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.


Anonymous said...

I think it is amazing that you have decided to wait. I love this response from Aunt Dara. I feel lead to add something to this. Many times, and I myself am guilty of this, we see what is written in the bible about waiting until marriage and other such temptations of the flesh and we fail to see the practicality of it. God did not tell us to wait until marriage to be mean or keep us from having fun. He did not say this as an impossible rule to just be controlling. God tells us to wait for practical reasons because he loves us and wants what is best for us. He wants us to avoid pain and suffering when and where possible. Aside from unplanned pregnancies and potential exposure to disease that can come from having sex there are things that happen to people who have sex outside of marriage. I say this from experience. My husband and I came to the Lord around 2 years ago. We had already been living together for 4 years prior and had previous sexual experience before meeting one another. Some of the untalked about things that we have struggled with that came COMPLETELY from sharing ourselves with others is jealousy, insecurity, lust for others, shame, and guilt to name a few. I found myself constantly comparing myself to the others wondering if I was good enough and he did the same. It has been a hard road but by the grace of God we are healing and moving forward. I WISH I HAD WAITED!!!!!! AND SO DOES MY HUSBAND!!! It is absolutely worth the wait! and there is a recognizable difference between living with someone and marrying them! A shift does take place and 2 really do become 1 flesh. God bless you and keep you!!!!! take care!

Aunt Dara said...

Thank you so much for your comment. You have pointed out some very important things that a lot of people do not think about. God's way is always the best way. He created us and He knows what is best for us. Thanks so much, and I pray the best for you and your husband.