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Question and Answer

Sexual Morality 2

Question:

Is it a sin to engage in sexual activity further than kissing? By refraining from only sexual intercourse but not refraining from other forms of sexual stimulation am I still sinning? While neither of us are virgins, my boyfriend and I are trying to fulfill God's commandments, but we need some guidance. Thanks for any clarification you can offer.

Answer:

[Editor's Note: "Questions and Answers is intended for questions of a theological or doctrinal nature. Although we do answer (from a Biblical perspective) some requests for personal advice (since they may have doctrinal or theological implications), we believe that pastoral counseling is best done face-to-face by a Christian pastor. If you desire such advice and do not have a Christian pastor, you may be able to find an OPC pastor near you by consulting our OPC Directory of Churches here.]

You ask if it is sin to sexually stimulate one another as long as you refrain from intercourse. Without knowing what exactly is in view, I can only guess at what you mean. So let me be frank.

Why engage in sexually stimulating one another? You are setting yourselves up for many difficulties later in your relationship. Please do not be naive. What may be merely stimulation now will escalate. You are playing with fire and you are going to get burned. If I told you that you are sinning, would you stop? Ask yourself this: if God were sitting next to you and your boyfriend, would He say, "Ah, yes. I am glad to see you enjoying the pleasures of marriage outside of marriage"?

You see, I know that He is pleased and approves of sexual pleasures within the bounds of marriage. He designed things that way. So what do you think? The next time you are sexually stimulating your boyfriend and he you, just pretend for a moment that God is sitting in the back seat, since He is indeed there and He is not silent. Your asking the question suggests that your conscience is not clear. In that case, whether you have sinned by breaking one of God's precepts or not, you have sinned because you have and are violating your own conscience (See Romans 14:23, "But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin," New King James Version).

What does the Scripture teach us about sexuality? Consider these words of Paul:

1Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; 2for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. (1 Thess. 4:1-7, NKJV)

Now ask yourself, is what you are doing pleasing to God? Does what you do promote your sanctification? If sexual pleasures have been designed by God for marriage, are you abstaining from or practicing sexual immorality? Is your sexual stimulation possessing your vessel (your body) in sanctification and honor? Does your mutual stimulation serve lustful passion or godly commitment and affection? If your boyfriend enjoys the pleasures of your body without commitment to you in terms of marriage, is he edifying you in your walk with the Lord, or is he taking advantage of you? Is your mutual stimulation an expression of holiness? If so, how? Is it an expression of self-giving covenantal love or is it an expression of lust? If love, how is it expressing that love? If lust, then you need to stop.

If that is the situation, you need to stop what you are doing. I plead with you to refrain from this sort of activity. Quit playing games with God. He is not honored. He has designed marriage to include sexual pleasures, but outside of marriage they are wrong and they are destructive. Please consider what I say. You should talk with your parents and your pastor, but you can contact me as well. I will pray for you.


About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

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