Are We Guilty?

Q. My boyfriend and I are committed to remaining celibate until we are married. In the year we have been together, we have not had intercourse. We have, however, engaged in mutual masturbation. Are we guilty of fornication? Many thanks for addressing such an embarrassing situation.

A. Thank you for bringing up such a sensitive topic. As Jesus taught in His Sermon on the Mount, it’s not just our actions that condemn us but our thoughts as well (Matt. 6:27-28). If you thought you could avoid sinning by substituting something that’s technically different from actual intercourse but achieves a similar result, then I’d say you’re committing fornication in your heart. Ask the Lord to forgive you and then renew your commitment to wait until you’re married.

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