Dos and Don'ts, all we need to know is the Bible; however, not all is covered explicitly. Discuss how Christians should act or what they should do when facing divorce, smoking, and other issues.

Vows and Sex

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  • Vows and Sex

    Hello, I've come to this site and another site because I really need some input from fellow Christians and I don't have many people to ask in real life so I hope I can get some help on my issue.

    Basically I've been struggling for a long time with a vow I made to God when I was 18 to wait until marriage to have sex. I've always been very serious about the vows I've made over the years and have honored them all despite how tough they have been. This one however if very difficult as I feel I made it when I might not have as much insight as I do now regarding my views on sex and marriage.

    Over the years I've had opportunities to have sex with women but this vow has kept me a virgin. Now I feel that I would have regretted sleeping with these women afterwards, so I am very thankful for having this to prevent me from having made those mistakes. However, I'm now in a relationship with someone and I've been seeing her for a while and I do love and care for her. She wants to have sex and I do very much too but this is getting in the way.

    The thing is I don't really have much of an interest in getting married really ever, and so I feel in order to keep this vow I have to live my life as a virgin, which sounds absolutely horrible. I wish I had the insight to have decided to only have sex with someone I felt I was in love with, as this would have prevented me from having casual sex but still would have enabled me to have the experiences which I believe are healthy and good in life.

    Am I overthinking the choice I made 10 years ago (I'm 28 now) or is this something I can choose to be a little more flexible with? Ultimately I love God with all my heart, which is why I've struggled for as long as I have everyday, otherwise I wouldn't have done this. I just don't want to let God down.

  • #2
    The only sexual acts God permits are between a man and a woman who are married to each other.

    Originally posted by David.Lynch View Post
    However, I'm now in a relationship with someone and I've been seeing her for a while and I do love and care for her. She wants to have sex and I do very much too but this is getting in the way.
    Why don't you marry her? If she wants to have sex but doesn't want to get married you should break up with her. Associating with her will eventually lead to trouble.

    Originally posted by David.Lynch View Post
    I feel in order to keep this vow I have to live my life as a virgin, which sounds absolutely horrible.
    What is so horrible about it? I am 75 years old and have never engaged in sex because I have never been married. The Bible says that it is good for people to remain unmarried so they can devote their lives to serving God.

    I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.
    (1 Corinthians 7:32-34 ESV)
    Clyde Herrin's Blog
    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by theophilus View Post
      The only sexual acts God permits are between a man and a woman who are married to each other.


      Why don't you marry her? If she wants to have sex but doesn't want to get married you should break up with her. Associating with her will eventually lead to trouble.


      What is so horrible about it? I am 75 years old and have never engaged in sex because I have never been married. The Bible says that it is good for people to remain unmarried so they can devote their lives to serving God.

      I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.
      (1 Corinthians 7:32-34 ESV)

      I would marry her, or at least take the steps to do so, however her parents are very against interracial marriage and right now she has to abide by that until she can separate herself from them, which could be another 2-4 years depending on her situation. I'm a bit older than her at the moment and she's still studying to be whatever it is she wants to be.

      It is only horrible to me, as I have struggled very hard to maintain this thing over the years, and I feel if there wasn't a point when I could actually embrace it I'd feel like I had lost something important to me. I feel like a very sexual person so I guess that is why I feel a bit differently about it. I think it's amazing that you have done what you have done though and respect it very much. Thanks for your reply, it means a lot to me.
      Comment>

      • #4
        Personally, I believe Christians should not date but they should court. And if one has not arranged marriage within an appropriate time frame they'd be wise to break off the relationship. It is unhealthy to establish such an attachment, one becomes dependent on the other person emotionally, especially when sex is involved. Having no Covenant with the other person guarantees you nothing. Lastly, if a person is wanting or willing to have sex before marriage, that in itself should be a testimony about them, how they perceive the marriage covenant and how seriously they take it.

        Lastly, I'd like to suggest you observe Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:6 - "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate."

        Eve rationalized her sin, as you are alluding to. You made your vow when very young etc. I hear a lot of people suggest the same thing later in life when they justify divorce.


