Can We Spend the Night Together?
As with any choice to sacrifice now for the greater good, there are going to be challenges. And, trying to decide how to travel together is one of those challenges. I know many people in the chastity community would tell you not to make the trip. I like to use the analogy: “If you don’t want to go to Neverland, don’t get on the train that goes to Neverland.” It’s one way to avoid the near occasion of sin. Sleeping in the same bed is getting on the train to Neverland — it very easily could lead to having sex. I would advise most couples to avoid overnight visits. Why make it more difficult for both of you?
At the same time, my personal approach tends to take into account each couple’s unique capacity for living out the reality of chastity. Some couples choose not to kiss until their wedding day. Other couples are able to share some appropriate physical intimacy without “falling” into bed together. The most important aspect is communication between the two of you about your expectations. Have you discussed what it is going to be like to be in the same bed? Why are you choosing to be in this situation? How you are going to handle the temptations? What are the consequences if you don’t live up to your standards? If you both have the maturity and strength of conviction to be together in the same room, then it may not be a problem for you. Only the two of you can make that assessment.
I also want to highlight your question regarding feeling guilty. I don’t think guilt is a great motivator, so I won’t be the one telling you that you should feel guilty. Rather, I’d like to turn the mirror around and provide you with an interior reflection: What exactly do you feel guilty about? Are you worried that other people will judge you or think you are having sex? Or, do you think you and your boyfriend are likely to be sexually active in every way except having intercourse? If so, you may be playing with the “loophole” of chastity. Sometimes on the journey of living our faith we find ourselves with one foot on the path and one foot off. Experiencing everything short of intercourse is still falling short of a lifestyle of chastity. If you are acting on your desires for physical intimacy, even in a limited or controlled way, you are not able to make a complete offering of your sexuality to God. If so, this may be one source of your guilty feelings.
There is a difference between guilt and godly sorrow. Guilt is focused on the self, and it brings with it thoughts that keep us separated from God. This is why I don’t think guilt is always from God. Godly sorrow is focused on our relationship with God, and within the pain of our heart is the acknowledgement that we need God in every aspect of our life. Godly sorrow is open to grace and to seeing the impact of our actions. Godly sorrow calls us to reach out to God and ask Him to come closer, to send the power of His Holy Spirit. Guilt many times leads to despair, anxiety and more rebellion. Examine your heart and decide where on the continuum you fall.
I hope you find this helpful, and both you and your boyfriend take the time to pray, listen, and discern about the decision of whether to be together in the same room.>