Integrating Compassion with the Wisdom of God’s Word


The purpose of Aunt Dara’s Christian Advice Column is to glorify God by addressing human needs with compassion and the wisdom of God’s word.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Having Sex in a Committed Relationship with the Person You Love

Dear Aunt Dara,

I'm a 31-year-old male virgin.  I have kissed a girl, in fact came very close to having sex with one girl.  I just never actually had intercourse.  As a Christian man I once believed that you don't have sex with a woman unless you're married to her, but now I'm not so sure.  I believe now that if you're in a committed relationship and love the woman then sex is okay.  I also once was proud of being a virgin.  I felt I was pleasing God, but now I'm ashamed of it.  I mean in today's society most women my age want a man with experience or are turned off by a 31-year-old man who is a virgin.  As for dating, it has been hard for me.  I respect women so I try to take things slowly, but I'm starting to think maybe I move too slowly.  The girl eventually starts thinking I'm not interested in her.  I don't tell girls I date that I'm a virgin because I think it will scare them off.  I also don't like talking to people about it.  If people ask, I lie.  I know lying is wrong but I just don't want people to know the truth.  What should I do when it comes to dating or even talking to people about it?

A confused young man

Dear Confused Young Man,

First of all, I would like to express my admiration and praise for your wanting to obey God and keeping yourself pure for your future wife.  Do not underestimate the value of your purity to the woman destined to be your bride.  Any Christian woman who is like-minded would be pleased that you have kept yourself pure.  I believe that God is very pleased with your abstinence and you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

Satan tempts us through the desires of our flesh and through lies and deception.  The Bible is full of examples of his tactics, beginning in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3.  Satan even tempted Jesus the same way, appealing first to the desire of the flesh and then by lying to Jesus by twisting scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11).  Satan has tricked society into disobeying God by convincing them that sexual purity is undesirable and that God understands, or even approves of sexual sins.  Satan tells us many lies to convince us of this, including but not limited to:

(1) Everyone else is doing it and everyone will make fun of me if I don't.  The Bible says, "You shall not follow a crowd to do evil" (Exodus 23:2) and, "Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure" (1 Timothy 5:22).  There may be some who will make fun of you, but we ought to be seeking to please God rather than men.

(2) Sex is okay in a committed relationship and marriage is just a meaningless piece of paper.  The Bible says, "And He [Jesus] answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).  Without marriage, there is no commitment and nothing prevents either person from leaving the relationship at any time.  Whereas, in marriage a couple is legally bound by the marriage certificate and joined to each other by God.

(3) If you eventually marry the person, then premarital sex with that person is okay.  The Bible says, "Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (1 Corinthians 7:2) and, "But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (1 Corinthians 7:8-9).

(4) Sex with someone you love isn't a sin.  Actually, the opposite is true!  The Bible says, "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).  If you love someone, you will NOT want them to sin and you will avoid doing anything that would cause them to sin.  Therefore, you will NOT have sex with them unless you are married.

(5) God wants us to be happy.  The Bible says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1) and, "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (1 Corinthians 6:18). God wants us to be holy (1 Peter 1:16), and happiness will be the result.

It sounds as if you are feeling the pressure of society (which is strong) and that coupled with your own natural desires of the flesh can be a very difficult temptation to resist.  Here are some scriptures that may help: "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).  "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:14-16).

If you give in to society's expectations (Satan's lies), you can never go back to the same level of purity that you once had.  You can repent, you can be forgiven, and you can return to your former pure lifestyle, but you will never be able to erase your memory and the regrets that will inevitably follow.  If you are being rejected by women because you "move too slowly," perhaps it would be helpful to have a conversation about your moral standards and expectations toward the early part of your relationship to assure that you are both on the same page.  If a woman rejects you because you are still a virgin, then she was the wrong woman for you.  Also, you do NOT have to tell anyone that you are a virgin.  That is nobody's business.  If someone asks you if you are still a virgin, don't answer that question.  Instead, just ask them why they would ask you such a personal question, and tell them that it is not appropriate to ask someone such a personal question as that.

