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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: OMG! I Had Sex With My Girlfriend

i would rather be fornicating

John Piper was asked:

“Hello, Pastor John. I’m a listener in the Middle East. I slept with my girlfriend two days ago and now we are both hurt and feeling dirty, cheap, and ashamed. We cannot even look at ourselves. We are both born-again believers in Christ, but we were lured into temptation.”

“Is there any hope that we might become pure again and be healed from our sin? I know the blood of Jesus covers every sin, but how can we get our relationship’s purity back again? Or is that permanently gone? What do we do now?”

Here’s Piper’s response:

I think this young man from the Middle East is beginning in the right place. He is, it seems, appropriately shattered, meaning he understands something has been irrevocably lost. He and his girlfriend will never be able to go behind this sexual encounter and undo it. They have lost something very precious.

I begin this way, even though it may sound hard, because I feel a tender and jealous concern for those who are listening who have not lost their virginity. It is a very precious thing for men and women. The world views it as weakness — silly, in fact.

God views it as a very great strength and beauty beyond compare. I am just as eager to help listeners maintain their sexual purity and virginity before they lose it as I am to help those who have lost it recover the purity that Christ makes possible. That is why I am beginning the way I am beginning.

I think this young man is beginning in the right place. He is broken. He knows that a beautiful thing has been lost, and he knows that the blood of Jesus covers every sin. This is a good place to begin.

Those who take their sins lightly and treat the blood of Jesus as a kind of quick fix have never seen the true costliness of what Jesus did to purchase their purity. So, let me simply make a few observations that might prove redemptive and hope-giving to our friend from the Middle East and his girlfriend.


Marriage has its special rewards for faithfulness, and singleness — chaste, holy singleness — has its special rewards for faithfulness. Married people can glorify God in some ways that single people can’t, and single people can glorify God in some ways that married people can’t. This is not a matter of inferiority or superiority. Singleness and chastity are a very high calling in God’s mind. That is the first thing.

— John Piper, Desiring God, I Slept with My Girlfriend — Now What?, August 18, 2019


  1. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    This purity BS and the supposed value of virginity is so much crap to poison teenagers’ minds. I got it too, though Catholics express it a little differently. I felt horribly guilty about having sex with my boyfriend, a guilt that just ate at me. We didn’t stop, because it was very important to him, and I valued our relationship immensely. I also couldn’t see any logical reason to not have sex aside from religious teaching, and I was losing my religion. Still, the guilt machine was very well-embedded in my brain. It poisoned my ability to enjoy sex for a long time even after we were married.

    The thing is, if you’re teaching purity, you’re NOT teaching informed consent. Sex is a big deal for most people. It affects relationships in very strong ways. Young people need to know that they can refuse it SOLELY on the grounds that they want to, and can engage in it for the same reason. Safe sex is extremely important. Birth control is extremely important. Not feeling guilty about a healthy activity that satisfies a deep human need is extremely important. Also, even if you decide to be a virgin on your wedding night, informed consent is A Thing even within the relationships of married people.

    I hate that purity culture hobbles our young people so badly.

  2. Avatar
    Brunetto Latini

    Since I was a gay college student in the era of AIDS, I credit celibacy due to my fear of hell sparing me from that. It wasn’t pleasant being preoccupied with sex and fighting my sexual orientation, but I lived through it until I met my partner later in life. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to teach young people to save it for a permanent relationship.

    • Avatar

      You’re assuming that everyone WANTS a permanent relationship, some known to me don’t at all. They are perfectly happy doing what I would have called in my fundy days ”Sleeping around.” There is a POV, again perfectly legit and sensible, that it can be a good idea to find out if you are sexually compatible before making a lifetime commitment. There is a lot of evidence – as Karen has said – that ‘saving oneself’ for one’s future partner causes an enormous amount of needless harm, guilt and distress for decades to come.

  3. Avatar

    Consent and responsibility are the biggest things to teach people regarding sex. Focusing on fostering guilt for having sex rather than teaching consent and responsibility are huge problems with purity culture. If someone chooses not to have sex, it should be because that’s what they want to do, not because of archaic rules to ensure that paternity of children for distribution of precious familial resources can be assured.

  4. Avatar
    Paul (not the saint)

    It’s ironic that fundamentalists teach that gay sex is unnatural and therefore immoral, but celibacy, which is an unnatural denial of a basic human need, is moral.

  5. Avatar
    Brunetto Latini

    It’s even more ironic because large families seem to be common with fundamentalist pastors. My Free Will Baptist pastor had 6 kids, and my aunt’s Primitive Baptist pastor had more than 10. Clearly, celibacy isn’t a virtue for straight pastors on limited salaries.

    That realization hit me like a rock one day.

  6. Avatar

    It’s good to teach kids the value of waiting until they’re emotionally ready to handle sex, and to leave recreational sex for when they are more mature. That’s just common sense and has nothing to do with morality, unless like Karen mentions, one partner is giving into the other partner’s desires just to make them happy. That gets into the whole issue of being “used.” Guilt, however, is a totally worthless emotion that is just a control device. It pushed me into marriage at age 19 because my future husband and I didn’t want to “sin.” That was pretty much a guarantee of future divorce.

  7. Avatar

    I married quickly due to guilt from premarital sex. luckily my dh and I are compatible and he turned out to be a decent man. his parents, not so much. I probably would have wound up w/him but not as quickly and would have created boundaries w/his parents sooner had it not been for the guilt and shame taught by religion. we have taught our kids differently and they have been safer and happier because of it.

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