Question: I am a Christian. I had a 3 year relationship with a 52 year old which started when I was 15. I knew it was wrong but it just went on and on and finally I stopped it when I was 18.
I truly repented of it all and I know for sure that God has forgiven me. He has taken away my sins and now it is equivalent to not having committed that sin. My question is: Is it wrong for me to marry? I know it’s not wrong for me to marry because if it were wrong then that would mean that I am not purified by Jesus’ sacrifice.
Should I tell the person that I am marrying that I am not a virgin? I don’t want to tell her this because I know that it will only hurt her. In reality I am a very good person now and nobody would ever associate this with me, and Jesus has taken away this sin.
I am not sure if I am thinking in the right way. Please help me…I don’t ever want to discuss this with anyone because it is in the past and it has been taken away from me. This sin doesn’t have any consequences…If there were any consequences then I would have faced them by now already.
Nobody knows and nobody will ever know because I don’t ever want to discuss [it] as it has been taken away from me. Please help me. What should I do with my life?
Answer: There are several things that you did not tell us. How old are you now? Has it been several years since you had this relationship, or was it fairly recent?
You are correct that once you have confessed your sin to God and asked for forgiveness, He has forgiven you. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Even though we are forgiven, we are still sinners, and will be until we are in heaven. “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10)
Even Paul said that he sinned. “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” (Romans 7:15) Actually, this entire section of Romans explains about the flesh and how it tries to rule over the body.
Paul begins the next chapter with this verse. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1) We are not good in ourselves, and we cannot be pure in ourselves, it is only through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and His indwelling Holy Spirit after we have accepted forgiveness for our sins that causes God to see us as holy and pure.
You are also correct that you are free to marry. This sin does not prevent you from marrying. However, God does have some guidelines for marriage. First, you want to make sure it is within His will for you to marry, when you should marry, and who you should marry.
It sounds like you already have a girl in mind to marry. Is she a Christian? “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” (2 Corinthians 6:14, 15)
Second, God says you are to become one flesh with your spouse. “And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:23, 24)
These verses are referring to more than just the act of sex. It means when one hurts, the other hurts. You look out for each other. You are only half of a person without the other. It also means that you share everything.
I do not believe that God would honor a marriage that is based on a lie. I do not believe that God wants any secrets between a husband and wife. To not be completely honest with your future wife, I believe would be a sin. It would be a sin of omission.
I know that the sin you committed is forgiven, but is still an embarrassment to you. How would you feel if it were turned around, and this had happened to your future wife? Would you want to know, or would you like to be kept in the dark about it? Your future wife needs to have a choice as to whether she wants to marry someone with a past of sexual sin.
Does she love you enough to forgive you even as Christ has forgiven you? Do not cheat your future wife out of the opportunity that God has given her to demonstrate His forgiveness for you. If she doesn’t forgive you, then God is probably saying that she was not the spouse He intended for you.
Third, there is a chance that you could have contracted an STD. Your future wife has a right to know that she could be exposed to some sexual disease. I did some research on the internet, and learned that there are some sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/Aids, that can take years before any symptoms show up. There are also some the male cannot be tested for, but can still pass on to the woman.
No one else needs to know about this relationship you had with an older woman. However, your wife would be part of you and should know. Don’t forget, there was someone else in that relationship. They know about it. Perhaps they have told other people. What if your future wife learned about it another way? How would she feel then?
If this is the woman for you, she will understand, with God’s help. Approach her after much prayer. God will bless your honesty. Also, it sounds like you need to work on forgiving yourself, as this seems to be a burden you are still carrying around.
We know this will be hard, but God wants your marriage to be built on His solid foundation. Stay in the Word, pray together, and attend church together. Base your relationship on honesty and purity.
We will be praying for you as you listen to God’s voice and follow Him.
Gary and Marlene
You may also want to read the following articles:
1 Corinthians part 2
Romans part 1
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