Q: Me and my boyfriend have been dating for 8 mos now. He moved 4 mos ago
to another state (for work and college) and our only communication is
thru phone/online conversations.

We are deeply in love with each other, but oftentimes I question the
“love” because of how lust attacks us everytime we talk, like just the
other night I was talking to him on the phone and out of nowhere we
started getting so “intimate”. It was such a hard thing to escape from
especially the fact that I didn’t want to hang up and was ovulating (ya
know how it is right?), so we ended up playing with ourselves. We did
that stupid act two times already.

We are both Christians and regular church goers. We love the Lord so
much, but this is our major relationship zapper (but I’m not quite sure
if he’s aware or not). Sometimes I think about splitting up and running
away from him to reconcile my walk in the Spirit. I feel guilty and
hurt on the inside, but he seems so pretty cool with it, that it is
alright with him that we do it if we feel like it (actually we just
hung up and the last thing he said was he might probably do “it” again
with me tonight) even though he knows it is wrong!

I know it is also my fault. I don’t put all the blame and shame upon
him. I know too that I’m in love with him so terribly much. We are
talking about a possible marriage next year, but as of now all I tell
him is “babe, pray about it.”

I love him shellie, but I can HONESTLY say that he is not a good
influence to me, spiritually speaking. *kinda gettin a little teary

A: This is a LOADED question, my dear, but I will do what I can.

First of all, while I am proud of the fact that people are convicted when it comes to sexual immorality, it really saddens me how much it breaks their spirit to the point of them seeming like God doesn’t love them…in spite of.  If you claim to be a Christian, who do you think the promise, “There’s no condemnation in Christ” (Romans 8:1) is for?  Wanting to have sex with your boyfriend is not a “bad thing”.  Having sex with your boyfriend is; however, it’s not for the reasons that I think a lot of us have been properly taught.

Because the Bible says that the flesh and Spirit lusts against one another (Galatians 5:17), this would lead me to believe, and accept, that I am comprised of both.  God’s Word says that when it comes to the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control), there is no need for the law.  When we do not follow God’s law, that means that we are doing something that hurts our spirit.  To me, it’s just that simple.  God is not waiting on us to “mess up” so that he can berate us.  He set laws in place because he knew that some things would attack our spirit that would not be in our best interest.

I am a living testament, me and my four, terminated, unborn children, that sex outside of God’s covering of marriage, is one of these things.  God doesn’t want you to have premarital sex, not to destroy your relationship, but to preserve it.  He seems beyond the phone calls and visits.  He knows what, if you disobey, is up the pike.  He loves you enough to want to spare you of the reaping that comes with planting those kinds of seeds. (Galatians 6:7-8)

As far as the masturbation, don’t let guilt consume you.  You did it, it’s done and if you repented, out of you and God, you are the only one still harping on it. (Psalm 103:12)  Quite frankly, I think that because this is such a struggle for the two of you, it makes sense that God would have you two live apart in this season.  Again, God has proven that he is true to his Word when he says that he will not put more on you than you can bear. (I Corinthians 10:13)

Actually, my biggest concern is that you two are discussing marriage when you know that the both of you are not spiritually mature enough to handle it.  Just the other day, I was reading the Message Version of Matthew 19.  Here is an excerpt:

“But Jesus said, ‘Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life.
It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone.
Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never
get asked—or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom
reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of
marriage, do it.'”

The Bible says in Ephesians (5:22, to be exact) that a wife is supposed to submit to her husband.  I don’t know how you can trust a man who puts his physical needs above his spiritual purpose.  You think it’s hard now?  The Enemy hates unity (Matthew 18:19) and so you can best believe that if the two of you can’t put God first now, it will be insurmountably more difficult after you say, “I do”.

Love him, but don’t love him more than God or even yourself. (Mark 12:31) While you are single (and you are single until you are married), YOU ARE YOUR FIRST PRIORITY.  Do not make your boyfriend a god.  Only you and God know if you are strong enough to continue to restrain yourself in this kind of relationship, but I’m telling you from personal experience that it’s a heck of a lot easier to experience moments of weakness when your partner is focused on trying to be strong with you.

Expect your boyfriend to take your desire for sexual purity seriously.  If he loves you…really loves you, and more importantly, if he loves God…REALLY LOVES GOD, it won’t be easy, but he will see that it’s necessary and he will move heaven and earth (relatively-speaking) to make it, “it” being abstinence, work.

After all, the first description for love is patient, right? (I Corinthians 13:4)  You’re worth the wait.  MAKE HIM.  If there’s anything you can control, it’s that.