• countingheartbeats
    April 18, 2017 at 6:02 pm #31626

    I’m not going to beat around the bush, a few days ago I gave my boyfriend a hand job. I don’t really know why I went that far. I’m a Christian and believe that sex should be left for after marriage. I know that a hand job isn’t technically sex but we haven’t even been together for very long. I’ve been feeling extremely guilty just because it’s so early in the relationship and I don’t want to sin. I’ve had extreme anxiety (I have a generalized anxiety disorder but for the past few months until now it had subsided), constantly. Like it’s keeping me from sleeping. I just feel so guilty and uguhERGIUH I don’t know what to do about it

    cananjones1028
    April 18, 2017 at 6:23 pm #31627

    Don’t feel so guilty. There’s plenty of us out there who have done worse things. I mean you could have went and had sex with him. It’s your business. Nobody here is going to judge you and if you ask him to God will forgive you. I just hope you didn’t let him pressure you into it.

    Nate Hilpert
    April 20, 2017 at 2:26 pm #31657

    countingheartbeats,

    Man, freaking sucks. Just sucks when that line you don’t want to cross you end up crossing and you feel TOTALLY bound in shame and disappointment and anger and regret, and YET….you did it, and you’re afraid you’ll do it again, and it doesn’t make any sense, right? Because it’s like — given ALL OF THIS EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE that comes with this stupid thing you don’t even want to do, it’s got this allure, and you just hate wanting it…it’s knotting up your thoughts and emotions and convictions and everything in between, and you hate feeling like you’re disappointing God, and you hate feeling like you’re doing something wrong (and let’s face it, you also hate not sleeping — that sucks!!)…

    Which begs the question like, what am I to do? Because you like this guy, but you hate this feeling, and you love God, but you hate this guilt, and so it feels like things you’ve valued and things you’re doing aren’t lining up, and it’s like ripping you in half from the insides. You can’t stand it, and something’s gotta change because you feel like you’re going to burst if it doesn’t!

    And man, gotta say, can totally relate. My college girlfriend and I ended up crossing our boundaries and feeling super similar guilt on guilt on guilt on guilt, and eventually we had this mentor couple sit us down in this park, the guy took me, and the girl took her, and they told us individually: “Stop what you’re doing or break up.” The advice was founded on the belief they had that we valued God above everything else, or at least…in reality, it’s more like we were TRYING to value God above everything else…and they said if that’s the direction you want to head in with your life, you’ve got to stop this or break up. Bottom line.

    I remember walking all the way across campus (it was a freaking long, silent walk)…when we finally got back to our car, I remember looking at her and having her look at me and say, “I just….I don’t want to break up with you…” And so we made the decision to stop the sexual lines we were crossing. We knew that if we crossed them again, for the sake of our relationship with God, we needed to break up, and because it was a decision we both made, together, at the same time, and put our whole hearts behind it, we spent the next three years fighting for purity and staying within our sexual boundaries, and we got married — that college girlfriend is now my wife.

    And because we made that decision together (we had tried to make the decision separately a billion times, I’d want to stop, and she’d want to go, she’d want to stop, and I’d want to go, and we’d ping pong back and forth and never stop because we were never on the same page)…we spent the rest of our pre-marital life getting to know each other — not using our sexual relationship to bind us together, solve our problems, smooth our fights…we had to learn each other in a new way, pursue each others’ hearts, and learn to resolve conflict. We dug in to our relationships with God, and it just felt like we were so much clearer about our lives without the cloud of sexual sin laying on top of our life.

    Here’s what I can clearly a decisively tell you: I’ve been on both sides of the same coin — the sexual side and the not-sexual side (premaritally speaking), and God’s got a better grip on what creates a good relationship than we do….we were so, so, so thankful that we decided to stop, not because it was the “right thing to do” but because it brought us closer, we had more joy, we became better friends, and ultimately it set us up for a successful marriage. The sex we have now is amazing, and we didn’t miss out on anything for those three years when we committed to each other, our purity, and to God.

    All that being said, I’ve been in similar shoes, and this is what I’ve got for you:
    1) grace….grace on grace on grace on grace. For real, home girl. Shame sucks, and it’s not from God. Guilt and conviction are supposed to be tools that point you back to Him, but shame — believing that who you are is bad because of something you’ve done — that shit ain’t got no place here. Open yourself up to receive more of God’s love, because He’s got avalanches of it for you, and if you knew, you’d let this shame wash right off.
    2) decide on your priorities…if your relationship with God is truly the path you want to be walking, you’d have a legitimate reason to turn your back on the sexual aspect of your relationship….but if that’s not a priority for you, then you’re just doing this lukewarm limbo thing, hurting yourself and others, piling guilt into your life, making these beliefs about God that aren’t so, and really shooting yourself in the foot both ways. Make sure you decide what’s important to you in your life, and it’ll make your decision one way or the other much clearer.
    3) inform your relational decision based on your priorities…if your boyfriend’s in the same spot as you, great! Make the decision together. If your values/priorities conflict with this relationship, stick to your priorities or you’ll find yourself spiraling into this horrible soul-tearing feeling more and more. Ultimately, choose according to your priorities, and give your boyfriend the opportunity to make the choice as well. If you make different decisions, stick to your convictions and make your own choice.

    Hope this helps, and hope more than anything, you can trade that guilt on guilt on guilt for grace on grace on grace 🙂

    -Nate

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