The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hello,

My girlfriend and I have been dating for around a year and a half. About a year into our relationship I found out she was not a virgin. Her previous boyfriend was a real loser because he was dating her at the same time her grandmother died, whom she was extremely close to and in many ways was her only and best friend (main Christian influence also). Plus she had just suffered a severe injury. While this was going on her boyfriend, rather than comforting her, kept pushing her to have sex with him claiming that she was embarrassing him by not and she needed to be like the other girls. She resisted him for a while but when she did he would ignore her for several days at a time. Fearing that she was going to lose another big part of her life (they had been dating for around a year), she finally gave into his demands because she felt it was the only way for her to save what was left of her life. She only had sex once. After they did it she was extremely embarrassed and although they did not break up immediately, she slowly started to hate herself until she couldn't take it any longer. Which is the point she found God again.

Her family isn't extremely religious, they just kind of believe, that's it. She, however, attends church every Sunday alone. She vowed to remain pure until marriage from that point on. She has, and I was the man who started dating her right after her transformation.

I am amazed by her ability to overcome an abusive relationship, death, and severe injury. She is woman with a good heart and in many way is more Christian than I think I ever could be. Yet, her past haunts me, and I hold it against her. Even though I have no room to talk because roughly around the same time she was going through all that, I was suffering from a pornography addiction. So, I feel like of all people I should forgive her, but I struggle and blame her for potential relational problems and making our possible marriage less special.

My question is I love her and find her to be nearly the perfect woman, but I am haunted by her past. How and when can I get over all this? Should I be as concerned about this as I am?

Thank you and God bless,


Answer

"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:14-15).

The truth of the matter is that you are taking a matter that happened to her and acting as if it is sin against yourself. She sinned against herself, not you. "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (I Corinthians 6:18). She repented of it and radically changed, just as God required. "For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:11).

This is her sorrow about her past. As a Christian brother, it is your duty to not only not hold it against her, but also to help bury the past. "Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins" (James 5:19-20).

I suspect that what bothers you most is the injury you think you suffered to your pride. You're not going to be the first man she had sex with. You are probably worried about how you will compare to the other guy. What you forget is that she dumped the other guy because he pushed her to sin at a weak time in her life. She doesn't love him, but she loves you (that is, if you don't drive her off). If there are rough edges in your relationship, I suspect that you are causing a lot of them. You're not letting your love develop and grow because, love "keeps no record of wrongs" (I Corinthians 13:5 NIV).

In part she became the woman she is because she overcame adversity. Yet the very thing that shaped her character because she triumphed over it is what you hold against her.

It is past time for you to learn to accept people for who they are. Pasts are only important when a person hasn't changed.