        God bless,
        William
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by William View Post
          Personally, I believe Christians should not date but they should court. And if one has not arranged marriage within an appropriate time frame they'd be wise to break off the relationship. It is unhealthy to establish such an attachment, one becomes dependent on the other person emotionally, especially when sex is involved. Having no Covenant with the other person guarantees you nothing. Lastly, if a person is wanting or willing to have sex before marriage, that in itself should be a testimony about them, how they perceive the marriage covenant and how seriously they take it.

          Lastly, I'd like to suggest you observe Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:6 - "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate."

          Eve rationalized her sin, as you are alluding to. You made your vow when very young etc. I hear a lot of people suggest the same thing later in life when they justify divorce.


          God bless,
          William

          Thank you for your reply, your words hold a lot of weight because deep down I feel the same thing. This thing isn't really about the sex anymore for me anyways, rather keeping my vow to God who has been instrumental in my life, regardless of whether I still feel the same way about what I vowed about.
          Comment>

          • #6
            My opinion on sex before marriage seems to be very different to what others believe that are on this forum. I myself held out for a very long time before losing my virginity. It was with someone I loved at the time and even though I would have preferred to have the first time be with my wife I do not see love making before marriage as sin. Maybe some of the more knowledgeable members can enlighten me as to where in the Bible sex before marriage is condemned? My current believe is that if you are in a long term relationship with a fellow Christian you should have sex if you feel it is the right thing to do.
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            • #7
              This vow reminds me of my husband when he quit smoking. But that is another story. With the vow of celibacy, I admire your resistance to the call of the flesh. But I think you are missing the point. A vow can be broken depending on how you look at it. Is God not considerate enough that you cannot change your vow? As they say the only constant thing in the world is change so even a vow can change depending on the situation and the underlying conditions. Pardon me if I sound earthly but you are missing the joys of life if you are depriving yourself of sex just because of the vow. Maybe you can pray and meditate on that issue and I'm sure you will receive enlightenment.
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by Corzhens View Post
                you are missing the joys of life if you are depriving yourself of sex just because of the vow. Maybe you can pray and meditate on that issue and I'm sure you will receive enlightenment.
                If he follows your advice I am certain he can find a way to justify engaging in sex before marriage. Our actions should be based on what God has told us in his Word. The fact that he made a vow is irrelevant. Obedience to the Bible will certainly mean we will miss out of some of the joys of this life but those joys are only temporary.

                Eternal happiness comes only through obedience to God.

                You make known to me the path of life;
                in your presence there is fullness of joy;
                at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
                (Psalm 16:11 ESV)
                Clyde Herrin's Blog
                Comment>

                • #9
                  Originally my struggle was about maintaining my vow, not necessarily what the vow was for, but rather that I made it in the first place. That I gave my word to God is the only thing that matters, having sex before marriage isn't really as big of an issue to be honest, however I really do appreciate the responses I've gotten and it has helped in a different way than I was expecting. As good as the sex would be (at least I'd hope it would be), and even if I don't regret that part of it, I would regret not having gone through with what I promised. I'd hate to feel distanced from God and it would taint in a way the experience anyways, and I think I would wish to take it back. I feel only God can release me from the vow I made to him, unfortunately I don't have the ability to speak to him directly, so I have to read the signs that I'm given.
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    I believe you should take your vow seriously, David. God's voice is heard through His word. Read Scripture, brother, and meditate on the words. Don't ignore what is right in front of you when reading the word of God, and any promptings by the H. Spirit to your conscience. Rely on the H. Spirit to convey what you sincerely speaking to the Father during prayer. Scripture is a direct revelation from God to you, therefore you do have direct communication. May I also suggest that "looking" for signs rather than using Scripture may result in superstition. Generally, signs are so broadly interpreted they are merely a self projection of what one wants to believe.

                    Deuteronomy 23:21 - “If you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin.

                    Ecclesiastes 5:5 even commands that if you make a mistaken vow to live up to your word. Read Proverbs 20:25 It is a snare for a person to rashly cry, “Holy!” and only afterward to consider what he has vowed. As far as some of the "advice" here, I have a problem with some advising you to not take your vow seriously or even to break it. And for the future, remember God’s name is holy. Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain. It is better never to make a vow.

                    Matthew 5:33-36 “You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, ‘Don’t break your promises, but keep the promises you make to the Lord. But I tell you, never swear an oath. Don’t swear an oath using the name of heaven, because heaven is God’s throne. Don’t swear an oath using the name of the earth, because the earth belongs to God. Don’t swear an oath using the name of Jerusalem, because that is the city of the great King. Don’t even swear by your own head, because you cannot make one hair on your head become white or black.

