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I’m 21 years old and know that premarital sex is wrong. I have kept my virginity until 19 years old but I started to “make out” and finally had sex. As a result, sometimes I would feel guilty or unsatisfied with myself. What do you think about premarital sex? Why should I stop now although I am not a virgin anymore? Is it too late?

A: You just touched on a topic that people our age, world-wide struggle with. Let me start by saying that it is never too late. God forgives us for our sins the moment we bring them to Him. The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That doesn’t mean that all of your memories will disappear, or that you will never have to suffer any consequences for your actions, but it does mean that He forgets. We start with a clean slate that very moment. The thing is that most people have a hard time forgiving themselves. Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins- for us not to accept that forgiveness means that His painful death was pointless. This does not give you a reason to keep on sinning, just because God will forgive you. He knows what your intentions are, and he knows when you are truly sorry.

That feeling that you get- the feelings of guilt and disgust with yourself is the Holy Spirit. God uses genuine guilt to stir our conscience when we act irresponsibly. Christians call this conviction, which alerts us to specific wrong actions that violate God’s best for our lives. The Holy Spirit’s job is to convict us of our sin. Guilt enters our lives when we resist His prompting and opt for our own desires. Sexual desires were placed in all of us, but when we cave in to them before the appropriate time, the Spirit lets us know with all of those negative feelings. You’ll also feel this distance between you and God. It’s because your sin has separated you from Him. God has given us free will, but if we make bad decisions with that freedom, it takes us out of the will of God. He no longer can help you, as you choose to live on your own. You can try to fill the emptiness inside with sex, drugs, or anger, but something will always be missing.

Not only is premarital sex biblically wrong, but it is dangerous. In the matter of minutes within a sexual encounter- your life can be cut short years. STD’s are not a myth- they exist. In Africa alone, more than 17 million have died from AIDS and another 25 million are infected with the HIV virus. Not only could you possibly infect yourself, but imagine if you or your partner got pregnant and passed this incredible disease onto a child.

No one ever said it would be easy, and my suggestion to you would be to set up some boundaries. You said that it all started with “making out”. If that is where you start to lose control, you need to cut it short way before then. This will have to be a life-changing decision, and you will not be able to do it on your own. Surround yourself with Godly friends that you can talk to, and make sure they will hold you accountable. Most importantly- talk to God! As long as you keep that communication going, He will give you strength!

Ultimately- you are a child of God, and He has given us sex as something to enjoy as husband and wife. Imagine how wonderful it will be to share all of yourself, without feeling any guilt or remorse. You also can feel better about yourself, knowing that you had enough respect for yourself, your future spouse, and God, to wait.

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