God bless,
Aunt Dara


I have counseled many, many people over the years in my professional practice, yet I have never had any Christian with a good and sincere heart say to me, “I’m glad that I sinned,” nor have I ever heard anyone say, “I regret that I obeyed God.”  However, I have had many people in my office who have told me that they regret having disobeyed God.  Many who acknowledge an awareness that God has forgiven them still struggle with guilt and have difficulty forgiving themselves.  Even those who have been able to forgive themselves still carry regret over their sin.  Save yourself the heartache of a tortured memory, guilt and regret (Psalm 51:3, 1 Timothy 1:15).  Obey God.  You won’t regret it.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Parents are Concerned about Teenaged Son’s Online Relationship

Dear Aunt Dara,

My husband and I are very concerned about our 17-year-old son.  He is a wonderful young man, does well in school, and has never given us any trouble.   He recently told us, however, that he has fallen in love with a 16-year-old girl that he met online.  The girl lives in another country thousands of miles away.  He has been communicating with her through texts and Skype for over a year, but has kept it a secret from us.  The girl's parents do not know about the relationship and she continues to keep it secret from them (they are also Christian, but are apparently very strict and will not allow her to have a boyfriend until she is 18).   Both the girl and our son say that they are deeply in love and hope to be together forever despite the long distance between them, despite having never met, and despite being from completely different backgrounds and cultures.

We are concerned, first of all, that this could be a scam to somehow get money from our son or our family.  We have tried to investigate this possibility, but the answer is inconclusive and I don't think we will ever know for sure, unless she eventually asks him to send her money (which she has not).  Secondly, even if this is not a scam, we are worried that this will be a distraction to our son, keeping him from meeting someone he could have a real future with.  He is going off to college this fall and has already said that he will never date anyone at college because that would be "cheating" on this girl that he has never even met.  It also bothers us that her parents are not aware of the relationship.  As Christian parents, we do not want our son to be involved in deceiving someone's parents.  If her parents knew, they would most likely not be in favor of this relationship either.  Their culture is one that does not look favorably on dating or marrying an outsider.  We have talked with our son at length about our concerns, but he is adamant that he and this girl are "meant for each other" and that their love will overcome any obstacles.  We don't see this as a typical teen relationship that will just fade away with time.

What should we do as parents?  How can we get him to understand the problems and potential dangers of this relationship?  We have prayed for wisdom in this situation and are really at a loss as to what we can do.  If we ban him from communicating with her, then we feel that he will rebel and will still talk with her behind our backs.  Plus, there is no way we can control his behavior when he goes away to college in a few months. However, if we do nothing we feel like this will continue for years to come, only to end in more heartbreak for everyone involved.  Should we somehow try to tell her parents about the relationship?  If you have any suggestions for us, we would kindly welcome them!

A Concerned Mom and Dad

Dear Concerned Mom and Dad,

Thank you so much for writing to me and trusting me with this situation.  I do not believe that you or your son are in any danger from this situation and I see nothing in your letter that would indicate that this might be a scam.  It's been over a year and the young lady has not asked your son for money.  Most scam artists act very quickly in asking for money so they can move on to their next victim.  I also do not think that your son is participating in deceiving her parents.  It is the girl's responsibility, and her responsibility alone, to tell her parents.  She is likely keeping it secret from them because she knows they would disapprove and she fears the possible consequences of their finding out.  Please do not interfere by contacting her parents, because that would surely make the situation worse for her.

Communicating on Skype is nearly the same as meeting in person because you can SEE and HEAR each other.  It is clear that your son has become very involved with this girl, emotionally.  You have already told your son what you think about this situation and explained the problems involved.  Any further effort that you take to stop your son's communication with this girl will just drive a wedge between you and your son and strengthen his resolve to continue the online relationship.

As I was reading your letter, a passage of scripture in Acts came to my mind.  Please look at Acts 5:17-39, and pay special attention to verses 38 and 39.  Only time will tell the outcome of your son's online relationship.  If God wills it to be, it will be.  If God wills that nothing will come from this online relationship, He will guide your son to meet and develop love for the woman that He has chosen.  So, I suggest that you do nothing and say nothing more about it.  Just sit back and wait for God to work it out.

God bless,
Aunt Dara