                    Deuteronomy 5:11 “You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

                    Leviticus 19:12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.

                    Leviticus 27:2
                    "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the LORD by giving the equivalent value,

                    Numbers 30:1
                    Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: "This is what the LORD commands:

                    Numbers 30:2
                    When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.

                    Deuteronomy 23:22
                    But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty.

                    1 Samuel 20:16
                    So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "May the LORD call David's enemies to account."

                    Job 22:27
                    You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.

                    Psalm 50:14
                    "Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High,

                    Psalm 61:8
                    Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day.

                    Ecclesiastes 5:4
                    When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.

                    Ecclesiastes 5:5
                    It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.

                    God bless,
                    William
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      I have a clearer sense of your question now David. If I understand it correctly the pre marital sex is of no relevance, but you are focussed on your vow? I believe a vow made to God should be upheld as far as humanly possible. I always shy away from quoting scripture as 1) i do not know enough to quote it and 2) The Bible available to us today has been written and rewritten by kings, politicians and clergy to meet their own agendas. The fact that you are questioning the breaking of your vow is God already speaking to you, so listen to him.

                      I wish strength through faith.
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        In my opinion, once you have made a vow, you should do everything that you can in order to stick to that vow. If you're certain that she is the girl for you, then why not ask her to marry you? And if she's not the right girl then why are you thinking about having sex with her in the first place? These are the things that you need to think about before making a decision that you could come to regret. With everything in life, there is always going to be a certain amount of temptation, and it often takes a very strong person indeed to be able to come through that without giving in to it.
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          From what I've understood as well, it's the vow you have made with God that makes you reluctant to have sex with your partner. And I think that's commendable, that you're really thinking about this certain covenant you have made with God. For me, it's important as well to uphold your promise to God because in the end, He is all that matters. He should be the centre of your life, first and foremost, so I don't think you're doing anything wrong by following through with your vow with Him.

                          All these pleasures, material things, they're all in the world we live in right now. Everything won't exist once we're up there with Him. So there's this conscience inside you, and I think that's the Holy Spirit telling you that there is something wrong once you break your vow. And if I were you, yes, I would listen to that voice.

                          As for the girl, you have to tell her about this. If she can wait a few more years until you guys are married, then I think you're going to be fine. But if not, then that's another issue. But if she really loves you, she can wait as well.

                          Good luck and I hope this helps!
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by David.Lynch View Post
                            Hello, I've come to this site and another site because I really need some input from fellow Christians and I don't have many people to ask in real life so I hope I can get some help on my issue.

                            Basically I've been struggling for a long time with a vow I made to God when I was 18 to wait until marriage to have sex. I've always been very serious about the vows I've made over the years and have honored them all despite how tough they have been. This one however if very difficult as I feel I made it when I might not have as much insight as I do now regarding my views on sex and marriage.

                            Over the years I've had opportunities to have sex with women but this vow has kept me a virgin. Now I feel that I would have regretted sleeping with these women afterwards, so I am very thankful for having this to prevent me from having made those mistakes. However, I'm now in a relationship with someone and I've been seeing her for a while and I do love and care for her. She wants to have sex and I do very much too but this is getting in the way.

                            The thing is I don't really have much of an interest in getting married really ever, and so I feel in order to keep this vow I have to live my life as a virgin, which sounds absolutely horrible. I wish I had the insight to have decided to only have sex with someone I felt I was in love with, as this would have prevented me from having casual sex but still would have enabled me to have the experiences which I believe are healthy and good in life.

                            Am I overthinking the choice I made 10 years ago (I'm 28 now) or is this something I can choose to be a little more flexible with? Ultimately I love God with all my heart, which is why I've struggled for as long as I have everyday, otherwise I wouldn't have done this. I just don't want to let God down.
                            Why are you wasting her time if you don't have any plans of marrying her? The whole point of dating is to eventually marry and then have sex. If you don't want to get married, then you should have been upfront about only being friends. You can be friends with women. There is something about the woman you're dating that must be telling you not to marry her so you should be honest and leave her. When you find the right person, you'll want to marry her. But if you don't want to get married at all, don't waste people's time.
                            Comment>
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