Post # 1
Ok, this is going to be kind of a personal post. One that I am not so sure I feel comfortable talking about, but I feel like there may be other people out there in a similar position.
My fiance and I just found that the church that we are getting our pastor from requires us to refrain from premarital sex. They prefer us to have never had sex before, but if we have, we now have to stop until we are married. Also, if we have, we will have to discuss it with our premarital counselor.
I am a big supporter of abstaining from sex until marriage, but I am going to be honest here, my fiance and I didn’t and don’t. We have a VERY open relationship about sex and have no problem discussing everything about it as a couple. However, I feel like it is a very personal topic (hence the hesitation to even make this post), and I don’t really feel comfortable discussing this with anyone but my fiance.
On top of having to now abstain until marriage, we have to sign a purity contract saying that we will not have ANY sexual contact AT ALL (we are not just talking sex here). We would be breaking the contract if we even thought about sex, because then our minds would not be pure. Then, we have to discuss how we have abstained with a supporter of our choice (mine female, his male).
Honestly, this is completely out of my comfort zone. Has anyone experienced this before? If so, how did you overcome it? If not, how would you overcome it?
Going through a different church is out of the question because this church has really become our home over the past few years. We love it. I am just wondering if anyone has any advice for abstaining or if anyone has advice for making this not out of my comfort zone.
Thank you so much in advance.
Post # 3
We are in the exact situation! Unfortunatley i can’t really give you advice on how to make this fit inside your comfort zone. . since i am feeling the same way. I am very open about sex and sexual things. . . but it’s a whole-nother ball game when i am required to discuss such things with a woman who i like to picture as having her children by immaculate conception,lol. What makes it even worse is that my cheeks get very red when i talk about sex with someone in authority(pastor’s wife,deacon,etc) I’m sorry im not any help in the advice area. . but i just wanted to let you know you arent the only one. . . .
Post # 4
I know you said that switching churches is not an option, but it seems like there is a big mis-match between what your church believes about sex and what you and your fiance believe. I would just caution you to be sure that your church’s beliefs about the roles of husbands and wives and birth control etc are also in line with your own. A church is supposed to be a place where you can to for support in times of conflict or need and it’s going to be hard to find that support if there is a big gap on important issues.
Post # 5
I agree with sakoro. It seems like this request for another couple could be possible, but for you, it makes you uncomfortable and it changes the fundamentals of your open relationship with your fiance. That is where I would draw the line. You are not marrying the church, you are marrying your guy. It is a personal decision for you to make, but if it were me, I would probably try to find an alternate church or officiant to marry us.
Post # 6
I’m a BAD person. BAD ME. To be honest, if it were me, I would lie through my teeth. Pre-marital sex? Never! Not once! Not us! Or I’d admit to doing it, sign the contract saying I won’t do it, and continue to do it anyway.
The reason I would do it that way is because you already don’t think you are doing anything wrong. And what you’re doing goes against your church’s fundamental beliefs. So in the eyes of the church you’re already screwing up (pun intended). I don’t think it’s your pastor’s business, and even asking about it, my God!
So frankly, I’d keep the church out of what I think is my own business, even if it meant lying. But if you really can’t do that, then you’ll just have to be uncomfortable, let them make you feel ashamed about your choices (even though there is nothing to be ashamed about) and continue on with the process.
This is a BIG reason my FI and I will not be getting married in a church!!
Post # 7
I have to c hime in with the other posters. Are you sure there isn’t a church in your area better suited? It’s a very personal decision so it’s hard for us to put ourselves in your shoes, but you two might want to have a serious talk together and make sure.
And really? you break the contract if you THINK about sex? That’s so unrealistic to me. Will they not marry you if you admit to having thoughts about sex??
I’m sure there are some people out here somewhere that will have been through something similar and have some input for you on their experiences
Post # 8
We are getting married in the Catholic church to appease my parents. I am not opposed to a Catholic wedding, but if I were faced with similar circumstances I would put my foot down and get married elsewhere. I am baptized Catholic, but not religious and my FI is atheist.
Luckily we have to do pre-cana but no crazy meetings with our priest. The pre-cana that I’ve selected is more marriage counseling, less religious. Our priest has laid down no rules for us and said we can come by and say hi next time we are in the area. That’s it.
We have lucked out!
Post # 9
Please do not take this the wrong way everyone, but I’m almost certain premarital sex isn’t going to be okay in any Christian church you go to for premarital counseling. Most churches believe sex is reserved for marriage. However, some churches may skirt around the issue to "save face" or just to save time. Regardless, I wish you and your fiance the best in working out what to do! I hope it is not a make or break deal (especially if you are comfortable with your pastor in other ways). Talking about sex with any church leader can be a little much regardless of your sexual history.
Post # 10
Ouch, that’s a really tough one! But if going through this process is what seems right for the two of you, the only advice I can give is to remember that the people you’ll be talking to are also human, and therefore NOT perfect. Most likely they even thought about sex before marriage — or maybe even had some! Thinking about that might make you a tiny bit less uncomfortable…?
