Engaged and yet having sex? Is that ok?

by Mary
(Hampstead, Maryland, USA)

I want to thank you so much for this site. It is such a blessing to get solid answers from the Bible and realistic wholesome answers offering useful support. I asked Jesus in my heart when I was a child. I grew up strong in God's love and faith and by the grace of the Holy Spirit I had the honor to lead many to Jesus.

I did fall in sin with a guy when I became 18. I got married to him and had three most beautiful sons who all are teens now and have Jesus in their heart like I do.

I have been single for over ten years after a harsh divorce and found a Christian man who I met. He is from a foreign land outside the US and we are planning a life to be together. Due to the legal system, this could take up to two years for him to move here. So he visits here for a few weeks every four months or so when he can afford to. He asked for my hand in marriage and I said YES!!! He and I vowed to each other and God that we will be loyal and faithful and though we did not get married by a priest or by the government we consider ourselves married.

Due to the laws in our country, this costs so much money and takes such a long time and he and I both are adults and have been waiting on God to bring us the right one (each other). Now the laws and government are blocking us to be able to complete the process in the time we desire.

We have had sex a lot when he had visited here for the weeks he has stayed. I have a ring on my hand and he and I said our vows to each other.

Are we considered husband and wife due to the situation? And are we living in sin just because we don't have the money and the laws make this process near to impossible without the long time to process this? Our wedding date is set for the month the filing process will be complete and that takes about a year... providing there is enough money and no added setbacks. I just want to know if we are truly married in God's eyes and not on our way to hell if he or I were to die before we can officially legalize our vows to each other. I hope someone has solid answers to this ... Thank you and God bless!!!

Our Answer:
As pastors, we think there's something you need to know--apart from your sexual activity during your engagement. If you both are true believers, then you will never go to hell! You have been forgiven by Jesus' death on the cross and nothing can change that! He forgave all your sins! Colossians 2:13 (NLT) "You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins."

All your sins were forgiven before you were born! They were forgiven on the cross of Jesus and that means all your sins--even the ones you haven't committed yet! This doesn't mean we should go and sin all we want, because we are already forgiven--what it means is that because we are forgiven, we can live the kind of life Jesus wants us to! You are not going to hell, regardless...

Marriage is an institution made by God. However, there is no marriage in Heaven (Mt 22:30): it is made to function here on earth within our society. To be valid before God, it must be valid in the sight of our society.

We have some comments, that demonstrate that having sex is not a good idea until after the official wedding ceremony:

  1. We are sure that you, as the woman, could refrain from sex before marriage. 99% of the time it is the man that is pushing for sex. Therefore, are we in actuality talking about him having self-discipline?

  2. The goal of marriage is not sex--it is intimacy! Of course, sex is a huge part of that intimacy--but intimacy has 4 parts: intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and then sexual (you can read more in the article: Intimacy and Sex ). When your fiancé comes to visit, sex becomes a huge part of your time together--this is especially so for the man because the male sex drive is so strong. Because of this, your relationship will not develop the other other parts of intimacy as much--sex hijacks becoming closer spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally.

  3. Your fiancé's job is to cherish you and lay down his life for yours. Stopping sex will take discipline for him to control himself--and that would be a great way to deny himself and to honour you until you get married legally.

  4. You have 3 teenaged boys who are watching you. Basically, you are telling them that it's OK to have sex before marriage. Is that the example you want them to follow?

  5. Let your fiancé do the hard thing by waiting to have sex before marriage: it will be a good thing for your relationship!


Jim and Carrie

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Dec 23, 2010
by: Mary

Oh WOW THANK YOU!!!! This has been an eye opener to me. I feel like as if I just drank a fresh glass of water and ate good wholesome soul food with your life giving answers that offered me peace and a standard to build on that is reasonable and solid.

Those listed answers doesn't leave me isolated or blinded in the dark but now the lights are turned on and now I have direction. LOL It is true that though it is not intentional, the man's brain does shut down some once sex comes in the mix of things and it seems like on my end my brain was stimulated to want more of his security. I wonder when he visits and though he never pressured me for sex that was a mutual agreement from each side I will be honest, if I set standards it will flip the table where I become more secure and he will be ... I wouldn't say less secure but more sharp mentally and a little more attentive slightly shaken up in a healthy way. I am not into mind games. This living to this standard will only increase the soul bond not lessen it since he will not be distracted by the addicting chemical that sex produces thus opening his mind to other levels of our time together.

