EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
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"I am crying while I am typing this email to you. I really searched for someone online to help me with my decisions. I told a friend about this, but I need more advice. I am a Christian girl, 21 of age, who has lustful struggles, since I was 15 years old. And yes, you guessed it. I masturbate. But when I started doing it, I was not yet aware of its sinful results. That’s why I continued doing it until I was aware of it as a lustful sin. When I became aware of it, I was struggling to stop that’s why I asked God to give me someone that I could tell about this. I became very close with a Christian guy, especially when we organized a youth camp together. We work together and we got to know each other better; he then told me that he considered me in his prayers to be his lifetime partner. He also told me that before anything else he wants me to get him to know better so that he will know if I would still fall in love with him despite of every flaws he had. And then he told me that he committed sexual immorality on his ex girlfriend before, and he is having struggles in lust too. We both accepted each other and fell in love. We’re not in an official relationship, but we are acting as one. My mom knows about it that we’re both going out as friends. Later on... he became weak in his struggles and wanted to have sex with me. He’s always asking about it, for me to give in but I won’t because I really wanted this struggle we have to stop. So I kept saying NO. Every time I said NO, but he will become cold for some time because he really wants me to give in. Actually I wanted to but I focused on the after effects, and I have a goal. To not give up my virginity until marriage even though I have this struggle. But yes, I would like to be honest... we had phone sex and after we satisfy our feelings, there comes a great conviction and burden. I really love him, yes, I really do but I don’t know if this is the right thing. I always pray to God, asking what is the purpose of this relationship and I got answers like: “I want you both to overcome your struggles together.” I don’t know if it is really God talking or my mind making up the answers because I don’t want to leave him. And just tonight...my dad talked to me about him, and my dad doesn’t like him. I am really torn and hurt. I don’t know, is this a sign that we are not really meant for each other? Please help me. We both are praying for God’s will to be revealed about our relationship.
SEE ALSO: What Should Communication Boundaries Look Like with Your Ex?
I’m sorry for the (all too common) difficulty you are having but am so encouraged you would be strong enough to admit your shortcomings and reach out for help.
There is so much pressure these days, not only on young people, but also on everyone at any age to “follow along” or else seem “weird.” So much for acceptance. Our society’s acceptability perspective has moved the “line of sexuality” over the past couple of decades, to where sex before marriage is just as common as kissing was many years ago.
SEE ALSO: How Do You Know if Relationship Interference is from God?
In any sexual-related struggle, I think you’ll find a collective agreement that it must be worked on with a same sex accountability partner or counselor. With both of you struggling in the same way, along with dating each other, chances are it won’t end well.
If your friend is honestly praying for your healing and cares about what’s best for you, he wouldn’t be pressuring you to give in to having sex. It would be like an alcoholic offering a recovering alcoholic a drink. Put in that perspective, how do you view your friend’s motive now?
We often hear the line, “If you love me you’ll do it,” but the response should be, “If you love me you won’t ask.”
Do you think he is interested in a long-term relationship with you or just seeing an opportunity to satisfy his immediate needs with someone who is vulnerable? Do you think he truly believes you are the one whom God wants him to be with or saying it so you’ll sleep with him? If he seriously thought you two would spend a lifetime together, why wouldn’t he be willing to wait for the relationship to develop before consummating the relationship in marriage?
I have never heard a married couple say they wish they had sex before they had gotten married, but many who have said they wished they hadn’t…and are now broken up.
Even though you both serve in youth ministry together, if you really want to overcome your addiction and as difficult as it may be, you need to cut ties with him outside of ministry, no other contact.
Secondly, find a female counselor or leader who has dealt with this kind of struggle to sit down with and help you lay out a plan and process for you to beat this.
As tough as the road ahead of you will be, you won’t regret your decision.
Please know that most everyone has struggled in some area related to sex, masturbation, and/or thoughts of sexual intimacy (married and single). And due to delays in marriage today, lack of accountability and support, dating without purpose (especially at a young age) plus a constant message of sex being thrown in our faces, it’s hard to get away from it. So I totally understand the struggle.
Please know, God designed our bodies in such a way that sex is a great thing…that it’s beautiful and wonderful. It is meant for good. But he also meant for it to be between a husband and wife. I know you do not need me to explain that to you. You have also shared your conviction of knowing it’s wrong, so this is good.
A relationship cannot work without respect. If your boyfriend really loved you, the way Jesus teaches about love, he would not pressure you. You would both do well to seek godly wisdom and direction from those close to you or in your church. A godly dating relationship must involve boundaries. And part of keeping these boundaries is to have accountability, which helps in preventing sexual sin (phone, in person or by texting). A healthy relationship will value what God has brought together. Don’t get ahead of God.
Note: Take this Scripture 1 Corinthians 14:4: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres,” and substitute your boyfriend’s name and then your name. Are you truly practicing real love from God?
So what about your parents? Listen to those who love you the way Jesus loves you; they want what is best for you. In the meantime, I do think you need to separate from this young man, as he could cause you to fall. You both need time to grow in your maturity in Christ.
I would also build more friendships with women, asking for accountability in the area of masturbation. This needs to be dealt with before you get married. Because once you are married, you will get your sexual needs satisfied by your husband. Remember that masturbation is self-focused. You will want to please your husband and he will be your focus. Also, be careful what you are watching and reading as these can be triggers. When the urge comes upon you, simply find something else to do.
You are worth waiting for because God has made you worthy by his Son.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” -1 Corinthians 10:13
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of four books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
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Publication date: July 13, 2017