Post # 11
There are plenty of priests who will still give you pre-marital counseling knowing you’ve had pre-marital sex. Is there a very strong reason you want to get married in this church? It seems silly to me to focus so much on pre-marital sex during your counseling sessions – assuming that the priest will spend a lot of time telling you it’s wrong and you obviously don’t think it’s wrong.
Post # 12
I just wanted to echo everything that MightySapphire said, especially the last line. I think that asking you to not even THINK about sex is a little ridiculous. Has your pastor watched any movies/tv shows or listened to any songs on the radio lately? Even if you force yourself not to think about it while in private, we’re still bombarded with sexual images throughout our day. As the other posters mentioned, you might want to think about how this will affect your future in regards to birth control/family planning.
I don’t really know how these things work, but maybe you could just be completely honest with your pastor and tell him that you 1.) want to keep having sex, 2.) are uncomfortable talking about such a private matter with those you do not share a bed with. Is there a different pastor in your church that might have a different way of doing things? Maybe you could find another pastor in your parish (or do only Catholics have parishes?) to come to the church on a "visitor" basis. I unfortunately don’t have any advice on how to abstain or how to make it more comfortable for you. I do hope that you find some kind of compromise and are able to enjoy this time before you are married. Good luck 🙂
Post # 13
I’m wondering what kind of church this is. My first impression is that it is a Catholic Church, since they tend to be very strict in this matter, but I have never heard of someone being put in this situation.
My fiance and I are Catholic, and we were honest with our priest about living together. They talked a little about why it’s not super ideal, but the issue was not pushed.
A friend of ours recenty got married in the Catholic Church, and when they revealed that they were living together, the priest told them they could not take holy communion until the day they were married. – That’s the most strict thing I’ve heard about.
It’s usually up to the individual priest and the diocese you live in.
Anyway, whatever church you belong to, I do not think you should leave it just because you don’t agree with every single belief. Religion is an individual matter. If it offers you fulfillment, then just do what you gotta do (either abstain or just sign the paper and lie – would be my choice) until your wedding day.
Post # 14
That just seems …. extreme. Your not supposed to think about sex? Seriously? I would think there’s something amiss if you didn’t think about sex around the man you intend to marry, that maybe then he’s not the one for you. It almost seems as if they’re needlessly trying to shame you, and you have every reason to feel uncomfortable.
I guess I’ve got to agree with posters above — are you sure you want to get married in this church? What are they going to say you have to do, as a couple, once you’re married, and do you agree with that? There are lots of other (christian) churches to marry in, and more than a few don’t give a hoot about premarital sex, or cohabitation….
Post # 15
Wow. I really find it frustrating that the churches are this imposing. What are the "penalties" about breaking the contract? i would lie, honestly, which i’m sure is "BAD", too. I really find it uncomfortable to talk about strangers with this. Just because it’s the churches’ opinion doesn’t mean it’s yours. Can you just sign the contracts and then avoid the pastor’s questions later and simply say, "i’m not comfortable discussing my personal life with you, regardless of what isn’t going on". But when you have to talk to the supporters, you could just be very evasive and say "we found other hobbies, like cooking" and then try not to go into too much detail so your little white lie doesn’t turn into a huge thing.
I think it’s an unfortunate thing that your church cannot be open minded (granted, I know how churches are) and make their members feel more welcome instead of shaming them essentially. Would they refuse to marry you? They should have been up front about this. you shouldn’t do something just because your church wants you to–you should abstain if YOU and your FI want to. Good luck!
Post # 16
Ugg, I have to chime in and say I guess I’ll be in the minority…but I disagree with almost everything that’s been said.
I do wonder what kind of church you are marrying in. And while even sinful thoughts (ie thinking about sex) are still a sin, I do feel that this is also a bit extreme. If this is a Catholic curch I’d wonder why something such as thoughts about sex couldn’t simply be addressed in confession. I could see how actually having sex would be different.
Here’s what I think. You said you have been a part of this church for years and it is important to you. I’m also taking a leap here that you are fairly religious. I know it’s so tempting to have sex, but perhaps God is calling you to do something a little holier than you’re used to. Most Christian churches do reject premarital sex. (Just because other churches might not be so drastic, doesn’t mean that God will think it’s OK.) Maybe God knows this is where you need to be. Maybe He’s trying to give you extra help. There are lots of debates on some topics, of God’s rules. But this one is a bit of a no brainer.
Think about listening to what’s being asked of you. Instead of shopping for a church that will fit in with sinful behavior, please stay with your current church. God gives us the rules. It is up to us to follow them. It does no good for us to try to find a church to make us feel better and lull us into thinking we are OK in doing something wrong. (And just because the rest of the world has convinced people this is OK, it isn’t. You seem religious, so think about who you want to seek religious advice from.) If you can make these months without having sex, I think you’ll find great reward, not to mention a sense of accomplishment in having succeeded.