I say BRAVO to your well thought through answer and I wonder how impressed God will be with me if I give God a chance HE, i think will say... OH WOW LOOK a woman who Understands ME!!!!

Dec 28, 2010
You've got to be kidding me!
by: Anonymous

I understand this is your interpretation of scripture versus mine, but the first words out of my mouth when I read the advice was, "You've GOT to be kidding me!"

Accepting Christ in your life and having him wash your sins away does not give you free reign to commit any sin from this point forward only because at one moment you "accepted" him.

A sin is still a sin whether or not you've accepted Christ. If you fall short, there is the process of repentance, which washes us clean, but you are not limited to repenting once in your life simply because you believe and have faith in Christ. What if I was to accept Christ and then become the next Joseph Stalin? If you do the same thing again, you haven't truly repented in this case.

If Christ taught the importance of chastity before marriage and fidelity afterward, why would he say these sins are not applicable to us if we've accepted him? Why would the apostles go to such great lengths to teach against sin to existing believers of Christ in the New Testament if they already accepted Christ and not doing these things didn't apply because they already accepted Him. You're logic doesn't add up.

If it's because you don't want to lose reader(s) of your website and say something they need to hear (not what they want to hear).

Obviously, chastity before marriage is a law from God and if He is the same yesterday, today and forever why would the same law not apply to us today? I've been married close to 10 years, and we waited till after marriage. My wife was living in a different state for a while before we got married and we were only able to see each other once every couple of months. We still waited. Sexual urges and desires are not evil, but where they are used can be.

Focusing on your physical intimacy with someone you are not married to can distort what true intimacy is in a relationship. Spend some time around this man outside of a sexual relationship and see how you can experience real non-sexual intimacy.

Jan 20, 2011
Response to "You've got be kidding me" comment
by: Jim and Carrie

Dear Anonymous,

We agree with most everything you have said! Please carefully re-read our answer; we did not say or imply that premarital sex was right. By reading our answer--as well as many other related articles on our site--you will see that we endorse abstinence before marriage.

One of the questions that was being asked by our reader in the above question was whether they would go to hell because they sinned. (Note that the first part of our answer was addressing this.)

The topic of forgiveness and grace is a huge one, so allow us to just mention it very briefly...

When we truly understand the grace of God, we will have the desire and the power to stop sinning.

Romans 6:14 "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace."

I am no longer trusting in my own righteousness and attempts to be sinless. I do not feel a license to sin, rather, I am under the grace of God which gives me both the desire and power to overcome sin. In other words, sin no longer has dominion over me when I receive the abundance of grace!


Jim and Carrie

Jan 20, 2011
Thank you God.
by: Mary

Once again, I thank the pastors and wives who own this site under God's provision and wisdom. It is not an easy thing to manage a site with hard core issues presented by others around the world with different views and some times some readers can be very quick to snap instead of using the power of the Holy Spirit to address the issues. This site to me has thus far been like Jesus was to the woman at the well and like Jesus was to the woman cought in the act of adultry. Instead of condemning those two gals he covered them and gave them a higher road of living and it was so powerful and full of truth it transformed those gal's lives to walk in the path of righteousness instead of being beaten by "chruch" people that get hardly any results for a redeemed sinner to a saint (me) by a judging person who is a or once was a sinner themselves. My life I tured back around because of the loving answered shared by the owners of this site that offered truth and a safe place to be honest and get solid answers I needed to enable me to make vital moral choices and now I offer that same love given to me through this site from the pastor and wife and offer others my living testimony of me once a fallen sheep in a poor choice I made to a shepherd comming along pulling me out of the mud and washing me with the word. Their advice made me rethink things go back to God and repent. Other's who didn't understand the wisdom in the pastor's adivce had i heard it from the other point of view the way it was presented I would have rejected seeing such attack and offense in it. I love it when Jesus said to the religious folk about to stone the women they exposed with their pride humiliating her.... Jesus said "He who has never committed a sin, Cast the first stone." We all know the story, Jesus then covered her and when the religious folks were gone Jesus covered her and said,"Where are your accusers?" They were gone and He then told her, Go in PEACE...... and SIN NO MORE!!!! Praise God. I can go in peace.... due to the loving advice and truth shared.... AND sin no more... Thank you Pastor and Wife!!!!!

Nov 05, 2011
when is one truly married?
by: Confused

Hi, my darling and I have exchanged vows and asked God to bless our union and everything. Are we officially married in the sight of God even if we have not done the legal process as in getting registered and all that?

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