page, i need ur advice for a friend, My friend is in a relationship, she and the guy agreed not to have sex before marriage, but along the line they had foreplay and almost had sex, she’s still a virgin(technically). They’ve both repented and set new boundaries concerning their relationship but she’s worried if their relationship can still honour God, since most persons say pre-marital sex destroys relationships and even marriage. Please what do you advice and i’ll want this to be confidential, Thanks Ma

Dear Reader,

I have to ask you honestly…is this really about you or your friend?  Because it is weird that you will ask for confidentiality when it’s not even about you.  Either way… I always keep it confidential.

(The Reader confirmed she was inquiring for herself.  My response is reconstructed from our chat.)

Ok, thanks.  It’s good to be honest.  So tell me more about your relationship and boyfriend.  How old are you guys? How long have you been dating.  How is his relationship with God?

(The Reader responded positively that they are both mature, God-fearing Christians.)

So, you have spiritual agreement…and you know that he genuinely fears God, not simply a Church goer?  What are you doing to keep yourselves pure…?

You’ve been dating for two years…not courtship?  No engagement yet?  That’s a long time to be dating.  Do you know if he is the one you would like to marry?  Do you see a leader in him?  Is he a humble servant?  You need to ask yourselves these things to make sure you are investing in the right relationship.

So, in what ways does your relationship honour Christ right now?  Can you see yourself growing in your faith?  Are you growing in unity?

(The Reader said she didn’t know how to answer these questions.  Her main concern was regarding her feelings of guilt over their pre-marital intimacy.)

The short answer to your question is YES, your relationship can still glorify God…if you both are committed to letting Him lead you in it…and to putting Him first always.  Forgive yourself.  God has forgiven you.

However, the thing is, having such emotional relationships that are prolonged gives you more room to fall into sin. If you are Christian, you should really be in courtship by now, and talking and thinking seriously about your compatibility in marriage.  If you are not compatible, nor progressing towards marriage, then I doubt you would be honouring God by maintaining your relationship.

The reason for my many questions is because I’m trying to understand the nature of your relationship.  Even if you agree to abstain from sex before marriage, it can still be worldly, if it isn’t purposeful and guided by God. If you are just together for being together…or if you really like or love each other, but you know you can never marry yourselves…your relationship becomes worldly and can only satisfy your flesh and not glorify God.  Then you would be hanging on for emotions, and constantly feeding the flesh.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you won’t gratify the flesh.

I understand not wanting to pressure him, but if he isn’t ready for marriage or thinking seriously about it, wouldn’t it be better to just remain good friends, until he decides he wants to begin a courtship?  That way, you save yourself the emotional investment and can use the time to draw closer to God.

I understand your feelings, and it is easier for me to talk now that I am married…but I didn’t get this right myself…  I had worldly relationships, thinking that I was fulfilling all righteousness by not having sex.  But I wasn’t being directed by God and was wasting time.  I was also being foolish, exposing myself to unnecessary pain, because I just wanted to be in a relationship.

As Christians, we have two options: singleness or marriage.  If we have chosen the path of singleness, then we ought to be single-minded towards God.  But if we are choosing marriage…then we ought to engage in relationships that are purposeful towards marriage from the beginning.  We shouldn’t date like the world does…because we stir up emotions that we cannot legitimately satisfy. So if marriage is not on the agenda, consider yourself single and sold out to God.

Don’t engage in relationships that will make you weak, even though they are unlikely to lead to marriage.  And the man you are courting needs to be a leader, who is following God and ready to lead you in marriage too…not someone that will cause you to stumble because they are carnally minded.

I would suggest that you should just see him as a friend until he’s ready for marriage.  If you keep your relationship going in limbo, you will succumb to your emotions again.  You also need go grow closer to God, otherwise you are at risk of making your boyfriend or husband your idol.  You need to be led by God.

I’m glad you were able to speak honestly.  Forgive yourself okay?  God knew you would fall and He has made redemption possible.  But honour Him with your body, mind and heart, and stay clear of offences.

(The Reader asked if she should just walk away from the relationship or let her boyfriend know that she wants to just be friends.)

Since you have a relationship with him, you owe it to him to let him know how it is changing.  But you need to be committed to your decision, because if your are double-minded, you will make things worse for yourself.  He will feel that you are pressuring him for marriage, but you just need to explain to him that you are ready to wait for him to be ready, but you would like to use that time of waiting to abide in singleness and draw closer to God.

Consider it like an undefined period of fasting from your relationship.  God may lead you to continue with him into courtship or He may not, but you want to be led by God, and that is the most important thing.  Good luck!

Sincerely, Ufuoma.

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