Two months ago I started having sexual relations with my girlfriend. However, I am tempted to pay for pleasure anyway. I know that neither of those things is good, because we are not married, but I don’t know what to do. I want to stop this impulse that controls me. I feel like it is alienating me from God.

Dear Friend,

There are many men who will identify with your situation, for certainly almost all men have, or have had, the same sexual drive that you speak about. However, most men are not willing to take the risks that are involved in paying for sex. Possibly you have decided that you are willing to be infected with a venereal disease, but it is extremely cruel to potentially pass a serious disease on to your girlfriend. If you care about her at all, you will not do that to her.

What if your girlfriend gets pregnant? You can take all the precautions that you think are necessary, but a multitude of people can tell you that those precautions don’t always work. So continuing to have sexual relations with your girlfriend has the potential to obligate you to the emotional and financial care of a child for the next eighteen years or longer.

You say that you want to stop the impulse that controls you. That impulse is called a sex drive, and you cannot stop it. However, you are not a helpless victim who has no power. The drive can only control you when you allow it to. So take control of your life and future by choosing a male friend who understands and supports your desire for sexual purity. Tell him about your temptations, and ask him to hold you accountable every day for your behavior.

Stop going to the places where you have had sex with your girlfriend, and plan activities with other couples instead. Avoid situations that will lead to physical intimacy. If you plan well and are determined, you can control your actions. The Apostle Paul said, “Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.”(1) Paul’s advice is to spend your time in healthy and moral activities so that those things control you instead of your sinful impulses.

You are right that having sex outside of marriage alienates you from God. That is because God hates all sin. However, even though God hates sin, He does not hate the person who has sinned. In fact, He loves each of us so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, so that we would not have to pay the eternal consequences. If you are truly sorry for your sin and you ask God to forgive you in Jesus’ name, He will do it. But you must take steps to stop repeating the sin over and over. If you develop a personal relationship with Christ, and pursue that relationship every day, it will get easier to resist temptation.

We wish you the best,

1 Ro 6:19b